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News Releases
FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Virtual Kidnapping Scams - 08/15/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against virtual kidnapping scams.

So what is a virtual kidnapping scam? It starts with a phone call, text or email. The scammer tells you that he has abducted your child, grandchild or maybe a spouse - and he demands money in exchange for their safe return. Sound familiar? It is the opening scene of a lot of movies and TV shows. However, there is a key difference between kidnapping with intent to ransom -- which is very rare - and virtual kidnapping -- which happens a lot. In a virtual kidnapping, the bad guy hasn't actually abducted anyone. He just wants you to think that he has.

The scammer's goal is to stress you out so much that you don't take time to consider that the kidnapping is fake. He might try to intimidate you by pretending to be a gang member or a corrupt police officer. He might tell you that your loved one owes him money for a car accident, drug debt, or something similar that could discourage you from calling law enforcement. In some cases, scammers have even had an accomplice scream in the background. In almost all cases, the bad guy will threaten violence against his "victim" if you disobey him. He often has the ability to spoof -- or copy -- the alleged victim's number. He wants to cause panic, fear, and a sense of urgency, because those feelings stop you from thinking clearly.

So how do you protect yourself?

* Be cautious about what you post on social media. In particular, consider waiting to post about foreign travel until after you return. Some scammers call every number with a certain area code, but others research their targets.
* Let the people close to you know when you will be travelling to places without cell service or internet connection.
* Know the red flags: Did the call come from a phone other than the victim's? Was the call from an area code far from where your loved one lives? Did the caller insist that the ransom had to be paid by wire transfer? Did he try to keep you on the phone?
* If you do receive a ransom call, try to stay calm. Slow the situation down by writing things down or telling the caller that you need time to do what he's asking. Request to speak to the victim. Try to contact your loved one by other means, such as text or social media.
* Remember -- stranger-to-stranger kidnappings are very rare. However, if you believe a real kidnapping has occurred or if you are not sure, call 911.

Overall, when it comes to online scams -- if you feel as though a fraudster has victimized you, report your suspicions to law enforcement. You can file an online report at the FBI's Internet Crime Compliant Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Chase - Springfield - Aug 9, 2017 b
Chase - Springfield - Aug 9, 2017 b
FBI and Springfield Police Ask for Help to Identify Bank Robber (Photo) - 08/10/17

The FBI and the Springfield Police Department are asking of the public's help identifying and locating a man who robbed a Chase Bank branch located inside the Fred Meyer store at 650 Q Street at about 5 pm on Wednesday, August 9th.

The man approached the teller counter, demanded cash, received an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot out of the store.

Witnesses describe the robber as:

White man
Age: 30's
Height: 5'3" - 5'5"
Build: Slender to medium
Clothing: Long-sleeved green/blue/white plaid shirt, jeans, brown shoes or boots, sunglasses and a blue baseball cap. The cap has white stripes or details along the seams across the top.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the FBI in Eugene at (541) 343-5222, the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 or Springfield Police Detective Tony DelCastillo at (541) 726-2336.

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FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against the Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Networks - 08/08/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against the dangers of peer-to-peer networks.

The internet -- and the new technologies that are flourishing in this environment -- are important resources both at work and at home. They shrink the world and allow us to communicate in ways that just 10 or 20 years ago would have been impossible.

But higher reward often brings higher risk, and the use of peer-to-peer networks is no exception. These networks allow users to link their computers with other computers around the world with the intent of sharing files back and forth. Typically, users just install free software and that allows them to find and download files off some other user's hard drive. There are three big concerns with peer to peer networks.

First -- copyright infringement. Just because you can find and download the latest movie or music does not mean it is legal to do so. It is still a federal crime to distribute copyrighted material -- including software and games -- without authorization.

Second -- Child exploitation. The receipt or distribution of child pornography over the internet is devastating to the victims of sexual assault and can bring very long prison sentences for users. Also, because there is no age restriction for use of peer-to-peer services, pornography of all kinds of easily available to anyone of any age.

Not concerned that your kid is breaking the law by downloading music? Maybe you should consider everything else that he may be exposed to. In fact, predators often mislabel files -- perhaps the hottest new game title, for instance -- with the intent of targeting and luring kids for abuse.

Third -- computer hacking. Bad guys regularly use peer-to-peer networks to gain access to unsuspecting users' computers so that they can load malware on the system. Hackers are even writing worms to specifically target peer-to-peer connected systems.

If you know of illegal activity happening on a peer-to-peer network, report your suspicions 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.

FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Sextortion Scams - 08/01/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against sextortion scams.

Last week, we talked about romance scams -- how a fraudster convinces you that your long-distance relationship is real. He then manipulates you into sending money.

Sextortion cases involve something much darker. In addition to asking for money, an extortionist will likely demand that you provide sexual favors or that you send him explicit photos or videos of yourself.

