Scammers in Ohio are posing as government and law enforcement officials demanding that consumers pay money immediately, according to a warning from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters.

Since the start of June, DeWine's office has received more than 20 reports of "imposter" scam calls, where callers pretend to represent the Ohio AG's Office or another attorney’s office. In most cases, consumers do not report losing money or providing personal information in response to the calls.

In Hamilton County, a consumer recently reported that her debit card was charged nearly $400 in the scam. Last week, a consumer received a call from someone claiming to be "Lisa Rider" with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. The caller told the consumer that she owed $386.80 as a partial payment for a debt and if she did not pay immediately the police would come to her house and arrest her. The consumer gave the caller her debit card information before becoming suspicious. When the consumer called the phone numbers that "Lisa" had provided, they all sounded as if they were answered by the same person.

Deters commented, "The scammers are always thinking of new ways to scam unsuspecting people. Anyone receiving a telephone call requesting money or personal information should be very cautious and verify the call before complying. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office would never call anyone demanding money."

The scammers sometimes "spoof" or alter the number that appears on a consumer’s caller ID to make it appear to be a local call.

DeWine cautioned thats scammers also often pretend to represent the government as a way to make the operation sound more convincing. "We want to make sure Ohioans know that these calls are outright scams. Legitimate government offices will not threaten you demanding that you pay a debt.”

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