Common Frauds and Scams
- Scammers use a technique known as "spoofing" to change the name and phone number that appears on a caller ID to make it seem as if they are calling from the IRS. Scammers call victims and claim there is a problem with their tax return in an effort to gather sensitive information. If you owe taxes or think you may owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. If you don't owe or don't think you owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484. File a complaint with the Olympia Fields Police Department.
- Con artists go door-to-door and scam consumers out of thousands of dollars by promising cheap, quick driveway repairs.
Red Light Camera Scam
- Scammers call phone numbers at random and tell victims they have an overdue red light camera fine. Scammers claim the only way to avoid a significant late fee, a court case or even jail time is to pay the bill over the phone. Never pay a fine or give out credit card or Social Security information over the phone. Demand something in writing.
Prize Cruise Scam
- Victims receive a phone call with news that they won a cruise or a cut-rate price on a cruise. They are then asked for Social Security and credit card numbers to pay a deposit, port taxes or processing fee. It is a scam. Book cruises through a travel agent or directly with the cruise line.
“As Is” Cars
- When buying an “as is” vehicle, consumers usually don’t receive a warranty to protect their purchase, so they may be on the hook for costly repairs if the car breaks down. Remember to get everything in writing and do not sign anything until all of your questions have been answered.
Green Dot Card Scam
- Victims are told they won money and a new car, and must pay $350 for a Green Dot MoneyPak card (a pre-paid money card) to claim the prize. They are asked for the number on the back of the card and told the prize money will be delivered, but the pre-paid $350 is then depleted off the card.
Counterfeit Check Scam
- Con artists never grow tired of using counterfeit check scams to take your money. Many of the fake checks created today look so real that they even fool bank tellers.
Medicare Prescription Drug Scam
- Scammers representing themselves as government or insurance company representatives try to talk Medicare beneficiaries into reveling their Medicare number and other sensitive information. For more information about the $299 Medicare Scam, follow this link to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/seniors/299_Medicare_Drug_Scam.pdf
- Scammers send taxpayers and tax professionals a fake IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. The notice is labeled CP2000 and is for tax year 2015.
- This scam targets the elderly population and is an attempt to extract hundreds, even thousands, of dollars from victims. Offenders will use the notion a relative, typically a grandchild, is in distress and needs money wired to an account immediately. Some of the scams include: 1. Arrested after a wedding or social event; 2. Involved in a "terrible accident" overseas; 3. Had car trouble; 4. Stuck in a foreign airport and needs money to pay customs. The idea is that your "grandchild" will sound like yours (same gender, similar age), may use your relative's name, and may have some personal information about you or your family. The "grandchild" will beg you not to tell their "parents" in order to delay discovery, and then another person gets on the phone to provide you with details to wire the money.
- This scam can target any homeowner, but offenders typically target the elderly population. Offenders will approach the victim either outside their home or knock on the front door. One offender will attempt to distract the homeowner by luring him/her outside to observe a problem, or to a different part of the home, like a basement. The second or third offender(s) will enter the home through a different door and steal cash, jewelry, or other items. Some of the common reasons offenders use to make entry to your home include: 1.Check water supply or pressure; 2. Asks about homes for sale in the area; 3. Advises there is an electrical problem in the area; 4. Offers to repair gutters, fences, trim trees, or driveway and; 4. Posing as a utility employee or Village representative.
Lock It or Lose It Program
- Lock It or Lose It is a program intended to remind residents that many property crimes can be prevented simply by locking home doors, garage doors, windows and vehicle doors. A recent study of property crimes, including home and vehicle burglaries, showed nearly half of the events involved unlocked doors or car drivers who left valuables in plain view without locking their doors. These types of crimes take only seconds or minutes for the thief to commit and are very difficult for officers to catch in-progress. Many of these crimes, and the resulting losses to the victims, can be prevented with a few simple, common-sense actions.
Do Not Call List
- Call (888) 382-1222 to be placed on the “Do Not Call” list. You must call from the phone number being enrolled. To register, visit https://donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx .
Identity Theft Information Guide
- Identity theft is one of the fastest growing and most difficult to investigate crimes. Identity theft is frustrating and may cause undue hardship for the victim adding “insult to injury” in trying to resolve an identity theft incident. For more information about identity theft, follow this link to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/Identity_Theft_Resource_Guide.pdf If you have been the victim of identity theft or believe your personal or financial information may have been compromised, please call the toll-free Identity Theft Hotline at: 1-866-999-5630.