Ohio Attorney General: 4 biggest scams

Don't' Watste Your Money

It's summer, which mean scam artists are going from street to street knocking on doors and trying to get money from people.

But those are easy to spot, and send on their way.

Ohio's Attorney General Mike Dewine sat down with us to talk about the top 4 scams targeting Ohioans right now.  They also apply to other people around the Cincinnati Tri-State as well.

Rental Scams

Number 1: Rental property scams, aimed at people looking for homes or apartments.  Craigslist is filled with phony ads for apartments and rental homes put up by scam artists in other states and countries.

"What he's done is hijacked that picture, and put it up," DeWine said.  "And you send money, they vanish, and you're out the money."

DeWine says never send a deposit to a landlord you haven't met: He may not be the real owner.

Free Vacations

Top scam #2:  The free vacation offer, where you have to sit through a 2 hour pitch at a hotel, and will be pressured to spend $3,000 to join a travel club, to get that "free" vacation. They sometimes make it tough to leave.

"When someone insists you make that decision, you walk away, I would walk away from that," Dewine said.

Child Talent Hunts

Scam #3 also takes place in a hotel conference room:  The child talent scam, where they promise you Hollywood connections if you pay thousands of dollars for acting classes.

While these are often run by legitimate businesses, and are not true "scams," DeWine says he receives many complaints about them.

"That's not how real talent agents operate," DeWine said.

Phone Calls to Seniors

And scam #4, senior phone scams.

These calls telling seniors you have a medical alert system or  Medicare card on the way. You don't: They just want credit card numbers.

Or claim they are a grandchild who is stuck in a foreign country, and needs money desperately.

"She's crying, and she says Grandpa send money, and it's always an emergency, send money urgently, wire transfer the money." It's not really your grandchild, as they don't use a name when they call, DeWine said.

They simply say "Grandma, it's me!"    

DeWine says if you have older parents, warn them about the grandparent scam.

Hundreds of people in their 80s have fallen for it nationwide, and have run to Western Union to wire money to a grandchild who was really a scam artist.

So stay alert and don't waste your money


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