Wednesday, November 30, 2016

EDMONDS- Scammers Claim to be from PSE are Stealing Your Money

KIRO TV’s Jesse Jones has announced that an Edmonds small business owner was scammed out of more than $500 for an “overdue” utility bill by someone claiming to be from PSE. Some unique techniques that the scammers were using include:

·         They call you and leave a message to call or hang up before you have a chance to respond.

·         When you call the number that they provide, you hear a recording of PSE’s actual phone announcement that you would hear if you called PSE directly.

·         Victims are told to go to a local drug store and load the payment on a pre-paid card.

·         If you listen carefully, you can hear other scammers in the room typing on their keyboards.

·         Victims are told that their electricity will be cut off within minutes.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE hang up. Remember, if you are late in your payments with a utility, you will be notified by snail mail and it will take several weeks and notifications before a utility can cut off service to you. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE or any other utility, do not use the phone number that the caller provides. Call the number provided on the utility’s monthly bill, or look up the utility’s web site with a Google or Bing search.

PSE received 47 complaints about this scam yesterday. A dramatic increase in the number of daily scam complaints.

Look at the KIRO video that was broadcast tonight.

KIRO TV/Jesse Jones:

PACKAGE THEFT WEDNESDAY- Some Gadgets That Might Protect Your Package Deliveries

Some of the local press have labeled the Wednesday after Cyber Monday “Package Theft Wednesday” because this is the first day that many of those online orders made on Cyber Monday could be delivered. Many suggestions have been made to protect against package theft. But there has not been any one tip or technique that appears to be able to stop this kind of theft dead in its tracks. I feel that there needs to be more work into developing methods or products to reduce this increasing problem.

Many modern security devices and systems provide improvements by being able to message, or in some cases provide real time video, to a homeowner when they are away from home. Many can document anyone who has been in a home with video that can be viewed later and the video can be given to police for their investigation efforts. Some devices can even allow a homeowner, away from home, to talk to anyone at the front door. Technology may not be the only solution, but it might help to reduce certain crimes.

In the case of package deliveries, UPS or FEDEX will place a package on the front porch in front of the front door. Often, the package is in full view of the street.

A local entrepreneur has created a product called “Package Guard.” This is a Frisbee sized disk that you place on your front porch or wherever you have packages delivered. The delivery person places your package on it. Then you receive a message on your phone that you have a package. If someone removes the package before you get home, a very loud alarm sounds alerting your neighbors and scaring the package thief. You and if you want, your neighbors, also get a message that someone is trying to take your package. Normally, however, when you arrive home, and no one has taken your package, all you have to do is disarm the Package Guard with your phone, and pick up your package.

This is a brand-new product that has been developed in the last year. Cost is $69.

For more information go to

Package Guard:


Another twist that you could add is to have a camera focused on your front porch. You can accomplish this with security cameras that you have installed or you install yourself. A newer type of device, that you can install, is a replacement of your front doorbell that can take video of anyone at the front door, can record their voice and can allow you to talk to them. Two products that do this are the Ring, and Skybell. For more information about these products, you can see my previous post at;postID=4994029622182156275;onPublishedMenu=overview;onClosedMenu=overview;postNum=0;src=postname.

This one, two punch may not eliminate package theft. But hopefully it will discourage package thieves from stealing from you. A loud noise to scare the thief, along with notices to you and your neighbors who may be at home, allows you and your neighbors to report the theft to 911 in a timely manner. Technology along with the initiative taken by you and your neighbors may just make your neighborhood safer.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Tips to Prevent Package Theft

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to prevent becoming a victim of package theft:

Prevent package and mail theft this holiday season. Every year, we receive hundreds of reports of package and mail theft from county residents. It takes only seconds for a thief to steal from your porch, mailbox, or doorstep. Here's a few tips to protect your deliveries:

-Hide packages. Give delivery services a specific spot to leave your packages (e.g."behind the big planter" or "tucked behind the grill near the back door").

-Schedule the delivery. Pick a delivery time when you know someone will be home. Some services even have the option to receive an alert when a package has been delivered.

-Request a signature. When shipping something of high value or just to be sure items aren't left unattended, request a signature for packages to be released. For example, the USPS offers USPS Signature Services that require a signature at the time of delivery.

