Attorney General Mike DeWine, Columbus said that Sweepstakes scams cost Ohioans about $2 million in 2011. His office’s consumer security branch logged nearly 1,500 complaints about sweepstakes and prizes scams in 2011.
He told that his consumer protection division is seeking stronger tools to go after people and companies conducting those types of scams and other fraud against consumers. Lisa Hackley a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said that would give more powers to Dewine’s office to take the action against scammers involved in internet theft. The proposed legislation will provide the power of attorney general to inquire for phone and Internet activity records, as well as online payment information in suspected Internet fraud cases. DeWine’s office has said that scammers frequently use websites like eBay and Craigslist to cheat people. American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Executive Director Chris Link has said that such actions make it easier for law enforcement to access personal information. Hackley said that this bill also create additional penalties for telecommunications fraud against the elderly and disabled persons. DeWine’s office also works with law enforcement around the state to increase prosecutions of those who perform scams on Ohioans. DeWine said that sweepstakes or prizes made up the eighth most common complaint of the top 10 complaints in consumer protection section,2011