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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > June 2022 > Beware of Scam Artists During County and State Fair Season

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Beware of Scam Artists During County and State Fair Season

For many Ohioans, this might be the first year since the start of the pandemic to return to the Ohio State Fair and local fairs. But while you take in the blue-ribbon winners, you should also keep an eye open for red flags warning you of fraudsters.  
The Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section offers fairgoers the following tips and information for a scam-free experience:
  • Be cautious when asked for personal information to enter a sweepstakes, contest or drawing for a prize. Read each contest or sweepstakes entry form you sign, especially the small print. Companies often use entry forms as a marketing tool. Even if you’re on the national Do-Not-Call Registry, by entering the contest you might be giving a company permission to call you, and you might even consent to the sale of your personal information to other companies.
  • Be skeptical of “free” vacation offers. Strings are frequently attached to free or bargain travel, which might require buying an expensive second ticket or listening to a long sales pitch. Furthermore, the offer might have so many conditions, restrictions and hidden costs that you can’t possibly schedule the trip even though you’ve already paid for it. When in doubt, remember the adage If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Know your rights before signing a contract. In Ohio, generally, if you’re at a fair and sign an agreement with a company to provide you with a product or service valued at $25 or more, you have the right to cancel the contract. Your reason for canceling can be as simple as buyer’s remorse. Whatever the reason, as long as you cancel before midnight of the third business day after signing a contract, you are no longer obligated to the terms of the contract. This three-day right to cancel, part of Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, typically applies when a sale occurs at a location outside the seller’s regular place of business, such as at the consumer’s home, a fair booth or a hotel meeting room. The salesperson must advise you of your right to cancel and provide you with a separate form that explains how to exercise that right. 
  • Watch out for deceptive displays or misrepresentations. Companies are generally required to provide consumers with all the facts before the sale. For example, if there are a certain number of products that must be purchased to obtain the advertised price, that information must be noted along with any other exceptions that would prevent the consumer from receiving what the company is advertising.
Need help with a consumer problem or question? Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.