-Going out of town? Place a vacation hold. Before leaving town, plan ahead to have packages held. FedEx allows vacation holds on shipments for up to 14 days and the USPS offers Hold for Pickup, where customers can collect packages at their local post office or redirect incoming packages to a different post office through USPS Package Intercept.

-Request a ring. If possible, instruct delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when leaving packages. FedEx Delivery Manager, for example, allows customers to leave those instructions

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

LAKE STEVENS- Car Prowler Update

On Friday, November 18, I reported that Sheriff’s Office detectives were looking for Travis B. Engelen (

In the late afternoon, yesterday November 2, Snohomish County Deputies and Marysville Police arrested Engelen for ID theft and car prowling. The Sheriff’s Office received a tip about a vehicle theft in the 600 block of Sunnyside Blvd in Lake Stevens. Apparently, a suspect tried to steal a vehicle, was confronted by a homeowner, then stole a farm truck. A short time later, after locating the truck at the Wal-Mart at SR-9 and 64th St NE, investigating deputies were told by a citizen of a suspicious person who had possibly hidden himself in the trunk of a car in the parking lot. The deputies found the suspect in the trunk of the vehicle. The suspect turned out to be Engelen.


Friday, November 25, 2016

HOLIDAY SCAM UPDATE- Being Safe While You Shop Online

With Thanksgiving behind us, we are now in the holiday shopping season. More and more we are shopping online. Here are some hints to keep safe while you do your online shopping:

High Tech Toys. Some high-tech toys might me fun, but they may also be a threat to your child’s security. Here are some tips to protect your child’s personal information.

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Scam Alert for Holiday Shopping. Learn about App Traps, Survey Swindles, and Copycat Cons.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Scam on Facebook. While you are on Facebook, watch out for the “secret sister gift exchange” scam.


More Tips for Online Shopping Safety. Here are some more tips for online shopping safety.

USA Today:

Monday, November 21, 2016


The Snohomish County Sheriff’ Office has published its latest issue of its crime prevention newsletter “Partners in Crime Prevention.” In it are cyber security tips and reminders in how you can keep yourself and your possessions secure over the holidays.

Snohomish County Sheriff’ Office:

Friday, November 18, 2016

LAKE STEVENS- Detectives Looking for Car Prowler

Snohomish County detectives are looking for Travis B. Engelen for ID theft and car prowling. A truck was broken into recently at a trailhead for the Centennial Trail near Lake Stevens. Detectives believe that Engelen used credit cards from that truck.

 The truck owner said that she left her purse under a coat thinking it would be safe while she took a walk on the trail. Police warn that keeping valuables in your vehicle only invites thieves to take them. They also warn that you should keep track of your purse and wallet while in a store. According to Sgt. James Maples of the North Snohomish County Property Crimes Unit, “Even in the shopping stores, they turn their back for one moment and keep their purses open rather than leaving it on their person and people are stealing it.”

Engelen has a history of stealing cars and has felony warrants from the Department of Corrections. Police consider him armed and dangerous.

If you know where police can find Engelen call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS which is offering a reward of up to $1,000.

For more details on how he stole the credit cards go to,


STANWOOD- Police Looking for ID Thieves

Police are looking for Kimberlee Lines and her boyfriend Austin Faircloth for ID theft. Lines has gone into stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s purchasing thousands of dollars of merchandise by using someone else’s ID.

In at least one case, a laptop computer containing sensitive information was stolen in a home burglary. That information, including Social Security Numbers, has been traced to Lines. Lines has opened a Victoria Secret account in the name of a 4 year old daughter of one victim.

If you know where police can find them call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS which is offering a reward of up to $1,000.

Take a look at the following video for a complete description of this couple.


SCAM UPDATE- Scam within a Scam

Scammers look for all kinds of ways to get your personal information. We know that they try to take advantage of disasters to get your personal information and your money. One trend has been to take advantage of major publicized data breaches. Scammers will call, claiming to be from or representing a major business whose computers have been breached. They will offer you credit monitoring, money as compensation or make some other enticing offer to get you to stay on the phone.

Look out for the following warning signs:

·         If the caller asks for your sensitive information, hang up. Any company that keeps your information should already have it.

