"Serving with Pride"
|Palos Park Police
Department's Safety Information for Seniors
to Safety Information
|PPPD Alert Senior
Citizens Targeted in Readers Digest Scam
The Better Business Bureau is issuing a
warning regarding an organization posing as both the
Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes and/or a Reader's
Digest Contest. Some consumers in BBB's service area
have been sent fraudulent certificates that congratulate
them on winning the "Publisher's Clearing House"
Sweepstakes. Other consumers have been called from "Reader's
Digest," and were informed that they had won a sizable
amount of money.
An Omaha consumer recently received a check
for $1,680 with a letter telling her that she had won the
second prize of $100,000 in the "Publisher's Clearing House"
Contest. The letter stated that she was obligated by Federal
law to keep this information confidential, and was given a
toll-free number to contact the "Internal Revenue agent"
handling her file. The "agent" informed her that the check
was to insure her prize money. Luckily, she became
suspicious and notified the BBB. She did not deposit or cash
Several senior citizens received calls from a person
claiming to be a "Reader's Digest" representative. One
consumer was told that she had won $118 million and that the
scammers would need to pick up a check for $250 at her home.
Another woman was informed that she had won $6.2 million.
She was to wire $2,700 through WalMart, along with an
additional $100 to pay for the transfer.
Another senior received a phone call from a
person claiming first to be with Publisher's Clearing House
and then from Reader's Digest. She became suspicious and
told the caller that she was going to contact the BBB. He
responded, "No, keep this confidential," and provided a
Jamaican phone number. He then instructed her to go to
WalMart or Kmart and send, via MoneyGram, $550 for handling
fees to a man in Virginia. She was told she would be
reimbursed for the $550 within three business days, and
someone would be at her door at 4:30 pm that day with the
prize money. Then, she was supposed to drive to her bank and
the person delivering the money would follow her there.
Be suspicious if people ask you for money to claim a prize.
Common scams include asking winners to prepay taxes, to pay
shipping and handling charges. Also, never send money to
someone you do not know. Con artists ask you to wire money,
send it by overnight courier, or provide bank account
information so they can debit your account. Don't be foolish
with your cash. Never pay anything to receive a prize.
|PALOS PARK POLICE SENIOR
“YOU ARE NOT ALONE” PROGRAM TO CHECK ON SENIOR CITIZENS
POLICE COMMISSIONER DAN POLK
WANTS TO REMIND RESIDENTS ABOUT THE “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
PROGRAM WHICH ASSIST PALOS PARK SENIOR CITIZENS WHO MAY BE
HOME ALONE DURING THE DAY OR WHO MAY LIVE ALONE.
THE PROGRAM IS GEARED TOWARD PALOS PARK SENIOR CITIZENS WHO
ARE SELF-SUFFICIENT, BUT WOULD WELCOME A PALOS PARK POLICE
OFFICER TO STOP AND CHECK ON THEM PERIODICALLY.
COMMISSIONER POLK STATED, “WE ARE AWARE OF A SIZEABLE SENIOR
POPULATION IN PALOS PARK AND WE FELT THE “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
PROGRAM WOULD ALLOW OUR OFFICERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BETTER
SERVE OUR SENIOR POPULATION AND UTILIZE THEIR UN-OBLIGATED
TIME TO PROVIDE A USEFUL SERVICE.”
PALOS PARK POLICE CHIEF JOE MILLER HAS APPOINTED SENIOR
CITIZEN LIAISON OFFICER ROSS CHIBE TO OVERSEE THE “YOU ARE
NOT ALONE” PROGRAM, AND WORK WITH THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF
PALOS PARK .
THE PREMISE OF THE “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” PROGRAM IS FOR PALOS
PARK POLICE OFFICERS TO CHECK ON SENIOR RESIDENTS
PERIODICALLY AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE NOT IN NEED OF
IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE, THAT THEIR HOME IS SECURE, THEIR
HEAT, WATER, ETC. IS WORKING AND THEY ARE NOT BEING
VICTIMIZED BY PHONE SCAMS, CON ARTIST ETC…
JOE MILLER RELATED, “OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE SENIORS AWARE OF
POTENTIAL SCAMS BEING PERPETRATED ON SENIORS, AS WELL AS
ENSURING THEY ARE SAFE AND SECURE IN THEIR HOMES.”
AS THE “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” PROGRAM EXPANDS, ALL MEMBERS OF
THE DEPARTMENT WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM AND CONDUCT
THE WELL-BEING CHECKS ON ALL FOUR OF PALOS PARK’S PATROL
ANY PALOS PARK SENIOR INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE
PROGRAM IS ENCOURAGED TO CALL CHIEF JOE MILLER AT 708 671
Palos Park Police
Department Issues Senior Scam Alert - Alarming Increase in Targeted Victims
They then seek
change for a $100 or $50 bill in an attempt to
find out where the money is kept and they keep
the homeowner busy while their accomplice
searches the house for money or jewelry.
A number of victims
reported the Black pick up truck being used by
these senior predators. They will always wear a
cap to hide their face and grow or shave off
facial hair as they commit these crimes. The
offender’s utilize distraction and confession to
gain entry into the home and commit the
burglary. Seniors are their target and seniors
should by extremely cautious.
The Palos Park
Police Department is working with other
communities to locate identity and charge these
potentially dangerous predatory offenders. Any
one approached by these offenders should call 9
1 1 and anyone with any additional information
is urged to call the Palos Park Police
Department at 708 671 3770.
|Palos Park Police Department
Senior Safety Tips
- Scam artists and thieves are always
out there, waiting to cash in on your hard earned money. It’s easy
to have your tax refund, social security or other retirement
payments deposited directly into your bank account.
- Not only is this convenient, it is
much safer too. Direct deposit eliminates the chance that your
checks will be taken from your mailbox or that you’ll be observed
taking a month’s livelihood from the bank.
- Whenever possible, travel with
friends to the store, the bank or doctor. You are much less likely
to have your purse or wallet stolen,
- Do not carry credit cards or large
sums of cash. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, which make
tempting targets for thieves.
- Work out a buddy system with a
neighbor. Check on each other each day. Let neighbors know when you
are away from your house or on a trip so they can watch out for you.
Return the favor when they are away.
You worked hard for your money,
protect it…and yourself from fraud!!!!!
Although frauds and scams can happen at any time of the year, spring and
summertime is a particularly busy season for con artists. This is
especially true of home repair and contractor fraud. Home repair fraud
takes many forms. Someone may approach you with an offer to re‐roof your
house or install new windows at a price that seems too good to be true
(it probably is). You also need to be careful of home improvement loan
scams. Do not be tricked into signing papers that allow fraudulent
contractors to obtain mortgages or assign liens against your home.
- Never sign a contract that you do
not fully understand. Be suspicious if you are approached by someone
offering to do home repairs for you. Be particularly wary of on
- