Scam and Fraud Information
Take control -- don't be a victim! Learn about current scams and how to avoid becoming a victim of one.
It is a sad fact: anyone can be the target of scammers and criminals. They take advantage of innocence and a kind heart and often target seniors. After the 2019 tornado in our area, police departments saw increased reports of scams by fly-by-night contractors and bogus charities.
Anyone can fall victim to these clever
criminals, so never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Even businesses have fallen victim to scams. Protect yourself by learning the signs of scams and frauds. Contact a trusted friend or family member if you are unsure.
Tips to stay safe
Never send money to a stranger. Never give out your personal information to anyone who contacts you out of the blue. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse. Don’t allow anyone remote access to your computer. Don’t pay the full amount before any work has been done.
If a suspicious call comes in, hang up and call the business using a number you know is correct, such as on a past bill. If you get a real-looking email that lists a phone number, don’t click the phone number; use a number you are confident is real. If an email has a link, visit the website directly instead of clicking the link.
If a caller demands you purchase gift cards or Amazon cards, hang up. No legitimate company will ask you to pay for past due bills using gift cards, bitcoins, or the like. Contact the police for help.
Be careful of text messages from an unknown number. The message may look like it is legitimate but if it asks for you to call a number, don't call the number in the text. Instead call a number you are certain is correct (check a past bill or website).
Some people refuse to answer if the phone if the number is unknown. If it is a legitimate call, they will leave a voice mail.
Examples of scams being run today
Grandparent Scam – A con artist poses as your grandchild, saying they are in trouble and need money urgently. These criminals are skilled at scaring you, wanting you to act quickly without checking.
Home Improvement Scams – If someone knocks on your door offering to repair your roof, pave your driveway or trim your trees at a great price, be wary. After getting payment, they may disappear or do a poor job. Don’t let yourself be rushed. Always get multiple estimates.
Phishing and spoofing – It can be hard to tell if an email, website, text, or phone call is really from a legitimate business or government agency. Never give personal information, such as bank accounts or social security number, to someone who calls you unexpectedly. Don’t click links in suspicious emails or texts.
What to do
If you believe you are a victim of a scam or attempted scam, contact your local police department or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or visit the Ohio Attorney General's website
Scams Targeting Ohioans – information from the Ohio Attorney General on avoiding scams
Social Security — If you are contacted by someone impersonating the Social Security Administration to conduct a scam, you can go to Social Security website to file a complaint
Here is information on Social Security Scam Texts
Spam Text Messages – Here is some information from the FTC on recognizing spam text messages and what to do about them.