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News Releases
TT - Voice Comms Systems - GRAPHIC - January 18, 2022
TT - Voice Comms Systems - GRAPHIC - January 18, 2022
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Video Chat Platforms (Photo) - 01/18/22

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense with video communication systems.

Over the past two years, many people have had crash courses in how to use video communications systems. Personal apps such as FaceTime and Skype have made it easier to keep in touch with friends and family during COVID times. Other services – such as Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet – were lifelines for schools, businesses, and community groups.

Just because most of us are back in school or back to work doesn’t mean the bad actors aren’t still trying to use these video communications systems to bilk your bank account.

Here are some reminders on how to stay safe:

  • Make sure to research what security settings are available – and turn them on – for whatever platforms you are using.
  • Avoid connecting your video communications apps or systems to your social media accounts whenever possible.
  • Don’t accept calls or chats from unknown people or numbers.
  • Review the app or service’s privacy and terms of service policies before using. Check back for updates periodically and only allow the app or service the minimal amount of permissions necessary.
  • Know exactly what kind of data the app or service is collecting about you and how it is storing, sharing, or selling that information.
  • Make sure group calls are password-protected and confirm participants’ identities before proceeding.
  • Make sure to leave or end the call every time. Don’t count on the host to do it.
  • Password protect your account and use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Check your visual background or use a virtual background. You may be leaking personal information about yourself or others.

If you are the victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.  

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TT - Job Verification Scams - GRAPHIC - January 11, 2022
TT - Job Verification Scams - GRAPHIC - January 11, 2022
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Job Verification Scams (Photo) - 01/11/22

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense against job verification scams.

In Oregon, the FBI has been receiving more and more reports from people getting scammed as they try to apply for jobs or unemployment benefits. The reports, from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, show that bad actors are targeting victims who are already in financially difficult situations.

Many businesses and government agencies use private, third-party companies to verify that you are really you. The goal is to cut down on fraud. These verification companies are legitimate, but fraudsters, of course, are gaming the system.

In one scenario, the bad actor posts a fake job online and directs you to the verification company. You complete the process, and the bad actor comes back and asks for your login or verification info to finish processing your application. He accesses the account and uses your profile to apply for unemployment in one or more states.

In another scenario, the bad actor posts a job online and directs you to what appears to be a legitimate verification company but one that is, in fact, fake. Again, he harvests your information and goes about committing all kinds of identity crimes.

How do you protect yourself?

  • Make sure you the job you are applying for is real. Research the company, and call a publicly available number to confirm that it is.
  • Make sure that the verification company you are dealing with is legitimate. Research the company. Know exactly what information is required, how that company will communicate with you, and what are the official channels through which it will communicate.
  • Be wary of social media contacts that ask for information to “verify your identity.” Legitimate companies will not ask for your highly personal or financial information this way. 

If you are the victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.  

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FBI Offers up to $15,000 for information in the Shooting Death of Anthony McNaughton - 01/06/22

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Anthony McNaughton, age 37. This reward is in addition to a reward of up to $2,500 previously offered by Portland Police Bureau through the Crime Stoppers of Oregon program.

On November 27, 2020, Anthony McNaughton was shot near the intersection of NW Broadway and NW Glisan Street in Portland, Oregon. McNaughton was either inside or near a tent with multiple people living nearby. McNaughton later died of his injuries at a local hospital. 

“We know the number of homicides in our shared community is overwhelming, but we won’t let that deter us. We recognize that each case involves a victim, a grieving family, and a future lost. Each of these victims and their families deserve answers, and the community deserves a stop to this exhausting cycle of violence. We can’t do it alone, though. We need anyone with information to contact us,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Mr. McNaughton’s FBI “Seeking Information” poster can be downloaded at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/anthony-mcnaughton.

This reward is the sixth offered by the FBI on behalf of the Metro Safe Streets Task Force. Previous rewards include:

  • Up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a mass shooting that claimed the life of Makayla Harris and injured six others
  • Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Evelin Navarro-Barajas
  • Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Dhulfigar Kareem Mseer.
  • Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of De’annzello McDonald.
  • Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Curtis Smith.

