Friday, October 31, 2014

FBI ALERT- Purchase Order Scam

Scammers look for all kinds of angles to steal from innocent victims. Here is one that builds on two other scams (online romance and work-at-home) to victimize retailers who ship. So, if you ship your inventory to your customers watch out. Also, if you are into finding your soul mate online or working from home online, you might reconsider your relationships.

This scam is sophisticated, therefore, it is a little complicated, but the essence of it goes like this:

  • The scammers set up fake websites with domain names that are almost identical to legitimate businesses or universities.
  • They contact the target business with an order and request a 30 day credit, which they receive since the business or university they are posing as has good credit. Orders may include computer, medical or pharmaceutical equipment.
  • They ask that the ordered items be shipped to a warehouse, self-storage facility or the residence of an online romance or work-from home victim.
  • When the vendor bills the real institution for the shipment, and finds out they are the victims of a fraud, the order has been re-shipped overseas, out of reach of American law enforcement


The tie to online romance scams and work-at-home scams is important. Here is a way for the scammers to get free labor from other victims. Victims often agree to receive packages and then re-ship them to overseas addresses.

Online romance scams- Criminals, often living overseas, troll social media sites or chat rooms in their search for victims. They will claim to be Americans travelling or working abroad. Their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled. The FBI notes however that every age group and demographic is at risk. The goal is to extract as much money from the victim as they can.

Some tell tale signs that you might be communicating with a romance scammer include:

  • Tries to convince you to leave the dating website and to communicate via email or instant messaging.
  • Professes instant feelings of love.
  • Sends a photo that makes them look like they are a glamorous model or actor.
  • Claims to be an American traveling or working overseas.
  • Says that he/she is planning to visit you, but then has to cancel due to a tragic event.
  • Asks for money for a variety of reasons, usually having to do with some sort of tragedy, bad luck, or financial setback.

For more information about online romance scams, go to:


Work-at-home scams- These are found everywhere offering easy money for seemingly easy tasks. A few tips to avoid these scams include:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
  • Be wary when money is required up front for instructions or products.
  • Do not give your personal information when first communicating with your prospective employer.
  • Research legitimate work-at-home opportunities with the “Work-at-Home Sourcebook” or other resources at your local library.
  • Ask lots of questions of your potential employers; legitimate companies will have answers.

For more information about work-at-home scams, go to:


Some indicators of purchase order fraud are:

  • Incorrect domain names on websites, emails, and purchase orders.
  • The shipping address on a purchase order is not the same as the business location. A delivery address that is a residence or a self-storage facility should raise red flags.
  • Poorly written emails or other correspondence that contains grammatical errors that suggests the author is not fluent in English.
  • Phone numbers that are not associated with the company or university. If you call the number, a live person does not answer.
  • Orders for unusually large quantities of merchandise, with a request to ship priority or overnight.

If you are a victim of a purchase order scam, contact your local law enforcement agency and the FBI. Once the merchandise arrives overseas (often to Nigeria) it is gone. However, the FBI has had success in recovering merchandise if the fraud is discovered before it is shipped.

For more information about purchase order scams, go to:


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MARYSVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT- Donations to Marysville-Pilchuck High School

In a Facebook posting this evening, the Marysville School District notes that it has received inquiries about donating money to Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

According to the posting, the Rotary Education Foundation will receive the funds and will set up a steering committee to disperse the funds. To donate, send funds to:

Heritage Bank (formerly Whidbey Island Bank)
1031 State Avenue
Marysville, WA 98270
(360) 657-3100

Or to:

Rotary Education Foundation
PO Box 1875
Marysville, WA 98270

Also, in an article published in The Seattle Times this evening, the Marysville Police Department reminds all of us to do some basic research before donating to people or organizations claiming to be collecting money for victims of the MPHS shooting.

The police department notes that there are several special funds that have been set up in the name of shooting victims. It says that it is not making a judgment on any of the funds. It just wants the public to be careful when donating money.

Frequently, scammers will set up bogus charitable funds claiming to collect money for various tragedies or disasters. Earlier this year after the Oso landslide, local, state and national law enforcement entities issued several warnings of scammers trying to take advantage of the disaster.

While the police department has not identified any suspicious funds as yet, it wanted to ensure that the public took care when it considers who to donate money to.

The Seattle Times:


Their baaaaaack! Yesterday, Snohomish County posted a notice on its Facebook page that the jury duty scam/warrant scam is making the rounds again in the county. Earlier this year, someone was calling county residence with the same scam.

The scam works like this: someone calls you claiming to be from the county. They say that there is a warrant for your arrest for not appearing for jury duty. To avoid arrest, you need to pay a fine right away. The caller will demand that you purchase a pre-paid credit card and give him the account number.

No one from the county will call you demanding money from you to avoid arrest. If you receive a call like this, call 911.

For more information about this scam go to:

Friday, October 24, 2014

MARYSVILLE– Tragedy- Helping Children Cope

With reference to the tragedy at Marysville-Pilchuck High School today.

We are all concerned about what has happened and what we can do, especially for our children in a time like this. The National Association of School Psychologists has advice that may be helpful. To see this advice go to:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Receive Emergency Alerts

Snohomish County reminds everyone that with fall and winter weather coming now is a good time to clean out your gutters, clean the leaves out of your storm drains and prepare emergency kits.

Also, now is a good time to sign up for emergency alerts that include weather related alerts. Go to the following link to sign up:


Snohomish County:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Online Crime Reporting

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Everett Police Department, the Lake Stevens Police Department, the Monroe Police Department, and SNOPAC (one of two 911 agencies in Snohomish County) have initiated a new online crime reporting web site: Cities that are have contracts with the Sheriff’s Office (including Darrington, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Snohomish, and Stanwood) are also participating in this new reporting system.

The online crime report makes it easier for citizens to report certain crimes to local police agencies. It also is helpful for victims who need a crime report number in order to submit a claim to their insurance company. The online tool will send a report number to the victim’s email address within 72 business hours.

While submitting the report online does not require a deputy or officer to respond, all reports are reviewed by law enforcement personnel. You can request an in-person follow-up. If you are unsure if the crime that you are reporting should be reported online, call 911 for advice.

To report online you should have, at a minimum, a valid email address and you know the location where the incident occurred. The report is intended for crimes involving stolen items or damage of less than $5,000. If the amount exceeds $5,000 or the crime is a felony, you know who the suspect is, or if you do not know where the crime occurred, you must call 911.

The online tool is available to desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone devices.


Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office/Everett Police Department Press Release:

Lake Stevens NewsSpot:

Monday, October 20, 2014

MILL CREEK- Police Looking for Suspects Using Stolen Credit Cards

When burglars break into a home, they will take anything that has value that they can see or find easily. That can be wallets, purses, cell phones, iPods, TV’s, jewelry, etc. That can also be credit or debit cards.

The Mill Creek Police Department is looking for two suspects who tried to use stolen credit cards in stores in Mill Creek. Both suspects were sighted in store video.

One suspect, Jonathan Paulsen is wanted for stolen property, identity theft and forgery. He has a big “Seattle” tattoo on one forearm.



Along with Paulsen, on the left, Mill Creek Police are seeking another man, on the right, for using a different card stolen from the same burglary at another store. Detectives believe that the man may have been dressed in some sort of uniform since the dark hat and dark shirt look like they have emblems on them.

If you recognize the man on the right or you know where police can find Jonathan Paulsen please call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Channel 13, Washington’s Most Wanted: