Monday, August 31, 2015


On Thursday, August 27th, the Washington State Patrol and Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) activated the Silver Alert message system.

Silver Alerts are for endangered missing people who are 60 years old or older. Often older people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can get lost. Time is an important factor in finding dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office an estimated 59% of Alzheimer’s patients will wander away and become lost. If an elderly Alzheimer’s patient is outside for more than 24 hours, their chance of survival drops down to 50% due to the risk of exposure.

Silver Alerts operate in a similar way as AMBER Alerts. DOT will display information on its electronic highway signs when there is vehicle information included from the State Patrol. DOT may also broadcast this information on its highway advisory radio messages and its 511 system. One difference between Silver Alerts and AMBER Alerts is that Silver Alerts will not send messages to cell phone alarms. If you see this message, please look out for the vehicle and if you see it call 911 when it is safe for you to make the call.

Washington also has an Endangered Missing Person alerts for people younger than 60 who could be in danger due to age, health, mental or physical disability.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office sponsors Project Care Track which is a proactive program to find people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Prader-Willi, dementia, Alzheimers or traumatic brain injury.

Project Care Track clients are provided an electronic bracelet that emits a unique radio signal around the clock. If a client wanders away, the caregiver calls 911. This call triggers a rapid response from a trained team from the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue unit. The unit has a receiver that can detect the radio signal from the bracelet. Using Project Care Track bracelets has reduced the time to find lost patients dramatically.

If you have a loved one who you think would benefit from Project Care Track, Contact the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office at (425) 388-3525.

Washington State Department of Transportation:

The Herald:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


With school starting soon, school safety announcements will begin for all of us to remember. For drivers remember:

If a school bus has its stop paddle out and its red lights flashing, stop. This is for the safety of the kids getting on or off of the bus.
  • Be sure to go no faster than the speed limit in school zones. Deputies will be conducting traffic emphasis to be sure everyone remembers to go the speed limit.

There are other things that your student and you need to watch out for as school starts. With identity thieves, scammers and cyber thieves lurking, your student could become a target.

Protecting Personal Information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you keep your child's personal information safe as you fill out paperwork for the new school year.

  • Safeguard your child's Social Security Number. Do not carry your child's Social Security Card with you. Do not give out your child's Social Security number. If someone asks for it, ask why it is needed and ask how your information will be protected.
  • Talk to your kids about what not to post on social media. Tell them not to post their name, address and date of birth.
  • Be sure that your children use strong passwords on their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Remind them to change their passwords on a regular basis and not to share their passwords with anyone.
  • Encourage your college student to shred sensitive documents. They may not have accumulated many sensitive documents, but pre-approved credit offers can be used in identity theft. Small shredders (cross cut shredders are best) are inexpensive and do not have to take up a lot of room.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • While GPS on smartphones are great to tell you where your child is located, others can also know where they are. Encourage your teen and young adult to limit GPS use.


Federal Trade Commission:

Scam Targeting College Students. Let your college student know about this scam. Apparently, college students are receiving phone calls from people claiming that they are a police officer and that your child owes for a student loan and that if they do not pay with their credit card, they will be arrested or lose their current financial aid. The caller might call your child by name and Caller ID may show a phone number for a local police station. Let your student know that law enforcement is not going to call them about past due bills or loans, real or imagined, and that if they receive a call like this they should hang up.

Note: Long time readers probably recognize this as a variation on the same old theme; a caller claiming to be an official, trying to scare someone into paying money by giving access to their credit or debit card. Be sure your child knows not to fall for this scam.

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Cybersecurity Tips. Students can also protect their personal information and their mobile equipment by:

  • When using a computer in a public computer lab, assume that someone is watching over your shoulder. Do not check your bank balance or your credit card statement or check your social media account with public equipment.
  • If you are using your own laptop or tablet in a public place guard it. If you need to get a drink or go to the bathroom, take it with you. Even if it does not get stolen, you do not know who has accessed it while you were gone.
  • When you are not using your laptop or tablet turn it off. Malware can operate while it is in sleep mode.
  • Be sure that your operating system, applications (like Word or Excel) and your anti-virus software are set to update automatically. This is the way to ensure that bugs and security faults are patched to protect your computer.
  • In addition to using strong passwords, do not use the same password for multiple accounts.

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CENTRAL WASHINGTON- Potential for Charity Scams

With the sad news of the loss of three firefighters, the serious injury of other firefighters, and the loss of homes to the fires, our attention has focused on the fires around Chelan, Twisp and Okanogan. We are thinking about and praying for the fire fighters who died yesterday and for their families.

While local or state law enforcement agencies have yet to report any instances of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation, this is a good time to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for a donation for the victims of the fires.

Scammers may pressure you make a quick donation. They want to appeal to your emotions and get you to act while you are emotional. Scammers call it getting the victim under the “ether.” They may also ask for payment directly with your bankcard or debit card. They may also ask for payment via a pre-paid gift card. Do not give out your personal information or pay by methods that cannot trace payment such as pre-paid gift cards or money grams.

The Red Cross and KING TV have set up a web site for donations to help people in the Western Wildfires at

For more information about charity scams go to:

Federal Trade Commission:

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Monday, August 17, 2015

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Update: Car Prowler and ID Thief Sought by Sheriff's Office Apprehended

In March of this year I posted an alert about Shauntel Raymur. Washington’s Most Wanted reports that she has been apprehended in the Smokey Point area of northern Snohomish County. Raymur, who was nicknamed the “Birthday Cake Bandit,” was wanted for car prowling and ID theft.

WMW says that she is being held on a $7,500 bail. She also has been charged in Arizona for stealing purses and laptops from cars. There is a potential that Arizona authorities may follow through with a warrant so that she faces charges in that state.

For more on this case, go to:

Washington’s Most Wanted:

Previous post:

SNOHOMISH COUNTY: Auto Theft Task Force to Distribute The Club

Securing your car or truck from theft is very important. If you have an older vehicle such as a Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Chevrolet pickup, Ford pickup or Toyota Camry built in the 1990’s and early 2000’s you have a vehicle that is especially vulnerable to theft.

The Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force is distributing 250 of The Club, an anti-theft device that a driver can attach to their vehicle’s steering wheel, to sheriff’s deputies and Marysville police department patrol officers. The idea is that the patrol deputies and officers can give The Club to people that they believe could use protection such as victims of car theft.

The Club has been around since the mid-1980’s and has proven to be an effective deterrent against most car thieves. While some critics point out that an easy way to defeat the club is to cut the steering wheel with a hack saw, most car thieves apparently do not carry hack saws as part of their tool kit.

You can find The Club at stores such as Walmart,, Sears, Autozone or NAPA auto parts stores for between $17 and $70.

The Herald:

The Club:

Monday, August 10, 2015

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: Scam Prevention; "Pass It On"

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is promoting a campaign to encourage all of us to pass knowledge about scam prevention to friends, family and neighbors.

All of us, as consumers, are targets of scams. An emphasis for the FTC, however, is toward older adults who often suffer more severe financial consequences and who may not have a way to recover from their losses.

Called “Pass It On,” the FTC provides materials that you can use to inform your social network about scams such as Identity Theft, Imposter Scams, Charity Fraud, Health Care Scams and “You’ve Won” Scams. According to Carolyn Shanoff, associate director, FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, “Older people not only have a lot of experience and expertise to share, but they’re also trusted and respected sources of information within their social networks. Pass It On is based on the concept that older people are part of the solution to the problem, not just the victims of scammers.”

Note: Many efforts for consumer education on scams, fraud and cyber security focus on senior citizens. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is a prime example of this strategy. While senior citizens might be considered a vulnerable, other vulnerable populations can include recent immigrants who are not familiar with U.S. customs and laws.

The FTC’s “Pass It On” strategy follows a long Neighborhood Watch tradition of informing your neighbor about criminal threats and prevention techniques. Take some time to review the FTC materials and discuss them with your friends, family and neighbors. You might save them from becoming victimized by a fraudster.

Federal Trade Commission:

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF: Crime Prevention Newsletter

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has published the next issue of its crime prevention newsletter. The subject in this issue is personal safety including what to do in the case of an active shooter situation. To read it, go to

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

SNOHOMISH COUNTY: Task Force Looking for Burglar

UPDATE, August 7, 2015: Washington's Most Wanted reports that Jon Summers has been apprehended in an apartment in Marysville. For details go to:

The North Snohomish County Property Crimes Unit is looking for Jon ‘Austin’ Summers. Summers has six felony convictions for burglary and trafficking stolen property. He has a Department of Corrections warrant for his arrest. Last week, Arlington police closed in on him at a gas station. He took off in his black Ford F-150 speeding north on I-5.

Summers has ties to Marysville. He is 6ft tall and weighs 280 lbs. His street name is “Speed.”

If you see him, call 911.

If you know how detectives can find him, Crime Stoppers has an up to $1,000 reward for information that locates him. Call 1-800-222-TIPS.  

Washington’s Most Wanted:


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL: Scammers Impersonating Troopers

According to a Washington State Patrol (WSP) press release, scammers are calling citizens falsely identifying themselves as a WSP trooper. The caller will accuse the citizens of having outstanding warrants, unpaid tickets, and unpaid school taxes.

As of yesterday, the WSP had received 30 complaints about this scam.

The WSP advises that it does not call citizens about violations, warrants or to collect fines.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a WSP trooper who demands to collect fines, you should do the following:

  • Do not answer any questions.
  • Do not agree to pay any fines.
  • Do not share any personal information.
  • Hang up the telephone.

 Washington State Patrol: