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AG Cordray Launches Consumer Protection Website

National Consumer Protection Week begins Sunday, March 1st. Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has launched a statewide consumer awareness campaign - and a new website - that he hopes will combat the increasing number of scams.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray says that the number of consumer complaints his office receives is increasing.

"Last year, I'm sorry to say, the attorney general received more than 25,000 consumer complaints," Cordray said. "We also know that as the economy declines the number of consumer scams is rising. And they're finding new ways to get into people's pockets."

More and more scams involve mortgages says the executive director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency Doug Garver.

"Consumers are increasingly inundated by messages that offer a fast fix to the problems of the day and many Ohioans are targeted by scams surrounding mortgages and foreclosures," Garver said.

Garver's advice has been around for decades. If a product or service seems too good to be true, it probably is.

At today's press conference the attorney general announced the launch of a new website for consumers: SpeakOutOhio.gov.

"What you can do there is you can actually file a consumer complaint," Cordray said. "You can access consumer tips about what kind of scams may be out there and also you can get tips about how to handle financial issues that you may be facing."

The attorney general's office says that old predatory practices are now being tailored to current issues, catching Ohioans off guard. One such scam purports to be a stimulus voucher that uses words like "federal" or "tax benefits" to mislead consumers.