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News Releases
TT - Gaming System Sales - GRAPHIC - September 22, 2020
TT - Gaming System Sales - GRAPHIC - September 22, 2020
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Gaming System Sales Frauds (Photo) - 09/22/20

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

We are six months in to the pandemic now, and one thing is clear: life has changed dramatically. Many kids are going to school in their kitchens, we know we must wear a mask to walk into a grocery store, and finding toilet paper is still something to be celebrated. 

One thing that hasn't changed: fraudsters will take advantage of any situation to empty your wallet. One particular crime that we are seeing on the rise in Oregon involves scams related to the purchase of gaming systems. 

Whether you are trying to find one for you kids or yourself, it is obvious that people are desperate to escape the real world with a journey into the virtual world.? Since the pandemic hit, though, finding a Switch or a PlayStation or any other popular gaming system has been difficult.? 

That has people looking online for any deal they can find. Unfortunately, buying a gaming system through an online platform can leave you empty handed. 

In just a couple weeks, we've had more than 20 Oregonians tell us they ordered and paid for a system only to find out they had been scammed. In at least one case, the buyer eventually ended up receiving a box ... but there was no system inside. When he complained to the online platform, the buyer tried to make him pay to send the bogus item back to China. 

Here's how to protect yourself: 

  • Do your research on the seller. Avoid any seller with bad reviews or no reviews. You can also do an online search for the seller's name with the words "scam" or "fraud". 

  • Stick to reputable online platforms with protection policies in place. Know your rights if something goes wrong.? 

  • Make your payment through the online platform's secure service. Do not take the transaction outside that system. 

  • If the price is low, the risk is high. You often get what you pay for. 

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

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Facebook ad - Warm Springs arson
Facebook ad - Warm Springs arson
FBI Offers Reward of up to $10,000 in Fatal Arson Case in Warm Springs (Photo) (Photo) - 09/17/20

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or people responsible for an arson fire that killed one person and injured two others. The Warm Springs Police Department responded to a fire in a home located at 1713 Foster Street at approximately 11:05 p.m. on May 17, 2020. When the officers arrived, they saw flames shooting 15 feet out the front living room window. 

Officers entered the burning home, removed two victims, and provided medical assistance until paramedics arrived. Lamont Brown, age 77, died of his injuries following transport to a medical facility. The second adult victim removed from the residence suffered critical injuries. A third resident was able to exit the residence on her own but suffered serious burn injuries. A fourth person was able to escape through a ground-floor window and was uninjured.

Investigators with the Warm Springs Fire Department, the Jefferson County Fire Department, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office ruled the fire an arson. The FBI and Warm Springs Police Department are jointly investigating this case.

As part of this publicity effort, the FBI has created a "Seeking Information" poster which is attached and can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/structure-fire---arson and a Facebook ad (attached).

Anyone with information concerning this fire is asked to contact the FBI in Bend at (541) 389-1202 during normal business hours, the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 twenty-four hours a day, or the Warm Springs Police Department at (541) 553-3272. Information may also be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov 

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TT_-_Disaster_Fraud_-_GRAPHIC_-_September_15_2020.png
TT_-_Disaster_Fraud_-_GRAPHIC_-_September_15_2020.png
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Disaster Fraud (Photo) - 09/15/20

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

It’s likely you know a friend or family member who had to evacuate their home… maybe even someone who has lost their home in the devastating wildfires we have seen in Oregon in recent days. Social media feeds and the news are filled with heartbreaking images of entire towns wiped out and people struggling to get by. It is a time for our community to come together to help our neighbors. 

As you consider how you want to help or to which organizations you want to donate, though, we just want you to be careful. For obvious reasons, charity scams spike after significant events like these fires.

Fraudsters prey on your feelings of helplessness. They create fake social media accounts and websites to make it easy for you to give. Just click the link, and you will feel like you’ve made a difference. Unfortunately, if you pick the wrong organization, those most in need will never see your donation.  

Along with the Federal Trade Commission, we offer these tips for safe giving: 

  • Donate to charities you know and trust. 

  • Designate the donation to go to a specific disaster relief effort as opposed to a general fund.  

  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited e-mails, texts, or social media posts. 

  • Verify the legitimacy of any solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. 

  • Do your research. Use the the Federal Trade Commission's resources to examine the track record of a charity. 

  • Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to, but not exactly the same as, those of reputable charities. 

  • Avoid charities that ask for you to pay by cash, gift card, virtual currency, or wire transfer.  

  • Pay by credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals. 

  • Know that most legitimate charity websites end in .org rather than .com. 

  • Make contributions directly, rather than relying on others to make a contribution on your behalf. 

Those affected by the fires can use your help – and there are plenty of legitimate charities out there to do that work. You just need to do your research before giving. 

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

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Fire Statement 1 of 2
Fire Statement 1 of 2
FBI Releases Statement on Misinformation Related to Wildfires (Photo) - 09/11/20

FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away from local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources. 

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TT - SOS - GRAPHIC - September 8, 2020
TT - SOS - GRAPHIC - September 8, 2020
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense for Online School (Photo) - 09/08/20

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense as your kids head back to school online.

Last week we talked about steps that parents could take to ensure that you are prepared to manage your child’s online environment in our new virtual world. We covered topics such as platform safety, data retention, and privacy matters. Today, we are going to talk about ways that you can help your children learn to be safe as they navigate cyber school.

We have an easy way to help you start those discussions about appropriate online behavior and the damage that they can do to themselves and others if they make poor choices. The FBI has a cyber citizenship program called Safe Online Surfing – or SOS – to teach kids in third through eighth grade about safe and responsible internet use. The interactive, game-based program emphasizes the importance of cyber safety topics such as password security, smart surfing habits, and the safeguarding of personal information.

This free program can be used by families at home or by teachers in the schools. Kids can work at their own pace to complete the island activities and don't have to finish in one sitting. The FBI does not keep individual student data. For more information about the SOS program, go to https://sos.fbi.gov 

For those with teens in the family, here are some other steps to take: 

  • Make sure you know what apps are on all the devices in your home. 
  • Check your child’s devices and accounts regularly. Parents should have the passwords to every device and every app or social media platform the student is using. 
  • Make clear your expectations about appropriate behavior and privacy.
  • Make sure your kids keep passwords and PINs a secret from classmates. Even friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want.  
  • Make sure they set their privacy settings to the highest levels on all devices and social media accounts. Emphasize that they should only share their thoughts and appropriate photos with friends – not friends of friends or complete strangers.  

Finally, we are lucky that in Oregon we have a really effective program to help kids deal with cyber bullying and other threats. It’s called Safe Oregon, and it is a program that brings law enforcement and school officials together to help kids. You can report cyber bullying to Safe Oregon online at https://www.safeoregon.com/ There’s also information on that website about other ways you can report concerns by calling, texting or emailing. Choose the option that works best for you. 

Thanks, and have a great week.

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TT - Online School Safety - GRAPHIC - September 1, 2020
TT - Online School Safety - GRAPHIC - September 1, 2020
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense for Students Heading Back to School Online (Photo) - 09/01/20

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense with education technology as Oregon students start heading back to school in an online environment. Today we are talking about how cyber actors are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit increased use of virtual environments.  

School districts across the United States are working to address a dynamically changing learning environment. The FBI acknowledges everyone is adjusting to these demands, but the FBI encourages parents and families to: 

Do: 

  • Closely monitor children's use of edtech and online services. 

  • Research edtech service user agreements about data breach notifications, marketing, and/or selling of user data, data retention practices, and whether users and/or parents can elect to have student data deleted by request. 

  • Conduct regular internet searches of children's information to monitor the exposure and spread of their information on the internet. 

  • Consider credit or identity theft monitoring to check for any fraudulent use of their child's identity. 

  • Research parent coalition and information-sharing organizations available online for those looking for support and additional resources. 

  • Research school-related, edtech, and other related vendor cyber breaches, which can further inform families of student data and security vulnerabilities. 

Don't: 

  • Provide exact information on children when creating user profiles (e.g., use initials instead of full names, avoid using exact dates of birth, avoid including photos, etc.) 

If you have evidence your child's data may have been compromised, if you are the victim of an internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov

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TT - Health Apps - GRAPHIC - August 25, 2020
TT - Health Apps - GRAPHIC - August 25, 2020
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense with Health & Fitness Apps (Photo) - 08/25/20

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against apps that might know a little bit more about you than you realize. 

We are talking about health apps and fitness trackers. The technology is amazing – it can check your heart rate, count how many steps you take in a day – even evaluate your sleep. There is definitely a lot of good that can come out such apps and devices Today, though, we want you to be a little more aware of the information the technology is collecting and give you some simple steps to take to protect your personal information.  

Let’s start by talking about what’s out there. 

Native apps are those that come with your phone’s operating system. They analyze your movements through the day and gather input from your device. Examples of these apps include Apple Health and Samsung Health. 

Hardware-independent apps bring together information that you input, information provided by various fitness-tracking devices that you’ve linked to your account, and informatifrom from your phone to create a profile of your health and fitness. Google Fit falls into this category. 

Hardware-dependent apps analyze data from a specific brand of wearable fitness tracker. The app and the physical device are made by the same company. Examples of this are Fitbit and Garmin Connect.

Because these apps and trackers store personal information about your daily life, it’s important that you secure your accounts. You can choose what you want to share with the world, of course – but here are some options if you are privacy-conscious. 

  • Review your security settings to ensure that you know if your app or device is sharing data with other apps or devices. Also check to see if the device is tracking your location and sharing that info. These settings can change with updates, so check frequently. 

  • Research how to request archives and how to delete your health and fitness data with the wearable manufacturer before beginning to use the device.

  • Consider not connecting your social network profiles to your trackers or apps. 

  • When registering for an account, only provide the most basic information. Consider using initials or an anonymous username when possible.  

  • Only enable connections such as Bluetooth, WiFi, or near-field communication (NFC) when you need to transmit data. Turn the connections off when you aren’t.  

As always, if you have fallen victim to an online fraud, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov) at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.

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