Attorney General Warns Ohioans About Phone Scams

The Ohio Attorney General warns Ohioans not to answer a phone number that looks a lot like yours on caller ID,  because it's probably from a scammer.

Melissa Szosda, Director of Consumer Education, said this variation on the spoofed phone call is when scammers copy your phone number and change just one or two digits to lure you into answering.

MORE INFORMATION: Ohio AG Office

"If the last four digits of my phone number are 1-2-3-4, the phone number that appears on my caller I-D might be 1-2-3-5." she explained.

If you do answer, she said that's when their pitch begins.

"Maybe they tell you you've won the lottery.  Maybe they try to sell you a product that really isn't a product; they're just trying to scam you to get your money. A lot of times may be they'll ask for your personal information," she said.

Szozsda said that complaints have picked up at her office, and the consumer protection attorneys find it very frustrating, because these scams are so hard to stop.  

"Spoofing originates off of the internet. And off of various apps for phones. The technology that we see today can be very helpful, and can be very harmful," she said.

If you do answer, to protect yourself, she advised, hang up.  Even if the caller suggests you press a button  to "opt out," don't do it, she said, because that action could signal to the crooks that yours is a legitimate phone number, and could trigger more phone calls.

Above all, she said don't give out personal information or send money.

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