Bryan Cohen Dec. 23, 2013, 7:13pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned at-home sellers and independent sales consultants Friday about scam artists posing as hearing-impaired consumers in a counterfeit check scam.

DeWine's office received seven recent reports of scams targeting consultants in Union, Lucas, Lorain, Gallia, Franklin, Delaware and Clermont counties. While consultants who reported the scams sell cosmetics, baskets or candle products, DeWine said any sellers could be at risk.

"During this busy time of year, we want to warn those who sell products that some scam artists are pretending to be customers," DeWine said. "If anyone places an order and sends you a check for more than the cost of the products, the check is likely counterfeit and the customer is likely a con artist."

The scam usually starts when a sales consultant receives an email from customer who wants to place an order. The scammer may say he or she is hearing impaired and cannot use a credit card. The customer instead sends the sales consultant a check made out for more than the cost of the order.

Before the check clears, the scam artist asks the consultant to send back the difference, typically by money order or wire transfer. The customer's check is ultimately returned as counterfeit and any products or money the consultant sends will be lost.

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