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Community Fraud Forums

This summer the Ohio Attorney General's Office is hosting regional Community Fraud Forums to discuss scams affecting consumers and small businesses.


Buy Here-Pay-Here Dealers Sued

Attorney General DeWine sued two “buy-here-pay-here” used car dealerships in April for violating Ohio’s consumer laws.


Avoid Wedding Disasters

Deciding to get married may be easy, but planning a wedding — finding a location, dress, caterer, florist, and photographer - can be difficult. With so many options, how do you sort the good vendors from the not-so-good? Researching wedding vendors and asking important questions can go a long way to help you avoid problems on your big day.


Work-at-home offers usually scams

As the school year closes, many high school and college graduates will be hunting for jobs and considering job placement services or work-at-home opportunities. 

Some job placement services are legitimate, but others misrepresent their services, promote outdated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees for services that never lead to a job.


What is your smartphone saying about you?

If you use your smartphone to upload photos to social networking websites such as Facebook or MySpace, your phone may be releasing your personal information and location without your knowledge.

For years, experts have warned web users to avoid posting too much personal information, such as street address, date of birth, or license plate numbers, to protect against online predators.  


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.


Watch for “Instant” Tax Refunds

With tax season upon us, offers for fast-cash refunds or instant refunds may sound good, but in reality, many of these “instant refunds” are costly loans.


Understanding debt collection laws

April is National Financial Literacy Month, so it is a great time to take charge of your credit and understand your rights regarding debt collection.

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act protect consumers from abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices.


Trade secrets of a scammer

To increase the likelihood that you may fall for a scam, scam artists sometimes use names of well-known officials.


Trade Secret of a Scammer: Using Your Driver’s License

Because your driver’s license is a key form of identification, it may be a ripe target for identity thieves.


Trade secret of a scammer

To make their ploys seem real, scam artists may send a counterfeit check or money order inside a FedEx package or other official-looking package


Top ten scams of 2010

The New Year is well under way, but the top scams of 2010 still threaten unsuspecting consumers.

From fake checks to phony debt collectors, Ohio consumers reported dozens of scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2010, and many of those scams continue to circulate in 2011.


Top Ten Complaints of 2011

In 2011, the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section filed dozens of lawsuits and received more than 31,000 complaints, among other highlights.


Tell Grandparents about Travel Plans: Here's Why

Scammers have convinced Ohio grandparents to send hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the country through the “grandparent scam,” where scammers pose as a grandchild in trouble and call grandparents asking for money.


Stay safe, save money this winter

As winter falls upon us, concerns arise about safety, travel, and money. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and save money.


Spring Home Improvement Tips

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


Spiritual Advisor or Scam Artist?

In certain cultures, spiritual advisors and healers are trusted individuals who provide helpful guidance to others.


Scholarship opportunity for Ohio high school students

Ohio high school students can submit 60-second videos on Internet safety for the chance to win college scholarships in the 2011 Take Action High School Video Contest.


Scam artist hacks Facebook account, offers grant

A Southeast Ohio consumer reported that while she was chatting with her sister on Facebook, her sister said she had received a government grant.

The consumer’s sister forwarded a link about the grant, and soon the consumer began chatting with an official who said he was from the Federal Government Humanity & Empowerment Program.


Scam alert: phony traffic tickets

Ohioans should beware of the “Uniform Traffic Ticket” scam, in which consumers receive emails stating that they have been caught speeding on camera.


Scam alert: online notarization

“Online webcam notarization” is invalid in Ohio, but at least one company is claiming to provide a web-based notary service to consumers throughout the U.S.

Under Ohio law, if you need to get a document notarized to verify your signature on the document, you must be physically present with the notary public at the time you sign the document.


Scam alert: advance fee loans

Consumers throughout Ohio are reporting losing money to advance fee loan scams. In some cases, they send hundreds of dollars out of the country for loans that are nonexistent.

For example, a Central Ohio consumer received a call saying she qualified for a loan worth up to $5,000. In order to receive the loan, she first had to send $300 via wire transfer to India. She sent the money, but never received the loan. It was all a scam.


Safety recalls and alerts: New crib standards

New crib standards from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prohibit the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs.  They also require importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers to offer only cribs that meet new mandatory rules, including:


Safety recalls and alerts

May 31, 2011 – Bicycle Helmets Recalled by Bell Sports Due to Head Injury Hazard: The plastic buckle that connects the chin straps can fail, causing the helmet to come off the wearer’s head. Consumers should stop using the helmets immediately and contact Bell Sports by calling 866-892-6059, via e-mail at, or by visiting the firm's website at for a replacement or refund.


Reporting wire-transfer fraud

If you or someone you know loses money in a scam involving a wire transfer, file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and report the fraud to the wire transfer company.

Report fraud to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint at or calling 800-282-0515. Keep in mind that once money has been sent via wire transfer, it can be very difficult – if not impossible – to recover. Nevertheless, complaints are an important tool for tracking potential criminal activity.


Recent Legal Action

Gabbard Cars, Inc. (Medina County): A judge ordered Gabbard Cars to pay more than $68,000 for failing to transfer vehicle titles properly and mishandling consumers' payments. In the March 9 judgment, the judge agreed with Attorney General Cordray that the auto dealer's actions violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Title Defect Rescission Act.


Protect Your Small Business from Scams

Every day the Ohio Attorney General’s Office receives complaints from consumers and businesses working hard to make ends meet. Among these complaints are reports of scams targeting businesses.  


Protect your child from identity theft

Child identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently uses a child’s identity for personal gain.

The imposter may be a family member, friend or a stranger. He or she may use the child’s name and Social Security number to open new accounts for cell phones, utilities, credit cards and even mortgages.

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