Thursday, September 22, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Cool Weather Can Be Good Time for Car Theft

The Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force has put out a warning about car theft and warming your car in the morning. As the weather becomes cooler, some people run their cars to warm them up in the morning before they start their commute. They go back into their house to finish getting ready for the day.

With the car running and no one around, this is an excellent opportunity for a car thief to take your car. In addition, you can be cited for leaving your car running unattended according to RCW 46.61.600. So when you start your car, stay with your car.

Washington State Revised Code:

EVERETT- Man with Dementia Found Alive

Yesterday evening, the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue Unit found an Everett man with dementia who had been reported missing. The man was enrolled in Project Care Track which is designed to help find people with disabilities and the tendency to wander.

The gentleman was found about an hour after he had been reported missing.

If you have a family member with a disability and might wander away, you can sign them up for Project Care Track. For more information, go to:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

STANWOOD- Two Scams Reported

STANWOOD- Two Scams Reported

The Stanwood Police Department has issued two scam alerts this week.

The first was for the warrant scam. Numerous citizen complaints talked about a caller claiming to be a Stanwood police officer or from the U.S. Marshal’s Office. The caller says that the victim did not respond to a jury summons and will be arrested soon if they do not pay fines immediately. A few of the citizen reports said that the callers used the name “Williams” and that they could hear a police radio in the background. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and report it to police at the non-emergency number, (425) 407-3999.

The second alert was for another imposter scam. Citizens reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be “Jason Fargo” from the PUD. Jason demands immediate payment over the phone or else the power will be shut off.  Again, if you receive a phone call from Jason, or anyone else claiming to be from a utility or law enforcement and demands immediate payment hang up and report it to police at the non-emergency number, (425) 407-3999.

Stanwood Police Department:

YAHOO- 500 Million Accounts Breached

Yahoo has announced that information from 500 million accounts was stolen from the company in 2014. According to USA Today, the company believes that a “state-sponsored actor” was involved in the attack.

Information taken may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

A rule of thumb for cyber security experts is that discovery of a breach occurs 150 to 200 days after the actual breach. Claims of this breach first surfaced in early August of this year.

Any data breach should be a concern to users of the service that was attacked. Hackers can use ID and passwords to gain access to other accounts and more information. According to one survey, 50% of users use the same password across several accounts. Hackers who have stolen ID’s and passwords from one account can try the stolen passwords on different services such as bank accounts and credit card accounts. They also have gathered information on loyalty points from hotel chains and airlines, avatars, online game points, and the values stored on coffee cards. As a result, the hackers can create information dossiers on many people.

Yahoo is recommending that its users do the following:

·         Change your password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which you used the same or similar information used for your Yahoo account.

       ·         Review your accounts for suspicious activity.

      ·         Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information.

       ·         Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.

Also, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently created a web page,, that provides a checklist for you to follow in case your private information has been compromise in a data breach. If you have been affected by this data breach go to the link and follow the FTC’s guidance.

USA Today:


Fox News:


Monday, September 19, 2016

MILL CREEK- Senior Healthy Living Fair

The Mill Creek Family YMCA will be hosting a Senior Healthy Living Fair this Friday, September 23 from Noon to 3pm at its facility at 13723 Puget Park Drive in the Silver Firs area.

It will be offering information for seniors on financial and retirement planning as well as free health screenings and flu shots.

Also, it will offer information about scams and identity theft prevention. Sgt. Marty Zelaya, from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will be there. This will be a good opportunity to say hi or ask him a question.

For more information about this free event, go to:

Mill Creek Family YMCA:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

BELLEVUE- Car Prowlers Reveal Their Methods

Car prowls remain a problem in the Puget Sound region. Recently, Bellevue police apprehended 3 car prowlers who were open about how they operated.

At least one of the car prowlers broke into cars to feed his heroin habit. The three were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. And two of the three were charged with identity theft.

Car prowls in residential area usually occur at night. These car prowlers:

·         Targeted wealthier neighborhoods that did not have “Neighborhood Watch” signs.

·         They checked every door handle for unlocked doors.

·         If they could get into a car, they would look for spare keys in consoles and glove boxes.

·         They avoided apartment complexes for fear of being seen.

·         They also avoided homes with open windows, security signs or surveillance cameras.

While some of the methods that the car prowlers used may be specific to this group (some car prowlers might risk targeting apartment complexes because of the high number of cars concentrated in a small space) it does show that neighborhoods where the residents look out for each other, locking your doors, and having security signs and cameras can discourage car prowlers from operating in your area.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

SKAGIT COUNTY- Texting Fraud

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office has been warning the public about fraudsters sending text messages posing as banks or other financial institutions.

Normally, fraudsters and scammers will use emails or phone calls to contact potential victims. But contacting victims on their cell phones through a text message is relatively new for the Puget Sound region.

The scam is typical though. Q13 News cited one example. The text, claiming to be from Bank of America claimed that the recipient’s debit account had been locked. To unlock it, the recipient needed to click on a link. Often clicking on a link will take you to a web site that asks for your personal information or installs malware on your computer to take your personal information.

In this case she did not click on the link. She did check with Bank of America.

If you receive a message, via email, phone, or now text, from someone claiming to be from your bank, do not respond to it or click on any links that may be embedded in the message. Call your bank, using a known phone number, and report the message.


Federal Trade Commission: