Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins today announced a settlement against a fraudulent company, “Oregon State Compliance”, that sent Oregon businesses a fake invoice. The phony invoice was made to look like it was from the State of Oregon. The invoice claimed it was for a labor law poster, but what the businesses did not know is that the state actually provides the poster for free online. Almost 300 businesses paid the fraudulent $84 invoice for the poster.
In total, 293 Oregon businesses paid $24,740.70 to the company. Through this settlement, all of the companies that paid the fake invoice will get their full money back. The “Oregon State Compliance” company is also permanently banned from doing any future business in the state of Oregon.
“Fortunately, we caught this company early, and we can prevent more Oregon businesses from becoming victims of this old scam that came with a new twist,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Before making an unexpected payment, it’s important that businesses always review any solicitations that they receive ‘out of the blue’.”
“Last September, savvy businesses began reporting to my office that they had received a suspicious looking solicitation from a company in Florida,” Secretary Atkins said. “Today’s settlement is a warning to other bad actors that these scams will not be tolerated in Oregon.”
The fraudulent invoice contained state law citations, important dates, a bar code and the name of the newly incorporated business. In Oregon, businesses are obligated to post information about minimum wage, family leave and employee rights. However, employers will never receive a bill from the State of Oregon requiring payment for these free postings.
The investigation began after an Oregonian filed a consumer complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice’s consumer complaint hotline. The consumer had recently incorporated his business with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, and had received an invoice that looked phony.
Businesses that believe they have also been scammed, or have questions about this scam, can contact the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint hotline at OregonConsumer.gov.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002
Molly Woon, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, Molly.Woon@state.or.us, 503-986-2368