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News Releases
Red Flag Fraud gfx
Red Flag Fraud gfx
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense by knowing the top ten red flag fraud signs. (Photo) - 05/24/22

Scammers never stop; they work around the clock to cash in on the latest scheme hoping to steal your money or your identity. You’ve heard many of their pitches: they pretend to be romantically interested in you, say they are a relative in trouble, or pretend to be collecting money for a charity after a natural disaster.  

Soon, the cycle of fraud begins. When the FBI or another law enforcement or government agency issues a release about their scheme, they adapt and make enough changes to their pitch to convince the victims their claims are real. It’s time to crush their crime sprees.  

Thing about it this way, “scams change, red flags don’t!” No matter what type of story you hear via email, text, phone, social media, by mail, or in person, scams change, but the below red flags don’t. Here are our top ten signs the person you are communicating with is trying to scam you. The person;  

Requests payment via gift cards, wire transfers, or virtual currency. 

Creates a sense of urgency or deadline to pay quickly. 

Demands secrecy from you. 

Poor grammar or misspellings. 

Payments offered in amounts higher than listed price. 

Email addresses disguised to seem legitimate. 

Unsolicited emails, texts, etc., requesting you confirm usernames and/or passwords. 

Requests to move to a new platform to communicate. 

Requests to access your personal bank account to pay you for a service. 

Unsolicited emails with links or attachments. 

No matter what type of story someone is telling you, as always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  

If you believe are a victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office. 

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Reverse Payment gfx
Reverse Payment gfx
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. Today- Cybercriminals using a reverse instant payment scam. (Photo) - 05/17/22

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued a warning about a rise in payment scams. Victims appear to get a text message from a bank’s fraud alert department. The text asks if the customer initiated an instant money transfer using digital payment apps connected to a bank. 

For example, a text may say- Bank Fraud Alert- Did you attempt an instant payment in the amount of $5,000? Reply, Yes or No, or 1 to stop alerts. 

 The payment amount and financial institution may vary from victim to victim. You may even receive different texts claiming to be from different banks because the crooks are hoping to guess your financial institution.  

 If the victim responds, they receive a phone call that appears to be from the bank’s legitimate 1-800 support number. The criminals may know a past address, your social security number, and the last four digits of your bank account. This information is used to convince you that the steps being requested are the financial institution's legitimate process to stop that money transfer. 

Once the fraudsters have you on the hook, here is how they steal your money. Using the bank's legitimate website or application, the crook will instruct victims to remove your email address from their digital payment app and replace it with an email address controlled by the fraudsters. After the email address has been changed, the cyber crook tells the victim to start another instant payment transaction to themselves that will cancel or reverse the original fraudulent payment attempt. Unfortunately, victims are in fact sending instant payment transactions from their bank account to an account controlled by the criminals. Victims often only realize they’ve been scammed after checking their bank account balance.  

 The FBI recommends the following precautions: 

Be wary of unsolicited requests to verify account information. Cyber actors can use email addresses and phone numbers which appear to come from a legitimate financial institution. If a call or text is received regarding possible fraud or unauthorized transfers, do not respond directly. 

Instead, contact your bank’s fraud department through verified phone numbers and email addresses on official bank websites or from the back of your credit or debit card, never through a text or email you receive.  

Be wary of callers that provide personally identifiable information, including social security numbers. Unfortunately, there have been so many  large-scale data breaches over the last decade, criminals may know some of your personal data. 

Your best protection, Enable Multi Factor Authentication for all financial accounts, and do not provide those codes to anyone. 

 

If you’ve been a victim of an online fraud, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.   

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Sources: 

https://www.ic3.gov/Media/Y2022/PSA220414 

 

FBI Portland Offers $15,000 Reward in Danae Williams Homicide - 05/11/22

Today, the FBI announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the murder of Danae Williams. 

The FBI made the announcement today, alongside the family of Danae Williams. The Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office joined the announcement. 

On May 12, 2021, at 8:55 p.m., Danae Williams, age 25, was in her car, stopped at a red light, in the area of NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and NE Dekum Street in Portland. As the light changed, a silver sedan pulled up along the passenger side of the car and someone fired multiple rounds into the vehicle. Williams was shot and died of her wounds the following day. A passenger in the car was also shot in the head but survived. Investigators believe Williams and her passenger were innocent victims of an ongoing violent dispute between rival gangs. 

“Today we announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for Danae’s death,” FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey said. “It’s long past time for us to come together as a community and find justice for Danae and the many other victims of violence in Portland. Today’s announcement reiterates our commitment, as the Metro Safe Streets Task Force, to finding justice for victims of violence in this city.” 

Williams’ Seeking Information poster can be downloaded at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/danae-williams.  

If anyone has information, witnessed any part of what happened, or has video of anything that happened prior to, during, or after these shootings, they are asked to contact PPB by emailing crimetips@portlandoregon.gov or contacting the FBI at 1 (800) CALL-FBI or at tips.fbi.gov.

 

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The Metro Safe Streets Task Force is a partnership between the FBI and ATF, Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. This reward is the ninth offered by the FBI on behalf of the Metro Safe Streets Task Force. Previous rewards include:

Up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a mass shooting that claimed the life of Makayla Harris and injured six others. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/makayla-maree-harris

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Evelin Navarro-Barajas. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/evelin-navarro-barajas

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Dhulfigar Kareem Mseer. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/dhulfiqar-kareem-mseer

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of De’annzello McDonald. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/deannzello-mcdonald

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Curtis Smith. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/curtis-d-smith

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of Anthony McNaughton. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/anthony-mcnaughton

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting of Kelley Smith. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/kelley-marie-smith

Up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting of Ja’Mere Brown. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/jamere-malik-brown

Attached Media Files: Danae Williams Poster
Summer Travel Scams gfx
Summer Travel Scams gfx
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday Segment: Today's topic: Beware of Summer Travel Scams (Photo) - 05/10/22

After a snowy and rainy winter, you may be looking to escape to a warmer climate for summer vacation. And guess what? The scammers know that and hope to “cash in” on your travel plans.

Travel scams come in many forms; emails, cold calls, social media, even submit or play to win drawings. Many scam artists will send you the same fake deals through both email and text.

Before you book that discounted hotel room, car rental, or flight reservation, review these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:

· Say no to robocalls. If you answer your phone to an automated message, hang up and block the number.

· Research a company before booking with it. Look up reviews and ratings to see if other customers were satisfied with the services. And check multiple sites, fraudsters can post fake online reviews.

· Know the cancellation policy. Before booking, take time to ask about the company’s refund policies for flight reservations, car rentals, and hotel bookings. And get these policies in writing.

· Requests to pay with a gift card, cashier’s check, or a cash app are red flags, the ad may not be legitimate.

· Your best protection is to pay with a credit card. This will give you more options to get a refund than if something goes wrong.

· And finally, even if you are desperate for that vacation break, remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you believe you have been the victim of an online scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Strong Passwords Graphic
Strong Passwords Graphic
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense with strong passwords and account protection. (Photo) - 05/03/22

In honor of World Password Day on Thursday, May 5, 2022, the FBI is encouraging the public to strengthen their passwords/phrases and account protection. 

Passwords are used for everything; we use them for our phones, computers, email, even financial information. Unfortunately, many people use the same simple passwords, like 1234 or Password1, for multiple accounts. Simple passwords, even those with special characters, are easier for someone to crack. 

Recent guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advises that password length is much more important than password complexity. Instead of using short complex passwords, use passphrases that combine multiple words and are longer than 15 characters. For example, TechTuesday2022Strengthen! 

Strong passphrases can also help protect against personal data breaches. 

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a personal data breach is defined as a leak/spill of personal data which is released from a secure location to an untrusted environment. Also, a security incident in which an individual’s sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an unauthorized individual. 

It’s important to note that scammers obtain people's information in many ways. Sometimes a victim will unintentionally give the scammer their passwords, other times, the criminal is able to crack the code. 

The following tips may help protect you and your information from a breach: 

Make sure, at the very least, your email, financial, and health accounts all have different unique passwords and/or passphrases. 

Make sure your password is as long as the system will allow. 

Set up multi-factor authentication for your accounts. 

Be wary of “games or quizzes” on social media that ask for personal information. 

Many times those answers are actually your password “hints” 

Don’t bank or log into other important accounts using public Wi-Fi.  

 If you believe are a victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office. 

Sources: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/phoenix/news/press-releases/fbi-tech-tuesday-strong-passphrases-and-account-protection