Saturday, April 16, 2016

DATING SAFETY- Modern Technology Can Empower You to Take Precautions

With the sad news of the murder of a Renton mother, concerns about dating, and especially online dating, are probably foremost in many people’s minds. There may be no single action that guarantees absolute safety, but new technology can help people who are part of the dating scene to research the backgrounds of potential dates. Those who advocate against domestic violence probably would emphasize that we should work towards “a world where there is no violence against women.” Until that world exists, here are some tips to help protect yourself:

·         Check social media, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, to verify information that the individual has told you.

·         Learn how to use Google Image Search (

·         Use free public records searches on the Washington State court database (

·         If you have serious concerns, the Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section (WASIS) can provide criminal history conviction records for $12 online at Private services such as Intelius ( can provide a complete background for $50.

·         Tell friends where you are going and who you are going with.

·         Meet in a public place.

·         When you can, get the full name of the person you are dating and find out their workplace.

·         Have frank conversation early to establish rules of consent around intimacy.

·         Be aware of early signs often exhibited by domestic abusers: possessiveness, entitlement and controlling behavior.

The following article in the Seattle Times provides thoughtful observations about online dating:

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

MORE SCAM UPDATES- Ticket Scam, What an IRS Scam Sounds Like

Ticket Scam. The Edmonds Police Department is looking for a suspect in a ticket scam. In March, a male suspect sold tickets to the Justin Bieber concert in Seattle, through craigslist, to an Edmonds family. When the children showed up to the concert, they were informed that the tickets were fake and were not let into the concert. The father met the suspect at a Safeway in Edmonds to conduct the transaction.

The Edmonds Police Department recommends that when you consider contacting a seller (or a buyer) through online services such as craigslist take the following precautions:

·         Meet the individual in a public place with plenty of people around. People have been robbed during transactions like this.

·         If you are buying tickets for a concert, a game, etc. go through a reputable vendor. It may be a little more expensive, but if the price being offered seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.

Edmonds police have video of the suspect which you can see at the link below. If you know who this suspect is, please call 911 or leave your tip online at

My Edmonds News:

IRS Scam. With income tax filings due on Monday, the IRS scam continues hot and heavy. National Public Radio recently broadcast audio of a real life scammer impersonating an IRS agent. Listen to this segment. It gives a good analysis of what is going on.

National Public Radio:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

SCAM UPDATE- Local Man Victimized, Paving Scam, and More

Rental Scam. This morning The Herald reported that a Mukilteo man lost $2,400 in a rental scam. The victim replied to a Craigslist ad for a house rental. Scammers will mimic or steal a legitimate listing for a rental or house sale, offering a monthly rent well below that being listed. Often the listing looks legitimate; however, the person listing the ad will not show the property in person. They may say that they are in another city, state or even another country. Also, communication may be only by email, not in person or on the phone. A victim may pay “costs” up front before discovering that the property is not for rent or even owned by the person who took out the ad.  

The Herald:

Paving Scam. AARP and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries have issued a warning about the paving scam. Typically, someone will knock on your door and tell you that they have extra asphalt that they need to get rid of from a job down the street. They say they will give you a good price to pave your driveway. If you receive any paving the workmanship is shoddy, and not worth the price that you paid. You are out your money and the con man is in the next county. According to Labor & Industries, one victim lost $6,000 in 2014 to one of these cons.

Labor and Industries recommends that you:

·         Verify any contractor’s registration at or call 1-800-647-0982. Construction contractors must register with the Department of Labor and Industries.

·         Get at least three written bids.

·         Check contractor references.

·         Pay only as work is completed.

·         Download a Hire Smart worksheet and get more tips at


IRS Scam. AARP is reminding everyone to watch out for the IRS Scam. IRS scammers are continuing to use this technique to steal millions from honest citizens. Be sure your family and friends know about this scam.


