Attorney General DeWine warns Ohioans of summer scams - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Attorney General DeWine warns Ohioans of summer scams

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In a press release today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned consumers to be cautious of seasonal scams.

These include home improvement fraud and travel-related schemes.

"Scams don't take a break in the summer," Attorney General DeWine said in the press release. "We encourage people to be careful. Make sure you know who you're dealing with. Ask for references. Take your time before making a decision."

Representatives stated that last year, Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section logged more home improvement complaints in the summer, than in any other season.

Consumers also reportedly made many travel-related complaints. For example, "free" vacations that were not actually free.

The information below provides a list of scams consumers should be aware of, as well as signs of a potential scam. 

During summer months, consumers should beware of scams including:

Storm-chaser scams. Following severe weather, some con artists travel to storm-damaged neighborhoods and offer to repair roofs or clear downed trees. They offer prompt work and take immediate payment, but ultimately they do little or no work.

Rental scams. A con artist advertises a rental property that is not actually available to rent. The scammer tells prospective renters to wire a deposit before they've seen the property, but after they send the money, they receive nothing in return.

Utility shut-off scams. Someone calls, claiming to represent the power company, and says the power will be shut off unless immediate payment is provided. The caller is actually a con artist, and any money sent will be lost. (This scam may target individuals or organizations, such as restaurants or churches.) 

Closing-cost scams. Home buyers or sellers receive an email with instructions to wire their closing costs to a certain location. The instructions seem legitimate, but the message is actually from a scam artist who will collect the money.  

Driveway paving scams. Con artists pose as reputable driveway pavers and approach people at their homes. They claim to have leftover asphalt or concrete and pressure consumers into paying them, but they do minimal, shoddy work before leaving.

Common signs of a potential scam include:

Pressure to act immediately 

Requests for payment via wire transfer, money order, or gift card 

Claims that are too good to be true

No written information or contact information 

Requests for personal information 

Requests for large down payments 
 

Consumers can learn more and report potential scams to the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 1-800-282-0515.

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