Whether you've been the victim of a scam or protected yourself, there are things you can do to help protect other Oregonians.
Remember: If you think you have located a scammer, do not attempt to police the situation yourself! By confronting someone, you may be compromising an existing investigation or even putting yourself at risk.
Even though the Attorney General's office cannot follow up on every complaint, it is important to help the Attorney General identify and eliminate threats to Oregon consumers by sharing your experiences.
It's okay to file a complaint if you're not certain whether any laws have actually been broken. For your reference, most Oregon businesses are subject to the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, which is contained in Oregon Revised Statutes 646.605 to 646.656
. Special rules for debt collectors are found in Section 646.639.
Other states have similar processes. Most can be found on their respective Attorney General's website.
The State Treasury cannot prosecute a scammer in court (that's the Attorney General's job) or give personal financial advice. However, by sending in your story, the State Treasury may be able to identify trends and get a better idea of what Oregonians should be warned about.
Sending your story to the State Treasury does not instigate any civil or criminal actions against a scammer and is not a substitute for filing an official complaint with law enforcement or other regulatory agencies. Click here to e-mail the State Treasury.
The Better Business Bureau maintains a searchable database of most businesses and will try to resolve complaints in a timely fashion. Complaints you file can affect the rating given by the BBB, whether or not the company is BBB-accredited.
The LMSPN is a cooperation between public and private partners, and will add your loan modification scam complaint to a national database that supports federal, state, and local efforts to crack down on loan modification scams.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices, identity theft, and episodes of violence in the media. The FTC enters all complaints it receives into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database that is used by thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide. Your complaints can help detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions. (Please note that the FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints.)
If your personal information has been compromised
Sometimes you realize that you've been scammed after the incident occurred. If you think that your personal information -- especially your Social Security Number -- has been compromised, call any one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask to have an "initial fraud alert" placed on your credit report. This will help prevent unauthorized credit from being issued in your name.
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790