Wednesday, January 29, 2014

FRAUD TACTICS- Moving from the Internet to the Phone

FRAUD TACTICS- Moving from the Internet to the Phone

According to an article in the New York Times, “Swindlers Use Telephones, With Internet Tactics”,, internet fraudsters are turning to the telephone to try to gather your personal information.

Over the past few years, local and national law enforcement agencies have been conducting an education campaign to warn citizens about clicking on links in emails that come from internet fraudsters. Many people now are more cautious when looking at emails from people or companies that they don’t know. But many people are not as aware of the pitfalls of giving personal information to strangers who call them on the phone.

A new technique has emerged where an employee of a large business or government agency might receive a call from someone claiming that the employee owes some sort of debt and if they do not pay up, the caller threatens to take down the phone lines at the employee’s workplace. If the employee refuses to cooperate, their workplace then experiences what amount to a denial of service attack with hundreds if not thousands of phone calls being place to the business’ or agencies’ phone lines tying them up.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaints of telephone calls asking or demanding personal information are up also. The FTC has said that complaints about telephone fraud were 34% of all fraud complaints in 2012, up from 20% in 2010.

As often happens with many criminals, fraudsters change their tactics as old techniques become less successful. Be wary of anyone who calls you asking for your personal information. If they do, hang up.

For more details, go to the New York Times article:


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THE FALLS- Suspicious Activity

Yesterday morning, January 21, around 10am, an older, silver 4 door car with tinted windows parked in front of a house in the vicinity of 146th Pl. SE and 65th Dr. SE. A black male in his early 20's got out and knocked on the door. One occupant of the house noticed the car pull up to the house full of passengers and thought that this was suspicious. The other occupant, the son of the owners, answered the door by talking through the door. The male from the car asked for directions to I-5 then left.

What made this incident especially suspicious was that the son’s car had been stolen in Seattle over the weekend and the friend’s house he was visiting was broken into and ransacked. The son’s car was eventually found totaled. The family suspects that the people in the car in front of their house may have been involved in the Seattle car theft and burglary, obtaining their address from the registration or insurance papers.

While the tie to the car theft is speculation, crooks have been known to use the information from car registrations to conduct burglaries, especially when they know that the victim is going to be away from the house for a period of time. This family did things right. They made the potential tie with their stolen car. The son, instead of opening the door, talked through the door protecting himself and the family property. And the family did call 911.


Monday, January 13, 2014

MARTHA LAKE- Burglaries

On Friday, January 10, around 12:30pm a home was burglarized in the vicinity of East Shore Drive in the Martha Lake area. All of the homeowner’s jewelry was taken. The burglars smashed the glass in a door while the burglar alarm was sounding. The owner said that the burglars seemed to know where to look for the jewelry.

Martha Lake Neighborhood Watch members have noticed at least three suspicious people in the area that may be related to the burglary:

  1. Two people, a man and woman, associated with a dark gray pickup truck, possibly a small Ford, with an extended cab and trailer hitch.  The woman was described as having shoulder length light brown hair. Both the man and woman appeared to be in their 30’s. The woman was also carrying a white bag/container. The victim noted that their white recycling container was missing.
  2. A third person had been seen in the area multiple times. She was described as having blond hair and was between 16-20 years old. She would go around the neighborhood taking pictures of herself (a “selfie” in modern parlance) in front of homes. She was seen on a skateboard, by herself, but did not seem to be an accomplished skateboarder. She was seen in the area in the early morning hours (around 4:15am).

Note: From the description of the incident the burglar(s) probably did not stay long with the burglar alarm going off. They probably have some experience in conducting burglaries in that they made a beeline for the jewelry. Burglars know where most of us store our jewelry, so they just find those places in each home they enter. They also have a sense for where we usually store important documents and cash. A good reason to store these valuables in a hidden safe, bolted to the floor. Keeping your valuables, and guns, in a safe forces the burglar to take too much time to get to your stuff. They probably will pass it by even if they find it. BUT BE SURE TO BOLT IT TO THE FLOOR!

Also, burglars often take advantage of the things in our houses to haul off their loot. They will use your trash bags, waste containers, even your pillow cases. I don’t know of any practical way to avoid this. But, if you are victimized in a burglary, you might also make an inventory of your pillow cases (on your beds) trash containers, etc. If you are missing a pillow case, for example, you can give a description of it to the investigating deputy.


SNOHOMISH- Thieves Stealing RV Batteries

According to King 5 TV news, there have been several thefts of deep cycle batteries from travel trailers in the 900 block of 19th Street and an attempted theft in the 1000 block early last week.

The theft of the batteries allow the thieves to get easy cash; from $5 to $45 for each battery core, according to Snohomish Police Chief John Flood.

RV’s, including travel trailers, 5th wheels and motorhomes, can be targets for thieves especially if they are stored in isolated parts of your property or in a storage yard. When your RV is not in use and in storage, be sure to take the batteries from your RV to a secure place.

For more information about protecting your RV go to this previous posting on my blog:


For more information about the battery thefts in Snohomish, go to:

KING 5 TV News: