Thursday, September 25, 2014

SCAMS– Debt Relief Scams

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network along with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office has issued a warning about debt relief scams.

You may see an ad on TV, or receive an email, or they may call you. They claim that they can lower your monthly credit card and loan payments. They’ll guarantee that they will reduce your debt for a nominal fee.

This kind of “help” might be enticing if you are struggling with debt. But beware! Here are some hints that the “help” is no help at all. The scammer:

  • Charges large upfront fees before he or she settles your debts.
  • Guarantees that he/she can make your unsecured debt go away.
  • Tells you that he/she can stop all debt collection calls and lawsuits.
  • Won’t send you free information about their services unless you provide personal and financial information, like your credit card and bank account numbers.

If you received a call with a recorded sales pitch, and you have not given permission for that company to call you, hang up. Do not press 1 to talk to a live operator. Do not press any number. Your phone number may be added to a phone call list that can be sold to other scam artists. And then you may receive all kinds of calls for many other scams.

If you become a victim of any scam, file a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office ( or the Federal Trade Commission (

If you do have large debt you can find legitimate credit counselors. The place to start is the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (

You can find more information about credit and debt from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WASHINGTON STATE– Marijuana Laws Emphasize Safety

This morning The Herald published an article on marijuana laws in Washington State. It is a good summary of what you should think about if you decide to use this now legal drug. To read it go to:

Other sources about marijuana include:

Marijuana Use in Washington State: An Adult Consumer’s Guide:

Learn About Marijuana:

Washington State Liquor Control Board:


Monday, September 22, 2014

MONROE- Project Care Track Finds Alzheimer’s Patient

KOMO TV News broadcast a story about the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Volunteers finding an Alzheimer’s patient using a bracelet and a radio receiver.

The Sheriff’s Office Volunteers have been involved with Project Care for several years. They have found several patients who if not found, could have perished in the elements.

For details and how you can sign up a relative with Alzheimer’s, dementia or autism see the story at this link:




The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has announced a Drug Take-Back Day for Saturday, September 27.

The Sheriff’s Office’s press release quotes Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force Commander Pat Slack as saying, “Many of today’s heroin addicts started with prescription drug abuse.” So the effort is to take as many old and unneeded prescription drugs out of circulation as possible.
According to the press release, more than 390 tons of prescription drugs were collected nationwide during the Drug Take-Back Day in April of this year. During that day, more than two and a half tons of un-needed prescriptions were collected in Snohomish County alone.

For locations were you can deposit your unwanted or un-needed drugs go to the following link:

MARYSVILLE– Chop Shop Busted

Last week the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office announced that the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force served a search warrant at a known chop shop in the 3100 block of 897th Avenue NE in the Marysville area. One suspect was arrested.

Cars are stolen for many reasons; one of them is for parts. Car theft remains a serious problem in our county.
Take the time to protect your car, SUV or truck from being stolen. Here is a link to some suggestions on how you can protect yourself from car theft:

The Herald:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SCAM UPDATE– “Tech Support” Scam

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is warning the public about a scam that has been making the rounds in Washington State that claims to help computer owners about alleged computer problems.

The scammers “cold call” phone numbers to find victims. When someone answers, the scammers claim to be from a legitimate computer business and claim that they have detected problems with the homeowner’s computer such as viruses and malware. The scammers will use technical language to try to gain trust. They asked the homeowner to perform a series of tasks that in reality allows them access to the computer and the personal data stored in it. They may also install malware that can take personal information on the computer.

The scammers will demand payment to fix the alleged problems. They will accept credit card payments over the phone or will demand payment via Western Union or Money Gram. They also may direct victims to fraudulent websites that collect personal and financial information.

To avoid becoming a victim, the Attorney General’s Office recommends:

·         Never give control of your computer to someone who calls you;
·         Be vigilant in safeguarding personal information;
·         Never give out passwords;
·         Protect personal computers  with legitimate and updated security software;
·         Do not provide SSNs, banking, or credit card or other financial information to anyone who calls, no matter who they say they are; and
·         Simply hang-up if someone calls you with this scheme!
If you are victimized:
·         Have a reputable computer technician remove any software that may have been added by the scammers;
·         Change your passwords;
·         Contact your financial institution; and
·         Monitor bank and credit card account activity.

The Attorney General’s Office encourages anyone who receives a tech support scamming call to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Note: This is not a new scam. I have even received phone calls, in the past, claiming to be from “Microsoft Tech Support” wanting to help me with problems with my computer. I hung up. You should hang up also.

For more information about this scam, go to:


Washington State Attorney General’s Office:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- National Spotlight on Domestic Violence

The national news about the incident between National Football League player Ray Rice, whose contract was terminated Monday by his team the Baltimore Ravens, puts the focus on domestic violence. Domestic violence does not get a lot of press except when it involves national figures such as sports stars or movie stars.

However, domestic violence occurs every day within our communities. It is something that usually does not become common knowledge, but its affects can be devastating to family and friends.

Following are two articles that provide some insights into domestic violence:

The Seattle Times-

Ray Rice case puts domestic abuse under the spotlight


A Teachable Moment From Ray Rice’s Domestic Abuse


If you are a victim of domestic violence, or if you know someone who is a victim, Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County can help:


MAYS POND– Coyote Sightings

The Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for Mays Pond reports that in the last few weeks, there have been at least three sightings of coyotes in the Mays Pond and Mill Creek areas.

While South Snohomish County has become built up in the last few decades, we still have wildlife living among us. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides information about a variety of wildlife to educate the public. For more information about coyotes you can go to:

Sometimes a wild animal may be considered to be a nuisance. Here is some information about how the Fish and Wildlife Department handles these animals:

The Fish and Wildlife Department recommends taking the following actions to discourage coyotes in your neighborhood:

  • Keep a close watch on your younger children, especially when there have been sightings of coyotes in your area.
  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Secure your garbage can so that coyotes, and other animals, do not have access to it.
  • Feed your pet dogs and cats indoors.
  • Don’t feed feral cats.
  • Keep your pet dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CAR THEFTS– Technology Helps Keep Thefts Down

Recently, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its list of most stolen cars in America. It noted that, nationwide, the number of cars stolen has been reduced over the last twenty years due to security measures built into new cars. The majority of cars that are stolen are older cars that do not have the modern security technology that was introduced in the late 1990’s.

One measure is located in your car key. Modern keys are coded to match your car. When you put your key in the ignition switch, the car looks for that code. If you have the right code, your car will start. Without the correct code it won’t start. This defeats hot wiring, common keys and other methods that car thieves traditionally used to steal cars.

According to a NPR interview with NICB vice president Roger Morris, most modern day thefts occur because drivers leave their doors unlocked, with the keys in the car. Another common scenario is the driver parking their car at a convenience store and running in to buy something. Having left the keys in the car, they are just going to be there a short time; a thief easily takes the car away. A winter scenario in the Puget Sound region is a driver starting the car in the driveway on a cold morning at home to warm up while they get ready for work. A thief jumps in to drive the car away.

So the human is the weak link. Lock your doors and take your keys with you!