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News Releases
JTTF Statement - Possible Threat Matter Resolved - 04/24/19

Earlier today, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force identified a possible threat to Islamic organizations in Oregon. The FBI immediately notified our local law enforcement partners who increased patrols as appropriate. We greatly appreciate their partnership and proactive police work on behalf of the community.

Over the course of the day, investigation by JTTF agents and task force members resolved any immediate concerns. At this time, there is no known threat to any Islamic center in Oregon. There have been no arrests.

Through the course of the assessment and investigation, the JTTF communicated with leaders within each of the centers identified to ensure that they received timely and accurate updates and to address any concerns.

The investigation into this matter continues, and, for that reason, we will not be releasing further information.

As always, we need the public’s help in keeping the community safe. We encourage anyone with information about potential threats to contact law enforcement. Those with immediate life safety concerns should contact 911. Otherwise, we encourage those who have information about potential threats to contact the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or online at https://tips.fbi.gov

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Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Elder Fraud (Part 4) (Photo) - 04/23/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: we continue our series on building a digital defense against frauds targeting senior citizens.

For the past month, we have looked at all kinds of elder fraud – including tech support, money mule and real estate scams. This week, as we wrap up our series we are going to hit on two more schemes that criminals are known to use to target seniors 60 and older: sweepstakes and telemarketing frauds.

Sweepstakes scams may make you think you are a big winner when, in fact, you could end up losing everything. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center says that more than 2,600 senior victims reported losses of $47 million to it in 2018.

In a sweepstakes or lottery scam, the bad guy convinces the senior that she has won money in a sweepstakes or foreign lottery. The fraudsters often claim to be attorneys, customs officials or lottery representatives. They make an effort to appear official and reputable. The scammers tell the victim that she has to pay some kind of fee before receiving a prize… a fee for shipping or insurance costs, customs duties or taxes. 

Through the course of this scam, the criminal will often find and use personal information about the victim in an effort to gain her trust. The scammer knows that older victims are more likely to be polite, trusting and willing to believe those in a position of authority. 

The second kind of elder fraud we are talking about today involves telemarketing scams… scams where the bad guy convinces the victim he can make money fast or avoid some legal or tax problem. These kinds of scams have been around forever, but evolving technology makes them even harder to spot. Criminals buy and sell marketing lists and personal information so they can have as many details as possible about their victims before they make contact. In some cases, they take the time to build a relationship with the senior so the senior is less likely to look for outside guidance before sending money to the scammer.

Technology also makes it easy for the criminal to make authentic-looking documents so he looks official. As with lottery scams, the fraudster often tries to portray himself as a reputable figure at a federal agency or perhaps an insurance company or bank. Again, he hopes to prey upon a senior’s tendency to trust those in positions of authority. 

Here’s how you can protect yourself and family members:

  • Do not give out personal info by phone, mail or the internet unless you initiate the contact. 
  • Always use publicly available sources to confirm you are using legitimate contact numbers and addresses for a business or agency.
  • Do not pay for fees or services with a gift card. Legitimate services will not request payment in this manner.
  • Be wary if someone tells you that you have to pay immediately or the offer will disappear.
  • Be wary if you have to pay any fee or provide bank account information for a “free” gift, vacation or prize.

As the old adage goes – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Attached Media Files: Audio , Graphic
FBI DAR Graphic
FBI DAR Graphic
Ultima Posibilidad De Inscribirte Para Tener La Oportunidad de Cambiar tu Vida! El FBI Organiza el Evento Nacional de Reclutamiento para Agentes Especiales con Diversidad Cultural la Próxima Semana  (Photo) - 04/17/19

Es el momento de retarte a ti mismo a tener una carrera con una misión: ¡Proteger a los estadounidenses y defender la Constitución! El FBI busca candidatos que hasta hoy no hayan considerado un futuro como Agente Especial del FBI. Según el Agente Especial en Jefe de la oficina del FBI en Oregon, Renn Cannon: “Sabemos que somos más fuertes como organización cuando representamos mejor a la población que servimos. La diversidad puede representar muchas cosas tales como raza, género, religión, orientación sexual. También puede representar a personas que aportan diferentes vivencias, aptitudes laborales y formación académica. Si quieres un cambio y enfrentar un reto ¡aquí está tu oportunidad!” 

El FBI diseñó el evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) para motivar a las comunidades poco representadas -  en especial a las mujeres y a las minorías – a que consideren una vida dedicada al servicio público. Con las amenazas cambiantes que los Estados Unidos enfrenta, la Oficina le ha dado prioridad a la necesidad de contratar a aquellas personas que están altamente calificadas y que a la vez sean representativas de la comunidad en general. De manera particular, el FBI busca candidatos bilingües, aquellos con aptitudes de razonamiento analítico, y aquellos que tengan experiencia en los campos de la ciencia/computación/tecnológica.  

El evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) en Portland les brindará a los posibles aspirantes la oportunidad de conocer más de cerca las oportunidades de trabajo en esta Institución.  Los interesados(as) tendrán la oportunidad de escuchar y hacer preguntas relacionadas con: 

  • La vida como agente (incluyendo el entrenamiento en Quántico) 

  • Como mantener el equilibro entre un trabajo muy exigente y la familia   

  • Un día típico en la vida de un Agente Especial del FBI (una pista: ¡No existe!) 

  • El trabajar casos que hacen la diferencia en tu comunidad 

  • Las oportunidades de viajar por el mundo 

Evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés)  

Los aspirantes a Agentes Especiales del FBI deben tener entre 23 y 36 años de edad; deben contar por lo menos con un título universitario; deben tener un mínimo de dos años de experiencia laboral (o un año con maestría universitaria) y deben ser ciudadanos(as) de los Estados Unidos.  

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Attached Media Files: FBI DAR Graphic
Last Chance to Register for a Life Changing Opportunity!  FBI Hosts the Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) Event in Portland Next Week  - 04/17/19

Now is the time to challenge yourself to a career with a mission: protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution! The FBI is looking for candidates who may not have, until now, considered a future as an FBI Special Agent. 

“We know that we are stronger as an organization when we better represent the people we serve,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Diversity can mean a lot of different things – race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. It can also mean people who bring different life experiences, job skills and educational backgrounds. If you want to make a change and take up a challenge – here’s your chance!” 

The FBI created the Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) event program to encourage underrepresented communities – especially women and minorities – to consider a life of public service. With the evolving threats that the United States faces, the Bureau has prioritized the need to hire those who are both highly skilled and representative of the wider community. In particular, the FBI is looking for applicants who are fluent in a second language; who have the ability to think critically; and who come from a science/computer/technological background. 

The FBI’s DAR event in Portland will allow potential applicants the opportunity to learn more about job opportunities inside the Bureau. They will have the opportunity to hear about and ask questions related to: 

  • Life as a new agent (including training at Quantico) 

  • Balancing a high-energy job with family 

  • Typical day in the life of an FBI Special Agent (hint: there isn’t one!) 

  • Working cases that make a difference in your community 

  • Opportunities to travel the world 

Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) event 

FBI Special Agent applicants must be between the ages of 23 – 36; hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree; have a minimum of two years work experience (one year with a Master’s Degree); and be a U.S. citizen.  

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Attached Media Files: FBI DAR Flyer
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Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Elder Fraud (Part 3) (Photo) - 04/16/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: we continue our series on building a digital defense against frauds targeting senior citizens.

Over the past few weeks, we have been highlighting fraud schemes that target the elderly… and for good reason. A national law enforcement sweep over the course of the past year has shown that seniors are prime targets for criminals. Why? Because they tend to be financially stable, to be trusting and to be reluctant to say “no.” 

As Americans grow older, it is common to want to solidify the financial nest egg you have or to tap into the equity you’ve built up to keep you and your family in a comfortable lifestyle.

That’s where today’s topic comes in - real estate fraud. Reverse mortgage frauds, also known as home equity conversion mortgages, are one of the most popular real estate scams we see.

A legitimate home equity conversion mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Authority or FHA. It allows eligible homeowners to access to the equity in their homes by providing funds without the homeowner having to make a monthly payment. 

When a fraudster finds a senior who is not familiar with the requirements or the process – or who is in desperate need of a steady stream of cash – the results can be devastating. Unscrupulous professionals in a variety of real estate, financial services and related companies will work to steal the equity in your home. 

Another kind of real estate scam involves using seniors as straw buyers. The criminal wants to buy a house, but – for whatever reasons – says he can’t get approved for the purchase. Maybe you agree to sign the papers for him as a favor, or maybe you think you will earn a few thousand dollars bonus. The criminal could be a real estate agent, lender, appraiser, investor or new friend. In the end, the bad guy often ends up skimming the equity and leaving you holding a hefty 30-year mortgage with potential criminal liability. 

In other related real estate scams, the criminals may offer the victims free homes, investment opportunities or foreclosure and refinance assistance. The result is often the same – you lose that cherished nest egg and your credit history is in ruins.

Here’s how you can protect yourself and family members:

  • Don’t respond to unsolicited ads.
  • Be suspicious of anyone saying you can own a home with no down payment – or flip a house by signing for a mortgage you don’t want.
  • Don’t sign anything that you do not fully understand.
  • Don’t accept payment for helping someone else to buy a house that you do not intend to live in. 
  • If you want to pursue a reverse mortgage lender, seek out one who is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Next week, we will wrap up our series on elder fraud with telemarketing fraud and sweepstakes scams.

If you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Attached Media Files: Audio , Graphic
Capt Meisel Tree
Capt Meisel Tree
Eugene Police Captain Graduates from the FBI National Academy (Photo) - 04/12/19

Captain Sherri Meisel, Eugene Police Department, recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement officers: the FBI National Academy. In mid-March, Capt Meisel and three other Oregon law enforcement officers completed a ten-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 National Academy is internationally known for its academic excellence and provides the unique opportunity to share best practices and forge partnerships with law enforcement officers from around the globe. The exceptional leaders chosen to attend form an exclusive group, and only a few from Oregon are selected each year," said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "We are proud to sponsor Capt Meisel and our other local partners in the National Academy."

Capt Meisel began her law enforcement career in 1997 as a patrol office for the Detroit Police Department. While there she worked patrol as an officer, sergeant and lieutenant. As a sergeant, she worked homicide investigations. After her promotion to lieutenant, she supervised a homicide squad; was the commanding officer of the Domestic Violence Unit; served as a lieutenant over general investigations; worked in the Risk Management Bureau; and worked on policy for the chief. In 2014, the Eugene Police Department hired Capt Meisel. She has been in charge of Patrol Unit and is now currently the captain over the Investigations Unit.

Capt Meisel earned a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in public health. She has also completed the Staff and Command School at Eastern Michigan University, and Police Executive Research Forum, Senior Management Institute for Police.

“Attending the FBI National Academy is an honor. The academy has high standards and members are selected to attend,” said Chief Chris Skinner, Eugene Police Department. “Police leadership is challenging and demanding. This training is an exceptional way for our police leaders to learn the latest and best practices of the profession. I'm pleased and proud of Capt Sherri Meisel's attendance and graduation."

During the ten weeks of training, local executive-level law enforcement officers spend most of their time in the classroom. Capt Meisel’s National Academy classes included: Employment Law Issues for Law Enforcement Executives; Critical Analysis of Present Day Policing; Fitness in Law Enforcement; Behavioral Analysis as Decision-Support; Theory and Application in Law Enforcement Investigations; Advanced Spirituality; Wellness and Vitality Issues in Law Enforcement Practices; 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.

Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 220 local law enforcement officers from throughout 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.

Attached Media Files: Capt Meisel Tree , Capt Meisel , Meisel YB Road
El FBI en Portland Organiza la Conferencia Nacional de Reclutamiento para Agentes Especiales con Diversidad Cultural - 04/11/19

¡Acepta el Reto! ¡Acepta la Oportunidad!

Los agentes del FBI viven y trabajan dentro de las comunidades que están llamados a proteger, pero no siempre comparten las mismas experiencias que sus vecinos. El FBI busca llenar las vacantes para Agente Especial, y su meta es formar una institución que sea más inclusiva y más representativa de la población que protege.  Como parte de ese esfuerzo, el FBI traerá a Portland su evento a nivel nacional de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) el 23 de abril del 2019 para enfatizar el deseo de la institución de contratar mujeres y personas de color.  

