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Ohio Supreme Court: out-of-state lawyers may not offer debt settlement legal services to Ohioans

When looking for debt settlement lawyers online, you must find an attorney who has the ability to practice law in Ohio, not just firms that advertise themselves as “national firms.”

The Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline issued an advisory opinion on October 7th stating that out-of-state lawyers are not practicing law if they are representing an Ohioan in a debt-settlement case.


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is devastating to the victim, family, and community. The Ohio Attorney General's Office works hard to shine a light on this problem and help those who are victims.

One way anyone can show their awareness of domestic violence is to incorporate purple, the official color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, into their lives during October. This can be done by wearing some type of purple clothing during the month. Another opportunity to show awareness is to use a purple light bulb for a home’s porch light.


November is National Runaway Prevention Month

November marks National Runaway Prevention Month. It’s an effort to call attention to the estimated 1.6 to 2.8 million children in a year who run away.

Reporting a missing person is the first step a family member or other loved one can take when faced with this situation. There is also the Missing Persons Checklist available from the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Leads to the whereabouts of missing persons can also be submitted.


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.”


Need money for college? Watch for scams

With the cost of college steadily increasing, many Ohioans are looking for creative ways to finance a college education.

To apply for federal financial aid for free, visit Other similar-sounding websites and companies may charge fees for their services.

For example, a Central Ohio consumer said she completed what she thought was a free government application for financial aid. She later discovered that it was an application to a student aid advisory service that charged $79 to complete the application.


National Consumer Protection Week 2012

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is proud to join government and nonprofit organizations across the country to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week, coming March 4-10, 2012.

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and to make better-informed decisions.


National Consumer Protection Week 2011

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is proud to join government and nonprofit organizations across the country to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week, coming March 6-12, 2011.

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and to make better-informed decisions.


Money Gone in a Poof? Don’t Fall for the Spoof.

 Have you ever looked at the phone number appearing on your caller ID and wondered who really was calling you?


Lose Weight Safely; Avoid Diet Scams

A common New Year’s resolution is to live a healthier life by losing weight gained over the holidays.

Although there are several legitimate weight loss products available, be aware that some scam artists advertise phony products, claiming to help consumers lose weight with little or no effort.


Layaway: is it right for you?

Many companies have brought back layaway plans for the holiday season. But before you put a purchase on layaway, make sure you understand what it is and how it works.

Layaway plans allow you to pay installments for items on reserve. You receive the item when it is paid in full.


Law enforcement officers earn awards for service

In September 2010, officers of the Central Vice Control Section of the Cincinnati Police Department noticed members of a motorcycle gang at a local bar not known as a biker bar.

Police knew there had been skirmishes between rival gangs and “takeovers” of local bars in which a gang would lock it down and line up patrons to see if any belonged to a rival gang. There were warnings out, too, that a gang’s “enforcer” was in the area.


Join Us for National Consumer Protection Week

With so many consumers living on the brink of financial crisis, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10, 2012, aims to help consumers make informed financial decisions through a coordinated consumer education campaign.


Is your phone safe from hackers?

Many mobile phones today are essentially mini-computers. They can be conveniently used to browse the Web, check e-mail, and make financial transactions.

But without proper security features, hackers may be able to use fairly simple technology to manipulate your phone and the information stored in it.


Is that check real? Or a scam?

If you receive an unexpected check or money order that looks real — beware. It probably is a fake check scam.

How can you tell? Here’s one certain sign: It will direct you to deposit the check into your account and send money in return, keeping a nice “bonus” for yourself.


Internet safety: What parents need to know

Many children use the Internet every day, yet parents may not realize what information their children are sharing online, what content they are viewing, or what software they are downloading.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 34 percent of 10- to 17-year-olds had posted their real names, telephone numbers, home addresses, or the names of their schools online, and 45 percent had posted their dates of birth or their ages. Plus, one third of young Internet users (34 percent) had an unwanted exposure to sexual material.


How to handle unwanted calls

Unwanted phone calls can be frustrating. Calls may come at inconvenient times, and you may have trouble determining who is calling you.

The following will help you understand and deal with unexpected calls.


How to ensure safe delivery for your holiday packages

When you are shipping packages this holiday season, take a few extra steps to ensure safe delivery.


How an award received in Washington helps Ohio

What does it mean to an Ohioan that a section chief in the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine went to Washington this week to accept an award?

If you answered that it means taxpayers’ dollars were saved and people in need of medical care got more help, you’d be right.


Holiday charitable donations: good giving

While the holidays are a time to be generous, be sure your well-intentioned donations are put to good use.


High School Video Contest: one month left

The 2011 Take Action High School Video Contest, which gives Ohio high school students the opportunity to compete for college scholarships while promoting Internet safety, is open from now until December 15.


High school video contest now open

Ohio high school students can demonstrate their creative talents and have a chance to win scholarship prizes by entering the 2011 Take Action High School Video Contest.

To enter the contest, high school students may submit a 60-second video on Internet safety. Entries may come from individuals or teams of two students.


Handling unwanted text messages

Unwanted text messages are not only annoying, but can lead to unauthorized charges on your cell phone bill for services you never requested.

In the last few years, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has seen a rise in complaints dealing with unauthorized phone charges, in some cases connected with unwanted text message spam.


Free consumer law workshops for small businesses

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is offering educational tools to help small businesses comply with Ohio consumer law.

The Attorney General’s Office enforces more than 25 consumer laws regarding advertising and business sales practices. To help businesses better understand these laws, the office’s Consumer Protection Section offers a free workshop, “Supporting Ohio Small Businesses,” which covers complying with Ohio consumer law and avoiding scams targeting small businesses.


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.


Federal benefits to be paid electronically

The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and nontax payments to be paid electronically.

People applying for Social Security, Veterans benefits or other federal benefits on or after May 1, 2011 will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013.

Those who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or those who do not switch by the deadline will receive their benefit payments via the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment. People who are already receiving benefit payments electronically do not need to take action. They will continue to receive their payment as usual on the payment day.


Families, colleagues mourn Ohio's fallen officers of 2010

Grace Leon shared a special gift Thursday with the loved ones of the four Ohio peace officers killed in the line of duty in 2010.

The gift of hope.

“I want the survivors to know that sometimes life doesn’t bring you what you want, but I can assure you that life brings you what you need,” said Leon, whose late husband, Cleveland police officer Wayne Leon, was shot while making a traffic stop nearly 11 years ago. “I hope peace fills your hearts and loving memories bring you comfort.”


Events calendar lists many opportunities to learn

Are you a teacher?

Senior citizen? Child of a senior?


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.

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