Common Scams
Identity Theft
 
Identity Theft is the theft of important information about you, like your:
Name
Address
Social Security #
Date of Birth
Mother's Maiden Name
Use of this infomation enables criminals to take over your financial accounts, open new accounts, apply for credit cards or loans, social security benefits and use rental services. Identity thieves spend as much money as possible before the victim realizes there is a problem.
 

Protect Yourself
* Don't give out personal information.
* Shred any documents or credit cards
that you discard of.
* Keep track of your purse or wallet.
* Retrieve your mail from your
mailbox promptly.

ID Theft, Fraud and Phishing Updates
PHISHING
"Phishing" emails (pronounced "fishing") are fraudulent emails sent by identity thieves in an attempt to collect your personal information. These emails look authentic and appear to come from legitimate companies you may do business with. The good news is that YOU have the power to PROTECT YOURSELF!
Never provide personal & financial information over the phone
or Internet if you did not initiate the contact


Never click on a link or provide information if an email looks at all suspicious to you

Do not be intimidated by an email or caller who suggests dire consequences
if you do not provide or verify information


Don't trust an email just because it looks legitimate; images and logos can be forged

The "Account Manager" Scam
An email or web advertisement offering you to "work at home" by being an "account manager" or "money transfer agent" and earn "commissions". They transfer money OUT of an unsuspecting person's account and into yours. Once the money is in your account, they ask you to send the money to them via Western Union. The lure is that they allow you to keep a percentage of the money. You have no idea where the money is coming from, where it's going to or the purpose it's being used for.
Online "Shoppers"
You list an item on an online auction and are contacted by a potential buyer from Nigeria or Africa. Once a deal is reached, they send you a cashier's check to pay for the item. The check is written for a considerable amount in excess of the price. You are to deposit the check and wire the excess funds back to the buyer. Within a week, the credit union is notified that the check is a worthless counterfeit and you are out a large sum of money.
Foreign Lottery
You receive an unsolicited letter, email or fax indicating that you've won the lottery in a foreign country. In order to receive your "prize", you must first remit a "contest fee". Needless to say, once the "fees" were remitted, the "prize" never arrives. What makes this worse is that, in some cases, victims may have given out personal or financial information in the process.

What to do if you fall victim:

- Alert your financial institution immediately

- If you have disclosed sensitive information,
contact the major credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your file
to prevent new accounts from being opened in your name.


- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft
or call their hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT


- Monitor your accounts and credit report closely

Telephone Scams
Patrol has taken reports from citizens concerning suspicious phone calls from individuals posing as bank employees. These callers request sensitive information, and threaten to close the accounts of those called. Advise the caller you will take the matter up with your bank in person and advise your bank of the phone call. Try not to give out any personal information on the telephone.
Door-to- Door Scams and Solicatation
Patrol has taken reports from citizens of suspicious persons that come to their door and advise of needed home repairs. There are 2 common scams, the driveway scam and the roof scam. In the driveway scam, homeowners are advised that their driveway is in need of seal coating. After an exchange of funds, the driveway is either painted black or coated with roofing oil, which does not protect your driveway. In the roof scam, homeowners are advised they need roof work to not void a previous work warrantee or leaks of some kind. Several different crimes are possible here. In some cases homeowners can be billed for undone work, or in other cases the worker takes up the homeowner's concentration and another criminal enters the home and burglarizes it during the scam. This scam is mostly tried on the elderly.
 
If workers come to your home and advise you that you need repairs, request to see their License to work in the Village of Worth. All contractors and businesses that operate in the village must be licensed and bonded. Do not hesitate to Call Police for assistance when confronted at your home by "business" men who try to hard sell you into something. Do not do business with unlicensed companies or workers. If the contractor fails to repair damage caused by them, the $10,000 bond can be used. If the contractor is not licensed and bonded, then you forfeit that ability to have the Village of Worth assist you with a problem with that contractor. In addition, hiring non licensed and bonded contractors may result in citations being issued.
Do not open your door to anyone you don't know.

If they claim to be the police, call 911 to verify that officer's identity. All Village of Worth Water Department and Public Works employees have identification badges indicating their identity and position.

It was brought to our attention that an individual claiming to be a gas inspector arrived on the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving a building and attempted to inspect the damage to the gas lines. Call the police if a village employee or inspector cannot produce the appropriate identification.

Door to door solicitors must have a permit and register with the police department unless they are with a charitable organization or church. Even if they are with a charitable organization or church, you can still call to have the police verify their identity.

All door-to-door solicitation must stop at 9PM per a Supreme Court ruling.

When Outside the Home

Watch your children and belongings at all times.
Unattended purses in shopping carts are an invitation to theft.

Do not participate in financial dealings with people in parking lots who:
Offer to repair your car,
Offer a deal or scheme which they say will make you money,
or Any unlicensed or unsanctioned business or merchandise transaction.

If it seems too good to be true, it's trouble!

Lock Your Car / Vehicle Theft

Patrol has taken reports from numerous citizens that left their cars unlocked and during the night unknown subjects entered the vehicle and stole whatever they could get their hands on. This has happened even when the vehicle was parked in the driveway, by the house, in a well lighted area.

Help us help you by LOCKING your car.
Do not leave valuables visible in the window even when locked.

Do not leave GPS units on your dash or in plain view,
take them inside or hide them under the seat!

Do not leave the keys of your car inside your car.
Patrol has taken reports of vehicles stolen as a result.
Know your apartment or condo association policy on guest parking. Vehicles are being towed by contracted towing services because they were parked against the rules of your apartment or condo association. These are not police tows and your recourse is a civil matter. Parking lots with these policies in effect have a sign posted with a phone number where you can call about your vehicle's status. If the towing company does not know the status of your vehicle, call the police immediately.

Home Burglaries and Security
Neighborhood Watch Concern: Home Burglaries mostly occur during the day.
Your home may be at risk, check your doors, locks, windows and lighting.
Make use of Beware of Dog and Burglar Alarm signs.
Videotape valuables for insurance purposes.
Engrave your drivers license number on valuables when possible.
Get a safe for valuables and important papers, one that is 500lbs or more in weight.
Smaller safes can be carried away.

If you return home and discover you have been burglarized:
Do not enter the residence as offenders may still be inside.
Entering the residence will contaminate evidence needed to solve the crime.
CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY