Almost forget about Father's Day? Need a last-minute gift? How about clicking on the link in the text message you just received to get a $100 gift card for your dad?
Attorney General Mike DeWine today reminded Ohioans to watch out for scams in advance of Father's Day on June 17, 2012.
Scam text messages have increased over the last few years. These messages may ask you to click on a link to win a free prize or gift card, fill out a survey, or appear to be from your bank. Clicking on the link or replying to the message could lead to: unauthorized charges on your account, someone "phishing" -- stealing -- your personal information, or access to your bank accounts. Remember, if the text message sounds too good to be true – winning a gift card for clicking a link – it probably is.
"Children of all ages need to be careful when planning to celebrate Father's Day," said Attorney General DeWine. "Watch out for these scams so those good intentions don't become bad memories."
To help protect your cell phone from unwanted text messages, Attorney General DeWine offers these tips:
- Check privacy policies on websites before submitting your cell phone number.
- Do not submit your cell phone number on websites that you do not know and trust.
- Ask your service provider about blocking all text messages sent through the Internet.
- Register your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Report unwanted text messages by forwarding them to SPAM (7726), if accepted by your cell phone provider.
As for the last-minute gift for dad, below are some shopping tips:
- Stick to reputable online retailers. Research the company or website with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and Better Business Bureau to see if other consumers have had problems with the business.
- Go to a company's website directly to place your order; do not click on links in e-mails or social websites.
- Make sure you have up-to-date security software installed on your computer.
- Ensure that the website is secure. When entering any type of credit card or payment information, look for the "s" in the web address (https).
- If you are buying gifts at a store, check the store's return policy before you buy. Sellers must clearly disclose their return policies before you make the purchase.
If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry at
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840