It never ceases to amaze me the number of scams I see targeting consumers and businesses alike. Unfortunately, clients come in to see me typically after they were scammed. The difficulty for the client is that the scammer is difficult to catch because we don’t know who they really are, so the client is left without any real remedy.
There is no typical scammer, or no typical pattern of how they contact consumers, it can be over the phone, in the mail, online through solictiations or Craigslist, through email, even at your front door. Although most people think they are smart enough to avoid becoming a victim, I see a lot of smart people in vulnerable positions fall victim to the scam. The key to avoid becoming a victim of a scam is to recognize one when you see it. Never give your personal information to someone contacting you that with whom you do not have an established relationship. Do not buy items sight unseen. Never send money through Western Union for a product you do not have in your possession. Do not pay for a vehicle that you have in your possession, but do not also have the title. Do not send money, to collect money you allegedly won in a lottery you’ve never played. These are just a few examples of the mistakes I see clients make in becoming the victim of a scam.
If you believe that you are the victim of a scam, you may file a complaint on-line with the Attorney General. The Ohio Attorney General investigates complaints of scams against consumers and businesses. In his efforts to educate consumers, businesses, social workers and law enforcement about the latest in scams and how to recognize them, the Attorney General will be conducting Regional Community Fraud Forums. Toledo’s is scheduled for August 16th, 2012 from 1-4 pm at the Toledo Main Library, 325 North Michigan St., Toledo, OH 43604. You may register on-line with the Ohio Attorney General or contact Manilath James at 614-752-6729 or Manilath.James@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.