Attorney General Hardy Myers today issued an alert concerning fraudulent telemarketers claiming to be connected with the Department of Justice "No Call" program. In conjunction with the warning, Myers filed court actions against seven companies for No Call violations and a telecommunications company for billing and service problems.
"Telemarketers are calling Oregonians and citizens in other "No Call" states claiming affiliation with the Attorney General's Office and its "No Call" program," Myers said. "Not only are they not connected with any government agency but they are using the information to commit identity theft."
The "No Call" law prohibits telemarketers with few exemptions from calling residential phones listed on the Oregon "No Call" list. The two-year-old program has more than 80,000 subscribers and more than 1,200 telemarketers now purchase the list as dictated by law.
Investigators from the Arkansas Attorney General's office reported that unlawful telemarketers calling in their state used the names of the "National Association Against Fraud" and "Fraud Stoppers." The Arkansas Attorney General noted that neither company had any connection with his office or the state's "No Call" program.
Myers reminded consumers that any caller claiming to be affiliated with Oregon's "No Call" program and asking for credit card and bank account information is operating fraudulently and should be immediately reported to authorities.
In addition to the warning, Attorney General Myers today filed seven Assurances of Voluntary Compliance in Marion County Circuit Court for violations of the "No Call" law. Those named in the agreements and monies paid into the Department of Justice Consumer Protection and Education Fund include:
Audio Hearing Center, Inc. of Salem, hearing aids and related services, $1,000
Heidi Black of Corvallis, doing business as B & H Marketing, selling Herbalife products, agreed to cease telemarketing.
Cambridge Financial Services of Solana Beach, California, selling and refinancing mortgages, $3,000
Crime Free Security Systems, Inc. and Amad Razzaghy of Portland, sells and installs home security systems, $5,000
Micron Filtration Technologies, Inc. of Vancouver, Washington, sells air filtration services, $2,000.
Mission Hills Mortgage of Santa Ana, California, mortgage refinancing company, $7,500
Waddell & Reed of Overland Park, Kansas, sells financial services, $4,000
The Department of Justice filed an eighth Assurance of Voluntary Compliance against VoiceStream Wireless Corporation of Bellevue, Washington for alleged misrepresentations concerning billing and service issues. Filed in Marion County courts, the assurance admits no violation of law.
Consumers from all areas in Oregon complained about misleading representations by VoiceStream concerning its per minute rates and complained of difficulties in using its equipment as well as obtaining service in some geographic areas.
Under the agreement, VoiceStream declared that all complaints pending against them as of March 2002 have been resolved. The company will resolve future legitimate complaints with refund checks, credit to the customer's account or adjusting the customers account balance.
The company will make additional changes to its business practices and will pay Justice $22,500 for its consumer protection and education fund.
Consumers wanting information on Oregon's "No Call" program may call toll-free at 1-877-700-6622 or online at www.ornocall.com [UPDATE: The Oregon No Call web site is no longer operational. To sign up for the federal Do Not Call registry, go to www.donotcall.gov. And then add the hyperlink to www.donotcall.gov.] Information also is available by calling the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org