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TT_Summer_Safety.PNG
TT_Summer_Safety.PNG
FBI Oregon Tech Tuesday: Building a Defense with Summer Safety Tips For Parents and Kids (Photo) - 06/28/22

Today's Topic: Summer Safety Tips for Parents and Kids 

Today’s children live in a world of rapidly evolving technology that sometimes even their parents struggle to understand.  Computers, mobile phones, and video games connect our children to the world, but also expose them to hidden dangers. Online predators, identity thieves, and cyber bullies use online gaming platforms, social media, and chat apps to target underage victims.  Summer is here, and the summer break is a time when kids tend to spend more time online where they can be exposed to these hidden dangers.  

Here are some tips for parents and kids this summer: 

Be involved and understand your child’s internet activity.   

Know the devices your child has access to and familiarize yourself with the social media sites, apps, and online games they use to communicate with their friends. Get involved in your kids’ online world to understand what they do online and who they communicate with. Parents should also be aware of their children’s access to the internet outside of the home. 

Set clear rules and closely monitor your child’s online activity.   

Take advantage of free parental control options and designate one place in the home where your children are allowed to access the internet.  

Teach appropriate and safe use of the internet.   

Discuss internet safety with children of all ages when they begin to engage in online activity and use internet enabled devices. The most important messages to teach are simple – many people online are not who they say they are, never communicate with people you don’t know, and be careful about what you share. Some adults use the internet to hide who they are by pretending to be an age-appropriate or relatable friend.   

Teach children to communicate only with people they know in real life – friends they see regularly and trusted relatives.   

Teach good cyber hygiene.  

Start with the basics. Teach children to use strong passwords, choose appropriate screen names, and adjust privacy settings to control who can view their profiles. Parents should also talk to their kids about the dangers of sharing personal information such as their home address, school, or class schedule, and the consequences of posting inappropriate content such revealing photos or videos or making hoax threats.   

It’s never too early to start these conversations.  

These conversations not only warn children about online dangers but can open lines of communication that make it easier for kids to approach their parents without fear of judgment or punishment.   

What should you do if your child does become a victim?  

Do not attempt to take matters into your own hands or communicate with the predator. Immediately contact local police, your local FBI Field Office, or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Report the issue to the social media platform as well.   

By understanding your child’s internet activity and setting rules and expectations for them, you can help direct your child towards safer internet habits. You can’t always be there when they go online, but you can empower them with the right tools to navigate the Internet safely and avoid dangerous connections. 

Resources  

FBI's Safe Online Surfing (SOS) program   

NetSmartz Online Safety Education Program  

Protecting Your Kids  

 

TT- Elder Graphic
TT- Elder Graphic
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Elder Fraud (Photo) - 06/21/22

Welcome to this week’s FBI Portland Tech Tuesday segment, I’m Dixon Land with the FBI. Today’s Topic: Safeguarding you and your loved ones from elder fraud schemes. 

You’re entering the final season in your life, and you’ve worked hard over the years to earn enough to live comfortably. But your nest egg could be just tempting enough to be the target of scammers looking to take it from you. The FBI, alongside other federal law enforcement and protection agencies is warning elder Americans – beware of scammers. This message also applies to those looking out for elders – many times we take care of our elders, including managing finances. 

Seniors can be especially vulnerable targets to attackers – the usually have financial savings, own a home, have good credit – just to name a few. They also may be less inclined to report fraud because they are either ashamed at having been scammed or might not know how. 

Some of the most common elder fraud schemes committed, include romance scams – where an elder may be looking for love online and is convinced to give money to someone they’ve never met in person. Another big scam is the so-called, “Grandparent scam” where criminals pose as a relative – usually a child or grandchild and claiming to be in immediate financial need. 

Tech support scams targeting elders also make up a significant number of reports compiled by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Other common elder fraud schemes can include government impersonation scams, fake sweepstakes and lottery scams, home repair scams and caregiver scams. 

It’s important that both elders and caregivers know how to spot elder scams and ways to mitigate the risk of falling victim to one. For example, be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings and door-to-door service offers. Never give out any personally identifiable information, either over the phone, online, or in person, to people or businesses you don’t know. 

In addition, resist the urge to act quickly. Many times, a scammer will try to create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure you into immediate action. Call police immediately if you feel there is danger to yourself or a loved one.

Online, there’s a few other steps you can take, like ensuring all computer anti-virus and malware protection software is up to date. Make sure to use reputable anti-virus software or have a trusted family member or friend help you set it up. Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you. 

If you have become a victim or have a loved one that is, report that fraud immediately to your financial institutions and have them place temporary protections and monitoring on your account for suspicious activity. You should also report the scheme to the FBI via the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. When reporting, include as many details as possible, such as the name of the scammer or company, dates of contact, and communications made, any payments made, and so on. And remember to preserve any original documentation or communication with the scammer. 

