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News Releases
FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against the Dangers of Using Social Media While Traveling - 11/21/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against the dangers of using social media while traveling.

You know you've been there. You are scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, and your friends are posting annoying photos of themselves at some beautifully exotic beach... or mountain climbing in some gorgeous remote location. Some day... you think... you will be the one to show off your family photo from the happiest place on earth. Or, maybe, a shot of yourself lounging on a sailboat in the Caribbean.

Social media is often the fastest and easiest way to communicate -- that is make your friends jealous -- when you are away. But hitting "submit" on that post it is not always the safest way to go.

By telling people where you are -- and are not -- you are giving criminals a huge advantage. Here are just some of the ways you are making yourself, and your family, vulnerable:

* Burglars now know that your home is an easier target.

* Family members may become more susceptible to virtual kidnapping scams. The bad guy knows you are traveling in whatever country. He calls your mom, convinces her you have been taken hostage and demands money. She can't get ahold of you because you are busy parasailing, and she ends up paying the ransom while fearing for your life.

* Fraudsters can use your flight info or other details to launch a "phishing" attack on you. You receive an email or text from your supposed airline about your flight... only to find out later that you have now downloaded malware or given out more personal info that can be used for identity theft.

So what to do?

* Check your social media account privacy settings to make sure you are using the most secure options available. Only let chosen friends view your account.

* Resist the urge for more followers, and only accept those people you know face-to-face as friends.

* Don't post pictures on your feeds until you return home.

* Don't post information about your flights, hotel reservations or specific activities that you are doing. Likewise, do not "check in" from any of these locations.

* Finally, take this time to just unplug and enjoy. There will be plenty of opportunities to make your friends jealous after you return.

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.

FBI Arrests Portland Man on Child Pornography Production Charge: Juan "Carlos" Ramon Has Reportedly Held Significant Positions of Trust with Children - 11/17/17

FBI Agents arrested Juan "Carlos" Ramon for production of child pornography at his Portland home on Thursday, November 16, 2017. According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, Ramon allegedly approached two young Louisiana girls via an app called "Musical.ly" The complaint further alleges that Ramon convinced the children, ages 6 and 8, to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves. A musical.ly user has the ability to generate a video, generally lasting between 15 seconds and 1 minute, which the user can then share with others using the site.

The complaint further alleges that Ramon contacted many other minors for explicit material.

Investigators believe Ramon may have had the opportunity for direct contact with children over a period of years as a result of various jobs he has held. Investigators believe that Ramon is currently employed by El Programa Hispano Católico (Catholic Charities) in Gresham. They also believe he previously worked for Metropolitan Family Service's SUN School program in Gresham.

The FBI offers this advice to concerned parents:

Parents who have a child who has come in contact with Mr. Ramon should let their child know that he has been arrested for inappropriate behavior with a child. Parents should tell their child that if Mr. Ramon did, or said, anything inappropriate to them to let them know. If a child discloses an incident that did happen to him or her, or that they observed happen to someone else, the parent should not ask the child detailed questions about the incident. Instead, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the FBI at (503) 224-4181.

This investigation began in late June 2017 when a family contacted the Ouachita Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff's Office about what was believed to be victimization of children. A deputy sheriff with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office who also serves as a Task Force Officer with the FBI's New Orleans Office and is assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force there, investigated this case.

Ramon made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak today and was ordered detained.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

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FBI Increases Reward in Hunt for Sex Trafficking Suspect - 11/17/17

UPDATE

Fugitive Kamau Curnal turned himself in to the U.S. Marshals Service in Seattle on the evening of Thursday, November 16, 2017. The arrest was without incident. Curnal will appear at 2:00 pm today in front of Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida in the Seattle Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart Street.

The FBI would like to thank the Washington and Oregon media for their assistance in bringing this fugitive investigation to a conclusion.

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*********************

The FBI's Portland Division is increasing the reward being offered to up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Kamau Kambui Leland Curnal, age 29. In October 2016, a federal grand jury in Oregon charged Curnal with one count of sex trafficking of a child and one count of transportation of a minor for the purposes of prostitution. The indictment alleges that Curnal and a second man, Terrence T. Barnes (aka Aaron Barnes), drove a minor victim from Portland to Seattle as part of a trafficking operation. The FBI arrested Barnes in November 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Although the charges stem from alleged criminal activity in Oregon, Curnal is believed to have extensive ties to Seattle and may be living in that area. For that reason, the FBI is also running Facebook ads in the Seattle area in an effort to generate new leads.

