LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford is warning of two ongoing scams targeted at struggling people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ford’s office said recently, Nevadans have been targeted by deceptive discount insurance plans and fraudulent credit repair companies.
According to AG Ford, Nevadans should be on the look out for deceptive telemarketers and websites touting cheap medical insurance plans. Ford said some of these entities falsely claim that they are Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant. Sometimes, the companies have misleading websites that appear legitimate or have similar names to legitimate insurance companies.
“When shopping for insurance, stick to the Nevada Health Link website as your first stop,” Ford said in a statement. “These fake websites are intentionally confusing, leaving consumers who fall for them with unpaid medical bills.”
If you receive an unsolicited call from a health insurance company, don’t provide any personal information over the phone. Consumers are encouraged to research different insurance plans online. You can also verify an insurance company through the Division of Insurance.
CREDIT REPAIR COMPANIES
Ford’s office also warned that while many credit repair companies can get your credit back on track, some companies may not be entirely legitimate.
If you want to hire a credit repair company, the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offered the following tips for spotting a scam. Be on alert if a company:
- Asks you to pay all fees up front before it does any work on your behalf. Some companies may charge a one-time fee ranging from $15-$200 to set up the account. However, no credit repair organization may charge a consumer any money before the service is fully performed;
- Instructs you to dispute information on your credit report that you know is accurate. With your legal consent, the company may challenge and clean up any inaccurate items with the three major credit bureaus or directly with the creditors. If a company tells you to say you have been the victim of identity theft when you have not, this is illegal;
- Promises to remove all negative information from your credit report. Credit repair takes time and not every negative item can be removed; and
- Doesn’t explain your legal rights when they tell you about their services. Legitimate credit repair companies should include a copy of the Consumer Credit File Rights. Additionally, you have the right to cancel any services without incurring any penalties within three business days.
If you believe you’ve been victimized by any crime related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can file a complaint to the AG’s office and the National Center for Disaster (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or by emailing the NCFD at [email protected].