"Serving with Pride"
|Palos Park Police
Department's Safety Information
to Safety Information
Palos Park Police Department Holiday
Shopping Safety Tips
Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a
few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous. The
holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and
vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. The following tips from the
Palos Park Police Department can help you be more careful, prepared and
aware during the holiday season.
- If you must shop at night, go with a
friend or family member.
- Dress casually and comfortably.
Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if
- Always carry your Drivers License or
Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a
credit card you expect to use.
- Even though you are rushed and
thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check or
credit card when possible.
- Keep cash in your front pocket.
- Notify the credit card issuer
immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
- Keep a record of all of your credit
card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Be extra careful if you do carry a
wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded
shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and
other rapid transit.
- Avoid overloading yourself with
packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of
motion to avoid mishaps.
- Beware of strangers approaching you
for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various
methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money
Credit Reporting Agencies are national companies that track everyone’s
credit rating and notes on their accounts. Contact any one of them if
you have or think you have been a victim of identity theft.
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
National Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Shopper Job Fraud
The FBI Internet Crimes Unit has been alerted to an increase in
employment schemes pertaining to mystery/secret shopper positions. Many
retail and service corporations hire evaluators to perform secret or
random checks on themselves or their competitors, and fraudsters are
capitalizing on this employment opportunity.
Victims have reported to the IC3 they were
contacted via e-mail and U.S. mail to apply to be a mystery shopper.
Applicants are asked to send a resume and are purportedly subject to an
extensive background check before being accepted as a mystery shopper.
The employees are sent a check with instructions to shop at a specified
retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on
merchandise from the store. The employees receive instructions to take
note of the store's environment, color, payment procedures, gift items,
and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer. The second
evaluation is the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail
location. The money to be wired is also included in the check sent to
the employee. The remaining balance is the employee's payment for the
completion of the assignment. After merchandise is purchased and money
is wired, the employees are advised by the bank the check cashed was
counterfeit, and they are responsible for the money lost in addition to
bank fees incurred.
In other versions of the scheme,
applicants are requested to provide bank account information to have
money directly deposited into their accounts. The fraudster then has
acquired access to these victims' accounts and can withdraw money, which
makes the applicant a victim of identity theft.
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of employment
schemes associated with mystery/secret shopping:
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam)
- Do not click on links contained
within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to
contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain
viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan all
attachments, if possible.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in
e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually
directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a
- There are legitimate mystery/secret
shopper programs available.
- Research the legitimacy on companies
hiring mystery shoppers. Legitimate companies will not charge an
application fee and will accept applications online.
- No legitimate mystery/secret shopper
program will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a
portion of it back.
Individuals who believe they have
information pertaining to mystery/secret shopper schemes are encouraged
to file a complaint at
Things a Burglar Won't Tell You
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here
just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or
delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in
your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window
to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste...and taste means
there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always
make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I
might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes
you to remove it..
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car
and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your
alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That
makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the
windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and
your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to
lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day
off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions
somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check
dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids'rooms.
12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where
you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm
system . If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of
town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the
flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at
14. If you buy a new expensive TV, please put the empty box out by your
trash in plain site, so I'll know you have something new and expensive
for me to steal.
8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard.
Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to
never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise.
If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing
and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just
go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a
fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're
home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive
or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the
blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier
than you think to look up your address.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a
way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I
hit the jackpot and walk right in.
FEMA ENCOURAGES WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
|With the winter
season approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
reminds individuals to be prepared for winter storms and extreme cold.
While the danger of severe winter weather varies across the country,
everyone can benefit by taking a few easy steps now to prepare for
emergencies. A first step, regardless of where you live, is to visit the
site to find preparedness ideas you can use all year long.
"Severe winter weather can strike at any time. Even areas that normally
experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm or extreme
cold," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "I encourage everyone to
get an emergency supply kit, develop and practice a family emergency
plan and stay informed about emergencies that may affect your area.
