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News Releases
TT - Check Cashing - GRAPHIC - August 20, 2019
TT - Check Cashing - GRAPHIC - August 20, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Check Cashing Scams (Photo) - 08/20/19

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

There are lots of new apps these days that allow you to instantaneously pay friends and family for your share of dinner, a movie or the upcoming summer vacation. With all of this technology, checks might seem like an ancient form of payment. However, checks are still popular with consumers and, of course, scammers. In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – or IC3.gov – is reporting a rise in in the number of Oregonians who say they’ve been hit by a check cashing scam.

Here is how the fraud works: Imagine you have a stereo that you have been needing to get off your hands for months. Garage sales can be so much work that you decide to try selling the stereo online. A few hours after posting it, you get an offer from a potential buyer. The buyer says that he will send you a check as payment for the stereo. At this point, the scam can go one of two ways:

  1. After receiving the check from the ‘buyer’, you send the stereo, only to discover later that the check you received was fraudulent.
  2. After receiving the check from the ‘buyer’, the ‘buyer’ claims that he changed his mind about the purchase and asks for a refund. The victim then sends legitimate funds as refund before discovering that the initial check had been fraudulent.

While both versions of this scam are prevalent, it is the second option that Oregonians are reporting more frequently. Our friends at the Federal Trade Commission have some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Never take a check for more than your selling price.
  • Never send money back to someone who sent you a check.
  • The law requires banks to make deposited funds available quickly. However, just because the check has cleared does not mean that it is good. It will sometimes take the bank days to learn that a check is bad.
  • If you are selling online, consider using a secure online payment service.

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

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The FBI and Benton Co. Sheriff's Office Arrest Corvallis Man on Child Porn Charge - 08/15/19

On Tuesday, August 13, 2019, FBI agents arrested Thang Minh Van, 22, of Corvallis, in connection with an investigation begun by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.

On July 3, 2019, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Van’s home in the 3900 block of NW Walnut Place in Corvallis.  The search warrant was related to the alleged illegal distribution of child sexual abuse material over the internet. At that time, deputies seized numerous computers and electronic devices.

Following a joint investigation by the Benton County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, agents obtained a federal criminal complaint charging Van with distribution and possession of child pornography. The arrest on Tuesday was without incident. Following Van’s initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Eugene, the judge released Van on pre-trial supervision. His next scheduled court appearance is on October 9th.

The FBI and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office encourage the public to report any suspected child sexual abuse material online to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at http://CyberTipline.org.  NCMEC continuously reviews CyberTipline reports to ensure that reports of children who may be in imminent danger get first priority. After NCMEC’s review is completed, all information in a CyberTipline report is made available to law enforcement.

The Corvallis Police Department and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation with help from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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TT - Weight Loss Scams - GRAPHIC - August 13, 2019
TT - Weight Loss Scams - GRAPHIC - August 13, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Weight Loss Scams (Photo) - 08/13/19

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

We are in the heat of the summer, and you really want to head to the pool or the beach. Problem is that you just aren’t happy with how you look in that swimsuit that looked cute in the store months ago. You’ve thought about diet and exercise, but those can be hard to get started and harder to maintain. Maybe you see a late night ad on TV or – better yet – get an email or see a social media post from a friend with information on a great new option. It worked for some random online friend, it can work for you, right?

Here’s the problem: scammers will often hack into email accounts and social media accounts, sending messages to that person’s friends and followers. The message will include a fake testimonial about how this new miracle weight-loss option worked for her. The message will often also include a fake celebrity endorsement to make it seem more legitimate. You click on the link – which can load malware onto your device – and then you freely give up your credit card info. You want to lose weight, but, in the end, the only thing you end up losing is your money.

Our friends at the Federal Trade Commission have a few tips to help you avoid this scam:

  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments, even if they appear to come from someone you know.
  • Be wary of weight loss claims that do not include exercise and a change in diet. Anyone saying that they lost more than a pound a week, without changing anything, is probably not telling the truth.
  • Learn how to spot fake news sites. They often include fake celebrity endorsements, supposed satisfied customer endorsements, and dramatic weight loss claims.
  • Before buying a product, do your homework. Research the name of the product with words such as “scam”, “complaints”, and “reviews.”

Bottom line - while those weight-loss ads may be appealing, avoid any pill, cream, or drink that promises weight loss with zero effort.

As always, if you have been a victim of an online scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complain Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.

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TT - Porn Scam - GRAPHIC - August 6, 2019
TT - Porn Scam - GRAPHIC - August 6, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Porn Scams (Photo) - 08/06/19

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

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – or IC3.gov – has been receiving a number of reports lately from Oregonians targeted by porn fraudsters. Here’s how it works: scammers will purchase personal information, such as email addresses and old passwords, on the dark web. They will then use this information to email you, claiming that they have hacked into your computer’s camera and have a video of you watching porn. The fraudster will send you your old password as a scare tactic to convince you that he has successfully hacked into your computer. The scammer then threatens to release this video of you to your family, friends, or coworkers if you don’t pay up. Usually he wants payment in some form of cryptocurrency.

