December 17, 2010
For further information, contact:
Rick Osborn, Public Information Officer, Benton County Board of Commissioners
(541) 766-6082, firstname.lastname@example.org
Benton County warns of health inspection scam
CORVALLIS , Ore. – Benton County is warning all restaurant owners, managers and employees that scammers have been contacting restaurants around the state claiming to be health inspectors and asking for personal information.
Benton County Public Health officials have received reports of these activities from environmental health programs in Douglas, Hood River , Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson and Yamhill counties. So far there has been no reported similar activity in Benton County , though officials urge county restaurants to be cautious.
Individuals have been calling restaurants claiming to be health inspectors and attempt to obtain personal information such as Social Security numbers, telephone numbers and credit card information. Some have threatened that the facility is or will be subject to fines from the local health department. In at least one case the caller left a return telephone number, which was traced to a throw-away cell phone.
Those who are in doubt of the identity of someone claiming to be from the Benton County Health Department or from Environmental Health should attempt to collect as much information as possible such as names, agencies or groups they claim to represent; purpose of the call; return phone number; address; date of the call; and any other information that could be pertinent. Benton County health inspectors always wear county identification and can provide county business cards. They never ask for Social Security numbers.
If anyone has suspicions about contact from anyone claiming to be with Benton County Environmental Health, they are urged to call the Benton County Health Department at 541-766-6841 to verify the identity of the inspector and purpose of the visit. Those who suspect they have been contacted as part of a scam can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission online at http://www.ftc.gov/phonefraud or by calling the FTC toll-free helpline at 877-382-4357.
Public Information Officer
408 SW Monroe Ave., Suite 111