Thursday, June 24, 2010

County officials warn businesses about scam involving fraudulent health inspectors

Restaurants and other businesses in Riverside County should beware of people posing as health inspectors who try to charge fees or conduct other fraudulent activities, the county Department of Environmental Health announced today.

Throughout Riverside County and California, restaurants are receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be health inspectors. The caller asks the business to schedule inspections through a computerized phone system using a special code.

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) does not regularly schedule inspections, and does not use a computerized system to make phone calls. The department has NOT developed a new inspection process. Any caller identifying himself or herself as a Riverside County health inspector asking you to schedule inspections using a code is part of a fraud scheme

For protection against this scheme and others, please be aware that county DEH staff and representatives of any legitimate governmental agency will have photo identification. Ask for photo ID and business cards if you have any doubt about the authenticity of an inspector visiting your business. If you have any question about someone claiming to be a DEH employee, please contact the department at (951) 358-5172.

You also should never give out personal or business identification information over the phone. If you are contacted by someone you believe might be fraudulent health inspector or suspect a fraud scheme, contact local law enforcement.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Environmental Health office at (951) 358-5172.

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