REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY TO 911

Friday, March 27, 2015

SAVE A LIFE SATURDAY- Training in CPR

The American Red Cross and Premera Blue Cross are hosting a training session for hands-only CPR on Saturday April 18 at the Lynnwood Convention Center.

Sessions will be held at 8am, 9am and 10am.

They request that you arrive 15 minutes early for registration and that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

For more information contact: Jacqueline Koch - 206-799-3194

To register by phone call 425-740-2323
 

Save a Life Saturday:


 

CHILD CAR SEATS- Learn How to Properly Use Your Child’s Car Seat

The Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett is hosting an education session about car seats and how to use them on Thursday, April 2 between 7pm and 9pm. It will be held at:

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett
Medical Office Building—Olympic Room
1330 Rockefeller Ave, Everett, WA 98201

To register visit www.providence.org/nw-safekids.

If you have questions contact Shawneri Guzman at 425-304-6157 or Shawneri.guzman@providence.org.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE– Partnering with Nextdoor

The Sheriff’s Office has announced on its Facebook page that it is partnering with Nextdoor, a free, private social network that is designed to help members of neighborhoods to communicate on neighborhood issues. The intent of Nextdoor is to build stronger and safer neighborhoods using the power of technology. Neighborhoods set up private accounts that allow each member to communicate.

Now, the Sheriff’s Office can send crime prevention tips, meeting announcements and bulletins to Nextdoor users. The Sheriff’s Office can communicate with all users in Snohomish County or it can focus its messages to a specific community or communities. While the Sheriff’s Office is early in its use of Nextdoor, this gives the Sheriff’s Office a new capability to communicate with the public. For example, if it is looking for a suspect in a specific area it can send an alert to that area and to surrounding areas. Also, if it sees a trend of increased burglaries in an area, it can send an alert with some crime prevention reminders to that area.

The Sheriff’s Office cannot see posts within each member neighborhood. It can receive direct messages from the members of each neighborhood and can see replies or comments to its posts. This communications remains private for the Sheriff’s Office and for individuals within each neighborhood group.

Comment: This is a major improvement for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in its capability to communicate with the public. Its announcement on Facebook pointed out that there are currently 147 Snohomish County neighborhoods on Nextdoor. That includes over 123,000 households out of an unincorporated population of over 306,000. Long time Neighborhood Watch Captains have understood the cumbersomeness of communicating with the Sheriff’s Office in many situations. This initiative should improve the Sheriff’s Office’s capability to make us aware of crimes, give us practical and timely information to protect ourselves, and give the Sheriff’s Office an improved capability to ensure our safety. Modern policing emphasizes working with citizens not only to put criminals away, but to take away the underlying causes of crime. This initiative is a new tool to put that vision into practice.  

Nextdoor:


 

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:


 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

TAX TIME SCAMS- IRS Scam and Refund Scam

With April 15th quickly coming here are some reminders about scams that we see at this time of year:

IRS Scam- Regular readers already know about this scam. Simply put, the IRS will not call you demanding you pay for back taxes or penalties with a pre-paid card. Nor will it arrest you if you don’t pay right away. If you have not heard of this scam, here is an alert from the IRS http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Scam-Phone-Calls-Continue;-IRS-Identifies-Five-Easy-Ways-to-Spot-Suspicious-Calls.

Inflated Refund Scam- Another scam to be wary of is a supposed tax preparer promising inflated refunds from the IRS. According to AARP’s Fraud Watch Network:

“With 60% of taxpayers using professional help in filing their taxes, people should be suspicious of anyone promising inflated refunds. "Every filing season, scam artists lure victims in by promising outlandish refunds,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

How it works:

•    The scammer tells his targets they will get a large refund saying they qualify for fictitious tax credits, rebates, or government benefits.

•    They may also file a return in the person’s name and not tell the person that a refund was made – the money goes straight into the scammers’ bank account.

•    These fraudsters may use flyers distributed door-to-door or in community gathering places, advertisements, phony store fronts and word of mouth through community groups and churches to lure their victims.

What to do:

•    Watch out for tax preparers who promise a big refund - maybe even before looking at your records.

