Friday, December 2, 2016

NEW PHISHING SCAM- Targeting Amazon Shoppers

AARP Fraud Watch Network has issued an alert concerning a new phishing scam that tries to get customer’s account information with a bogus email claiming that they need to confirm their information before they can make any future orders.
If you click on the provided link, you are taken to a web page that looks just like an Amazon web page. There the scammers want you to give them your name, address, and credit card information (including expiration and CVV security code).

After you enter the information and click on the “Save & Continue tab,” you are redirected to the actual Amazon web site. The transition is smooth enough that you think that this has all occurred on Amazon’s web site.

One tell-tale clue that this is a fake email is the web address embedded in the text at the bottom of the email, “” ”au” is not part of the official Amazon web address.

Always be wary of emails that appear to be from legitimate businesses requiring you to provide your account or other personal information. Hover your mouse curser over any provided links. The link address should show up. Take a look at it to see if it is a legitimate web address for that company.

AARP recommends that if you receive this email that you go to the Amazon web site via your web browser. Compare any order details in the email with the listing in “Your Orders.” If they do not match, the email is not legitimate.

Look at the AARP alert at the link below. It shows just how good these scammers are in mimicking the Amazon site.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound has launched a new app to help you report tips to them easier.

Called P3 Tips, the app allows you to fill in information about a suspect. The app has you fill out a series of forms that covers several common situations. There is an area in the app that allows you to give what you know in your own words. The app also allows you to upload photos or videos of suspects or crimes.

The app allows you to pass your information when and where you can without having to call the Crime Stoppers tip line.

Look for P3 Tips in the Apple App store or in the Android Google Play store. If you cannot access the app in the stores you can find it on the web at


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

EDMONDS- Scammers Claim to be from PSE are Stealing Your Money

KIRO TV’s Jesse Jones has announced that an Edmonds small business owner was scammed out of more than $500 for an “overdue” utility bill by someone claiming to be from PSE. Some unique techniques that the scammers were using include:

·         They call you and leave a message to call or hang up before you have a chance to respond.

·         When you call the number that they provide, you hear a recording of PSE’s actual phone announcement that you would hear if you called PSE directly.

·         Victims are told to go to a local drug store and load the payment on a pre-paid card.

·         If you listen carefully, you can hear other scammers in the room typing on their keyboards.

·         Victims are told that their electricity will be cut off within minutes.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE hang up. Remember, if you are late in your payments with a utility, you will be notified by snail mail and it will take several weeks and notifications before a utility can cut off service to you. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE or any other utility, do not use the phone number that the caller provides. Call the number provided on the utility’s monthly bill, or look up the utility’s web site with a Google or Bing search.

PSE received 47 complaints about this scam yesterday. A dramatic increase in the number of daily scam complaints.

Look at the KIRO video that was broadcast tonight.

KIRO TV/Jesse Jones:

PACKAGE THEFT WEDNESDAY- Some Gadgets That Might Protect Your Package Deliveries

Some of the local press have labeled the Wednesday after Cyber Monday “Package Theft Wednesday” because this is the first day that many of those online orders made on Cyber Monday could be delivered. Many suggestions have been made to protect against package theft. But there has not been any one tip or technique that appears to be able to stop this kind of theft dead in its tracks. I feel that there needs to be more work into developing methods or products to reduce this increasing problem.

Many modern security devices and systems provide improvements by being able to message, or in some cases provide real time video, to a homeowner when they are away from home. Many can document anyone who has been in a home with video that can be viewed later and the video can be given to police for their investigation efforts. Some devices can even allow a homeowner, away from home, to talk to anyone at the front door. Technology may not be the only solution, but it might help to reduce certain crimes.

In the case of package deliveries, UPS or FEDEX will place a package on the front porch in front of the front door. Often, the package is in full view of the street.

