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Buying online? Beware of payment scams

Scam artists may try to lure buyers away from the established payment mechanism so that they can more easily steal buyers’ money.

They often prefer payment via wire transfer, because a wire transfer leaves very little paper trail, helping scammers get away with their ploys.


Buying a car on Craigslist? Watch for scams

Fraudulent postings are a common occurrence on Craigslist. If you plan to buy a vehicle from a Craigslist seller, be very cautious.

A Trumbull County consumer said he found a 2005 all-terain vehicle for sale on Craigslist. The seller told him to send $1,600 via Western Union to London, and promised to send the vehicle. Although the consumer sent the money, the vehicle never arrived.


Beware of tax scams

Filing income tax returns is an annual task that few enjoy. But be careful! During tax season, some scam artists use the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) name or logo to try to steal unsuspecting consumers’ financial information.

A Franklin County resident said he received an e-mail message that appeared to be from the IRS. The e-mail indicated that the consumer was late in submitting his W-2 form and instructed him to click on a link to send the updated form. Fortunately, the consumer recognized that the e-mail was a scam, and he did not click on the link nor provide any personal information.


Beware of Internet pop-ups

When online, you will likely encounter a pop-up advertisement or two. In addition to being a nuisance, they may bring viruses and send out your personal information.

Pop-ups are generally new web browser windows used to display advertisements. Pop-under ads are similar to pop-up ads, except that the ad window appears hidden behind the main browser window rather than in front of it.


Attorney General DeWine focuses on protecting families

On Jan. 10, Mike DeWine took office as Ohio’s 50th attorney general.

In his inaugural remarks, Attorney General DeWine explained his top priority: to protect families. He said it is especially important to protect the most vulnerable among us.


Air duct cleaning: hype vs. science

Advertisements for air duct cleaning may emphasize the health risks posed by dirty or moldy ducts in your home, but knowledge about the health benefits of duct cleaning is limited.

Additionally, air duct cleaning services may advertise a low price, but then charge you a much higher amount once a representative is in your home performing the work.


A look back at some of the accomplishments made in 2011

It was a busy first year at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office since Mike DeWine took the oath of office last January, pledging to protect Ohio’s families.

Here are a few of the year’s highlights of what Attorney General DeWine and his office have been accomplishing:


Free personal finance training for teachers

Starting this year, personal finance education will be mandated for all Ohio high school students entering high school for the first time on or after July 1, 2010. To help teachers prepare for the mandate, state agencies are offering Teacher Academies to provide training and resources.


“Military leave scam” targets military families, friends

Family members and friends of active-duty service members should beware of individuals who ask for money in exchange for granting military leave to their loved ones.

In one version of the scam, the letter received is from “General Robert Gate” explaining that their military member has been considered for leave, and that the consumer must immediately send $1,200 via wire transfer to a Fort Hood agent in Illinois to cover transit and related expenses.

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