Families can log onto
Ready.gov to learn more."
Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures,
strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms. An emergency supply kit both
at home and in the car will help prepare you and your family for winter
power outages and icy or impassable roads.
Both kits should include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra
flashlights and batteries. In addition, your home kit should include a
three day supply of food and water. Thoroughly check and update your
family's emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in
preparation for winter weather:
- Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
- Sand to improve traction on
driveways and sidewalks
- Snow shovels and other snow removal
- Adequate clothing and blankets to
help keep you warm.
Ensure your family preparedness plan and
contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about emergency
plans established in your area by state and local officials and make
sure your family plans and contacts are up to date.
Finally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used
to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to
do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe
a winter storm hazard include the following:
- Freezing Rain creates a coating of
ice on roads and walkways.
- Sleet is rain that turns to ice
pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to
freeze and become slippery.
- Winter Weather Advisory means cold,
ice and snow are expected.
- Winter Storm Watch means severe
weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or
- Winter Storm Warning means severe
winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
For more information and winter
preparedness tips, please visit:
Holiday Shopping Safety
|The holiday season is a
time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and
other holiday crime. The following tips from the Palos Park Police
Department can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the
1.Shop during daylight hours whenever
possible and dress casually and comfortably. Avoid wearing expensive
2.Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
3.Always carry your Driver License or Identification Card along with
necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
4.Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things,
stay alert to your surroundings.
5.Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a
check or credit card when possible. Keep cash in your front pocket.
6.Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is
lost, stolen or misused.
7.Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place
8.Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the
prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation
terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
9.Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have
clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
10.Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time
of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you
with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
Safe Online Holiday Shopping Tips From Better
While Thanksgiving weekend or "Black Friday" marks the traditional start
of the holiday shopping season, it is Cyber Monday—the Monday following
Thanksgiving—that marks the unofficial opening for online holiday
shopping. This year as more shoppers than ever before hunt for great
deals, many people are using the Internet to decide where, when and how
to get the best deals for their money. The Better Business Bureau
serving Chicago and Northern Illinois advises savvy shoppers looking for
good deals both in stores and online not only do their research on
consider the following advice.
Refunds and Exchange Policies
Whether shopping online or in stores, consumers should pay extra
attention to refund and exchanges policies. Some businesses give
refunds; some issue store credits only; some consider all sales to be
final. A store is not legally required to accept items for refund,
exchange or credit unless the merchandise is defective or was
misrepresented. Your Better Business Bureau reminds shoppers to know
their return rights before making the purchase. It's always better to
ask, than to assume.
“Many consumers are extremely comfortable
shopping online and simply don’t consider the threat of identity theft
or unscrupulous retailers during the holiday season,” said Steve J.
Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago
and Northern Illinois. “While the online environment has become a
thriving, trusted marketplace, e-commerce has also opened a door and
created a ripe environment for scammers to set up shop online and start
ripping people off.”
Top 10 Online Shopping Tips
BBB offers the following “Top 10 Online Shopping Tips” for holiday
shoppers to help prevent being taken in by unscrupulous online
retailers, scammers and hackers:
1. Protect your computer – A
computer used for online shopping should always have the most recent
updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware
software, and a secure firewall.
2. Use trustworthy Web sites –
Shoppers should start with the BBB to check on the seller’s
reputation and record for customer satisfaction. Always look for a
“trustmark” from BBBOnLine and click on that seal to confirm that
3. Protect your personal
information – BBB recommends taking the time to read the site’s
requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, it
should be taken as a red flag that personal information may be sold
to others without permission.
4. Trust your gut – Offers on
Web sites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be
true. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be
afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end.
5. Beware of phishing –
Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an
order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial
information. If a consumer receives such an e-mail, BBB recommends
picking up the phone and calling the contact number on the Web site
where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a
problem with the transaction.
6. Confirm your online purchase is
secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the
“s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol
before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, BBB recommends
right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This
will let you see the real URL (Web site address) and the dialog box
will reveal if the site is not encrypted.
7. Pay with a credit card –
It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law the
shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the
item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized
charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zero
liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if
someone steals the credit card number and uses it.
8. Keep documentation of your
order. After completing the online order process, there may be a
final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by
e-mail – BBB recommends saving a copy of the Web page and any
e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
9. Check your credit card
statements often – Don’t wait for paper statements; BBB
recommends consumers check their credit card statements for
suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by
checking statements online regularly.
10. Know your rights – Federal
law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by
the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30
days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel
and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation
right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s
defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s
policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and
receive a refund or credit.
Old-school Scams Thrive
- First and foremost: When an offer
seems too good to be true, chances are it is. You should never have
to pay to receive a prize or enter a contest. If you do, it's
illegal. If you're told you're a “guaranteed” winner or that “no
risk is involved,” be skeptical.
- It's illegal to purchase or sell
lottery tickets from foreign countries, so if you're asked to send a
fee to enter an international lottery, forget about it.
- Don't give financial or personal
information such as a Social Security number, or credit card or bank
account numbers to callers you don't know. Reputable groups won't
request such information.
- Don't be pressured into making an
immediate decision. Get all information in writing before you agree
to enter a contest, make a purchase or give a donation.
- Mail scammers purchase contact
information from mailing list companies, and acquire addresses and
other contact information through online phone books and Internet
data mining. The perpetrators send millions of letters, offers and
requests with a goal of hooking just a fraction of the recipients.
Many mailings look so official they could fool even the most
- Clearly, the scammers tend to target
seniors with the assumption that there is some potential
- In 2008 alone, senior citizens
nationwide were cheated out of more than $2 billion by one estimate
many cases go unreported because the victims are embarrassed or
don't want their families to know.
- Approximately 99 percent of the
scammers operate from foreign countries that complicate the
investigation. And recovering lost money after it goes overseas is
See it, Hear it, Report!
|Palos Park Public Health
and Safety Commissioner Dan Polk Reminds Everyone This Summer to Avoid
The best way to prevent West Nile encephalitis and other mosquito-borne
illnesses is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and
neighborhood and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Often, the number of mosquitoes in an
area can be reduced by removing sources of standing water around
residences. For example, hundreds of mosquitoes can come from water in a
single discarded tire. Local agencies should inform the public how to
prevent mosquito production around residences and how to prevent
mosquito bites. Individuals can reduce their risk by taking these
- Get rid of old tires, tin cans,
buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers.
- Fill in or drain low places
(puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard.
- Keep drains, ditches and culverts
free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
- Keep roof gutters free of leaves and
- Cover trash containers to keep out
- Repair leaky pipes and outside
- Empty plastic wading pools at least
once a week and store indoors when not in use.
- Unused swimming pools should be
drained and kept dry during the mosquito season.
- Fill in tree rot holes and hollow
stumps that hold water.
- Change the water in birdbaths and
plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
- Store boats covered or upside down,
or remove rainwater weekly.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery
well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide
- Make sure ornamental ponds have fish
that eat mosquito larvae.
- Repair window screens.
- When outdoors in the evening or when
mosquitoes are biting, use personal protection measures to prevent
mosquito bites (proper use of insect repellent and appropriate
clothing). See the Department’s Web site for specific personal
|Help stop the influx and spread
of tree-killing pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long horned
Beetle and Sirex Wood Wasp
Palos Park Commissioner of Public Health and Safety Dan Polk reminds
everyone to join the effort to stop the influx and spread of
tree-killing pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long horned
Beetle and Sirex Wood Wasp by restricting the importation,
transportation and sale of untreated firewood. Many exotic pests can be
transported long distances unintentionally via human activity –
especially the hauling of firewood.
“These invasive pests and diseases have a
damaging effect, not only on the environment but also the economy,” Polk
said. “One of the easiest and most common ways for these pests to spread
is by the unintentional transportation of infested firewood.” Palos
Park’s effort is to emphasize and educate, to raise awareness of the
dangers of moving firewood.
Asian Long horned Beetles have a wide
range of preferred host trees. Most studies show that they prefer maple
trees of any species. Its other top choices include: birch, horse
chestnut, poplar, willow, elm, ash, hackberry, sycamore, mountain ash,
and London plane tree as well as many others.
If you suspect the Asian Long horned
Beetle anywhere in Illinois please contact: The Illinois Department of
Agriculture at 1-800-641-3934.
The emerald ash borer is a small,
metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of
ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. While the
beetle does not pose any direct risk to public health, it does threaten
the tree population. It is widely believed to be artificially spread by
moving infested firewood. A quarantine to prevent occurrences in
Illinois has been established in the 21 northeastern-most counties of
the state. Those counties include: the entire counties of Boone, Cook,
DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle,
Livingston, McHenry, McLean, Putnam, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford.
The quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items from the
- The emerald ash borer in any living
stage of development.
- Ash trees of any size.
- Ash limbs and branches.
- Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
- Bark from ash trees and wood chips
larger than one inch from ash trees.
- Ash logs and lumber with either the
bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
- Any item made from or containing the
wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash
- Any other article, product or means
of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture
to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.
|Palos Park Police Department
tips for dealing with Extreme Heat!
During the summer months heat waves are particularly dangerous for
children and people with special needs. Please check on your neighbors
and offer them assistance.
The terms listed below describe the illnesses that extreme heat can
cause. Heat-related illnesses can become medical emergencies – call 911,
especially in the case of heat stroke.
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms resulting from heavy exertion.
Although heat cramps are the least severe heat-related illness, they are
an early signal that the body is having trouble coping with heat and
should be treated immediately with rest and fluids. Stretching or direct
pressure can also reduce cramps. Unless very severe, heat cramps do not
require emergency medical attention.
Heat exhaustion occurs when body fluids are lost through heavy sweating
due to vigorous exercise or working in a hot, humid place. Symptoms
include: sweating; pale, clammy skin; fatigue; headache; dizziness;
shallow breaths; and a weak or rapid pulse. Victims of heat exhaustion
are tired but not confused. The condition should be treated with rest in
a cool area, drinking water or electrolyte solutions, elevating the feet
12 inches, and further medical treatment in severe cases. If not
treated, the victim’s condition may escalate to heat stroke. If the
victim does not respond to basic treatment, seek medical attention.
Also called “sunstroke.” The victim’s temperature control system, which
produces sweat to cool the body, stops working. The skin is flushed, hot
and dry, and body temperature may be elevated. The victim may also be
confused, develop seizures, breathe shallowly and have a weak or rapid
pulse. This is the most serious heat-related illness and people
exhibiting these symptoms should seek emergency medical attention.
FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO STAY COOL:
• Stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that cover as
much skin as possible to prevent sunburn.
• Give your body a chance to adjust to extreme temperature changes.
• Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids.
• Use shades or awnings.
• Consider going to public pools and air-conditioned stores and malls.
• Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a
parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
• Find a cooling center. When the heat
HOW TO DEAL WITH SOLICITORS
Many people have difficulty dealing with door-to-door solicitors. The
first thing to remember is that you are in control of the situation. At
any time you can ask them to leave. Many people forget this important
fact or find it difficult to find a friendly way to ask them to leave.
This is an option in many situations; however, it is important to
remember that legally, you have the right to ask them to leave at any
- Check through a peephole or window
before opening your door to anyone.
- Steel yourself to be firm, although
it may feel impolite to say no.
- Consider carefully before inviting
solicitors into your home. It's much more difficult to rid yourself
-of them once they are inside; it's also potentially dangerous.
- Decide if you want to listen to
their spiel. Realize once you listen, it's once again harder to say
- Have a standard speech to turn away
fundraisers. For example, "I have my own charities that I -give to,
thank you very much."
- Prepare one for other situations. "I
have my own spiritual beliefs," or "I don't sign petitions without
- Thank them and say you must go. Then
close the door.
