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Attorney General DeWine Warns Consumers About 513-Area Code Phone Scams


(CINCINNATI)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned that consumers in Ohio and throughout the nation are reporting scam calls that appear to come from a 513 (Cincinnati) area code phone number and attempt to obtain consumers’ credit or debit card numbers.

The calls appear to be part of a “phishing” scheme, in which con artists attempt to gain a consumer’s personal information by claiming that there is a problem with the consumer’s account.

Although a 513-area code phone number appears on the consumer’s caller ID, the calls likely are not originating from the Cincinnati area and may be the result of hacking or caller ID “spoofing,” or altering.

In the past week, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received approximately 110 reports of these calls from consumers in Ohio and other states, including Georgia, Missouri, and South Dakota.

According to consumer reports, the calls generally begin with a recorded message telling consumers that their credit or debit card has been locked or frozen. Consumers are instructed to “Press 1” to unlock their account and then are told to enter their 16-digit card number. Consumers who supply this information may be at risk for identity theft.

“Scammers often try to use fear to convince people to provide money or personal information,” Attorney General DeWine said. “No matter what a caller says, don’t give out any financial information in response to these kinds of calls. If you are worried about your credit or debit account, hang up and call your bank using a number you know to be real, such as the number that appears on your monthly statement.”

Consumers who receive suspicious calls should take steps to protect themselves, including:

  • Be skeptical of the phone number that appears on your caller ID. It could be the result of “spoofing” or hacking.
  • When in doubt, hang up or don’t answer.
  • Don’t respond to suspicious calls. Even if the call prompts you to press a button to “opt out,” don’t do it. This could cause you to receive more calls, because it signals that yours is a legitimate phone number.
  • Never provide money or personal information to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if it appears to be a local call.

Consumers who provide credit or debit card numbers in response to a potential scam should take steps to protect themselves from possible identity theft, such as:

  • Call your bank to report that your credit or debit card number has been compromised. Banks may take action such as issuing a new card number to you.
  • Monitor your bank accounts. Look for suspicious activity, and if you find any errors, immediately notify your bank, or credit or debit card provider.
  • Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion — to place an initial fraud alert, which will stay on your credit report for 90 days. The alert is free of charge and will make it more difficult for someone to open credit in your name. 

Victims of identity theft should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit for help correcting the effects of identity theft.

To report a scam, consumers should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.


Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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