The Oregon Economic Development Foundation is cautioning its members to beware of an individual who is contacting businesses claiming to be conducting a survey for the city.
Gary Thompson, executive director of the Foundation, sent e-mails out to members this week, saying the individual is asking detailed business questions.
“Please be informed that the City of Oregon is not conducting any kind of survey, nor do they have anyone soliciting area businesses. If you receive this call, please handle it appropriately according to your own procedures understanding that the person on the other end of the phone is not from the City of Oregon,” states the e-mail.
Thompson told The Press that the city had contacted him to ask that he send out the e-mails to Foundation members.
The city received a complaint from a local businessman who had received a call from someone identifying themselves as “Keith” who claimed to be conducting a survey for the city. The man asked how many employees were in the business, and wanted to know its annual payroll. When the businessman asked Keith his last name, he hung up the phone.
“The city wouldn’t call up a business to ask such detailed financial questions,” said Thompson.
“I would urge the public to be careful. It’s never a good thing to give out detailed information over the telephone,” he added.
The city has had residents complain in the past about being approached by individuals claiming to be city workers who need to get into their homes. Residents also complained years ago about getting calls in the middle of the night from someone claiming to be a police officer who had just arrested one of their children and then wanted them to come down to the police station.
Kelly Wolfe, an employee of Oregon’s public service department, said city officials are now required to wear identification badges.
“We’ll have residents who call us and say someone called them from the city, and that they need to get into their houses,” said Wolfe. “We always tell people don’t let anyone in unless they show you their badge. All city employees have identification badges that show their name, photo, and department. You should also be able to contact their supervisor who can verify someone is a city employee.”
Usually, electric and plumbing inspections are scheduled. “Someone isn’t going to just show up at your house and say they want to do a plumbing inspection,” she said. “And if we have to do engineering work, like drainage, we have to get the property owner’s permission to be on their property.”