The Ohio Senate passed its version of a bill aimed at strengthening the state's telecommunications fraud law yesterday. [Bill's analysis]
"In 2010, 7,304 Ohioans reported losing more than $10 million through thefts or scams involving electronic communications.," according to an Attorney General's press release yesterday. "Cyber fraud scammers often use e-commerce sites like eBay and Craigslist, social media platforms like Facebook, or telephone ruses posing as family members or telemarketers. Most local law enforcement agencies lack the resources to investigate complex cyber fraud cases; in addition, local efforts are also hindered by the fact that most cyber fraud is reported to state and federal agencies because the crimes occur over the phone or Internet.
"The legislation would complement efforts started by Attorney General DeWine in creating the Economic Crimes Division, which conducts criminal investigations within the Consumer Protection Section of his Office. After only two such cases were prosecuted in 2010, the new division indicted nine suspects in several counties for more than 35 felonies committed against Ohio consumers. The division also has over 40 further investigations still pending."
Senate Bill 223, introduced back in September, is companion legislation to House Bill 329.