Frequently asked questions about the Fraud Hotline

White icon on maroon background. Hand calling on a cell phone.  Fraud Hotline logo: To call it out, call it in.
The City of Portland, Oregon’s Fraud Hotline is the secure, confidential way to report fraud, waste, inefficiency, or abuse involving the City government, its employees, or vendors.
On this page

What is the Fraud Hotline?

The City of Portland, Oregon’s Fraud Hotline is the secure, confidential way to report fraud, waste, inefficiency, or abuse involving the City government, its employees, or vendors. 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, inefficiency, or abuse?

The misuse 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, inefficiency, or 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 a report, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year:

You may file an anonymous report or provide contact information.

What kinds of things should I report?

The Fraud Hotline is for reports of dishonest acts by or against the City (such as by City agencies, employees, vendors, volunteers, board members, etc.), or the improper use of City resources or positions.

Fraud involves an intentional deception or misrepresentation, by act or omission, which results or could result in a benefit for a person or entity to which they are not entitled. Examples of fraud can include but are not limited to theft, forgery, falsifying records, and bribery.   

Waste involves the needless, careless, or extravagant expenditure of City funds, or the misuse or mismanagement of City resources or property. Waste does not have to involve a private use or personal gain and can be intentional or unintentional.

Inefficiency involves an inability to do something in a well-organized or competent way, or to the failure to implement processes as intended with minimal waste time or resources. "Inefficiency" may also occur when the design of a program or policy fails to produce desired outcomes, despite the resources invested. 

Abuse involves the improper use of a City position or the improper use or destruction of City records or resources.

Please refer to Reportable Incidents and Examples 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 is responsible for the Fraud Hotline and takes all reports seriously. For every report received that is within our power to investigate, Audit Services will do a 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 if they lack merit or we don’t receive enough 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 PIN. You can use this PIN to check  the status of the report by phone or online. We will notify you of the outcome of the report through 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, waste, inefficiency, or abuse go unchecked.

The information here can help you decide: