COLUMBUS —Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced the launch of a new multi-media outreach initiative to increase Ohioans’ awareness of scams, fraud, and identity theft and how they can protect themselves.
“Ohio consumers are targeted by scammers every day,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “We want to help Ohioans be more aware of how scams are often not all that obvious at first, and to give them tools to find out more information about how the Ohio Attorney General’s Office can help.”
“Ohio’s businessmen and women work hard every day to serve their customers. When scammers and con artists prey on Ohioans, they not only take advantage of consumers, they also harm legitimate businesses who play by the rules. We are pleased to support the Ohio Protects initiative which will give Ohioans more information about recognizing scams and fraudulent activities,” said Andrew E. Doehrel, President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and Roger Geiger, Vice President/Ohio Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio (NFIB/Ohio).
“In the past year alone one-quarter of Ohioans 18 and older have had their personal information exposed to identity theft and fraud. And our latest research shows that older Americans are scammed out of about $3 billion every single year. Making sure that all Ohioans are not only aware of the latest fraud schemes, but are also armed with the tools and resources to prevent and recover from fraud is the goal of the AARP Fraud Watch Network and we believe the Ohio Protects initiative is significantly furthering that focus. When it comes to spotting and avoiding fraud, information is critical. The more people know about available resources, the better,” said Tamara James, Interim State Director, AARP Ohio.
“On behalf of the Ohio Association of BBBs, we could not be more pleased with the Attorney General’s continued focus on protecting Ohio citizens and we appreciate the collaborative efforts and dual mission to protect our families and communities. This is yet another innovative tool and resource that is available to you and we encourage all to take advantage of these services, all free to the public. The Attorney General’s new creative and accessible resource for education and assistance coupled with the BBB’s scam tracker provides our community with the tools they need to be protected. We will continue to work with the AG’s office to help fight fraud and keep our communities safe,” said Kip Morse, CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Central Ohio.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office receives more than 27,000 consumer complaints annually. In order to make sure more Ohio consumers know about scams and how the Attorney General’s Office can be a resource, the Ohio-based advertising firm of Fahlgren Mortine was chosen through a competitive process to create the “Ohio Protects” multi-media advertising initiative launching today.
The “Ohio Protects” campaign will feature a dedicated microsite, www.OhioProtects.org, which will help educate consumers on a variety of consumer protection topics, and also direct them to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for additional help.
In addition, the “Ohio Protects” campaign will include three, 30-second videos that use humor to help convey messages about scams and fraud. Using the tag, “It’s never this obvious,” the videos highlight some of the more common scams and frauds targeting Ohioans including: contractor fraud, computer repair scams, and IRS scams. They also alert Ohioans about how their personal information can be compromised, underscoring the importance of identity theft protection.
The videos can be viewed on the Ohio Protects microsite at http://www.OhioProtects.org/videos/. Closed captioning is available in English and in Spanish.
Advertising buys will occur from June 6, 2016, through the end of the year in all of Ohio’s media markets, and will be seen on a variety of platforms. In addition, Internet banner ads featuring the same messaging will also be a feature of the campaign.
The $2 million dollar effort is being funded by money secured through consumer protection settlements, not by taxpayer dollars.