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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Woman duped in shopper scam

From Staff Reports

A Spokane Valley woman became an unwitting accomplice to a “secret shopper” fraud, and police are warning people to be alert to such scams.

The woman reported she had been sent a check for $2,960 to be a secret shopper, supposedly for the Mystery Shopper Company. She was told to deposit the check in her bank, and then withdraw $250 in a week and return it to the company.

But the check was counterfeit and her bank caught it, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department. It’s a common scam, police say. Police urge caution about any deal with such terms.

Tough cell-phone driving law urged

OLYMPIA – Texting or talking on a cell phone is so distracting that someone doing either likely won’t notice a unicycling clown passing in front of them, a university professor said.

Ira Hyman, a psychology professor at Western Washington University, was among a series of people urging the Legislature to make sending a text message or talking on a cell phone while driving a primary offense. Right now in Washington, it’s a secondary offense, meaning drivers only can get tickets for it they’ve broken another traffic law.

Hyman said a study at WWU tested how distracted a person texting or talking on a cell phone can be. A significant number of students failed to notice a clown on a unicycle passing in front of them on campus while texting or talking.

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