REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY TO 911

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WASHINGTON STATE– Scam Update

Scams have been receiving a lot of press lately. Here are some more scams making the rounds:

            SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Scammers posing as deputies. This is a scam that I reported on last week. According to this morning’s The Herald, reports of this scam continue to come into the Sheriff’s Office. For more information go to:
The Herald-

And remember, deputies will not call to tell you they are on their way to arrest you.


            CENTRAL WASHINGTON- Scammers target the fires in Central Washington. According to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, scammers are trying to take advantage of the disaster caused by the fires in Central Washington. Like after the landslide at Oso, scammers are claiming to be collecting money for the fire victims, but are pocketing the money for themselves.
The best thing to do if you want to help the victims of the fires is to contribute directly to legitimate charities such as the Red Cross. You can also research charities on the Washington State Secretary of State’s web site:

For more information about the fire scams go to:

KING-TV-
http://www.king5.com/news/get-jesse/consumer-warnings/Scammers-target-donations-to-wildfire-relief-268026641.html

 
DENVER- Comcast Offer Scam. While this one has not originated in Washington, it has affected customers of Comcast which does business in our area.
Apparently, scammers are calling Comcast customers telling them that they can lock in a good rate for a year if they pay six months ahead. The only way to get a good rate is to pay $600 up front with a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid cash card.

While Comcast will accept payment for bills with prepaid cash cards, it does not demand payment in advance for its services.
The big clue should be that the scammer wants payment only by the prepaid cash card. This is similar to other scams such as the warrant scam that has been reported in Snohomish County.

For more details about this scam, go to:

Consumerist.com and KUSA 9 News-


 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

VACATION TIPS– Protecting Yourself from Scammer on Vacation

VACATION TIPS– Protecting Yourself from Scammer on Vacation

This morning, The Seattle Times published an article with tips on how you can protect yourself from scammers while you are on vacation. There are some clever tricks that scammers will try while you are at your hotel:

  1. You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the front desk saying that there is a problem with your credit card. They will ask you to read your credit card number over the phone to them. If you receive a call like this, go personally to the front desk to work out the problem.
  2. Someone slips a flyer under the door to your room advertising pizza-delivery. You call the number, order a pizza and give them your credit card number. No pizza is delivered. Ignore the unsolicited flyer. Look for a list of local restaurants in the documents in your room or call the front desk for recommendations.
  3. Be careful when you search for your hotel’s Wi-Fi network. Scammers often setup Wi-Fi networks with similar names to nearby hotels to collect personal information. Check with your hotel’s Wi-Fi network’s name in the documentation in your room or with the front desk.
The article also suggests more Wi-Fi safety tips and what to do to keep your home secure while you are on vacation. Go to:

The Seattle Times:
http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2024145331_scamstravelwisexml.html

 
For more information on how to avoid scams while traveling, go to:
Federal Trade Commission:



 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BOTHELL– Realtor Protects Herself from Potential Attacker


Over the weekend of July 12-13 a realtor showing a home along Bothell Way, Bothell, had to blockade herself from an attacker who hid in the house. The realtor found the man hiding on the third floor as she was closing up the house.

The realtor ran into a bathroom and locked the door. While the man beat on the door, she called 911. The man left the house when he heard the realtor talking to 911.

Note: This incident is unfortunately a reminder that even professionals like real estate agents can have risks in their jobs. Most of the time an open house does not bring excitement like this incident did. However, being prepared for such eventualities is not a bad idea. The real estate agent took the right actions. She protected herself by running to the bathroom and locking the door. She got help from police by calling 911.

You can help by being observant as you look for suspicious activity around you. Call 911 whenever you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

If you recognize the individual in this police sketch, please call the Bothell Police Department at (425) 487-5551.

 

 
 
KIRO TV 7 News-


 

Monday, July 21, 2014

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE– Warrant Scam

This morning The Snohomish County Sheriff’s issued a press release warning citizens about scammers demanding money to avoid arrest due to a warrant.

Apparently, several residents reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputy who had a warrant for their arrest. The caller demanded that the victims pay a fee, over the phone, to have the warrant “lifted” or else the deputy would arrest them at their home.
Victims said that the Sheriff’s Office reception phone number (425-388-3393) showed up on their caller ID screen.
The press release quotes Sheriff Ty Trenary as follows:

“First of all, no county employee, including those in law enforcement, will call you to request payment over the phone for anything.  Anyone who does should be reported to the police immediately. Second, a Sheriff’s Office deputy would never call someone with a warrant to warn them that we were on our way to arrest them.”
The Sheriff’s Office notes that you can check to see if you have an outstanding warrant at:

District Court (misdemeanor): http://www.snoco.org/outstandingwarrants/
Or at

Superior Court (felony): http://www.snoco.org/app/scl/felony/
If you receive one of these scammer calls or believe that you are a victim of fraud, call 911.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:
http://wa-snohomishcounty.civicplus.com/Archive.aspx?ADID=3907

Note: This is another instance of scammers calling our area since the first of the year. Scammers have claimed to be from courts with “jury warrants” (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023788232_warrantscamxml.html), from the IRS, and from utilities.

