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News Releases
TT - online sales example c
TT - online sales example c
FBI's Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Online Sale Frauds (Part 1) (Photo) - 06/19/18

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against online sale frauds.

Summer is upon us – and if you are like me, this is the best time to get rid of all that extra stuff sitting in your garage. Who couldn’t use a few extra bucks for that summer vacation, right?

You can do it the old fashioned way – sitting outside for hours on end, hoping someone drives up and offers you big money for your cast-offs. Or, you can sell on platforms like Craigslist and Facebook. Those are great options – if you are smart about how you do business.

I have some personal examples to share with you. Recently, I posted several items for sale… a bed, a barbeque and a few other things. Usually within the first 24 hours of a new posting I received at least one suspicious inquiry, either by email or text. In many cases, the seller said he or she needed to have a mover or shipper pick up the item. The seller proposed sending me a larger-than-requested payment by cashier’s check or electronic transfer, with the caveat that I would use those extra funds to pay the shipper when he arrives to pick up my item.

This is a version of an overpayment scam. Let’s say you get that check and cash it. The shipper takes the item, and eventually the bank figures out the cashier’s check is bogus. The bank is going to come after you for the missing funds and could even pursue criminal charges.

Electronic transfers are not necessarily safer. In a couple cases, the fraudster proposed making a payment via PayPal or a funds transfer. Had I pursued this option, the person would have likely ended up asking for personal information – including bank routing numbers – to push the payment through.

Here are some warning signs to watch for if you are trying to sell online this summer:

  • Look for out-of-area phone numbers. All of the suspicious inquiries I received came from area codes nowhere near Oregon. It is possible for scammers to spoof phone numbers, of course, so make sure to proceed cautiously even when you receive an inquiry from a local number.
  • Look for bad spelling, stilted language, random capitalizations and chunks of text that are obviously cut-and-pasted from your post.
  • Look for those who try to justify why they can’t meet in person. In once case, I had a fraudster claim to be a cabin steward on a major cruise line… which, he said, required an electronic payment and a shipping service. Really? Why does someone who works on a cruise ship need a large barbeque?

Next week we will look at some other scams that pop up in virtual garage sales – complete with more tips on safe selling.

If you have been victimized by an online overpayment 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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Captain Davis
Captain Davis
Oregon City Police Captain Graduates from the FBI National Academy (Photo) - 06/18/18

Captain Shaun Davis, Oregon City Police Department, recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement officers: the FBI National Academy. In early June, Captain Davis and two other Oregon law enforcement officers completed a 10-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

There is a highly competitive process local law enforcement officers must go through to be selected for this honor. That process includes a nomination by a supervisor; interviews with the candidate and co-workers to determine leadership skills and abilities; a background check; a determination of physical fitness; and the support of former National Academy graduates within the candidate's organization.

"The exceptional leaders selected for the National Academy have the opportunity to learn and share best practices with other elite law enforcement officers from across the county and the world," said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Only a few are chosen to attend each year, and we are proud to sponsor Oregon City Police Department’s Captain Davis and our other Oregon partners this year.”

Captain Davis started his law enforcement career in 1998 when he graduated from the Reserve Academy for Oregon City Police Department and was hired as a full-time officer. During his career, he has held the position of FTO, Officer in Charge (OIC) defensive tactics instructor, building search instructor, OC instructor, Detective, K-9 Officer and Sergeant.  The department promoted him to Captain in 2016. He currently is the patrol captain and oversees patrol, K-9, SWAT, Hostage Negotiation Team, the school resource officer, the traffic team, the college resource officer, the community service officer, the Honor Guard, the Tri-Met position and the homeless liaison officer. 

Captain Davis also recently earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree.

“The National Academy is an incredible opportunity,” said Oregon City Police Chief Jim Band. “Captain Davis has had the opportunity to learn from the best instructors in our industry and to make connections with other law enforcement leaders from the United States and other countries. Captain Davis will bring what he has learned back to our community to ensure our department is consistent with the best policing practices available.”

