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Watching out for fraud

During the holiday season, Ohio’s Department of Commerce hopes Buckeye State residents will step up their game in avoiding scams and other attempts to steal their hard earned money.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission officials say organizations globally lose about 5% of their annual revenue to fraud. In addition, American consumers lose billions of dollars.

Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield takes the fight to help residents protect themselves seriously.

“Protecting Ohioans from losing their money through scams and fraud is one of our department’s key missions,” she said.

To that end, employees of the divisions of Financial Institutions, Securities, and Real Estate work daily to help both businesses and consumers minimize the impact of fraud.

They promote anti-fraud awareness and education, as well as respond to complaints and take action through all the channels available to them.

But that doesn’t mean residents should relax. That office can help, but it can’t do the work for you. Be smart, ask questions, and report suspicious activities, calls, visits to your home, etc., to law enforcement.

There are plenty of avenues to do so. local police and sheriff’s departments are a good place to start.

There is never a good time to let down your guard on the criminals who take advantage of organizations and individual consumers. But this is a good opportunity to look for new ways to be vigilant in protecting what is yours.

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