Also this morning, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) warned its customers, via Twitter, about scammers claiming to be from utilities demanding immediate payment for supposed non-payment of utility bills. The scammers claimed that if payment is not paid, their utilities will be cut off. Residences and commercial business owners seem to continue to be prime targets.

PSE advises that customers would receive several communications from PSE before they would disrupt service.

If you receive one of these calls, or a call claiming to be from PSE seems suspicious, call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 before providing any personal information to anyone. Also, call 911 and report this to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE– National Night Out

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has announced its annual National Night Out events for 2014. National Night Out (NNO) is held every year on the first Tuesday of August. This year’s events will occur on August 5th. The purpose of NNO is to encourage crime prevention activities, police/community partnerships and community solidarity against crime.

This year, the Sheriff’s Office will have a presence at 6 NNO events including:

  • Willis Tucker Community Park
  • Darrington
  • Gold Bar
  • Granite Falls
  • Snohomish
  • Stanwood

At Willis Tucker Park, Stanwood, Granite Falls and Gold Bar the Sheriff’s Office will be accepting unwanted and expired medications as part of the Drug Take Back Program. For more information on the program go to:  http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/what-you-can-do/locations/temporary-drop-off-locations/@@locationsearch?county%3Astring%3Aignore_empty=Snohomish

For more information about the county’s NNO activities go to the Sheriff’s Office press release at: http://wa-snohomishcounty.civicplus.com/Archive.aspx?ADID=3906

Also, many local communities have sponsored their own block party events on the night of National Night Out. In the past you could register with the Sheriff’s Office to be on the list to possibly have a deputy visit your block party. This year, the Sheriff’s Office has automated the process through the Snohomish County web site. Registration is not a requirement, but it will help the Sheriff’s Office to better organize their response to your requests. Also, any community that registers will be listed online at: http://wa-snohomishcounty.civicplus.com/310/National-Night-Out.


For more information about National Night Out go to:


 

 

 
 

Monday, May 19, 2014

SULTAN– Sheriff’s Office Issues Warning about “Spice”



Today, the Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about a drug called “Spice.” Earlier this month, two teens were found in Sultan who had overdosed after smoking the synthetic marijuana drug. Both teens were hospitalized and suffered symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations and vomiting.


Spice, also known as “K2,” “potpourri” and “Black Voodoo” is a designer drug similar to some that have been in the market place for a few years. Like “bath salts,” Spice is available at smoke shops and convenience stores. Most of these drugs are not illegal. Some attempts to make them illegal have been frustrated by amateur chemists changing the chemical composition of the drug. Frequently, the drugs have a warning that they are not for “human consumption.”


Spice contains dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that have psychoactive effects.


For more information about Spice go to:



Sheriff’s Office Press Release:




KING-TV News:




Bath Salts:



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CELL PHONES– “Find My Phone”


Recently, the New York Times published an article about victims of smartphone theft using find my phone apps to find their phones and the phone thieves (“When Hitting ‘Find My Phone’ Takes You to a Thief’s Doorstep”: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/us/when-hitting-find-my-iphone-takes-you-to-a-thiefs-doorstep.html?_r=1)


The article observes that many victims use the find my phone apps to find the location of their stolen phone then try to retrieve it from the person who stole it. Often the victim does not bother to notify police of the theft. While the victim may be successful in recovering their phone, they do risk the danger of a violent encounter.


Police frequently recommend that victims do not take matters into their own hands. Police would rather that victims report the theft and let the police handle the recovery and potential arrest.


Some people might point out that police do not always seem to jump on reports of such thefts. That their smartphone has important and sensitive information that they want to recover or at least not allow a stranger to see.




But police point out that citizens who might confront a phone thief could endanger themselves physically. Even if they get their phone back, there is a real risk of assault.




A check with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office revealed that there is not a rising trend of smartphone thefts in Snohomish County. Places that might be more susceptible to phone theft, however, could be:

  1. Where young people congregate, schools, community colleges, universities, etc.
  2. Where tourists congregate, such as any downtown (like Seattle), or other tourist areas.
  3. If the phone is left in view in your car or truck.

In each of the areas, phones can be easy targets for theft.


If you are in an area where there are a lot of people such as restaurants, bars, schools, concerts, museums, etc. try to keep your phone on your person where it is not easily taken by strangers. Do not leave it on a table in front of you, especially in a busy location. Even if you are right there, it can be easily snatched from the table fast enough that you have no time to react.


Be sure to take your cell phone with you when you leave your parked car. Theft of phones is common from parked cars, happening frequently in the county.


If your smartphone is stolen, report it to 911. Information that would be helpful to police to recover it includes:

  • A picture of the phone.
  • The phone’s serial number.
  • Location of the phone using a Find My Phone app or similar technology.

Ask your cell phone salesman, cell phone manufacturer, or cell phone service provider how you can use a find my phone capability, and how you can wipe out information located on your phone.