·         If they ask for your Social Security Number, hang up. Social Security Numbers and birthdates are not collected over the phone. This information can be provided on a form that you mail back to the company or on a secure website that you have found yourself, not a link suggested by the scammer.

·         If the caller starts pressuring you to act right away or claims that you have a short deadline to act, hang up. Legitimate companies are not going to pressure you when they notify you of a data breach.

Should you receive a letter, phone call, or email about a data breach you should receive instructions on what to do. Feel free to call the customer support (the number of which you can get on an online search) and verify the instructions.

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

SCAMS- Medical ID Theft

Scammers go after victims for money. They also use stolen ID’s to obtain medical services on the victims’ insurance. For more information on medical ID theft and how you can protect yourself, go to,


KING/SNOHOMISH COUNTIES- Police Looking for Ca Prowler

Police are looking for Hugh “Pat” Doherty for as many as 100 car prowls in the NE King County and SE Snohomish County areas. Specific pending charges include 2 counts of Eluding, 18 counts of Vehicle Prowl, one count of Theft 1, two counts of ID Theft, one count of Resisting Arrest, and one count of Reckless Driving.

Doherty is 38, 6’1” tall, thin athletic build, and sunken cheeks. He continuously alters his facial hair.

If you can tell where he can be found call Crimes Stoppers, which offers an up to $1,000 reward at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit your information online at

Q13 Fox News:

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Warrant Scam Returns

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning that someone is calling county residents claiming to be a Sheriff’s Office deputy with a warrant for their arrest. Sheriff’s Office reception staff received five reports of this scam in a two-day period.

According to the citizen reports, the caller told the potential victim that they needed to pay immediately over the phone by purchasing “Green Dot” money cards at a local store. The victim is required to stay on the phone as the transaction is completed. After completing the transaction, the victim was instructed to go to the Snohomish County Courthouse to have the warrant quashed and receive a refund. No money is returned.

The Sheriff’s Office points out that you can check to see if you have any outstanding misdemeanor warrants at

Just a reminder, police will not call you and demand payment for anything nor will they call you to tell you that there is a warrant for your arrest and that they are on their way.

Mountlake Terrace News:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Crime Mapping Returns

Crime mapping has returned to Snohomish County! SNOPAC 911 and SNOCOM 911 have implemented crime mapping with a new vendor, LexisNexis, with the Community Crime Map ( According to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post, the change was required by the recent change in dispatch software at the two 911 agencies.

The features of the LexisNexis Community Crime Map are similar to previous crime mapping systems that the 911 agencies have used in the past.

For more information about this new crime mapping service, go to,

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

KCPQ 13:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

EVERETT- Sheriff’s Office Wants Information on Silver Lake Assault

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office wants the public’s help in finding an unknown male assailant who assaulted a 23-year-old woman in the vicinity of the 11000 block of 28th Dr. SE last Saturday night.

They would like to talk to anyone who may have been walking, driving or on a bicycle in the Silver Lake area of 110th St SE between 19th Ave SE (Hwy 527) and 35th Ave SE between 7:30 and 8:30pm on Saturday, October 29.

The suspect, who forced his way into the victim’s home, was described as in his 20’s or 30’s, wearing a mask, a red and black striped shirt, and jeans. He also had a cast on his right arm.

If you have information about this suspect or the crime, please contact the Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at (425) 388-3845 or online at

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

ASK THE COP- Get a Speeding Ticket?

Did you get a speeding ticket? This video from My Edmonds News talks about your options.

My Edmonds News:

MILL CREEK- Stolen Key Update

On October 18, the Mill Creek Police Department reported that the master keys from a mail carrier were stolen ( The master keys opened community mailboxes in the 98012 and 98021 zip codes.

According to this morning’s The Herald, the U.S. Postal Service is replacing mailbox locks in the Mill Creek area.

Also, an investigation continues into the theft. Investigators are looking for two women and one male who could face federal felony charges.

Until the locks are replaced, authorities remind everyone to remain vigilant with their mail. Take outgoing mail to the post office or other secure location. The blue mailboxes are still secure since the master keys that were stolen do not open those mailboxes. Also, if you see anyone acting suspiciously around your mailbox call 911.

The Herald: