In Ohio, phishing scams seem to become more creative with each passing year. 

If law enforcement officials accuse you of participating in or masterminding one of these schemes, you must act quickly to avoid indictment or arrest. Your future is on the line.

Case in point

Businesses are targets for many phishing attacks. A recent incident involving gift cards provides an example of a scam that affected staffers at a company in Westlake, Ohio. A group of employees received an email from what appeared to be the email address of their boss. He explained that he was in a meeting and asked them to purchase $1,000 worth of Google Play gift cards on his behalf. He instructed his employees to email the codes for these gift cards to various email addresses and that he would reimburse everyone as soon as he got out of his meeting. As it turned out, the boss never sent such an email to his staffers and had no idea who did. Since Google would not take the gift cards back, the employees were stuck with them.

Cybercrimes and more

The state of Ohio has joined with federal authorities to crack down on phishing schemes. For example, in the summer of 2016, Ohio Auditor Dave Yost warned local counties, townships and school districts to be alert to cybercrime. His staff met with bank executives to work on the most effective anti-fraud services that would help protect public funds.

Aggressive action

In the effort to find those responsible for phishing scams, law enforcement personnel may overstep procedural boundaries. Sometimes innocent people are caught up in the effort to expose such schemes. Federal authorities will also use a low-level conspirator as a stepping stone to get to someone more important. Legal defense can be just as aggressive. If you are under surveillance for possible criminal activity or if you already face charges, you must explore your legal options without delay.