During the 10 weeks of training, local executive-level law enforcement officers spend most of their time in the classroom. Captain Davis’ National Academy classes included: Leading At-Risk Employee's, Fitness in Law Enforcement, Essentials for Law Enforcement Leaders, Contemporary Issues in Police and Media Relations, Legal Issues Impacting law Enforcement Operations and Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement Seminar. The program allows participants the opportunity to earn college credits through the University of Virginia for some of those studies. In addition to the classroom work, participants have physical training courses and activities.

Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 220 local law enforcement officers from around the United States and around the world. While in the academy, the officers and deputies live in a dorm-like setting. The FBI does not charge U.S. students for tuition, books, equipment, meals, lodging or travel to and from their home.

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Attached Media Files: Captain Davis
Sgt. Gilbert
Sgt. Gilbert
Independence Police Department Sergeant Graduates from the FBI National Academy (Photo) - 06/18/18

Sergeant Lyle Gilbert, Independence Police Department, recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement officers: the FBI National Academy. In early June, Sgt. Gilbert and two other Oregon law enforcement officers completed a 10-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

There is a highly competitive process local law enforcement officers must go through to be selected for this honor. That process includes a nomination by a supervisor; interviews with the candidate and co-workers to determine leadership skills and abilities; a background check; a determination of physical fitness; and the support of former National Academy graduates within the candidate's organization.

"The exceptional leaders selected for the National Academy have the opportunity to learn and share best practices with other elite law enforcement officers from across the county and the world," said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Only a few are chosen to attend each year and we are proud to sponsor Independence Police Department’s Sgt. Gilbert and our other Oregon partners this year.”

Sgt. Gilbert started his law enforcement career in 2002 as a Reserve Officer with Independence Police Department and started part-time in 2004. A year later, the department hired him as a full-time officer and then promoted him to Sergeant in 2013. During his career at the Independence Police Department, he has been the department rangemaster, field training officer, Special Response Team member, reserve program coordinator and Community Emergency Response Team program coordinator.  Currently he is the Patrol Sergeant and oversees patrol operations, scheduling and training.

"We at the Independence Police Department are very proud of Lyle. Being selected to attend the FBI National Academy is a significant accomplishment in any career. I am sure Lyle took some of our small town, West Coast ideas to share with classmates from around the country and world, and I know he is bringing a lot of ideas back that he learned from others,” said Chief Mason of the Independence Police Department. “It’s going to be great to have him back. It’s true that you don’t really know everything someone does until they’re no longer doing it. We have had some significant gaps to fill in his absence.”

During the 10 weeks of training, local executive-level law enforcement officers spend most of their time in the classroom. Sgt. Gilbert’s National Academy classes included: Emotional Intelligence, Essentials for Law Enforcement Leaders, Public Speaking, Contemporary Issues in Police and Media Relations, Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement and Fitness in Law Enforcement. The program allows participants the opportunity to earn college credits through the University of Virginia for some of those studies. In addition to the classroom work, participants have physical training courses and activities.

Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 220 local law enforcement officers from around the United States and around the world. While in the academy, the officers and deputies live in a dorm-like setting. The FBI does not charge U.S. students for tuition, books, equipment, meals, lodging or travel to and from their home.

 

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Attached Media Files: Sgt. Gilbert
TT - timeshare sales slide
TT - timeshare sales slide
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Timeshare Fraud (Photo) - 06/12/18

Welcome to Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against timeshare fraud.

Summer is upon us! The days are getting longer and many people are well on their way to preparing for their vacations – the more luxurious the better! Owning a timeshare can make it easy to plan for repeat vacations in the same resort, with less hassle for booking.

But for some, the trouble comes when you try to sell your piece of paradise. Maybe you can’t afford the maintenance fees any longer – or you received it as part of an inheritance and just want to unload it. Either way, it can be difficult to find someone to take that timeshare off your hands, and if you do – be warned. If someone offers a quick easy sale – particularly one where the offer is double or triple the going rate – the risk is high.

Fraudsters know that the thought of cash-in-hand will make this a tough sale to turn down and will do just about anything to make the deal, including tricking you into thinking they are legitimate businesses with fancy-sounding names.