Según el Agente Especial en Jefe de la Oficina del FBI en Oregon, Renn Cannon: “El  contar con puntos de vistas diversos reta a cada uno de nosotros a tener mayores aspiraciones, mientras que nuestros valores compartidos de liderazgo, respeto e integridad nos mantienen apegados a las bases Constitucionales sobre las cuales el FBI fue fundado. Necesitamos agentes con una variedad de aptitudes y atributos en todos los ámbitos. Necesitamos diversidad en  formación educativa, vivencias, raza, etnicidad y origen nacional; aptitudes idiomáticas, orientación sexual y experiencia profesional”.  

Para poder enfrentar las amenazas delictuosas y contra la seguridad nacional que el país enfrentará en el 2019 y más allá, el FBI le ha dado prioridad a la necesidad de reclutar, desarrollar y retener una fuerza laboral de Agentes Especiales más diversa y que mejor refleje la realidad demográfica del país. Específicamente, buscamos candidatos que sean bilingües; que posean habilidades de alto nivel de razonamiento analítico, y que tengan conocimiento en las áreas de la ciencia y la tecnología. Las mujeres y las minorías no cuentan con una gran representación dentro de la población de agentes del FBI, por lo que la Oficina tiene un gran interés en reclutar a miembros de dichos grupos.   

El FBI desarrolló el evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) para dar oportunidad para que los precandidatos puedan obtener información acerca del proceso de registro, los requisitos para clasificar, y los estándares de aptitud física. También desea darles la oportunidad de hacer preguntas sobre la cultura, entrenamiento, equilibrio laboral/vida personal de la Oficina y otras cosas más. 

Los aspirantes a Agentes Especiales del FBI deben tener entre 23 y 36 años de edad; deben poseer por lo menos un título universitario; y deben tener un mínimo de dos años de experiencia laboral (o un año si se tiene una maestría universitaria) y debe ser ciudadano(a) de los Estados Unidos.  

El evento del FBI para el Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural se llevará a cabo el 23 de marzo del 2019 de las 6:00 p.m. a las 9:00 pm en Portland, Oregon. Si está interesado en atender se requiere un registro previo, a más tardar el 18 de abril en: https://www.fbijobs.gov/career-paths/special-agents/diversity-agent-recruitment-program 

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Attached Media Files: FBI Recruitment Flyer
FBI Portland Hosts National Diversity Recruitment Conference for Special Agents: Take the Challenge, Take the Chance!  - 04/11/19

FBI agents live and work in the communities they serve, but they don’t always share the same life experiences as their neighbors. As the FBI works to fill Special Agent vacancies, our goal is to build an agency that is more inclusive and better representative of the people we protect. As part of that effort, the FBI is bringing its national-level Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) event to Portland on April 23, 2019 to highlight the agency’s emphasis on hiring women and people of color. 

“Having diverse viewpoints allows us to challenge each other to aim higher while our shared values of leadership, respect and integrity keep us grounded in the Constitutional foundation on which the FBI was built,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “We need agents who possess a variety of skills and attributes across the board. We need diversity in educational background; life experiences; race, ethnicity and national origin; language skills; sexual orientation; and professional experience.”  

To address the criminal and national security threats the nation faces in 2019 and beyond, the FBI has prioritized the need to recruit, develop and retain a more diverse Special Agent workforce that better reflects the country’s demographics. Specifically, we are looking for candidates who are fluent in a second language; who have high-level critical thinking skills; and who come from science and technology fields. Because women and minorities are underrepresented in the FBI’s agent population, the Bureau is placing special emphasis on recruiting from those communities. 

The FBI created the Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) event program to allow pre-screened candidates the opportunity to get information on the application process, qualification requirements, and physical fitness standards as well as ask questions about the Bureau’s culture, training, work/life balance and more. 

FBI Special Agent applicants must be between the ages of 23 – 36; hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree; have a minimum of two years work experience (one year with a Master’s Degree); and be a U.S. citizen.  

The FBI Special Agent DAR event will run from 6 – 9 pm on April 23rd in Portland. Anyone interested in attending must pre-register by April 18th at https://www.fbijobs.gov/career-paths/special-agents/diversity-agent-recruitment-program 

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Note to reporters: generic b-roll is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4NSfrOtMfU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuXGgX42ulI&t=62s

 

Attached Media Files: FBI Recruitment Flyer
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Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Elder Fraud (Part 2) (Photo) - 04/09/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: we continue our series on building a digital defense against frauds targeting senior citizens.

