In recent days the Oregon Department of Justice has received numerous complaints about a phone scam targeting Oregon businesses. The fake telemarketers pose as state employees calling from Business Oregon, the Oregon Business Development Department, or similar name variations of the state’s lead economic development agency. The callers inquire whether the business has moved recently and the size of their workforce. Oregon Attorney General John Kroger and Business Oregon warn businesses not to respond to these fake phone calls.
Based on the complaints received to date, the scam telemarketers are calling from: 1-800-247-4047. If your business receives a call from 1-800-247-4047 do not answer and inquire with your phone company about how to block receiving calls from this number.
Oregon businesses are not the sole target of this telemarketing scam, rather, similar calls have been made to Washington, Minnesota, California, Colorado and Canadian businesses. In each instance, the fake telemarketers tell businesses they are with the state economic development office and ask for moving and employee information. In several cases, when a business has responded to the questions asked, new monthly charges appeared on the business’ phone bill. Oregon Department of Justice investigators are looking into this scam right now, but one theory is that the callers are trying to “cram” new services onto the business’ phone bill. “Cramming” has been around since the deregulation of the telephone industry and happens when a company adds a charge to a phone bill for a service that was never requested, agreed to, or used.
If your business received a call from the fake telemarketers and your business answered any questions both Attorney General Kroger and Business Oregon recommend contacting your phone service provider immediately to prevent erroneous charges from being added to your phone bill.