SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced on Tuesday that she will present $11,500 to the victim of a Arizona telemarketing scam that preyed on the elderly.
Irvin Ratzlaff invested thousands of dollars in fake internet home-business schemes promoted by telemarketers. Employees with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection and Financial Fraud Division convinced four telemarketing companies to return part of Ratzlaff's money.
Rosenblum's office has uncovered more than 20 cases similar to Ratzlaff's, in which the victims range from ages 60 to 85.
"Individuals and businesses that prey on the vulnerable and elderly will be amongst the chief targets of the Oregon Department of Justice while I'm attorney general," Rosenblum said. "I'm pleased the Oregon Department of Justice was able to recover a portion of Ratzlaff's money. Also, I want to thank the DOJ investigators who have tirelessly pursued this case."
Most of the promoters work for companies in or around Phoenix. Some of the companies collaborate to sell contact lists or other follow-up products that they purport to be able to make a home-based business more profitable for the victims. The businesses usually generate negligible sales from the products. Ratzlaff's investment of $81,000 resulted in just $600 in sales over three years.