Here are a few red flags to watch for when seeking out buyers for your timeshare. Bear in mind, some or all may apply:

  1. The caller (or emailer) claims that there’s an up-front fee that you must pay to start the process.
  2. The caller is unwilling to meet in person
  3. There is no physical address in the U.S., or there is a fake address given that leads to an empty field or abandoned building
  4. Scammers keep coming back – asking for fee after fee, amounting to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars

Unfortunately, senior citizens are the ones oftentimes victimized by timeshare frauds. Here are some steps that you and your family can take to avoid timeshare frauds:

  • Do at least an online search on the business that contacted you. Look for an “About Us” page with contact information, names and locations of the purported business. Is this business rated on Better Business Bureau? Are there complaints from other customers online? Use your favorite search engine and find out.
  • Try searching the street address. If the address is fraudulent or outside the U.S., stop all communication and report it.
  • Listen to the claims that the salesperson is making. No one can guarantee a quick sale.
  • Are there any up-front fees to cover closing costs, maintenance fees or other services? Legitimate fees are typically paid after a sale or out of the proceeds – not up front.

If you own a timeshare – or have friends and family who do - make sure you build a digital defense to ensure a safe timeshare sale. The bad guys are good at what they do, but these pointers might help you from becoming their next victim.

If you have been victimized by this type of scam or any other online scam, you can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.

TT - Medical ID Theft slide
TT - Medical ID Theft slide
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Medical ID Theft (Photo) - 06/05/18

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against medical ID theft.

The high cost of health care in the U.S. means there is always going to be a market for those looking to looking to scam the system.

Medical ID theft takes place when someone uses your health insurance – whether private insurance or something like Medicare – to see a doctor, get a prescription filled, or get medical treatments. Not only does this cost your insurance company or the government a great deal of money, it can mean that your medical records will get mixed with the fraudster’s. This can affect both the healthcare you receive as well as your credit report if the fraudster leaves a trail of unpaid bills following treatment.

The best offense is a good digital defense:

  • Don’t ever give out your insurance information or Social Security number to someone who contacts you unsolicited.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free devices or services if you just supply your insurance or Medicare number.
  • Check the “explanation of benefits” that your insurance provider sends after each visit or treatment. Ensure that the dates of service, types of service and provider are all correct.
  • Watch for unexpected bills or calls from debt collectors concerning medical treatment that you did not receive.
  • Watch for a notice from your insurance provider that you’ve reached your benefit limit earlier than expected or you get a denial of benefits because you received treatment for a condition that your medical records show you don’t have.
  • Finally, do not let anyone borrow your insurance card – it’s illegal.

If you believe a thief may have used your medical ID, it is important to contact each provider involved. Request complete copies of all of your medical and billing records. Dispute, in writing, any services you believe are fraudulent and keep records of any actions you take.

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

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FBI Hoax Threat Billboard
FBI Hoax Threat Billboard
FBI Warns of Hoax Threats & Launches #ThinkBeforeYouPost Campaign (Photo) - 05/31/18

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places. This campaign, #ThinkBeforeYouPost, includes public service announcements, social media posts and digital billboards. It is currently running in Oregon and around the country.

In particular, the FBI would like to thank Lamar Advertising and Pacific Outdoor for donating digital billboard space in Oregon. Billboards in the following locations are running the “ThinkBeforeYouPost messaging:

Pacific Outdoor

  • Hillsboro  (Hwy. 8 west of Brookwood Avenue)
  • Clackamas (Hwy. 212 east of I-205)
  • Portland (Hwy. 224 west of I-205)
  • Portland (SW Canyon Road)
  • Beaverton (Canyon Road & SW 108th Avenue)

Lamar Advertising

  • Salem (Commercial Street SE near Vista)
  • Salem (Lancaster Drive near Market Street)
  • Corvallis (Highway 34 - 3.5 miles west of Talent)
  • Medford (Crater Lake Highway near Corker Butte)
  • Medford (N. Pacific Highway near Table Rock Road)

“We are grateful for the business community’s assistance in spreading the word about this dangerous – and expensive – problem that law enforcement and our schools are facing. We are working together to encourage people to report threats they come across - whether on social media, through gaming sites or in person. At the same time, we want to make sure that those who are posting hoax threats truly understand the severe consequences they could face for their actions,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Investigations into hoax threats drain resources and cost taxpayers a great deal of money. When an investigation concludes that there was a false or hoax threat made to a school or other public place, the person posting the threat could face a federal charge and a maximum sentence of five years in prison. State charges are also possible.

