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Debt-Collection Scams Continue to Target Ohioans

Complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office suggest that scammers continue to contact Ohio families with phony debt-collection ploys. Recently, people who have applied for or inquired into payday loans are among their targets. Using information possibly obtained from online payday loan applications, the scammers attempt to trick consumers into paying for loans they may never have taken out or have already paid off.


AG Launches 2013 Take Action Video Contest

Ohio high school students in grades 9 through 12 can enter to win up to $2,500 in college scholarships by participating in the Attorney General’s fifth annual Take Action Video Contest.


Identity Theft Unit Marks First-Year Successes

Imagine not receiving your tax refund because someone else already obtained it or getting a medical bill for an unfamiliar procedure or prescription. Imagine pulling your credit report only to learn that someone used your personal information to obtain a loan — and now you’re responsible for the payments. These scenarios were realities for many consumers who have contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit.


Too-Good-To-Be-True Tickets May Be Phony

You feel like you’ve just scored a touchdown when you see 50-yard line tickets for your favorite team for sale online at less than their face value. The seller may say they have a sudden family emergency and even include a scanned image of the tickets as “proof” they are legitimate. Unfortunately, those tickets may be well-designed counterfeits or may not even exist, leaving you without your money and seats for the big game.


Beware of Insurance Enrollment Scams

While most consumers are familiar with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, many are not aware of the specific procedures or important dates associated with the ACA. Fraudsters may use this lack of knowledge to scam consumers and possibly steal their identities.


Don’t Bite on Phishing Schemes

In a typical phishing scam, a con artist pretends to be an employee of a bank or a government agency and asks for confirmation of account information by providing account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. The scammer hopes consumers will fall for the scam and reveal personal information.


‘Mobile Wallet’ Security Tips

Smartphones and tablets allow consumers to stay connected, shop online, and even review bank account statements. Recent technology has taken convenience one step further, allowing consumers to use their smartphones as a mobile wallet.


AG Files Enforcement Actions Against Home Security Companies

Imagine a door-to-door solicitor pressuring you to purchase a home security system. He claims he can waive all installation fees and provide a 30-day right to cancel. However, after signing up, you notice unauthorized installation charges on your bank statements and unsuccessfully try to cancel the service. Similar situations have caused many consumers to file complaints with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.


Unexpected Email: Think Before You Link

If you’ve ever received a vague email urging you to provide personal information or click on a link within the message, you’re certainly not alone. Maybe the email advertised an amazing sale or great job opportunity and made you curious to learn more. Before you click, remember that it’s important to weigh the potential for succumbing to a scam.  


Be Wary of Back-to-School Scams

The back-to-school season can be a busy time for families. Unfortunately, scammers are busy this time of year, too.


Take a Good Look at Your Phone Bill

Your phone bill may just be another one on the list to pay every month. But next time it arrives, take a second look for extra charges or fees. Some may be for services you didn’t order, agree to, or use. If you find these, you may be a victim of  “cramming.”


Beware of Scams when Buying or Selling Online

Online marketplaces make it easy for buyers to access countless products from individual sellers. But shopping this way can leave you vulnerable to scams since you may not know who is selling the item or if the item even exists. Scam artists take advantage of these unknown elements and attempt to steal your money.


Tailor the Topics and Timing of Our Communications

You now can tailor the topics and timing of email communications from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.


AG Sues Cleveland Area Talent Agency Owner

You believe your child is destined for the spotlight. So you find a talent search company and spend a lot of money in hopes your child will be “discovered.” This was the goal of many parents and children who signed with The Event in Orlando Inc., a talent agency that operated in the Cleveland area. The business sold talent contest packages to consumers and then failed to deliver the services as advertised.


Protect Yourself from Social Media Fraud

With the explosion of social media, people have made online connections with many individuals, organizations, and events. Social media can be beneficial, and many legitimate people, businesses, and agencies create accounts to keep others informed of their news and promotions. However, scam artists also are taking advantage of social media sites, using fake profiles and accounts to trick consumers into losing money or releasing personal information.


Prospective Renters, Beware of Rental Scams

Finding a new apartment or home to rent can be challenging. As you scan through rental ads considering the neighborhood, cost, and size, what you may not consider is that the listing could be a fake. Rental listing scams target consumers who are looking for a good deal on a great place and trick people into sending money.


Want to Lower Your Mortgage? Don’t Stop Making Payments

If you want to lower your monthly mortgage payments, don’t trust businesses that tell you to stop making your payments.


Beware of Job Opportunity Scams

If you are in the market for summer work or a full-time position, you may have noticed job postings that sound too good to be true. What you may not know is that scammers who want to steal your money — and maybe even your identity — create many of these postings. Learn to recognize the signs of job opportunity scams and how to avoid falling for them.


Car-title Loans and What You Can Lose

When short on cash or looking for a way to supplement income, car-title loans may seem like a good option. But beware: Car-title loans may cost more than you expect.


Selling your Timeshare? Watch for Scams

If you own a timeshare and are thinking of selling it, use caution before agreeing to do so through a real estate broker or agent. Since January 2012, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received almost 160 complaints regarding timeshares. Most of these complaints are from shareowners who are attempting to sell their timeshare through resale companies.


Home Repair Scammers Indicted for Targeting Elderly Victims

In April, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stood beside Central Ohio law enforcement officers to announce indictments against seven people who ripped off elderly victims in Fairfield, Franklin, Pickaway, and Ross counties with their door-to-door home improvement scheme.


How to Find a Good Contractor

If you are considering a home repair this spring or summer, make sure you know how to find a good contractor and how to avoid scammers. 


Buying a Used Car? Beware of Title Problems

When a used car is purchased from a motor vehicle dealer, you expect the dealer to provide a valid certificate of title that transfers ownership of the vehicle. But what happens if the dealer fails to deliver the title? The Attorney General may be able to help.


Mother’s Day Shopping Tips

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, and if you are planning a last-minute gift for the moms in your life, be sure to make smart shopping decisions and avoid scams.


Consumer Videos Now Available

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office now offers several new videos on consumer protection topics. Watch as Consumer Protection Section experts discuss home improvement, identity theft, and other issues, and check out the winning student videos from the office’s 2012 Take Action High School Video Contest.


Agent or Imposter?

Scammers have been posing as law enforcement officers for years, but current technology makes the scheme more convincing.


AG Shuts Down Fraud Ring

In March, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Miami County Prosecutor Gary Nasal announced the guilty plea of the ringleader of a telemarketing fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from thousands of victims across the country.


‘Spear Phishing’ Scams Hit Close to Home

In a typical phishing scam, a con artist pretends to be an employee of your bank or a government agency and asks you to confirm account information by submitting your bank account number, password, or Social Security number. The scammer hopes you will fall for the scam and reveal personal information.

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