A recent law enforcement operation to target those who prey on elderly Americans shows that the victims lost more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in the past year. That sweep – announced a few weeks ago by the FBI and the Department of Justice – involved more than two million victims, most of them aged 60 and older. 

Last week, we talked about a common scheme in which criminals target seniors in tech support scams. This week – another popular scam – money mules.

When a criminal wants to add layers of protection between a victim and himself, he will use a money mule. The money mule is a person who acts as a middle-man - either knowingly or unknowingly transferring illegally-acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another. The mule makes it easier for the criminal to mask his identity, move money out of the U.S., and evade scrutiny by banks. The scam can work a couple different ways:

In one variation, a scam artist targets a senior with any one of a thousand frauds. When the victim sends the money, he actually sends it to the money mule who then transfers the funds to the criminal. The victim definitely loses money in this scenario.

In another variation, the victim is the money mule. In most cases, seniors targeted in this way don’t know that they are involved in a larger criminal scheme. In this scenario, other victims send the senior citizen funds, which he then transfers to someone he thinks is a love interest or business partner. In this case, the mule himself may or may not lose money.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to money mule scams because they tend to be more trusting; may be lonely or spend a great deal of time alone; or have diminished physical or mental capacity.

Here’s how you can protect yourself and family members:

  • Don’t agree to set up a bank account for someone you don’t know and trust.
  • Don’t give out your own bank account information or use your own account to transfer money for other people. No legitimate business will ask you to do this.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails, texts, calls or social media messages offering easy money.
  • Be wary of an employer or love interest who asks you to transfer money and offers you the opportunity to keep a portion for yourself.
  • Be suspicious of any online romance in which your new love asks for money or asks for help moving money.

Next week, we will continue to focus on elder fraud with a look at the problem of real estate frauds.

If you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Attached Media Files: Audio , Graphic
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Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Elder Fraud (Part 1) (Photo) - 04/02/19

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against frauds targeting senior citizens.

A few weeks ago, the FBI and the Department of Justice announced a massive sweep involving the identification and arrest those responsible for defrauding more than two million Americans, most of them elderly. This effort to combat elder fraud is ongoing.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to look at some of the most common frauds committed against seniors, why scammers seek out seniors to target and how you and your loved ones can stay safe.

First up – let’s talk about an increasingly common form of elder fraud: technical support scams. Over the course of the last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center says seniors 60 and older reported losses of more than $26 million. That is a 91% increase in reported losses from last year.

Technical support fraud happens when criminals pose as customer, security or tech support representatives – usually from a well-known tech company. In one version of the scam – the fraudster contacts the victim by phone, email or text to tell the victim that there’s a problem with the victim’s device or financial account. The fraudster may say the device has a security flaw and has been hacked… or that some unauthorized person is stealing money from a bank account.

In another version of the scam, the senior is experiencing a real technical problem with a device and goes out in search of help. When he pulls up the search engine results, he may inadvertently click on a bad ad instead of a legitimate vendor.

A third common way for a senior to get caught up in this scam is for the fraudster to use malware to cause a pop-up message or lock screen to appear on the senior’s device.

No matter how the scam starts, the criminal’s goal is to convince the senior to give the fake tech support person remote access to the device. With that access, the fraudster can now potentially have access to all of your personal info, your tax returns, your bank and credit card accounts, and more.

Criminals target seniors because they are often more trusting, financially stable and less likely to report the crime out of shame.

Here’s how you can protect yourself and family members:

  • Know that legitimate tech support people will not contact you unsolicited.
  • Never give unknown, unverified people access to your devices.
  • Ensure that you update all anti-virus, security and malware protection on your devices. Don’t let an unknown person tell you that he needs to do it for you.
  • If you receive a concerning pop-up or your screen locks, shut down your device immediately regardless of the directions you receive from the scammer. Oftentimes, waiting a short time and rebooting will fix the problem.
  • When doing online searches for technical support, be cautious of listings at the top of the page labeled as “sponsored”. If you are having trouble with a particular software or hardware product, go directly to that company’s webpage.

Next week, we will continue to focus on elder fraud with a look at the problem of money mules.

If you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Attached Media Files: Audio , Graphic