(AP Photo/Caleb Jones, file)
Updated: Monday, 04 Mar 2013, 8:06 PM EST
Published : Monday, 04 Mar 2013, 8:06 PM EST
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers about a scam that exploits his office's work as a collection agency for state departments.
DeWine says the scam is not new but his office has noticed an increase in such reports over the past few months.
DeWine says scammers posing as Attorney General's employees or state Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents try to trick consumers over the phone into providing personal information or payments for bogus debts. Scammers often demand that people pay the debt immediately using prepaid money cards or face arrest.
DeWine says his office does not pursue private debt, and any collection of money owed state agencies is done professionally.
The attorney general issued the warning as he kicked off National Consumer Protection Week.