The Polk County Itemizer-Observer wants to warn its readers and customers about a scam operation that is occurring targeting newspapers in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.
Several newspapers have received reports from classified advertising customers that an unknown party is calling them with false information about their accounts, often asking for payment of a current ad or stating that the customer's account is overdue.
The caller, posing as a newspaper employee, demands credit card information. It is believed the scam artists are not local people. In fact, they may be calling from anywhere in the world.
The scam artists are locating and calling phone numbers listed within online newspaper classified advertisements. They falsely identify themselves as being employees of the local newspaper. Once they have falsely identified themselves, they claim that they are calling to collect money for the recently placed advertisement. They then ask for your credit card information over the phone.
Please do not give your personal credit card information. Once the scam artists have the information your credit card has been compromised. They can then use your credit card information to make purchases.
The I-O does not believe that any of its customers have been targeted by the scam, but newspapers in Bend, Grants Pass and Ontario are among those that have been hit.
If you are called by someone claiming to be an employee collecting for the newspaper, please hang up and call us directly for verification at 503-623-2373.