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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > October 2011

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Scholarship opportunity for Ohio high school students

Ohio high school students can submit 60-second videos on Internet safety for the chance to win college scholarships in the 2011 Take Action High School Video Contest.


Reporting wire-transfer fraud

If you or someone you know loses money in a scam involving a wire transfer, file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and report the fraud to the wire transfer company.

Report fraud to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint at or calling 800-282-0515. Keep in mind that once money has been sent via wire transfer, it can be very difficult – if not impossible – to recover. Nevertheless, complaints are an important tool for tracking potential criminal activity.


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is devastating to the victim, family, and community. The Ohio Attorney General's Office works hard to shine a light on this problem and help those who are victims.

One way anyone can show their awareness of domestic violence is to incorporate purple, the official color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, into their lives during October. This can be done by wearing some type of purple clothing during the month. Another opportunity to show awareness is to use a purple light bulb for a home’s porch light.


Law enforcement officers earn awards for service

In September 2010, officers of the Central Vice Control Section of the Cincinnati Police Department noticed members of a motorcycle gang at a local bar not known as a biker bar.

Police knew there had been skirmishes between rival gangs and “takeovers” of local bars in which a gang would lock it down and line up patrons to see if any belonged to a rival gang. There were warnings out, too, that a gang’s “enforcer” was in the area.


Is that check real? Or a scam?

If you receive an unexpected check or money order that looks real — beware. It probably is a fake check scam.

How can you tell? Here’s one certain sign: It will direct you to deposit the check into your account and send money in return, keeping a nice “bonus” for yourself.


Dispute resolution: should you pay for it?

Where do you turn for help when you and a company disagree?

Some companies ask for large upfront fees for dispute resolution services, but other organizations offer free help.


Direct Deposit: theft protection for your federal benefit payments

Just months after the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it is retiring paper checks for federal benefit payments and going all-electronic by March 1, 2013, the use of direct deposit is on the upswing – including in the Midwest.

Currently, 88 percent of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in the Midwest are made electronically. While that number is up from 85 percent seven months ago, residents of these states still rely on nearly 1.78 million Social Security paper check payments each month, putting their money at risk of theft or fraud.


“Military leave scam” targets military families, friends

Family members and friends of active-duty service members should beware of individuals who ask for money in exchange for granting military leave to their loved ones.

In one version of the scam, the letter received is from “General Robert Gate” explaining that their military member has been considered for leave, and that the consumer must immediately send $1,200 via wire transfer to a Fort Hood agent in Illinois to cover transit and related expenses.