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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > March 2011

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Watch for tsunami scams

In the wake of the recent tsunami in Japan, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Ohioans to watch for charitable giving scams.

Charitable scams tend to emerge after large-scale disasters, and Ohioans who want to help fund relief efforts need to be wary of scam artists trying to exploit their generosity.


Ohio's rogue prescription crisis

Ohio's families and communities are under siege by the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

A recent execution-style double homicide in Ashtabula County is the latest link in a disturbing chain of prescription drug-fueled crimes. The Ashtabula County sheriff said that the trafficking of OxyContin and Percocet -- the two most popular prescription drugs in his jurisdiction -- was "running wild."


Ohio to get tough on scam artists

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wants to make sure the people who rip off our families, friends, and neighbors face criminal penalties.

In early March, Attorney General DeWine announced that former Jackson County Prosecutor Jonathan Blanton will join the office’s Consumer Protection Section to assist local county prosecutors in the preparation and prosecution of consumer fraud cases.


Northeast Ohio students win high school video contest

As part of National Consumer Protection Week (March 6–12), Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the three winning teams for the 2010 Take Action High School Video Contest.

The first place team was Billy Lewandowski and Todd Thompson from Pymatuning Valley High School (Ashtabula County), who won a $2,500 scholarship for their video, “Too good to be true? It probably is.”


Flood victims: be wary of unscrupulous home improvement contractors

As Ohioans deal with the effects of major floods, they should be wary of untrustworthy contractors who offer to repair damaged homes.

Beware of contractors who show up unexpectedly.


Dreaming of a spring vacation? Don't get duped

Spring is in the air and vacations are just around the corner. But before you book that long-awaited trip, remember to watch for travel scams and tricky marketing ploys.

Some companies offer “free” vacations, flights or other perks to entice you to sign up for a membership or a more expensive trip.


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.


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.