Top five phone scams that target Ohioans - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Top five phone scams that target Ohioans

(PHOTO: Martin Cathrae/ Flickr) (PHOTO: Martin Cathrae/ Flickr)
FOX19 -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned of the top phone scams that are causing headaches and costing consumers thousands of dollars on Tuesday.

In 2014, The Ohio Attorney General Consumer Protection Section received around 1,200 complaints in phone scams.

DeWine's office has highlighted the top-five phone scams that are prevalent in Ohio.

  1. IRS Imposter Scam: Con artists call impersonating an IRS agent. The phony IRS agent claims the consumer must immediately send payment or be arrested and thrown into jail. In a few cases, victims reported sending between $2,000 and $28,000 in the ploy.
  2. Sweepstakes Scam: Consumers receive a call saying they have won an international lottery or prize. To collect the winnings, the victim is told to send money for processing fees, taxes and other costs. In 2014, the Attorney General's office received over 150 complaints about the sweepstakes phone scams. Victims reported losing $40 to $190,000 dollars in the scam.
  3. Grandparents Scam: Scammers pretend to be a grandchild in need of money. The 'grandchild' claims to have been in a car accident, caught with drugs or arrested. Grandparents are asked to wire money or buy prepaid cards and provide the card's number to the scammer. The average loss was $4,700.
  4. Computer Repair Scam: Consumers receive a call from a scammer who claims to represent Microsoft or another computer support service. The caller says the consumer's computer has a virus and offers to fix the problem, asking the consumer to give the scammer access to the computer. Instead of fixing the problem, the scammer locks the computer and takes the victim's personal information.
  5. Grant Scam: Consumer's receive a call saying they have won a federal grant up to $10,000. To receive the grant, the scammer says the consumer must send a few hundred dollars to cover taxes, insurance and other costs. Victims reported losing $60 to $6,000 in the scam.

If a consumer believes he/she was victim to one of these five scams or another scam, they are encouraged to contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Home or 800-282-0515.

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