Aliases: Kamau K. Curnal, Kamau Kambui Carnal, Jr., Kamau Curnal
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185 pounds
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Wanted poster

Curnal should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to contact him directly. If in the immediate vicinity, call 911. Anyone with general information or tips about the location of Curnal is asked to call the FBI office in his or her area. In Portland, the number is (503) 224-4181. In Seattle, the number is (206) 622-0460.

All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

FBI Wanted Poster: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/human-trafficking/kamau-kambui-leland-curnal

FBI Arrests North Bend Man for Distribution of Child Pornography - 11/14/17

FBI agents, with the assistance of the North Bend Police Department, arrested Kirk Douglas McAmis, age 53, based on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution of child pornography. The arrest, made on November 9, 2017, was without incident.

North Bend Police Investigators are making contact with persons and organizations in the community where McAmis is known to have had contact. Anyone with concerns about interactions between McAmis and other persons known to them should contact the North Bend Police Department at (541) 756-3161.

McAmis is currently lodged in the Lane County Jail. A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Assistant United States Attorney Amy Potter is prosecuting this case.

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FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Business Email Compromise - 11/14/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against new version of the Business Email Compromise Scam.

We've talked about this kind of scheme before. The traditional scam starts with Company A, Company B and the fraudster who jumps in between the two. The scammer uses an email address almost identical to the one used by a business executive at Company A as he communicates with a vendor or customer at Company B. The scammer is trying to convince that vendor at Company B to route a payment into the scammer's personal bank account instead of the Company A account. Usually the businesses have a long-standing relationship, and a request to have a big dollar invoice paid by wire transfer doesn't raise any flags.

The newer version of the scam that we are talking about today goes one step further. The scammer isn't just pretending to be the CEO or CFO of Company A -- he actually takes over that persona. He has hacked that executive's email account, and he can get in to read, receive or send emails at will. As an added twist, he can set rules within the email account to automatically forward to himself any email that includes a particular keyword or is from a particular sender. The emails pass through the legitimate executive's account in a virtual sense -- but that executive may never even see them as they get deleted from his inbox immediately.

So what can businesses do? Here are a few options:

* Avoid free web-based email accounts. Establish a company domain name and use it to create formal email addresses for your employees.

* Check the "rules" setting on your account periodically to ensure that no one has set up auto-forwarding for your emails.

* Be careful what you post to social media and your company website,
especially information about who has which specific job duties. Also be cautious about using out-of-office replies that give too much detail about when your executives are out of the mix.

* Require two-factor verification for money transfers, particularly big ones. For example -- you could require a telephone call to confirm significant wire transfers. Be sure to set up this protocol early in the business relationship and outside the email environment. When the fraudster hacks your email account, you don't want him to be able to see how to evade your security protocols.
* When confirming requests, don't rely on phone numbers or email addresses embedded in the request. Look up the number from an external source when calling.

* Require your employees to use two-factor authentication to access corporate email accounts. They would need two pieces of information to log-in... something they know (such as a password) and something they have (such as a dynamic PIN that changes constantly).

* Train your employees to watch for suspicious requests -- such as a change in a vendor's payment location.

* Train your employees to avoid clicking on links or attachments from unknown senders. Doing so could download malware onto your company's computers, making you vulnerable to a hack.

If you have been victimized by this scam or any other online scam, contact 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 Lottery Scams - 11/07/17

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

Do you ever daydream about what you would you do if you won the lottery? Even if you only buy a ticket once in awhile, I would bet that many of you do what I do -- and that is regularly dream of a life suddenly enriched by millions of dollars. Unfortunately, criminals know how to capitalize on your financial fantasies. In 2016, 72 Oregonians reported to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center that they had been victimized in a lottery scam.

So what is a lottery scam? It starts when you receive a notification that you hit the jackpot. The notification might come in the form of a phone call, letter or email, and it can be pretty convincing. The voice on the other end of the line might sound very professional, or the letter might be from a legitimate-sounding organization. The scammer wants to sound genuine, because he needs you to trust him as he launches into Phase 2.

Phase 2 starts when the scammer asks for money or information. You need to give him your bank account info so he can send you your money, of course. Or, you need to pay taxes before you can receive your winnings. Sounds reasonable, I guess? Or, you just need to pay for a few legal documents to be created. Whatever the excuse, the fraudster needs you to do something before you can claim your prize. Usually, the amounts he asks you to pay initially won't be very large, because he wants to keep stringing you along for as long as he can. In the end, though, these small payments add up. Some victims have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of many years.

So how do you protect yourself?
* Be wary of strangers offering you lots of money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country. Note that it is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.

* Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to the delivery of your prize.

* Don't give your banking information to strangers or unfamiliar organizations.

