Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BURGLARY PREVENTION- Gadgets to Protect Your Home

With the new technology of the 21st century, homeowners have access to new gadgets that can help them protect their homes and their property. Over the last few years security camera systems have become much more affordable. And manufacturers such as Ring have developed doorbell replacements that allows you to see and to talk to anyone at your front door even when you are away from your home.

But other manufacturers have come out with inexpensive devices that can keep watch on your home.
One product is from Nest with its Nest Cam. This camera can be set up anywhere in your home, in your living room, in your baby’s room, or the garage. It can set on a table or bookcase or be attached to a wall. In addition, it can be easily set up to your Wi-Fi to send you alerts when it sees motion or sound. And you can review the live video from your smartphone.

Pricing is $199 for one camera and $497 for three cameras. You can also purchase a subscription for storage of videos on Nest’s servers for 10 days or 30 days.

For more information about this camera, go to Nest at:

Another camera system is Blink. It also is wireless and can send alerts and video to your smartphone. But the cameras work on long lasting batteries (the manufacturer says they last for one year) instead of needing to be plugged in like Nest. Blink also offers HD video, motion detection, on-board USB storage among other features.

One Blink camera is $99. Blink offers packages for two, three, and five cameras also.

For more information about Blink, go to:

Security systems often include sensors for intruders breaking into homes through doors or windows. Now, you can set up your own intrusion alarms with the Korner triangle system. You attach triangular sensors to select windows and doors. If a sensor detects motion, it sounds a loud alarm and then sends an alert to your smartphone. You can then call the police or a neighbor to check out what is going on.

A three sensor package costs $98.

For more information, go to:

Recently, KPCQ aired a piece about one Seattle resident who installed all of these products in his home, and showed the results of when a potential burglar tried to break in.

KCPQ 13:

Friday, March 11, 2016

IRS SCAM- Local Police Issue Warning

Yesterday, the Edmonds Police Department and Lake Stevens Police Department both issued separate warnings about IRS scammers calling citizens in their respective cities.

According to Edmonds police, a caller identifies himself as an “IRS agent,” and that the person answering the phone owes back taxes and needs to pay them immediately. They will be arrested if they don’t. The “agent” wants the victim to buy a Green dot card and to read the card number and the PIN in order to pay.

Edmonds police also reminds people that you might receive a “grandparent” scam call where a caller claims that a relative is in dire trouble and if you don’t pay they will be thrown in jail.

The IRS will not call you demanding immediate payment for back taxes. Nor will a legitimate police agency or sheriff’s office demand immediate payment to keep a relative out of jail.

Also, today, there were several reports on Woodinville social media of residents receiving calls from an “IRS” scammer. So scammers are alive and well trying to scare you out of your money posing as IRS agents.

While these scams are serious, here is a funny call recorded on YouTube. This is what happens when an “IRS” scammer calls a police department. The cop even tried to give a geography lesson:

Finally, if you are not familiar with the psychology of scammers, here is a short article from the Better Business Bureau about how they work and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim:

Edmonds Police Department:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DOG POISONINGS- County has Received Few Reports

Reports of dog poisonings continue to circulate on social media, but according to a representative of the Snohomish County Animal Control Services they have not received many reports of dog poisoning.

In January, The Herald reported that a Park Ranger was investigating an incident of a dog poisoning at Willis Tucker Park. Park officials identified two poisonings in Marysville and one in Lake Stevens which were believed to be related to neighbor disputes and referred to police and Animal Control officers.

Determining an intentional poisoning can be difficult. There are many foods, plants, and chemicals that can poison a dog or a cat. Gathering evidence can also be difficult. For example, if your pet eats all of an item that has poisoned it there may not be anything left to test for a poisonous chemical. Then if your pet was poisoned, determining who did it can be another hurdle. How something that your pet ate arrived where he/she found it may not be able to be determined.

If your pet becomes sick, Animal Control recommends that you immediately take your pet to a veterinarian. Fast treatment is critical to saving your pet. If your veterinarian determines poisoning, call authorities. Call 911. You can also report this to Animal Control Services at (425) 388-3440 or online at If you think the poisoning occurred on county park property, notify the County Parks Department at (425) 388-6600 between 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday (

Knowing what can harm your pet is important to providing it with a long, healthy life. The ASPCA has good information on poisonous substances at It even has an app that you can load on your phone at that link.