- Staying calm and polite always
leaves you in charge.
- Treat door-to-door solicitors as you
would any stranger, with caution and polite impartiality.
- If you have a chain lock, keep it
- Don't bring your purse to the door.
If you're giving, write your check or collect your cash in another
- Never let the solicitor know you're
alone, or give out any personal information.
- A slight bit of wariness is safe and
- Do not give them any information
pertaining to yourself or your neighbors.
- If at any time you feel that you are
in danger, please call 911. A police officer will be able to
determine if the solicitor is who they say they are or not.
Palos Park Police Commissioner Dan Polk is proud to announce that the
Palos Park Police Department will now have the capability to read Animal
Identification Chips. The AID reader was donated to the police
department by Avid Microchip Company which is one of the largest
microchip suppliers in the country.
“This will give us the opportunity to
quickly restore lost pets to their owners during nights and weekends
when veterinary offices are closed and unable to help us “, said Police
Chief Joe Miller.
The chip reader will also give the police
department the opportunity to reunite a lost pet with its homeowner,
instead of it being taken to the Animal Humane Society.
The Palos Park Police Department would
also like to remind pet owners to chip their pets, and to register the
chip with their local veterinarian.
Chicago-Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently warned consumers,
particularly senior citizens, about a new telephone scam aimed at
stealing their personal bank account numbers.
Madigan said her office has been notified that some customers of
Illinois banks are receiving unsolicited calls from representatives of a
company calling itself Nationwide Verification Office. The caller asks
for their account information so that it can be deleted from a so-called
“federal banking system.” Consumers are asked to verify their bank
account number and the bank routing numbers found at the bottom of their
Noting that similar schemes have been reported in other states, Madigan
warned consumers to never provide identifying or financial information,
such as Social Security numbers, bank account and credit card numbers to
anyone that calls on the phone. In many cases, such information can be
quickly and illegally used by the scammers to raid their account.
Madigan also reminded consumers that neither banks nor the government
will ever call and ask consumers for account information or Social
Consumers contacted by National Verification Office are urged to hang up
and report the call to Madigan's Consumer Fraud Hotline at the following
Chicago: 1-800-386-5438 and 1-800-964-3013
Springfield: 1-800-243-0618 and 1-877-844-5461
Carbondale: 1-800-243-0607 and 1-877-675-9339
Warn Residents About Phone Scam
Palos Park Police
Investigators investigated a large number of
reports of a phone scam. This scam was a
recorded phone message, claiming to be from
a local financial institution (Palos Bank
and Trust), that informed the potential
victims that their card account had been
frozen due to fraudulent or third party
activity. The message then gave the option
of speaking to their security department.
Fortunately, most people recognized this as
a scam and immediately contacted ether their
bank or the police department to report this
suspicious activity. If you are contacted by
what you recognize as a scam please remember
Do Not Give Any Personal Information
note of the time of the call and the
phone number if you have caller ID
- If you
have any questions regarding your
personal finances, contact your
friends and family if you become aware
of a scam, they may not have heard about
doubt, call your local police department
For more information, please contact the
Palos Park Police Department at
(708)671-3770. Also, please visit the Palos
Park Police Department's Twitter page (www.twitter.com/palosparkpolice)
for more information.
YOUR GUARD SAFETY TIPS FOR RESIDENTS
Protect your ATM personal identification number (PIN). Stand directly
in front of the ATM when you enter your PIN so no one can look over your
shoulders to view your number entry. When in your car, look in your
mirrors and all around you, to ensure nobody is watching. Be prepared to
conduct your transaction before you draw near the ATM or Night Deposit.
Complete your business promptly, secure money in your pocket or purse,
always take your receipt (it shows your account number) and don’t linger
in the area. Use care when going to and from your bank entrance and
foyer. Be observant, and don’t display cash, checks or important
documents. Always be cautious of “odd” lurking strangers. Watch over
your deposit slips and check books. These items present essential
account information that should be safeguarded.
Stay alert and attentive to your setting and surroundings. Walk
confidently at a steady pace on well-traveled routes, and avoid walking
at night. Exercise caution when strangers (pedestrians or motorists)
ask for information, and keep a safe distance to avoid being grabbed,
clutched or dragged. Carry a fully charged cell phone and participate
In Case of
(ICE) Program. (The ICE program is simple! In your cell phone
phonebook, place the numbers of family members or friends you would like
emergency first responders to call if you are injured, incapacitated or
involved in some catastrophic event. List the numbers in your cell
phone under the acronym ICE.)
Always lock your car in the parking area before entering the building.
If you are the last person to leave the building at night, go ahead to
your car in an observant and watchful manner. Know the locations of all
fire exits and fire extinguishers, report malfunctioning exterior and
interior lighting, and steer clear of allowing strangers access to the
workplace. In your work area, keep your purse, wallet and other
valuables out of open view. Keep track of all office keys in the event
of emergencies or other urgent situations. Don’t give out personal
information to strangers, unfamiliar persons or unknown callers. Lock
doors and keep the lights on when working after normal hours. Avoid
entering elevators with persons who look “out-of-place” and don’t use
stairwells by yourself. Whenever possible, let your spouse, friend, or
relative know you are at work. Call 9-1-1 for police and fire.
Park in highly visible areas in full view; in the evening, make certain
that the lighting is satisfactory. After parking, turn up windows and
lock the doors. When returning to your vehicle, approach your car
cautiously with keys in-hand, looking around and inside the vehicle
before entering. Know the “Bump-and-Rob” scam. That is when a vehicle
jolts your car to force you to stop, thus making you a potential crime
victim. If it happens, remain in your locked vehicle, call 9-1-1 if you
have a cell phone and drive to a busy, noticeable area. Be very guarded
if you spot a stranded motorist; if you wish to help them, call 9-1-1,
instead of stopping. If you are having serious car trouble, pull to the
shoulder, raise your hood, engage four-way flashers and stay in your
locked vehicle. If you sense that you are being followed or pursued,
call 9-1-1 and drive to the nearest police station. When stopping allow
sufficient room to maneuver around cars, in case an urgent situation
arises or to avoid an accident. If an auto thief threatens you with a
firearm or weapon, exit the vehicle and give up your car.
|Palos Park Police
Commissioner Dan Polk Urges Everyone to Heed the
Advice of the Better Business Bureau About the 2010 Census
Chicago, IL-June 4, 2009 - With the U.S. Census process beginning, the
BBB advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, to avoid becoming a
victim of fraud or identity theft.
The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have
begun verifying the addresses of households across the country.
Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every
person in the United States and will gather information about every
person living at each address including name, age, gender, race and
other relevant data.
“Most people are rightfully cautious and
won’t give out personal information to unsolicited phone callers or
visitors, however the Census is an exception to the rule,” said Steve J.
Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and
Northern Illinois. “Unfortunately, scammers know that the public is more
willing to share personal data for the Census and take advantage of this
opportunity by posing as a government employee and soliciting sensitive
During the U.S. Census, households will
be contacted by mail, telephone or visited by a U.S. Census worker who
will inquire about the number of people living in the house.
Unfortunately, people may also be contacted by scammers who are
impersonating Census workers in order to gain access to sensitive
financial information such as Social Security, bank account or credit
Unfortunately, people may also be
contacted by scammers, who impersonate Census workers to get access to
banking and financial information. Law enforcement in several states
have issued warnings that scammers are already posing as Census Bureau
employees and knocking on doors asking for donations and Social Security
numbers. How do you tell an authorized U.S. Census worker from a con
artist? The BBB offers the following advice:
The Census Bureau uses a workforce of
trained federal employees to conduct a variety of household and business
surveys by telephone, in-person interviews, through the mail, and in
limited cases through the Internet.
- Currently, Census workers are only
knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your
Social Security number, credit card or banking information to
anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While
the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as
a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account or
credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations.
- U.S. Census workers will have a
badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag and a
confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their
badge before answering their questions. However, you should never
invite anyone you don’t know into your home.
- Eventually, Census workers may
contact you by telephone, mail or in person at home. However, they
will not contact you by e-mail, so be on the look out for e-mail
scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any
attachments in an e-mail that are supposedly from the U.S. Census
We understand your personal information
is sensitive, and go to great lengths to protect the data we collect.
Although we cannot stop or warn against all bogus or false collections
of data -- here are some tips to help you recognize fraudulent activity
or unofficial data collections.
If you are contacted for any of the
following reasons -- Do Not Participate. It is NOT the U.S. Census
'Phishing' is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire
sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, social security
numbers, bank account or credit card details by masquerading as a
trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically
carried out by email and it often directs users to enter sensitive
information at a fake web site whose look and feel are almost identical
to the legitimate one.
- The Census Bureau does NOT conduct
the 2010 Census via the Internet
- The Census Bureau does not send
emails about participating in the 2010 Census
- The Census Bureau never:
- Asks for your full social
- Asks for money or a donation
- Sends requests on behalf of a
- Requests PIN codes, passwords or
similar access information for credit cards, banks or other
How to report scams and bogus Census web sites If you believe you
have been contacted as part of bogus or fraudulent activity falsely
representing the Census Bureau:
In Person Scam
- Check for a valid Census ID badge
- Call your regional office to verify
you are in a survey
- If you think it is a bogus email, do
not reply or click on any links within the email
- Do not open any attachments.
Attachments may contain code that could infect your computer
- Forward the email or web site URL to
the Census Bureau at
- After you forward the email to us,
delete the message. You will not receive a confirmation email after
forwarding the information to us.
- However, the Census Bureau will
investigate the information and notify you of its findings.
- Contact the United States Postal
- Is your survey legitimate? You may
further verify if a collection activity is legitimate by calling
your regional census office regarding mail surveys, and our National
Processing Center for phone surveys. Other
questions may be answered through our Are You In a Survey? page.
There is a type of Internet theft called
“phishing” (pronounced fishing), and that is
exactly what these thieves are doing...
“fishing” for your personal financial
information. The robbers want your account
numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and
other private information to raid your checking
account or run up bills on your credit cards.
In a typical phishing swindle, you receive an
e-mail that appears to come from an legitimate
company like your bank. Sometimes, the e-mail
may appear to come from a government agency.
The e-mail may warn you of a serious problem
requiring your urgent attention, using phrases
like “Contact us immediately about your
account.” Then, you are encouraged to click on
a button to go to the institution’s Web page.
This phony Web site may look like the real
thing, or it may be the company’s actual Web
page from which a pop-up window will quickly
appear for harvesting your financial data. In
either case, you are asked to update your
you provide the information, you may find
yourself the victim of identity theft.
You can protect yourself, and here is how.
*Never provide your personal information in
response to an unsolicited Internet or phone
request if you did not initiate the
*Do not be intimidated by an e-mail that
suggests grim consequences if you fail to
immediately provide or verify financial
*In no way click on the link provided in the
e-mail if you believe it could be a sham.
Besides, it may contain a virus that will
contaminate your computer.
*If you think that an e-mail (with link) is
legitimate, go to the company’s Web page by
typing-in the site address
rather than using the e-mail link, or call your
bank to verify they need the information.
*Monitor your bank and credit card statements to
discover unusual account activity.
*Report strange e-mails to the Federal Trade
Commission online, at
or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
Don’t become a casualty of identity theft.
“Phishing” charlatans can acquire loans, procure
money from accounts, obtain credit cards and
even secure driver’s licenses— ALL IN YOUR NAME—and
the devastation to your financial history and
take years to untangle!
ALL NICOR GAS EMPLOYEES WEAR IDENTIFICATION
Ask To See It Before Allowing Anyone Into Your
If you receive an unexpected visit from someone
stating he/she is an employee or contractor
working on behalf of Nicor Gas and wants to
enter your home, please request to see their
company-issued photo identification badge before
allowing them into your home.
The identification card features the employee’s
photo, name and the Nicor Gas logo on the front
side. The backside states the company’s address
and toll-free customer care telephone number, 1
Nicor Gas also wants to remind you that your
Nicor Gas account and meter numbers are
confidential. Therefore, in the event Nicor Gas
would need to contact you, our representatives
will already have access to this information.
If you choose to enroll in an alternative
supplier program, such as Customer Select,
please be careful to only share this information
with a supplier once you’ve decided to sign up
Palos Park Police
Crime Tip - Bad Checks
check: limit the amount for which a check
may be written or limit the amount of
purchase; require management approval for
any check written in excess of a set dollar
checks. Two party checks have a higher
incidence of unreliability and can be more
difficult to collect.
Local vs. Out of
state checks. Local check writers are
easier to contact for collection. Illinois
courts cannot prosecute out of state check
writers unless they can be contacted within
The primary identification for collection
purposes is a driver’s license or special
identification card issued by the state of
Specify any other limits so they will be
clearly understood by customers and
fee. Collect a returned check processing
fee of up to $20.00. All checks should
accurately reflect the name, address
(mailing & physical) divers license number
of the check writer. If this information is
not on the check, your employee should write
it clearly on the check.
Basic rules of
Make sure the
name and picture match the check writer’s
Correct date is
on the check (not post dated)
Make sure the
written & numerical amounts agree
erasures, alterations or abnormalities
Low check number
(new accounts can be less reliable)
Please contact the
investigations division of the Palos Park Police
Department at 708 671 3770 for further
information regarding the passing of bad checks
at your business.
REMINDER TO HOME OWNERS
The police department is asking residents and home owners to beware of those offering to perform home repairs and improvements. This time of year always brings out the unscrupulous repair enterprises who will repair your winter damaged chimneys, broken gutters and down spouts, and even silicone seal your roof against leaks. Many businesses in our area are well known and
are excellent craftsmen. However, there are those who pass themselves off as qualified repair people and are only after your hard earned dollars.
Other types of repair cons include:
- Weather-stripping.... for those cold and drafty windows
- Insulation, because your heating bills are so high
- Driveway seal coating, to protect against cracking and deteriorating
- Basement waterproofing, for controlling damp basements
- And just about any other thing you can imagine.
Again, there are legitimate businesses and professionals who can
correctly identify a maintenance or home repair concern. These are people,
for example, who are listed in the YELLOW PAGES, or registered and
licensed with the Village. As wise and business savvy as we perceive
ourselves, con artists are expert at separating you from your money. Con
artists spend a great deal of time preparing to penetrate a community. In
other words, they do their homework. They will appeal to any weakness
possible. The law enforcement community tracks these con artists as they
move throughout the country.
For example, recent tornadoes and severe weather in the southern regions
of the U.S. has evidenced an increase in the activities of these types of
These are unscrupulous people. If it sounds
too good to be true, it probably is. Protect yourself by confirming the
legitimacy of the business, or by asking for references in the area.
Again, be aware of the fact that the Village requires businesses to be
licensed and insured. This requirement is a protection against
unprincipled businesses who are out to con you. If you are in
doubt as to the legitimacy of a business, call to confirm them as licensed
with the Village.
Palos Park Police
Department Firearm’s Safety Program “Putting a Lock on Safety in
Palos Park Police
Commissioner John Mahoney has announced that the Palos Park Police
Department will be participating in “Project Child Safe” a
nationwide program to help ensure safe and responsible firearms
ownership and storage, developed by the National Shooting Sports
Foundation and supported by a U.S. Department of Justice Grant.
residents are encouraged to stop by the Palos Park Police Department
at 8999 W 123rd Street and pick up a free Cable-style Gun
Lock. The Palos Park Police Department can also make arrangements
to drop off a gun lock if someone is unable to come into the police
center and pick up the gun lock. Call Chief Joe Miller for further
details at 708 671 3770.