Top Scams for Week of April 6. In addition to the IRS scam, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) lists the Credit Card Interest Scam, Government Grant Scam, and the Debt Collection Scam as the top three scams for the week of April 6. For a detailed description of each scam go to:


Telephone Town Hall on Scams. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is offering a telephone town hall on fraud and identity theft on April 14 between 9:00am and 10:00am. Special guest will be Frank Abagnale, a former master check forger who inspired the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” He now works with the FBI and AARP to teach everyone about fraud and scams and how to protect ourselves from becoming victims. Go to the following link to subscribe to this telephone town hall.


Monday, April 11, 2016

CAR PROWLS- It Doesn’t Take Much

Sheriff’s Deputies and police officers have been emphasizing for some time now not to keep anything in view when you park your car. An example of how quickly a car prowler can take your possessions comes with this incident in Arlington.

Arlington police are looking for a female car prowler who stole a purse from a woman’s car. The woman was taking groceries into her daycare. Her arms were full so she left her purse in the car. When she came back to her car her purse was gone.

Police found video showing a woman trying to use the stolen credit card at a local 7-Eleven soon after the car prowl.

As the victim noted in a Q13 story, she did not do anything wrong. But car prowlers take advantage of opportunities when they see them. Don’t let a car prowler have an opportunity, take your purse or wallet with you when you leave your car. And do not leave anything showing in your car when you park it. It only takes less than 30 seconds for a car prowler to steal it.
Q13 TV:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

BOATING EDUCATION- Be Ready for Summer Fun

With warm weather we all start thinking about outdoor activities like going to our rivers or taking our boats to the nearest lake or to Puget Sound. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will be offering two “live training” boating courses in the near future so that boaters can earn their Washington State boater education cards. Pre-registration is required!

State law requires all Washington residents born after January 1, 1955 who operate powered watercraft 15 hp or greater to carry a Washington Boater Education Card. You must be at least 14 years-old to operate a personal watercraft.

The first session will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 between 9am and 3pm at Fire District 1 Headquarters (12425 Meridian Ave S, Everett). To pre-register contact:

            Stacy Lashbrook


The second session will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 between 8:30am and 5pm at the Sheriff’s Office North Precinct (11500 40th Ave NE, Marysville). To pre-register contact:

            Deputy Bryson McGee


At both locations, vessels from the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will be on display for an interactive, hands-on experience. Kids and family members are welcome to attend.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SCAM UPDATE- Scammers Looking for New Angles

Recently, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has sent out alerts for scams affecting people in the Pacific Northwest:

·         Fake Macy’s Delivery Message. People have been receiving emails at a subject line something like: “ Order #5698 ready for delivery.” If you open the email there is no mention of a delivery, but the email tells you that you have won a prize in the store’s “monthly give-away” program. To collect it, all you have to do is click the link. If you click on the link you will probably receive malware or a request for your personal information to receive your “prize.” BBB:

·         Scams Targeting Washington State. Three scams have been highlighted by the BBB:

o   Sweepstakes Scam- An Everett woman was notified that she had won $150,000 and that she needed to pay a $1,500 customs fee to receive her winnings. She lost $635 in trying to pay the fees.

o   Instagram Scam- A Lakewood man lost $323 after ordering a pair of shoes and a belt from am Instagram user. In talking to the seller over the phone he was told that he would receive a USPS tracking number. He did not receive the number or the merchandise.

o   Government Grant Scam- A Seattle area woman was contacted multiple times during a week in March by someone identifying himself as “Gary Watson” from the U.S. Department of Government Grants. He claimed that she would receive a grant check and pressured her to make several deposits to the agency via Western Union. She lost a little more than $3,400. BBB:

In mid-March the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert that they have been receiving a steady stream of reports from citizens about receiving calls from IRS scammers. With a couple of weeks to go until the deadline for filing our income taxes, expect a continued onslaught of these calls. The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that if you receive one of these calls report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Also, the IRS is warning everyone to be wary of anyone claiming to be from the IRS calling to say that they need to verify information on this year’s tax return. They will claim to need to verify the information to continue processing your return. They will ask for, or pressure you to give them your Social Security number and/or bank account numbers or credit card numbers. Remember, the IRS will not call you for information or to get you to pay taxes owed or late fees. Consumerist: