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Ohio Protects focuses on scams

All too often, Lawrence County’s law enforcement agencies receive complaints from citizens reporting fishy phone calls from unidentified callers who claim to need immediate payment.

Unfortunately for some, they fall victim to the threats and send their money in the form of prepaid cards to scammers who likely will never be caught. Others never get a phone call. Rather, their money or identity is stolen right out from under them.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office receives more than 27,000 consumer complaints each year, and to help lower those numbers, AG Mike DeWine has launched a new multi-media outreach initiative to increase Ohioans’ awareness of scams, fraud and identity theft and how they can protect themselves.

Called “Ohio Protects,” the campaign will feature a website, www.OhioProtects.org, which will help educate people on a variety of consumer protection topics, and also direct them to the attorney general’s office for additional help. There are also videos that highlight some of the more common scams and frauds targeting Ohioans including: contractor fraud, computer repair scams and IRS scams. They also alert Ohioans about how their personal information can be compromised, underscoring the importance of identity theft protection.

The $2 million dollar effort is being funded by money secured through consumer protection settlements, not by taxpayer dollars, which makes the initiative a win-win.

Anytime our elected officials are actively working to protect the citizens, while not costing them more of their hard-earned money, is an effort worth supporting.