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News Releases
TT - Vacation Scams - Part 2 - GRAPHIC - July 9, 2019
TT - Vacation Scams - Part 2 - GRAPHIC - July 9, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Travel Scams (Part 2) (Photo) - 07/09/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against travel troubles.

Last week we talked about how to avoid travel scams when planning your summer vacation. Now that you have booked your trip and packed your bags - you are in the clear, right? Unfortunately, that is what scammers want us to think.

While vacationing, we often connect to public Wi-Fi, post pictures on social media, use our credit card, and carry around our passport. These things often put us at a higher risk of identity theft. Luckily, our friends at the Federal Trade Commission have tips on how to avoid scams and maintain our security while we enjoy our summer vacation.

  • These days, many airports, restaurants, and hotels offer “free Wi-Fi.” Don’t assume that a free Wi-Fi hotspot is secure. In fact, hackers can often access your personal information through these wireless hotspots. If you must use one, avoid sending personal information, logging into bank accounts, or doing any online shopping when using free Wi-Fi.
  • If you do need to surf the web after surfing the waves, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows you to securely connect to the internet by creating an encrypted connection between your device and the VPN provider’s network.
  • Keep your phone other device’s software up to date to ensure you are protected against the latest threats. You can set your device to update its software automatically.  
  • Before travelling, check the location services in your phone’s settings. Many apps have a default setting that will tag your location when you post pictures or comments. If you do not want to share where you are, turn off location services on both your phone and in the individual apps.
  • Act quickly if information – such as a credit card, passport, or driver’s license –  gets stolen or lost. When travelling, always bring photo copies of your passport and driver’s license in case of emergencies.

If you have been a victim of an online scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complain Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.

Vacation Scams - GRAPHIC - July 2, 2019
Vacation Scams - GRAPHIC - July 2, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense to Ensure a Scam-Free Vacation (Photo) - 07/02/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense to ensure a scam-free vacation. 

Summer has officially arrived. The sun is shining, kids are out of school, and all of those well-needed vacations are on the horizon. In this week that we celebrate our national birthday, however – be sure to declare your independence from travel scams! Here’s some holiday advice from our friends at the Federal Trade Commission: 

Always do your research 

  • Before booking through a travel agency or with a hotel, research the company. Look at its ratings and reviews. Do an internet search using the company’s name with words such as “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.” 

  • Get recommendations from family and friends.  

  • Pay attention to the fine print. Look for any extra costs such as amenity or facility fees, which can add big bucks onto what you thought was a deal.  

  • Bring copies of confirmation details, cancellation and refund policies, and other important documents that show the rates and amenities that you were promised at booking.  

Don’t pay for “prize” vacations. 

  • Many people have received a phone call or email promising an “all-expense paid” vacation. Know before you go – is a timeshare that will require you to attend a sales presentation? Or is the company requiring you to pay a fee to receive your “free” trip? 

Don't rush 

  • Don’t sign anything until you read and understand the terms and conditions associated with the deal. Scammers or even legitimate businesses who use high-pressure sales pitches may try to force you make a decision quickly. If they do, simply say no and walk away.  

Always use your credit card 

  • When making purchases online or while traveling, use your credit card if possible. This will make it easier for you to dispute false or unauthorized charges, and it provides more protection than using cash or a debit card.  

Be prepared 

  • When traveling, take only the IDs, credit cards, and documents that you will need. Always make copies and store them separately so if your documents get lost or stolen you will have backups.  

If you have been the victim of an online fraud, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.  

TT - Utility Fraud - Graphic - June 25, 2019
TT - Utility Fraud - Graphic - June 25, 2019
Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Utility Fraud (Photo) - 06/25/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against utility fraud. 

The weather is heating up, and your utility bills will likely rise with the temperatures this summer. This is a good time for us to give you a reminder about what to expect – and not expect – from your regional power provider when it comes to those big bills. 

One very common scam is for a person or small business to receive a message from a fraudster claiming to be from a utility. He claims you are way behind on your bill, and you have a very short period of time – maybe an hour or less – to pay up. If you do not, he will shut off your power. 

He will often tell you that you can rectify the situation with a quick payment, preferably by gift card. He will demand that you get the card, call him back and read the card number and PIN to him quickly. Once done, he can empty that card out in minutes. The card is like cash – once it is gone, it is almost always gone for good. 

Here’s how to protect yourself: 

  • If someone claims to be from a utility threatening to disconnect you, tell the person you are going to hang up and call customer service back. Look for the real number on a recent bill or on the company’s webpage. Do not use whatever number the person gives. 

  • Know that no legitimate utility will give you a single notice before shut-off, particularly by phone or text. 

  • No legitimate utility will demand gift cards as payment.  

  • Most utilities will work with you for payments if you give them a call. 

If you have been victimized by this online scam or any other cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at?www.ic3.gov?or call your local FBI office. 

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TT - Non-Payment & Non-Delivery Frauds - Graphic - June 18, 2019
TT - Non-Payment & Non-Delivery Frauds - Graphic - June 18, 2019
Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Non-Payment & Non-Delivery Scams (Photo) - 06/18/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against non-payment and non-delivery scams. 

Earlier this spring, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) released the list of the most common computer-related crimes. In terms of total number of victims reporting crimes, non-payment and non-delivery frauds topped the list. In all, more than 65,000 people reported getting scammed in this way, losing more than $183 million in the process. 

So what is this crime combo? Imagine you are selling something on the internet. It could be through a popular trading platform, your favorite social media site or elsewhere. You think you have a buyer for grandma’s precious keepsakes and send them off. Either the payment sent bounces or you never receive a payment at all. That’s non-payment fraud. 

Or, imagine you are the buyer. That car, video game console or cool new toy is listed at a great price. You can’t pass that up, right? You make the deal and send the funds, but the item never shows up at your home. That’s non-delivery fraud. 

How can you protect yourself? 

  • Make sure you are dealing with a reputable source. Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure legitimacy. 

  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the other party to see if the telephone number is correct and working. 

  • Send an e-mail to the other party to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those who utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account. 

  • Check online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau from the other party’s area. 

  • Don’t judge a person or company by the look of a website; flashy websites can be set up quickly. 

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals or companies from outside your own country. 

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong. 

  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers 

If you have been victimized by this online scam or any other cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at?www.ic3.gov?or call your local FBI office. 

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