Hillsboro Police Dept.
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News Releases
Payroll Direct Deposit Scams - 06/22/18


The Hillsboro Police Department has recently investigated scams that involve changing an employee’s Direct Deposit information, resulting in the employee’s paychecks being re-directed to the scammers’ bank accounts. We want you to be aware of these scams, and what you should do to protect yourself.

These scams usually occur as a result of:

A “phishing” email that sends the recipient to a website to “update” their Direct Deposit information, or

A compromised account, where the scammer obtains the employee’s ID and password, signs on and changes the Direct Deposit instructions.

The newest trend is for the scammer to obtain basic employee information.  The scammer then designs a personal check with your, name, address and uses the scammer’s bank account information in bottom of check.  The scammer sends this check and the request to change the direct deposit to the new account to your employer’s Payroll/HR Department. 

This can then result in funds going to the scammer’s bank account instead of the employee’s bank account.

Do not fall victim:

Check with your Payroll/HR department to ensure they have a process in place for detecting Direct Deposit changes; when changes are made to an employee’s Direct Deposit, does your Payroll/HR department send a confirmation email to the employee’s work email?

Keep your eyes open for any email requesting that you “confirm” your sign-on credentials or threatening immediate account closure.

Payroll/ HR personnel will never send you an email asking for your password.

If you do respond to a phishing attack, change your password immediately and check your Direct Deposit information.

Criminal mistreatment - 06/22/18

On 06/21/2018, Merlinda M Avalos (11-16-68), a Hillsboro resident, was arrested on 12 counts of Criminal Mistreatment in the first degree and 1 count of tampering with evidence.

The victims in this case are all minors and had lived with Avalos.  Avalos is related to the victims and has acted as their guardian since 2012.

The alleged mistreatment include: The victims were subject to being contained in their room - all victims shared one room; They were not allowed to use the bathroom during the night – the victims needed to use a urine jug;  Allowed to eat only twice a day – a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and one for dinner;  The victims could only shower one day a week and forced to wear urine soaked clothing to school. If the victims made any noise or got off their beds, they would be beaten with any instrument/object that was available to Avalos. They were not allowed to watch TV, read books or go out and play.

This case is still under investigation. It has been reported that Avalos is also an elderly adult caregiver. If there are any other victims or witnesses to this case or other incidents involving Merlinda Avalos, please contact the Hillsboro Police Department: 503-681-6175.

Murder suspect arrested - 06/13/18

On June 10th, 2018 The Hillsboro Police Department arrested Harris, Langston Amani (19 years of age) for the murder of Boyzo-Hernandez Jose Raul (22 years of age).

The initial incident occurred on September 20th, 2017.  On this date at 3:30 a.m., the Hillsboro Police Department responded to a possible suicide at 951 SE 13th Ave in Hillsboro.  During the initial investigation it became apparent that Boyzo-Hernandez’s death was suspicious in nature.  As this investigation progressed, Boyzo- Hernandez’s death became a homicide investigation.

This case is still under investigation.