Seven people have been indicted for their role in a scam that took thousands of dollars from victims in Ross and Pickaway County and spent it on drugs. The scammers even used the names of local and state elected officials.
"One victim who came to them said that Mike DeWine, me, had personally called the victim and urged the victim to give money," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The names of judges and lawyers were also used during the scam, which DeWine believes has been going on since 2011.
It's one example of crimes that prey on elderly victims. The elderly are more trusting, said DeWine, and that trust often makes them a target.
"Victims tragically lost their life savings, vehicles, and other large assets. One victim says the scam costs him his marriage," he said.
A scam where people identify themselves as a grandchild who needs help is one of the more common in Ohio. DeWine's office received about 50 complaints with about $156,000 lost. Another popular scam involves claims that the victim has won a sweepstakes prize. DeWine says they investigated almost 750 complaints with $1.2 million reported in losses.
"In 2010, for every one incident of violent crime against the elderly, three incidents of internet crime against the elderly were reported," DeWine said.
They're using videos created by school students and fliers included with meals delivered by Meals on Wheels to help get the word out about scams.