•    Be careful of supposed tax preparers who charge fees based on a percentage of the return – this is not a standard practice and gives the preparer a strong incentive to falsify the return.

•    Make sure you get a copy of the return that was filed – and then track the return (at  http://www.irs.gov/Refunds) on the IRS website. 

•    And of course, never sign a blank return – no matter what promises are made!”
 

Identity Theft Refund Fraud- The Fraud Watch Network also warns about identity theft refund fraud:

“Taxpayers also need to watch out for identity theft, particularly around tax time.

How it works:

•    You file your taxes expecting a refund.

•    But, you find out that someone else, using your Social Security number and likely other personal identifying information, has filed a return in your name.

•    Your return is rejected as a "duplicate" because a refund has already been issued to the scammer.

Also know that scammers will often steal Social Security numbers and other personal information of people who may not be filing a tax return—like your children or grandchildren, folks who may not have income to report, or even the recently deceased. So please share this alert with family and friends and help them detect and correct fraud!

What to do:

If you think someone used your Social Security number for a tax refund contact the IRS as soon as possible. Specialists will work with you to get your tax return filed, get you any refund you are due, and protect your IRS account from thieves in the future. Go to www.irs.gov/identitytheft or call 800-908-4490. Also if you haven’t received your refund yet, visit irs.gov/refunds to check your status.”

For more information, go to:

IRS:



 

 

 

RENTAL SCAMS– Spoofing to Take Your Money

Sometimes you are looking for a new place to rent be that an apartment or a house. Or you might be looking for a vacation rental away from home. Beware of scammers taking your money but not delivering keys.

The way the scam works is that the scammers hijack legitimate listings, and then change the pricing and contact information. They will lower the price to attract a victim, and then they will ask for a deposit to be paid by check or wire. When the victim pays, the scammer cannot be found again. For contact information, the scammer will use a burner cell phone and a fake or spoofed email address. And the scammer will set up fake references.

Red flags that you should look for include:

  • Unusually low rent
  • An out-of-state landlord or management company who cannot be contacted in person or show you the property in person.
  • They want a check or wire transfer for payment.
  • Poor grammar or poor spelling of offer in their texts.

If you do find a property that you are interested in with a very low price, do a Google/Bing search on the address. More than likely you will find the legitimate listing with rent much higher.

 

KOMO-TV:


 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SHERIFF’S OFFICE– Neighborhood Watch Signs

Neighborhood Watch signs are important tools to help discourage crime in our communities. Sgt. Ian Huri of the Sheriff’s Office’s Office of Neighborhoods has the following tips to acquire new signs for your neighborhood watch community or to replace older signs that have gone into disrepair:

·         The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office suggests using the “Boris the Burglar” signs available through the National Sheriff’s Association (www.sheriffs.org) and the National Neighborhood Watch (www.nnw.org) .

·         The signs can be ordered directly by the Neighborhood Watch groups from the vendor for NNW via the site http://www.iceblackbox.com/shop/ .  The site also has stickers, yards signs and various other items for sale as well.

·         For the Boris signs, Ice Black Box will add “Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office” at the bottom of the sign to show that the Neighborhood Watch is actively participating with local law enforcement.

·         Once the signs are ordered by the Neighborhood Watch group, they are shipped directly to the person who placed the order.

·         If the sign is going to be placed along a public right of way, there are a few guidelines to follow and they are outlined in Public Works bulletin #104.  (http://wa-snohomishcounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/4214)

·         It is important to note that signs can no longer be mounted on speed limit signs or PUD poles.

·         The neighborhood watch group may need to invest in a post for placing the sign in compliance with Public Works bulletin #104.

 

If you have questions about ordering signs or Neighborhood Watch in general contact Sgt. Huri at neighborhoodwatch@snoco.org.

Monday, March 23, 2015

SHERIFF’S OFFICE– Crime Prevention Newsletter

The Sheriff’s Office has posted the latest issue of its crime prevention newsletter, “Partners in Crime Prevention.” This issue concentrates on drugs and the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force. Learn about heroin, marijuana and the importance of keeping it away from kids, and an initiative by the task force and the Sheriff’s Office to get drug abusers off of drugs and to clean up drug houses.

To see the newsletter go to: