Frequently asked questions about the Fraud Hotline

Black, red, and orange logo of the Portland Fraud Hotline.
The Auditor’s Fraud Hotline is designed to accept reports of suspected fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of City positions.
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What is the Auditor’s Fraud Hotline?

The City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline is a way to anonymously report suspected fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position by City employees or contractors. It’s a reporting system administered by the elected, independent City Auditor.

An anonymous reporting system like this can be a useful tool in discovering and reducing losses due to fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position. Having a reporting system also reinforces the message that all City employees and contractors are expected to follow the highest standards of ethical and legal behavior and to act as stewards of public resources.

Why should I report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse?

Waste of City resources impacts services we all rely on, including our police, fire, parks and transportation systems.

How can I make a report of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to the Fraud Hotline?

The City Auditor contracts with an outside company called Lighthouse to take reports. There are two ways you can make an anonymous report, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year:

  • Call the toll-free phone number 866-342-4148. Calls are not recorded, and caller ID is disabled.
  • File a report online at www.PortlandFraudHotline.comYou can also choose to disclose your identity if you wish when you make a report through either of these two methods.

What kinds of things should I report?

The Fraud Hotline is for reports of any dishonest acts by or against the City (such as by City agencies, employees, contractors, vendors, board members, etc.), or about the improper use of City resources or positions. It’s not for complaints relating to services (i.e., potholes, taxes, etc.).

Fraud is an intentional deception or misrepresentation, by act or omission, that results or could result in a benefit for a person or entity to which they are not entitled. Fraud can include theft of money or equipment, use of equipment for personal gain, or soliciting a bribe or kickback.

Waste involves the careless or extravagant expenditure of City funds or the misuse or mismanagement of City resources, including incurring unnecessary costs because of inefficient practices. Waste does not have to involve a private use or personal gain and can be intentional or unintentional.

Abuse may involve the improper use of a City position to obtain a benefit or advantage. Abuse may also involve the improper use or destruction of City records or other resources, or a seriously improper practice. Abuse may include stopping an enforcement action by the City, or abuse of City time, travel, or equipment.

Please refer to Reportable Incidents and Examples of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse for more information about what we can investigate.

What happens to a report made to the Fraud Hotline?

The City Auditor’s Audit Services Division takes all reports seriously and will respond in a timely manner. For every report received within our power to investigate, Audit Services will do some preliminary fact-finding to decide how to proceed. We may conduct our own investigation or refer the report to another City bureau or the City Ombudsman. In some cases, we may notify and assist law enforcement. Some cases may be closed it they lack merit or we don’t receive sufficient information to investigate.

How do I find out what the City Auditor did with my report?

When you make a report to the Fraud Hotline, you will receive a unique code called a Report Key. By using this Report Key you can check back by phone or online to see the status of your case. We will notify you of the outcome of their report by posting an update to the online Fraud Hotline portal.

Should I be reporting this to the Fraud Hotline or not?

Not sure if what you saw, or suspect, is worth reporting? File a report. We would rather you report a situation that turns out to be harmless than let fraud or waste go unchecked.

The information here can help you decide:


Fraud Hotline

phone number866-342-4148Call for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week

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