In the aftermath of attacks such as the ones at Santa Fe High School in Texas on May 18th and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14th, the FBI and law enforcement around the country often see an increase in threats made to schools and other public forums. 

The FBI and its partners follow up on every tip received from the public, and we analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility. Federal, state and local law enforcement then work together. using a full range of tools to mitigate those threats as needed.

We ask that the public continue to contact law enforcement to report any potential threats or suspicious activity. If you believe there is an immediate risk to yourself or others, call 911. Otherwise, if you want to report a possible threat, you can call your local police, submit a written tip at tips.fbi.gov or call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. As always, members of the public can also call the nearest FBI field office to report information. In Oregon, the 24-hour number is (503) 224-4181.

Early intervention can prevent a situation from escalating – allowing law enforcement time to identify, assess and manage the threat. Remember, if you see something, say something. Hoax threats are not a joke, so think before you post! 

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The FBI is offering media the opportunity for on-camera interviews between 11 am and noon today. If you would like to arrange an interview time, contact Beth Anne Steele at eth.steele@ic.fbi.gov">Elizabeth.steele@ic.fbi.gov

Other content available includes:

  • "ThinkBeforeYouPost" graphic (attached)
  • Digital Billboard graphic (attached)
  • Downloadable video public service announcement: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/chicago/news/stories/fbi-chicago-produces-think-before-you-post-public-service-announcement
  • Downloadable audio podcast (including interview with FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich): https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/ftw-podcast-hoax-threats-campaign-052318.mp3/view
  • Downloadable audio podcast (including interview with volunteer firefighter sentenced in hoax threat case): https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/inside-podcast-hoax-threat-case-052318.mp3/view

 

TT - VPNFilter Malware slide
TT - VPNFilter Malware slide
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against the "VPNFilter" Malware (Photo) - 05/29/18

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against a new threat targeting your home or business network.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – or IC3.gov – has just released a new, urgent warning for those who use routers either at home or in a small business. Cyber actors working out of foreign countries have compromised hundreds of thousands of these routers and other networked devices using what’s called “VPNFilter malware”. This malware has the ability to watch the traffic that is moving through the router – stealing data, executing commands, blocking network traffic and even “bricking” the device. Once a device is “bricked” it can’t be recovered and is forever unusable.

This VPNFilter malware comes in three stages, and it’s important to understand the difference. The first stage has a persistent presence – meaning that it simply sits there and waits for the command and control server to download new modules.

Once the malware downloads the second stage, it can start exploiting the device and doing harm. There are also stage three modules that can make the malware both harder to track and better at stealing critical information.

The FBI is recommending that both home users and businesses immediately reboot your routers and networked devices. This will disrupt stages 2 and 3. It is important to note that stage 1 will remain on the device and may call out again to the command and control server to re-load stage 2. By re-booting, though, you are creating a break that will allow the FBI, internet service providers, and other partner agencies to try to identify and remediate the damage done by this malware.

This break also allows users to set up their own digital defenses. Owners should disable remote management settings on devices and make sure that the device has new, strong passwords. Do not use default user IDs and passwords – that’s an open door to hackers. Also, enable encryption when able and upgrade the device with the latest available version of firmware.

For more information on the VPNFilter malware go to https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180525.aspx or https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-actions-disrupt-advanced-persistent-threat-28-botnet-infected

If you have been victimized by this malware or any cyber scam, you can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI officee

FBI Response to the Portland Incident Today - 05/25/18

In critical incidents, the FBI regularly offers additional resources to our local partner agencies. During the SW 6th Avenue/SW Montgomery Street incident earlier today, the FBI offered and provided assistance to the Portland Police Bureau. That support included analytical resources and investigative assistance from agents and officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

Portland Police Bureau is the lead agency for this investigation, and any substantive information will be released by PPB.

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