* Remember, if you didn't enter a lottery, you probably didn't win one.

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

FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Impersonation Scams - 10/31/17

Don't get fooled on this Halloween holiday !

This week in the FBI's Tech Tuesday Segment: building a digital defense against law enforcement impersonators.

Officers, deputies and agents join law enforcement agencies to help protect the people they serve and to bring a sense of justice to our communities. However, when a scam artist exploits that relationship, he can destroy a person's trust in both law enforcement and government in general. These scams are easy and lucrative, and the results can be financially and emotionally devastating. According to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, U.S. victims reported impersonation crimes more than 12,000 times in 2016, resulting in more than $12 million in losses.

So how does it work? A fraudster calls, texts or emails you - pretending to be some kind of official from a local, state or federal agency. He tells you that you are in big legal trouble, and the only way out is for you to make a payment immediately. He will use social engineering tactics to stress you out in hopes of getting you to make a quick decision without thinking things through. Here are some examples of how this works:

Say someone contacts you tomorrow claiming to be from the FBI. The fraudster may say he is calling on behalf of the Director's office or in the name of the local Special Agent in Charge. He may use the FBI seal or other graphics to make the communication look legit. He may even spoof - or copy - a local FBI phone number so it looks real. The caller will tell you that you are under investigation for some crime, but if you want to settle the matter immediately you can. If you don't -- then you could be arrested and anything you own will be confiscated.

A similar variation involves jury duty scams. In this case, the scam artist pretends to be from the U.S. Marshals service or county judge's office. He says that you missed a recent summons to serve, and you now must pay a huge fine or risk jail.

So how do you know who is real and who is not? Know that no law enforcement officer is going to ask you to pay up or provide personal information over the phone, by email or by text. Here are some ideas on what you can do if you are contacted by someone suspicious:

* Don't fall for high-pressure tactics. A legitimate officer or agent is not going to tell you that you have to pay "right this minute or else..."
* Do not pay a government debt via pre-paid cards or wire transfers. Fraudsters will often ask for payment this way.
* Ask to call the person back. Look up the number online yourself, and call to confirm whether the person is legitimate. We in the FBI get calls all the time from community members who say they are just checking back to see if a person who identified himself as an FBI agent is real. Oftentimes, they are not. We would much prefer you call to check before giving away money than after.
* Do not give anyone financial or personal information unless you initiate the contact and are 100% confident about with whom you are talking. This includes your bank account, credit card and social security numbers.

If you have been victimized by this scam or any other online scam, contact 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 Cloud Computing Dangers - 10/24/17

Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against the risks that come with cloud computing.

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses using cloud computing services.

If your business uses a cloud computing service, your data is stored on hardware owned by and housed at a different company. You access your information via a web-based service that you can log into from any of your company's computers.

This system has its advantages. For example, it shifts the responsibility of buying and maintaining hardware and software from your business to your cloud computing service provider. You only need the right software and some computers from which you can run it.

However, cloud computing also comes with its own set of risks. The two biggest concerns? Losing access to your data and someone else stealing your data.

Losing access to your data can be caused by malware. This includes ransomware -- where the bad guy demands money in exchange for returning your files -- and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks -- where the bad guy blocks your access by flooding your cloud computing service with requests. It can also be caused by something as simple as a power outage if the service provider doesn't take the proper precautions.

Stealing your data is primarily achieved through malware, particularly browser attacks. In a browser attack, the bad guy might be able to see what keys you press -- including your passwords - record your browser session, or intercept communication between you and your database.

So how do you protect yourself? Ask questions!

* Does your cloud service provider have adequate backups and redundancies? If the company hosts a back-up copy of your data separate from the primary files, it could make it available to you in the case of a ransomware attack or a hardware failure.
* Does your provider have adequate logging? If there is an attack, you want your cloud service company to have a clear idea of what happened so that it can patch its security against future attacks.
* Does your provider have a distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation plan? The key phrase to listen for is "black hole." In this context, a black hole is an inactive or unused IP address where the unwanted traffic from a DDoS attack can be sent without notifying the bad guy.
* Are strong password requirements enforced? Do you use two-factor authentication? Yes, bad guys might still be able to get your data without directly logging into your account -- but why make it easy for them?
* Do your employees know what a "phishing" attempt may look like and how to respond? They should be very aware of how this social engineering technique works and know not to click on any embedded links.
* Finally, is your data encrypted at rest and in transit? You want legitimate users to be the only ones with the opportunity to read it.

For more information on cloud computing security or cyber crimes, check out the FBI's website at www.fbi.gov. If you have been the victim of any internet crime, you can file an online report at the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.