Seattle Archdiocese data breach hits home, and highlights need to address identity theft

Identity theft is a growing problem nationwide, and Washington is no exception. In early March 2014 the Seattle Archdiocese learned that volunteers and employees at

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Aberdeen Police warn of scam targeting Grays Harbor residents

The Aberdeen Police Department has received two fraud complaints that are also occurring throughout the county, state and country. The first complaint involved a fraudulent letter from the IRS requesting confidential information including copies of the victims tax return and  social security number. It appears that this incident is part of the Seattle Archdioceses fraud where past employees and volunteers of organizations within the Seattle Archdiocese are apparent victims of a tax refund scheme. The second report involved the GH PUD fraud where a person calls and states they are from the PUD.  The suspect tells the victim that their current bill is overdue and they must make a payment now or risk having the service disconnected immediately. The suspect told the victim that they could not pay with cash or a credit card as that would take 24 hours to process.  The victim was told to purchase Greendot Moneypaks.  The victim was told to provide the numbers on the card by the suspect. The Aberdeen Police Department advises to never provide anyone with unsolicited requests for confidential information.  If a person is ever in doubt they may call their local police department or check for current fraud and identity schemes at the Federal Trade Commission website which is, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

New scam sweeping US, hoping you return the call after “One Ring”

First recognized by Better Business Bureaus on the East Coast, the “One Ring” phone scam is now being reported across the United States. As an industry leader in identifying and tracking

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Craigslist rental scam comes to Grays Harbor

ABERDEEN, Wash. - A common craigslist scam has come to the Harbor, and the Aberdeen Police Department is warning potential renters to be cautious. Police Captain John Green tells us one local renter almost lost their identity and $900 to the scam.

The scam goes like this: someone takes a photo of a rental home, posts it on craigslist and begins an email conversation with potential renters. Applicants are told the property owner is out of the country and asked to email their personal information to the scammers.

Green said a local property manager notified them of the scam after seeing his own home up for rent, at a lower price. The information given to the Aberdeen Police Department involves the advertising to rent a local home by an unknown person who does not own the property or have the authority to rent it to another person.


The complaint received outlined that a legitimate Aberdeen rental home was advertised for rent. An unknown suspect placed a photo and address of the same home on Craigslist listing it for rent at a price cheaper than the legitimate owner had.

The fraudulent listing gave an email address as the only way to make contact. When the suspect was contacted by email they advised that they were out of the country on a "mission" in West Africa. The suspect emailed a rental contract for the interested person to fill out and return. 

Skechers Settles Over Sketchy Ads

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Reality star Kim Kardashian, fresh from a sweaty workout, decides to dump her personal trainer. “It’s not someone else, it’s something else” said the celebutante in a recent television advertisement. After a gratuitous shot of one of the starlet’s most photographed body parts and a scene of Kardashian glamorously lacing up a pair of Skechers, text on the screen says, “Bye-bye trainer, hello Shape Ups.”

KardasianMight certain footwear – in this case, Skechers “Shape Ups” – magically burn off calories, fat and even improve circulation? A group of federal and state watchdogs, including Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, say unfortunately not. Yet Skechers marketed their shoes to have these and other benefits.

“Advertising materials claimed that consumers may ‘get in shape without setting foot in a gym’ even though there’s no good evidence to show the shoes work as advertised,” said McKenna. “Don’t cancel your gym membership. File these sketchy footwear claims under ‘too good to be true.’”

State-federal settlement bars LifeLock from claiming it can prevent identity theft

SEATTLE – LifeLock – the identity theft prevention provider whose CEO published his Social Security number in advertisements – can no longer claim its services protect consumers from all forms of identity theft.

“The states and Federal Trade Commission picked apart LifeLock’s claims and alleged the company couldn’t deliver on its promises,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “Today’s agreement deadbolts LifeLock’s ability to claim its services eliminate the risk of identity theft.”

A group of 34 state attorneys general joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today in announcing an agreement with LifeLock, under which the Tempe, Ariz.-based company will pay $11 million in restitution to consumers. Although the FTC and state attorneys general share jurisdiction to investigate unfair and deceptive practices against consumers, a joint enforcement action of this magnitude is unprecedented.

Each year, about 8 million Americans, including 5,000 Washington residents, become victims of identity theft or identity fraud. Given these alarming statistics, attorneys general said consumers are looking for ways to protect themselves and their pocketbooks.

Attorneys general urge Federal Trade Commission to strengthen advertising disclosures

OLYMPIA – There’s only one government-authorized Web site where consumers can get their free annual credit report, and it’s not the one with the catchy jingles in television ads. Attorney General Rob McKenna says more needs to be done to protect consumers attempting to obtain the free credit report allowed by law.

“Credit reports are crucial in helping consumers detect whether they’ve become victims of identity theft or credit fraud,” McKenna said. “Credit reporting agencies are required to provide you a free copy of your report, but some see this as an opportunity to sell additional products. Under the law, 'free' means 'at no cost,' not 'free with a purchase'.”

Top Ten Money-Saving Tips from Washington State Attorney General

OLYMPIA — As shoppers head to big-box stores and shopping malls on Black Friday, Attorney General Rob McKenna today offered money-saving tips for holiday shoppers.
 
“You’ll have yourself a merrier little Christmas if you don’t wait on rebates, read the fine print on return policies, and follow a few other common-sense suggestions,” McKenna said.