Also, Animal Control Services has information about what can harm your pet. Two recent alerts include:

Protecting Your Pets This Spring:

Canine Influenza – Important Information for All Dog Owners:

The Herald:

Snohomish County Animal Control Services:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SCAM UPDATE- Ransomware on MAC’s and Facebook Like Warning

Ransomware on MAC’s. With all of the talk lately about ransomware, most of the targeted computers have run the Windows operating system. However, this week reports have been circulating that scammers have turned their attention to OS X on Apple MAC machines.

People who are affected include anyone who downloaded one of two installers of Transmission 2.90 between the hours of 11am PST on March 4 and 7pm on March 5. Security experts discovered that the Transmission BitTorrent client installer had a ransomware software called KeRanger attached. The ransomware even had a valid certificate which has since been revoked.

KeyRanger looks for your files, such as photos, music, spreadsheets, invoices, etc. Then after three days, it encrypts those files. According to WIRED Magazine, it looks for 300 different extensions from .doc to mp3 and .jpg to .txt. To unencrypt your files you pay one bitcoin worth a little over $400.

For more details go to:


On Facebook, watch out for Like-Farming. Like-farming is where a scammer posts an interesting story, or a posting that encourages readers to like it. The more likes a posting has the more likely it is to be seen in people’s feeds. After the post receives a certain number of likes, the scammer edits the post to include something malicious such as to promote a product, or attempt to get credit card information.

Some tricks the scammers use include emotional posts such as showing rescue animals or a medical story asking readers to like the post or comment to help the patient get well. Other schemes include asking you to like or share with the chance to win something. Brain teaser posts are often like-farming. Facebook pages can be part of a like-farming scheme. After enough likes, the scammer changes the content to spam or a scam. Then, anything the scammer adds to the page gets distributed to your News Feed.

To avoid like-farming just be careful before you like a post. Take a look at who made the post. Do you know them? If not don’t like. Check the content. Does it encourage you to like it? Does it make a promise if you like or share it? If it tries to pressure you to like it, don’t like it!

USA Today:

Monday, March 7, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- County Honored for Opiate “Outstanding Prevention Effort”

Friday, Snohomish County announced that it has been honored by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy for the Snohomish County Opiate Project. The project trains individuals in the use of Narcan an antidote used in Heroin and opiate overdoses. 5 trainers (3 from law enforcement and 2 from county staff) have trained 445 individuals and have distributed 435 Narcan kits.

The county says that that at least twenty-five people have been saved from dying from a heroin or opiate overdose in the county since May 2015 when the training began. The county experienced 86 overdoses in 2013, the latest year that we have statistics.

By saving lives in an overdose, Narcan can give individuals another chance to seek treatment.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Sky Valley Chronicle:

For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy go to:

Snohomish County is part of the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NWHIDTA). For information on the NWHIDTA go to:

Doctor Shopping. A state legislator has filed legislation to require all doctors in the state to check the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program database before prescribing opioids and other highly addictive drugs. The database allows doctors to check to see if a patient already has a prescription for an opioid. Often people addicted to opioids will see one doctor after another in hopes of receiving additional prescriptions to keep up their habit. For details on this issue, see the following article:

The Herald:

Friday, March 4, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Helping Heroin Addicts to Drug Treatment

Recently, Channel 9 aired a two-hour Frontline program about heroin abuse and the attempts by local governments in Puget Sound to alleviate what is now considered to be an epidemic. The program, “Chasing Heroin,” is worth taking the time to watch. It shows the problem from a personal level as well as from the perspective of local governments who are trying new ways to take people off drugs. The program takes a sobering view of the challenges that local governments face in attempting to get people off drugs. It gives some history in how opiate pain killers have led our society to this point. Is also discusses some of the current remedies that local governments are trying to implement such as methadone, drug courts, and programs such as Seattle’s LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion). The program shows none of these approaches as magic bullets. To have improved success will take resources, research and persistence.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Everett Police Department both have created teams to bring help to homeless drug addicts and mentally ill. Say homeless and that bring up the thought of drugs and crime. An article from The Herald about the Cyborg Bandit portrays the problem of how an addiction can lead to crime very well ( According to The Herald the Cyborg Bandit, a prolific bank robber, became addicted to OxyContin and then turned to heroin.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office recently posted on its Facebook page about a homeless man that it helped to enroll in a drug treatment program. After graduating from the program, the man is currently enrolled in a six month transitional program which gives him housing, job training and outpatient treatment. While this example represents a success, there remains much work to come to reduce the number of addicted in our society.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:


To see Chasing Heroin go to:

In this KUOW interview, a University of Washington researcher asserts that most heroin users want help with their addictions:

The City of Everett has announced a donation fund for people who want to help those who are trying to transition from the streets into treatment, housing and other services. To find out how you can contribute go to: