Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Be careful while shopping this holiday season!

You're not the only one who is looking forward to your annual holiday shopping. Thieves who can't wait to get your credit or debit card information are also looking forward to it!

And with expanded shopping hours and month-long cyber sales, there's no time like now to read these tips from Maine Identity Services, LLC:


Your debit card can give a hacker an open door into your bank accounts, so don't use it to shop. Under the laws that govern the fraudulent use of your debit card, you may lose some or all of the amounts involved if you don't respond in time to the theft. And even the new computer chip cards won't protect you if you are using it to shop over the internet.


For online and in store shopping, consider using a pre-paid credit card. These can be quickly obtained and will not allow a thief access to your bank or other credit card accounts. Plus, a pre-paid card has the added benefit of letting you limit spending before you start shopping.


Tug on the key pad and the debit card slot to make sure that no skimming devices are reading your information as you enter it. Check the area around the ATM machine to look for what may be hidden cameras or other devices.


A locked car door is no protection from a thief who wants your checkbook or credit and debit cards. It's always "shopping season"

for these thieves who operate in organized gangs- so make it a practice never to leave these items in your vehicle - no matter how quickly you expect to return.


Your social security number is prized information for a thief because it can be used and re-used for repeated fraudulent activities. If you must carry the number with you, write the number on a separate piece of paper as if it was a phone number (place a "1" as the first or last number to make it appear as a ten-digit phone number.) In this way, the information will appear as (XXX) XXX-XXX1 instead of your social security number XXX-XX-XXXX.


If you have favorite online shopping sites, make sure that you are using a different password for each one. Using the same password across all the internet sites you visit means that hackers only have to have your password from one site to be able to use your identity to shop on other sites or use your financial accounts.


Write down the number of the credit card you will be using to shop, in case the card is lost - or worse - someone helps themselves to it by picking your pocket. Before you leave home, make sure that you have recorded the number of the card and the customer service number of the card issuer so that you can call immediately to report it as missing.

            * IS IT THE REAL WEBSITE?

It's easy to be lured to a website for deals that sound too good to be true - and thieves are hoping that will happen. Make sure that any website you visit to make purchases is the real deal. Don't open links from attachments, instead use your browser to go to the business' actual web site to make your purchase. If you are still in doubt, either don't make the purchase (one less thing for poor old Santa to carry) or phone the legitimate store number and make the purchase via phone.

We hope you have a happy and safe shopping season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Suspected overdose death in Cushing; Karl Crute, Jr. and Ranae Robbins of Cushing Arrested - November 16, 2016

Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) conducted an investigation yesterday as the result of a suspected overdose death in Cushing. 

At approximately 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning, the Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence in Cushing regarding a male, Christopher Delano, 52, of Cushing found deceased at his home by a friend.  He was last seen at approximately 11:30 the night before.  Investigation revealed drug related activity and the Mid-Coast Task Force of MDEA was called to assist.  Actual cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is done by the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Subsequently, the investigation lead to both agencies executing a search warrant at another residence in Cushing.  That warrant resulted in two people being arrested and charged with Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, Class B, Felony.  Karl Crute Jr., 43, and Ranae Robbins, 45, both of Cushing remain at Knox County Jail.  Confiscated at the house was 5 grams of heroin, $1,000 in cash believed to be related to proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs, a loaded semi-automatic rifle, and 3 hand guns with other drug paraphernalia.  The investigation by both agencies is ongoing.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Accident on Route 17 in Hope - November 13, 2016

Knox County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a two vehicle crash on Main St. (Rt.17) in Hope just before 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. 

Kelly McGlothlin, 55, of Windsor was driving her 2008 Ford SUV and was apparently attempting a u-turn from the breakdown lane, initially heading east. Charlotte Henderson, 80, of Washington was operating her 2014 Dodge van, also driving east.  McGlothlin turned in front of Henderson.  Henderson was unable to avoid striking McGlothlin on the driver’s side. 

Henderson was transported to the hospital by a family member to be checked. McGlothlin was transported by Northeast Ambulance for possible head injury. McGlothlin was unconscious initially, but had regained consciousness prior to being transported. 

Hope and Rockport Fire Departments also assisted at the scene. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Scam Alert: Medicare Fraud

Medicare Annual Enrollment runs through December 7th, and it's a banner time for Medicare fraud.

Be aware of ads that promise medical equipment being covered 100% by Medicare, like the one that might appear in the newspaper offering a free back brace, or the TV infomercial claiming you can get anything to ease your pain with no money out of pocket. Medicare only covers durable medical equipment that is medically necessary with a doctor's prescription. Scammers hope you don't know this. They want your Medicare number so they can fraudulently bill Medicare. Plus, since your Medicare number is the same as your Social Security number, there are additional dangers of giving that information out, such as identity theft.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.