Scammers will continue to try to take advantage of you. Make sure you’re doing all you can to protect yourself from becoming a victim. I’m Dixon Land with the FBI and this has been your Tech Tuesday. 

_________________________________ 

Sourcing: 

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud

 

TT - Adoption Scams - GRAPHIC - June 14, 2022
TT - Adoption Scams - GRAPHIC - June 14, 2022
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Adoption Scams (Photo) - 06/14/22

Welcome to this week’s FBI Portland Tech Tuesday segment, I’m Dixon Land with the FBI. Today’s Topic: Beware of Falling Victim to Adoption Fraud. 

Image this scenario: You’ve talked through all the concerns and you’re ready to do it. You’re ready to adopt a child. So, you get online and find the perfect adoption service provider and EVEN BETTER – they’ve found a match for you. But is it too good to be true? 

The FBI warns of adoption fraud – where unethical adoption service providers may take advantage of an emotionally charged process to deceive or defraud prospective parents during the adoption process. 

It can happen in any number of ways, but here are three common ones: 

Double matching. Double matching occurs when a baby is matched to more than one prospective adoptive parent. 

Fabricated matching. This scheme occurs when a prospective adoptive parent or parents are matched to a fictitious birth mother, a “birth mother” who’s not pregnant, or a birth mother who is not genuinely interested in placing a baby up for adoption.

Finally, the third common scheme is fee-related adoption schemes. These occur when adoption service providers require prospective adoptive parents to pay exorbitant fees upfront or on a recurring basis but fail to provide services promised. 

Victims can spend up to thousands of dollars on medical bills and fees associated with the adoption process, only to find that they’ve been scammed.  

If you’re looking to adopt, be sure of red flags to look out for: things like lack of proof of pregnancy, or inadequate details, like missing dates. An urgency to sign documents you don’t fully understand or to falsify statements or documents, can also be red flags. 

Make sure to do your homework on adoption service providers. Make sure of their qualifications such as professional licenses or education. Be careful if they are unusually hard to reach or quote highly negotiable or inconsistent fees. 

Finally, birth parents should recognize signs of an exploitative situation, which could include being coerced or manipulated into placing a child up for adoption, getting assigned prospective adoptive parents without being involved in the choice, or being pressured to follow through with an adoption or being told you will have to repay covered expenses if you change your mind. 

If you believe you or someone you know has been a victim of adoption fraud or are aware of scammers attempting to commit a form of adoption fraud, let the FBI know. Contact the FBI online through tips.fbi.gov. If this fraud is internet-related, you can also contact the FBI through www.ic3.gov

This has been your weekly Tech Tuesday segment. I’m Dixon Land, with FBI Portland.  

_____________________________________ 

Sourcing: 

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/adoption-fraud

TT - Protect Wallet - GRAPHIC - June 7, 2022
TT - Protect Wallet - GRAPHIC - June 7, 2022
FBI Oregon Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense to Protect Your Wallet (Photo) - 06/07/22

Welcome to this week’s FBI Portland Tech Tuesday segment, I’m Dixon Land with the FBI. Today’s Topic: Protecting Your Wallet.  

It’s happened to a lot of us – you get that text or phone call from your bank and apparently, you’ve just been on a shopping spree at stores on the other side of the country. What’s more – it looks like you’re not stopping anytime soon. 

It’s time to freeze the account. And in that situation, the Federal Trade Commission says it’s best to immediately call your bank and report the loss or theft if you notice the transactions before the bank does. 

If you lose your card, or it’s stolen – it’s also best to call the card issuer right away. You should also send a letter to the card issuer and include important details such as your account number and when you noticed your card was missing, the FTC says. 

Of course, an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure, so make sure to keep a close eye on your accounts online – make sure to only provide card information to reputable sources and businesses and be careful of online scams. Set up fraud and spending alerts on your accounts, so you’ll be notified when something doesn’t look right, and keep a watchful eye on your bank statements and dispute unauthorized charges. 

You should also keep a close eye on your credit. Through the big three credit bureaus – you can check and monitor your credit score. Remember, the Fair Credit Report Act requires that credit bureaus give you a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, as well as fix any mistakes or errors in the information they’ve collected about you. 

Remember to protect all your financial information by doing the following things: keep any financial documents or receipts in a safe place – and if you do dispose of them, use a shredder. Only carry the cards you’ll need in your wallet and NEVER write the pin or passwords for these cards on the actual card itself. 

When accessing your financial accounts online, set up two-factor authentication – an additional layer of protection against scammers. Two factor can be as simple as having the account send a text to your phone with a passcode or a scan of your fingerprint or face. 

And remember, if you are a victim of fraud, report it immediately to your bank. Then, report to the FTC or the FBI at reportfraud.ftc.gov or at ic3.gov. 

___________________________________ 

More details and sourcing: 

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/lost-or-stolen-credit-atm-debit-cards

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/protect-your-personal-information-data#mfa

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/consumer-fraud-schemes