Department of Justice tracks Arizona promoters who prey on elderly
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Tuesday will present $11,500 to Irvin Ratzlaff, a Salem man who invested thousands of dollars in bogus internet home-business schemes promoted by telemarketers.
Investigators from the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection and Financial Fraud division convinced four different telemarketing companies to return a portion of Ratzlaff's money.
The Department of Justice has for months been investigating these telemarketers. They've uncovered more than 20 cases similar to Ratzlaff's. The victims range in age from 60 to 85.
Virtually all the promoters work for companies in or around Phoenix, Ariz. Some of the companies work together to sell contact lists or other follow-up products they claim will make the victims' home-based business become more profitable.
In fact, the businesses typically generate negligible sales. The $81,000 invested by Ratzlaff resulted in $600 in sales over three years.
"Individuals and businesses that prey on the vulnerable and elderly will be amongst the chief targets of the Oregon Department of Justice while I'm Attorney General," Rosenblum said. "I'm pleased the Oregon Department of Justice was able to recover a portion of Mr. Ratzlaff's money. Also, I want to thank the DOJ investigators who have tirelessly pursued this case."
Press event: Rosenblum, Ratzlaff and Department of Justice investigators will be available Tuesday at Ratzlaff's apartment building.
When: 11 a.m.
Where: Capital Manor, 1955 Dallas Highway NW, Salem
Directions: From downtown Salem, cross Marion Avenue bridge toward Highway 22 and Dallas. Take Rosemont Avenue/Capital Manor exit. Turn left onto Edgewater. Proceed a quarter-mile to Capital Manor, on the right.
Oregon Department of Justice: 503-378-6002