If anyone has information, witnessed any part of what happened, or has video of anything that happened prior to, during, or after these shootings, they are asked to contact PPB by emailing crimetips@portlandoregon.gov or contacting the FBI at 1 (800) CALL-FBI or at tips.fbi.gov.

The Metro Safe Streets Task Force is a partnership between the FBI and ATF, Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

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TT - Google Voice Scam - GRAPHIC - January 4, 2022
TT - Google Voice Scam - GRAPHIC - January 4, 2022
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Google Voice Authentication Scams (Photo) - 01/04/22

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against Google voice authentication scams.

What is Google Voice? It’s a service – brought to you by Google, of course – that allows you to set up a new virtual phone number that can be used to make domestic and international calls or send and receive text messages.

You don’t even have to have a Google Voice account to get scammed in this particular scheme. Here’s how it works:

You post your real phone number on some online platform. It’s common for scammers to target victims who use popular marketplace apps or websites to post items for sale. Want to get rid of that old couch? Post it on one of those popular re-sale sites, and hope someone likes your taste in style.

Recently, we have also been getting reports of people who are getting targeted in other locations, including sites where you post about lost pets.

The scammer contacts you via text or email. He is really interested in buying that couch or thinks he found Fluffy. He says he just needs to make sure you are legitimate so he doesn’t get scammed. He says he will send you an authentication code from Google to confirm that you are a real person and not a bot.

You will receive that authentication code in the form of a voice call or a text message. He asks you to repeat that number to him.

What he is really doing is setting up a Google Voice account in your name using your real phone number as verification. Once set up, he can use that Google Voice account to conduct any number of scams against other victims that won’t come back directly to him. He can also use that code to gain access to, and take over, your gmail account.

If you do get scammed, check Google’s website for information on how to take back control of that virtual voice account. 

Here are some ways to avoid getting scammed in the first place:

  • Never share a Google verification code with others.
  • Only deal with buyers, sellers and Fluffy-finders in person. If money is to exchange hands, make sure you are using legitimate payment processors.
  • Don’t give out your email address to buyers/sellers conducting business via phone.
  • Don’t let someone rush you into a sale. If they are pressuring you to respond, they are likely trying to manipulate you into acting without thinking.

If you believe you are the victim of an online scam, report it to FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.

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TT - End of Year - GRAPHIC - December 28, 2021
TT - End of Year - GRAPHIC - December 28, 2021
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: End of Year Scams (Photo) - 12/28/21

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense as we close out 2021.

You managed to navigate the holiday season, and you have almost made it to the new year. There are just a few last-minute things you need to watch out for.

First up – charity fraud. You have until the 31st to make those end-of-year donations to charities so that you can claim the deductions on this year’s taxes. 

Charity scams can come to you in many forms: emails, social media posts, crowdfunding platforms, cold calls, or even text messages. Always use caution and do your research.

  • Give to established charities or groups whose work you know and trust.
  • Be aware of organizations with copycat names or names similar to reputable organizations.
  • Check the charity’s track record on the Federal Trade Commission's website.
  • Give using a check or credit card. If a charity or organization asks you to donate through cash, gift card, virtual currency, or wire transfer, it's probably a scam.

Moving on – there are two more end-of-year concerns we want to warn you about. The first is payroll or benefit fraud. Employees may not be surprised to get a notice, purportedly from HR, to log into and check their online accounts as we hit the calendar change from one year to the next. As soon as the employee clicks on the conveniently-provided bad link, malware downloads to the system, and the bad actor now has access to your employee’s personal and financial info.

The second concern involves the payroll office itself. As your finance staff is preparing end-of-year reports, they may receive a bogus email – allegedly from the IRS – asking for Social Security numbers, bank account information, and the like.

In both cases, the best defense is a strong offense:

  • Train your employees to never click on links or attachments. 
  • Train employees to never give out log-in credentials or personally identifying information in response to any email.
  • Direct employees to forward suspicious requests for personal information to the IT or HR department.
  • Ensure that log-in credentials used for payroll purposes differ from those used for other purposes, such as employee surveys.

That wraps it up for this year. Have a great and safe New Years. 

And, as always, if you are the victim of this or any other online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.  

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