So how does it all start? The fraudster may be an old boyfriend, or, more likely, a distant acquaintance or stranger. He possesses something very private -- photos or information that would embarrass you if he releases them. If you don't comply with his demands, he says, then your family, friends and classmates will know your deepest secrets.

How did he get the information to blackmail you? In some cases, he recorded or obtained recordings of sexually explicit content that the victim shared in what was thought to be a private video chat. In other cases, the extortionist compromised your phone or computer with malware. He now has access to anything you have stored. He may also be able to remotely activate your camera to take photos and videos of you anywhere anytime.

If you find yourself caught in this situation, do not give into his demands. He will continue to harass you as long as you continue to follow through... and every compromising photo or video you give him will only add to his collection with which he can blackmail you.

Contact law enforcement and put an end to his unlawful behavior. It you are a minor, talk to a parent, teacher or counselor right away so they can help you report this criminal.

To avoid falling prey to a sextortionist:

* Never send compromising photos or videos of yourself to anyone -- whether you know them or think you know them.

* Do not open attachments from people you don't know. Clicking on an unsolicited attachment or link can download malware onto your device.

* Turn off your electronic devices and physically block web cameras when you are not using them.

If you have been victimized by this crime or any other online crime, make a report 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.

FBI Military Recruiting
FBI Military Recruiting
FBI Media Advisory: Military Recruiting Event on Wednesday, July 26th (Photo) - 07/25/17

The Portland Division is holding a special recruiting event for active duty military members, reservists, National Guard members and veterans on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to mark the 109th anniversary of the FBI's founding. Currently, more than 120 interested applicants have registered.

** Media wishing to attend the event must pre-register no later than 3 pm on Wednesday. Contact Beth Anne Steele at elizabeth.steele@ic.fbi.gov. **

Schedule:

5 - 6:30 pm - Participants will be able to talk one-on-one with a number of veterans who are already on duty with the FBI and explore some of our specialty teams.

6:30 - 8 pm - Participants will learn about the FBI hiring process and requirements; explore miilitary-specific hiring options; and hear from a panel of current & former military members who are FBI employees.

Background:
Service to your country doesn't have to stop when your military tour of duty is complete. The FBI is looking to hire active duty military members who are close to separation or retirement, as well as reservists, National Guard members, and veterans. Why join the FBI ranks? Through your current or previous service to our country, you have shown that you share our commitment to keeping our country and our communities safe. You share our core values of leadership, respect, integrity, and fairness. You understand what it means to act with fairness, to be accountable, and to honor diversity. The FBI will give you the chance to take the skills you've developed and the values you hold in a new and challenging direction.

For more information on employment with the FBI, go to www.fbijobs.gov

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Attached Media Files: FBI Military Recruiting
FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Romance Frauds - 07/25/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against romance frauds.

For some people, looking for love online can bring a lifetime of roses and long walks on the beach. But for others, the seemingly perfect boyfriend ends up being perfectly horrible.

Anyone can fall victim to this scammer, but most commonly he is going to target women over 40 who are widowed, divorced or disabled. It usually starts with an innocent-enough-sounding contact online. He's likely been watching your social media accounts or gleaned info out of an online dating profile. Amazingly, he likes what you like -- whether that's books, music, sports or whatever. Over time, he starts communicating with you by email or text. He starts calling, and you have long conversations about your life, your future, your love.

And then comes the kicker -- he asks you for money. It may take weeks or months to get to this point -- but just know that he needs the money desperately. He needs it to finish a job so he can come see you. He needs to buy a plane ticket. He is in the military and getting ready to retire or relocate, but he needs cash for moving expenses. Business partners are trying to steal his company, and he must hire a lawyer. There's always some urgent need -- and then another and another. He promises to pay you back soon, but he never does.

Sometimes he is traveling overseas and can't cash a check. He will send it to you to ask you to cash it and wire the money back to him. Maybe the check is bogus -- or illegal proceeds that you have now laundered for him.

It's hard to give up on the love of your life and the future he promised you, but this fraudster won't stop until you do. So what are some warning signs to watch for? Be wary if:

* He presses you to leave a dating website where you met to communicate solely through email or instant messaging.

* He sends you a photo that looks like a glamour shot out of a magazine.

* He professes love quickly.

* He claims to be working and living far away -- whether that's on the other side of the country or overseas.

* Makes plans to visit you but then always has to cancel because of some emergency.

* He asks for money or your help moving money.

Bottom line: never ever send money to someone you met online. The chance that you will ever get your money back is almost zero. Whether you lose just a few thousand dollars or your entire retirement account -- the results can be devastating.

Online dating can lead to life-long relationships, but go into it with your eyes open and make sure to use and dating websites with nationally-known reputations.

If you have been victimized by this scam or any other 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.