(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned consumers to beware of online scams and too-good-to-be-true offers as they prepare for Mother’s Day this Sunday.
“If you’re in a rush to make a last-minute purchase, be careful,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Don’t let scams stand in the way of celebrating this important day.”
Consumers should beware of potential scams including phony e-cards, ads from bogus online retailers, and phishing scams. For example, cyber criminals may send a text message or email claiming to be from a consumer’s florist and stating that the flower order won’t be processed unless the consumer enters credit card information. Additionally, an e-card could be a scam designed to install malicious software (malware) on the consumer’s device when the consumer clicks on the link.
Attorney General DeWine offers consumers the following tips to protect themselves:
Stick to reputable online retailers. Research a company or website with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau.
Be careful about clicking on links in pop-ups or email messages. To help protect yourself, go directly to a business’ website instead of clicking on a pop-up ad.
Make sure your security software is up to date.
Look for the "s" in the web address (https) before entering payment information.
Be careful about making purchases from your smartphone or tablet. By entering credit card or debit card information on mobile devices, you may be putting your personal information at risk.
Consider using a credit card instead of a debit card. When you pay by credit card, your transaction is protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act — a federal law that gives you the right to dispute unauthorized charges. If you use your debit card, you may not have the same protections.
Consumers who believe their personal information has been compromised should take steps to protect themselves, such as notifying their bank or placing an alert or freeze on their credit reports. If their information has been used fraudulently, consumers should file a police report and seek help through the Identity Theft Unit of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section.
To report a scam or to get help, consumers should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840