: How To Report Scams and Frauds in

How to Report Scams and Frauds in Ohio
Government agency resources: phone numbers, links to their websites and contact email addresses


How to report scams, frauds, schemes and crimes in Ohio

Most scams violate federal laws and regulations, but a few are investigated by state or local authorities.  In general, if a scam uses the national services, like the US mail postal service, that would be reported to the related national agency, like the USPS, (see this page for reporting federal agencies). Scams involving businesses and scammers operating from a location within a state's borders would often be reported to a state agency. City, county, regional, and state consumer offices offer a variety of important services. They might mediate complaints, conduct investigations, prosecute offenders of consumer laws, license and regulate professional service providers, provide educational materials and advocate for consumer rights. To save time, call before sending a written complaint. Ask if the office handles the type of complaint you have and if complaint forms are provided. See the Ohio list of state agencies below:


Ohio Scam Reporting Agencies and Consumer Protection Offices

State Consumer Protection Offices

  • Ohio Attorney Generals Office
    (Ohio attorney general website)
    Address: Ohio Attorney Generals Office
    Consumer Protection Section
    30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-3400
    Phone Number: 614-466-4986
    Toll-free: 1-800-282-0515

County Consumer Protection Offices

  • Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs
    Email:
    consumeraffairs@summitoh.net.
    Address: Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs
    175 S. Main St., Suite 209
    Akron, OH 44308
    Phone Number: 330-643-2879
  • Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs
    Address: Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs
    5398 1/2 Northfield Rd.
    Maple Heights, OH 44137
    Phone Number: 216-443-7035

Banking Authorities

The officials listed in this section regulate and supervise state-chartered banks. Many of them handle or refer problems and complaints about other types of financial institutions as well. Some also answer general questions about banking and consumer credit. If you are dealing with a federally chartered bank, check Federal Agencies.

  • Department of Commerce
    Email:
    webdfi@dfi.com.state.oh.us.
    Address: Department of Commerce
    Division of Financial Institutions
    Consumer Complaints
    77 S. High St., 21st Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-6120
    Phone Number: 614-728-8400
    Toll-free: 1-866-278-0003
    TTY: 1-800-750-0750

Insurance Regulators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for each type of insurance. The officials listed in this section enforce these laws. Many of these offices can also provide you with information to help you make informed insurance buying decisions.

  • Department of Insurance
    Address: Department of Insurance
    Office of Consumer Affairs
    50 W. Town St., 3rd Floor
    Suite 300
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone Number: 614-644-2673
    Toll-free: 1-800-686-1526
    1-800-686-1527 (Fraud Hotline) 1-800-686-1527 (Fraud Hotline)
    TTY: 614-644-3745

Securities Administrators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for securities brokers and securities - including stocks, mutual funds, commodities, real estate, etc. The officials and agencies listed in this section enforce these laws and regulations. Many of these offices can also provide information to help you make informed investment decisions.

  • Department of Commerce
    Email:
    securitiesgeneral.questions@com.state.oh.us
    Address: Department of Commerce
    Division of Securities
    77 S. High St.
    22nd Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-6131
    Phone Number: 614-644-7381
    Toll-free: 1-800-788-1194 (Investor Protection Hotline)

Utility Commissions

State Utility Commissions regulate services and rates for gas, electricity and telephones within your state. In some states, the utility commissions regulate other services such as water, transportation, and the moving of household goods. Many utility commissions handle consumer complaints. Sometimes, if a number of complaints are received about the same utility matter, they will conduct investigations.

  • Consumers' Counsel
    Email:
    occ@occ.state.oh.us.
    Address: Consumers' Counsel
    10 W. Broad St., Suite 1800
    Columbus, OH 43215-3485
    Phone Number: 614-466-8574
    Toll-free: 1-877-742-5622 (OH)
  • Public Utilities Commission
    Address: Public Utilities Commission
    180 E. Broad St.
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone Number: 614-466-3292
    Toll-free: 1-800-686-7826 (OH)
    TTY: 1-800-686-1570 (OH)


General Precautions and Recommendations- What to do with suspicious emails:

  • Only open email or IM attachments that come from a trusted source and that are expected
  • Use an anti-virus/anti-spam package (we recommend Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security scan all attachments prior to opening. Click here to see Norton 360 2013 on Amazon.com .
  • Delete the messages without opening any attachments
  • Do not click on links in emails that come from people you do not know and trust, even if it looks like it comes from a company you know.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Keep your operating system up to date with current security patches. Click here for an article that describes how to do this.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

 

 


 

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.