This kind of fraud can be both frustrating and frightening - but it is important to remember that it is a scam. In reality, the scammer likely does not have the contacts of your family and friends, nor does he have a video of you watching porn. What he does have is your email address and a password that you once used.

If you get an email or text with this kind of scam, it is important to remember not to send the cryptocurrency – even if the scammer is using high-pressure tactics or threats to scare you. In addition – make sure you are frequently changing your passwords and using strong passwords on important accounts to guard against security breaches.

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

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TT - Direct Deposit - GRAPHIC - July 30, 2019
TT - Direct Deposit - GRAPHIC - July 30, 2019
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Direct Deposit Scams (Photo) - 07/30/19

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

We have been getting a number of reports lately from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – or IC3.gov – about a particular scam hitting Oregonians hard in recent months.

Here’s how it works. An organization – it can be a government agency, private business, non-profit or educational institution – receives a request from an employee to switch the direct deposit of his paycheck from one account to another. The payroll department responds, sending the supposed employee the required paperwork. The payroll department receives the signed paperwork back, usually with a canceled check for the new account attached. This whole process can happen quickly, sometimes in just a matter of a couple of hours.

The problem is that a fraudster is spoofing the identity of a real employee. Neither the real employee nor the payroll department is aware that there is a problem until the next pay day when the employee doesn’t receive his check.

Employees should always check their bank accounts regularly to confirm that both direct deposits and any withdrawals are legitimate and timely. If you notice something that doesn’t seem right, start making calls right away.

Beyond that, here are some recommendations for employers:

  • Create protocols that require additional scrutiny to banking changes that appear to be requested by employees.
  • If using an online system for payroll changes, require that login credentials used for payroll purposes differ from those used for other purposes, such as employee surveys.
  • Use two-factor authentication on sensitive systems and information. This can be as simple as using tokens or systems that generate one-time PINs requiring people to verify their identity.
  • Set alerts on your systems so that unusual activity may be caught before money is lost. For example, you may get alerted if an alleged employee tries to change his direct deposit to an online bank typically used by fraudsters or is using a TOR network, which allows him to move around the internet anonymously.
  • Companies can also set a time delay between the changing of direct deposit information in a self-service portal and the actual deposit of funds into the new account to decrease the chance of the theft of funds.

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

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Actual vehicle
Actual vehicle
Medford Police & FBI Looking for Missing 2-Year-Old after Parents Found Deceased (Photo) - 07/26/19

The Medford (Oregon) Police Department and the FBI are asking for the public’s help in locating a two-year old child after his parents were involved in an apparent murder-suicide in Montana.

The non-married couple, Daniel Salcido and Hannah Janiak, were reported missing to the Medford Police Department on June 11, 2019. The couple had a child together, Aiden Salcido.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office investigated the couple for a burglary in 2018. The case resulted in criminal convictions, and Hannah was scheduled to begin serving her sentence at the Jackson County Jail on June 11, 2019. She did not show up for her sentencing.

Investigators began looking through Hannah’s financial records and found the last activity was on June 3 and 4, 2019, when two purchases were made at the Walmart on Center Drive, Medford. The purchases were caught on surveillance video, which showed Daniel, Hannah and Aiden together. The couple purchased camping equipment among other items. Investigators were not able to locate any further financial activity.

On June 24, 2019, felony warrants were entered in the law enforcement database for Hannah’s arrest stemming from the burglary case. On July 15, 2019, felony warrants were entered for Daniel for the same crimes.

Family was concerned for Hannah, Daniel and Aiden’s welfare as they have made no contact with any friends or family. Hannah was described as a good mother. Family also said the trio were homeless and would camp along the greenway in Medford. Family said that Hannah suffers from mental health issues.

At approximately 9:50 pm on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Kalispell (Montana) Police Department officers stopped an Oregon-plated green 1996 GMC Jimmy. They contacted the male driver and female passenger who were believed to be giving false information about their identity. During the stop the vehicle fled, and the driver led officers on a pursuit. Officers spiked the tires, and the vehicle came to a stop. When the officers approached they found both the male and female were deceased. The female was believed to have been shot in the head, and the male had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The deceased couple were determined to be Daniel Salcido and Hannah Janiak. Aiden was not located, and there was no evidence of a child being in the vehicle.

The vehicle was determined to have been sold to an unknown person in late June / early July in Central Point, Oregon.

Investigators are greatly concerned for Aiden’s welfare and are asking for the public’s help in locating him safely and expeditiously.

Detectives are seeking any information on this family’s whereabouts since they have been reported missing, or any information that could assist in locating Aiden.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the case.

Please use hashtag #FindAiden when sharing information about this case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Medford Police Department at (541) 774-2258, case 19-10842.

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