Here are tips on how to avoid scams. For additional help or to report a scam, call the Ohio Attorney General’s office at 800-750-0750 or email the office at www.ohioprotects.org.
- Never send money or give personal information such as bank-account and Social Security numbers to anyone you don’t know.
- Research businesses and charities via the Ohio Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau. Never pay a person or company that refuses to provide written information, a phone number or a physical address.
- If a caller claims to be a grandchild in trouble and requests bail or other money, ask a question only the grandchild would know how to answer, then call a family member to confirm the person’s location.
- Install firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware programs on your computer, use unique passwords and refrain from opening unfamiliar emails and attachments.
- Never buy software or services from a caller who says the computer has been infected by a virus or malware. The scammer likely is trying to gain remote access to the machine and your personal information, then may lock the computer and demand “ransomware” to unlock it.
- Recognize common signs of a scam, such as being asked to wire money or send prepaid gift cards, having to pay additional fees for “prizes” and being pressured to act immediately.
- Source: Ohio Attorney General’s office