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Scam Artists Continue To Take Advantage Of People During The Pandemic, Here's What To Watch Out For

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered businesses, emptied offices across the country and caused joblessness claims to hit levels unseen since The Great Depression.

The $2 trillion CARES act stimulus package, passed by the federal government in March, distributed a first round of stimulus checks. There remain ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill around a second round of checks.

But enhanced federal unemployment benefits lapsed at the end of July, creating additional financial hardship for many Americans. With the loss of income for so many comes a great deal of fear among those who are economically vulnerable. That fear and uncertainty is territory for scam artists to move in as they attempt to capitalize on the crisis.

More than ever, it's important to safeguard yourself and your family against these scammers.Today we talked with Sheryl Harris, the director of Cuyahoga County's Department of Consumer Affairs, about how not to be a victim.

Later, while the political focus for Ohio for the last few weeks has been on the scandal surrounding Larry Householder and House Bill 6, Governor Mike DeWine continues to hold news conferences addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Cases around the state have seemingly plateaued around 1,200 new cases per day (there were 1,143 new cases reported yesterday.) There have been more than 95,000 total cases reported in Ohio, and 3,500 deaths due to COVID-19 across the state.

Governor DeWine's press conference Wednesday opened on a much different tone,though, as it was the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Dayton that killed 9 and wounded 27 others. In the wake of the shooting, Governor DeWine promised movement on gun reform, but faced resistance from the legislature. Wednesday, he once again called for action, saying the electronic system of issuing and sharing warrants that he wants implemented can only work if he gets approval from the state's elected representatives.

We also heard about school reopenings, and the possible start of school sporting programs. We talked to Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Karen Kasler, about the latest in Columbus.


Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs


- Sheryl Harris, Director, Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs
- Karen Kasler, Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau
- Natasha Rodgers, summer intern at The Bop Stop
- Josie Wagner, high school senior


Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.