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PNS Daily Newscast - December 15, 2017 


What's next following the FCC vote to end net neutrality? We have a pair of reports. Also on our Friday rundown: We'll let you know why adolescents in foster care need opportunities to thrive; and steps you can take to avoid losing your holiday loot.

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Free Legal Help, Financial Tips Available for Vegas Tragedy Victims

The Fund to Help victims of the Oct. 1 Las Vegas mass shooting is slated to release updated protocols in early December. (Mariordo/Wikimedia Commons)
The Fund to Help victims of the Oct. 1 Las Vegas mass shooting is slated to release updated protocols in early December. (Mariordo/Wikimedia Commons)
December 5, 2017

LAS VEGAS – Victims of the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip have been receiving calls and emails from scam artists and people peddling risky investments - so the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is offering free legal help and tips to protect any money they receive from the Compassion Fund.

In March, the fund will begin disbursing the $16 million collected, with set amounts to go to families of the people killed and to people who were hospitalized within 48 hours of the shooting.

Tennille Pereira, a consumer attorney for the Legal Aid Center, says the recipients need to be very wary of any investment opportunities suddenly coming their way.

"People get phone calls or emails saying, 'Send me a little bit of money and I can release this fund,'" she says. "Or they will have people call them, sometimes friends or family: 'I just need some money to get me through this time' - or all sorts of investment fraud."

Pereira advises people to consult a licensed financial adviser, to put aside money for an emergency fund, and to set a budget that takes long-term needs into account, because many of the victims are going to need ongoing medical care, and families will have to support the victims' dependents.

Pereira notes that it can be difficult to decide how to handle a large payout.

"And sometimes it's not necessarily a fraudulent investment," she concedes. "It could be a valid business venture, but it may be incredibly risky and probably too risky for someone who's going to need that money to rely on in the future."

The Legal Aid Center has posted a toolkit for victims of the tragedy on their website, lacsn.org.

Fifty-eight people died, about 500 people were injured and many more affected when a gunman opened fire on a music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel on October first.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV