Attorney General warns of ticket scams

COLUMBUS—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers to beware of ticket scams as the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to face the Golden State Warriors in Cleveland tomorrow during the NBA Finals and as the summer concert season heats up.

In 2017, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received more than a dozen complaints about suspected ticket scams, including those involving Cavs games, concerts, and other popular events. The average reported loss is about $200. 

“Some con artists try to sell tickets that don’t exist,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We want people to be careful, especially if they’re trying to buy tickets on Craigslist or from someone they don’t know. The sad truth is that once the money is gone, it’s nearly impossible to get back.”

In most ticket scam complaints, consumers report finding tickets for sale on Craigslist or other websites. They pay the seller, often via wire transfer, but receive nothing in return. In some cases, consumers who post ads seeking tickets are contacted by con artists who pretend to have available tickets. Some scammers also create counterfeit paper tickets to sell to unsuspecting buyers and collect payment in cash.

Phony sellers may claim that they will be out of town at the time of the event or that they have a family emergency and can’t use the tickets. They also may communicate with consumers via text or phone before taking payment. This can make the scam seem more believable.

Tips to avoid ticket scams include:

  • Be skeptical of offers that are too good to be true. Sellers on Craigslist or other online marketplaces may offer tickets at face value (or below) for events that are sold out or highly in demand, but these offers may be scams. Some “sellers” also may provide phony explanations for why they need to sell tickets quickly for a good price. For example, they may falsely claim to have a medical emergency or to be in the military.
  • Be careful dealing with individual third-party sellers. To protect yourself, deal with reputable businesses instead of third-party individuals who are not associated with an event. Before providing any payment or personal information, research a seller’s reputation, especially that of an individual seller. Conduct an online search using the seller’s name, username, email address, and/or telephone number along with words like “reviews,” “scam,” “fake tickets,” or “counterfeit tickets.” (Even if you find no negative information, don’t assume the seller is trustworthy. Some con artists change names regularly.)
  • Check the venue’s ticket policies. Increasingly, a number of venues and events predominantly use electronic tickets. If you’re trying to buy a paper ticket, make sure it’s real. Check both sides of the ticket, and be aware that some ticket scammers use falsified photos, logos, or trademarks to create counterfeit tickets that look legitimate even though they are not. 
  • Be wary of sellers who request specific forms of payment, such as wire transfer, prepaid money card, cash, or gift card. These are preferred payment methods for con artists, because once the payment is provided, it is very difficult to trace or recover.
  • Consider paying with a credit card. If a problem arises, you generally have greater ability to dispute charges on a credit card compared to other payment methods. If you’re using a mobile wallet or peer-to-peer payment service, be sure to understand the protections that the service does (or does not) provide before you make a transaction. 

Consumers who believe they’ve been defrauded should immediately report the scam and contact the company they used to make the payment. Ohioans can report scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or by calling 800-282-0515. Suspicious Craigslist ads can be reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office directly from Craigslist.

Posted on June 6, 2017 .

Football fans get bright new look at energy innovation

The next time you catch a football game, while you’re admiring the energy expended on the field, you might give a thought to how the sport is helping America save energy.

Bright Ideas

Take, for example, the towering symbol that’s the 30-foot-tall “Solar Man” at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. Designed to mimic a quarterback sending an epic spiral pass down the field, Solar Man is actually lined with a flexible solar film that draws energy from the sun, and he serves as a unique expression of how professional football stadiums are embracing alternative energy sources and introducing them to the gridiron audience.

Solar Man is unique, but he isn’t alone. The trend toward adopting smart energy technologies, such as solar and wind, is growing, and leading professional football teams, with their acute sense of responsibility to both their fans and their local community, are working with companies like NRG Energy to integrate sustainable solutions into their iconic home stadiums.

This trend is no doubt top of mind for fans at San Francisco’s brand-new Levi’s Stadium. As each fan enters the stadium, he or she traverses one of three pedestrian bridges covered in solar panels. These, along with solar panels atop the stadium’s Solar Terrace, help generate enough energy in a year to power a season of home games.

The trend reaches far beyond solar installations, as fans at Houston’s NRG Stadium will discover. The stadium will soon become the first professional football venue to have energy-efficient LED lights shining on its field—they use 60 percent less energy than the previous system—and that’s in addition to its new eVgo parking lot, where electric cars can charge up during the game.

Expert Opinion

“Americans are growing tremendously more aware of the limitations of our current energy system and are open to new solutions that are economic, resilient and good for the environment,” said NRG CEO David Crane. “Professional football, and particularly the football teams with whom we partner, touch almost every segment of our society and act as role models of what smart energy use looks like for individual homeowners and businesses alike.”

Combine all these energy innovations with the micro-wind turbines atop Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, and the Solar Ring that colors the top of East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium blue or green, depending on the home team, and fans can quickly start to see that no matter their favorite team’s colors—clean and green are the way stadiums are going.

Learn More

For further facts on meeting energy needs, go to www.nrg.com. - NAPSI

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

Health awareness

Getting To The Heart Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Olympic Skater Shares His Heart-Stopping Experience & 
What You Should Know About New Implantable Heart Devices

Thanks to the latest technology, heart patients, such as former Olympic skater Paul Wylie, can have lifesaving implants and get potentially lifesaving MRIs, too.

Thanks to the latest technology, heart patients, such as former Olympic skater Paul Wylie, can have lifesaving implants and get potentially lifesaving MRIs, too.

Even a fit and healthy professional athlete can suffer from sudden cardiac arrest—but a look at Olympic skater Paul Wylie’s story may help to shed some light on what you need to know about the latest advancements in implantable heart devices that protect against sudden cardiac arrest and treat other irregular heart rhythms.

In 1992, Wylie won the silver medal in men’s figure skating at the Winter Olympic Games. After the Olympics, he joined the professional skating ranks, winning the 1992 U.S. Open Professional Championship and the 1993 World Professional Figure Skating Championships; he then toured with Stars on Ice for six years before retiring.

Today, at 52, Wylie remains an avid skater, skier and runner, and continues coaching and performing. But in April 2015, he collapsed suddenly while running with friends. Luckily, one of his workout partners started CPR immediately. 

Upon arrival, paramedics were able to resuscitate him. He was then put into a medically induced coma for several days. Wylie was shocked when he woke and learned that he had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, an abrupt loss of heart function that can result in death if not treated within minutes. In fact, approximately 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest cases are fatal, claiming more than 450,000 lives annually in the U.S.

“Once I was conscious, it took days to get my head around the fact that I was so close to death—in fact, that I had died—and just how fortunate I felt to have had the circumstances be what they were,” said Wylie.

After surviving sudden cardiac arrest, Wylie knew he had to look at ways to avoid another episode in the future. After researching options, he chose a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which continuously monitors his heart. If a dangerous and potentially life-threatening heart rate is detected, the ICD sends a lifesaving electrical signal to correct it.

Wylie is now feeling great and recovering nicely. He is skating and coaching regularly, while hitting the gym and running again. However, he is not able to get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. Due to the potential harmful interactions between the magnet field and his implanted heart device, he is not able to have this important diagnostic scan that helps to diagnose various conditions including stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscle, bone and joint pain. 

“I worry because I am so active and have had MRIs in the past, so I know this could become an issue in the future,” said Wylie. “I think it’s important that people know to ask their doctor about heart devices that are MR-conditional, meaning they can allow for MRI screening.”

When he is ready for his next device, Wylie won’t have to decide between the lifesaving protection he gets from his ICD and the option to have an MRI scan. The U.S. FDA recently approved an entire suite of implantable cardiac devices by Medtronic that allow for MRI scans in both 1.5 or 3 Tesla machines. These devices include pacemakers, ICDs, insertable cardiac monitors and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators. 

While February is Heart Month, any time is a good time to learn more about newly available implantable cardiac devices. If you or a loved one is evaluating a recommendation from a doctor to receive an implantable heart device, consider asking if it has been approved for use in MRI scans. 

To learn more, visit www.medtronic.com/mriheartdevices. - NAPSI

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

The spirit of an athlete can live in everyone

Special Olympics star Dustin Plunkett and ESPN hosts agree that athletic organizations can inspire people to be their best selves.

Special Olympics star Dustin Plunkett and ESPN hosts agree that athletic organizations can inspire people to be their best selves.

Whether you're an Olympian, a professional or a weekend warrior, you likely aspire to be the best you can be when presented with a challenge. To achieve greatness, all athletes, regardless of the level of competition, rely on others. These people are coaches, trainers, nutritionists, teammates, family, friends, mentors and heroes. That list can also include those who inspire and support anyone who tries to be better.

Take, for example, Special Olympics, a global movement that empowers people with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and unified partners in 169 countries. With the support of more than a million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.

Many inspirational stories come out of Special Olympics. One such story is that of Dustin Plunkett, of Paramount, Calif. Plunkett, a 20-year veteran of Special Olympics Southern California, has shared a stage with professional athletes such as Yao Ming, as well as professional sports commentators at ESPN. However, it didn't come easily for Plunkett to get to where he is. Born with a cleft palate and an intellectual disability, he had a tough family life. His parents, struggling to handle him, turned him over to relatives. Thus began a tumultuous childhood of being shuffled around from one relative to another, none of them quite sure how to care for him. School life was even worse, where he was bullied daily. Then he was introduced to something life changing: Special Olympics. He thrived through training and competing in sports and became a leader and a voice for all individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Inspired by this type of dedication to health, fitness and competition, Herbalife Nutrition created a $1 million sponsorship of Special Olympics to support the organization, focusing on physical fitness. Leveraging its global team of more than 300 staff scientists and 36 Ph.D.s specializing in nutrition and sports performance, the company has lent expertise and educational content including videos and other materials to coaches, athletes, caregivers and the broader Special Olympics community.

"Our mission is to bring nutrition to people around the world and to provide support to those seeking to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle," said Dana Ryan, Ph.D., Herbalife senior manager of Sports Performance and Education.

As part of the sponsorship, Ryan joined Special Olympics Global Fitness Task Force to bring additional perspective and expertise to support Special Olympics athletes, coaches and families. The Global Fitness Task Force is an international committee of fitness experts and athletes collaborating to improve Special Olympics athlete sport performance and health through the vehicle of fitness.

Having provided volunteer, product and financial support for the Special Olympics Southern California Fall Games, Herbalife Nutrition looks forward to supporting the athletes and teams preparing for Special Olympics World Winter Games taking place in March 2017 in Austria. Austria will welcome almost 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from 110 nations to compete in nine Olympic-type winter sports.

Learn More

For further facts on Special Olympics, go to SpecialOlympics.org. For information about Herbalife Nutrition, visit  - NAPSI

Posted on June 4, 2017 .