A local entrepreneur has created a product called “Package Guard.” This is a Frisbee sized disk that you place on your front porch or wherever you have packages delivered. The delivery person places your package on it. Then you receive a message on your phone that you have a package. If someone removes the package before you get home, a very loud alarm sounds alerting your neighbors and scaring the package thief. You and if you want, your neighbors, also get a message that someone is trying to take your package. Normally, however, when you arrive home, and no one has taken your package, all you have to do is disarm the Package Guard with your phone, and pick up your package.

This is a brand-new product that has been developed in the last year. Cost is $69.

For more information go to

Package Guard:


Another twist that you could add is to have a camera focused on your front porch. You can accomplish this with security cameras that you have installed or you install yourself. A newer type of device, that you can install, is a replacement of your front doorbell that can take video of anyone at the front door, can record their voice and can allow you to talk to them. Two products that do this are the Ring, and Skybell. For more information about these products, you can see my previous post at;postID=4994029622182156275;onPublishedMenu=overview;onClosedMenu=overview;postNum=0;src=postname.

This one, two punch may not eliminate package theft. But hopefully it will discourage package thieves from stealing from you. A loud noise to scare the thief, along with notices to you and your neighbors who may be at home, allows you and your neighbors to report the theft to 911 in a timely manner. Technology along with the initiative taken by you and your neighbors may just make your neighborhood safer.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Tips to Prevent Package Theft

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to prevent becoming a victim of package theft:

Prevent package and mail theft this holiday season. Every year, we receive hundreds of reports of package and mail theft from county residents. It takes only seconds for a thief to steal from your porch, mailbox, or doorstep. Here's a few tips to protect your deliveries:

-Hide packages. Give delivery services a specific spot to leave your packages (e.g."behind the big planter" or "tucked behind the grill near the back door").

-Schedule the delivery. Pick a delivery time when you know someone will be home. Some services even have the option to receive an alert when a package has been delivered.

-Request a signature. When shipping something of high value or just to be sure items aren't left unattended, request a signature for packages to be released. For example, the USPS offers USPS Signature Services that require a signature at the time of delivery.

-Going out of town? Place a vacation hold. Before leaving town, plan ahead to have packages held. FedEx allows vacation holds on shipments for up to 14 days and the USPS offers Hold for Pickup, where customers can collect packages at their local post office or redirect incoming packages to a different post office through USPS Package Intercept.

-Request a ring. If possible, instruct delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when leaving packages. FedEx Delivery Manager, for example, allows customers to leave those instructions

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

LAKE STEVENS- Car Prowler Update

On Friday, November 18, I reported that Sheriff’s Office detectives were looking for Travis B. Engelen (

In the late afternoon, yesterday November 2, Snohomish County Deputies and Marysville Police arrested Engelen for ID theft and car prowling. The Sheriff’s Office received a tip about a vehicle theft in the 600 block of Sunnyside Blvd in Lake Stevens. Apparently, a suspect tried to steal a vehicle, was confronted by a homeowner, then stole a farm truck. A short time later, after locating the truck at the Wal-Mart at SR-9 and 64th St NE, investigating deputies were told by a citizen of a suspicious person who had possibly hidden himself in the trunk of a car in the parking lot. The deputies found the suspect in the trunk of the vehicle. The suspect turned out to be Engelen.


Friday, November 25, 2016

HOLIDAY SCAM UPDATE- Being Safe While You Shop Online

With Thanksgiving behind us, we are now in the holiday shopping season. More and more we are shopping online. Here are some hints to keep safe while you do your online shopping:

High Tech Toys. Some high-tech toys might me fun, but they may also be a threat to your child’s security. Here are some tips to protect your child’s personal information.

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Scam Alert for Holiday Shopping. Learn about App Traps, Survey Swindles, and Copycat Cons.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Scam on Facebook. While you are on Facebook, watch out for the “secret sister gift exchange” scam.


More Tips for Online Shopping Safety. Here are some more tips for online shopping safety.

USA Today: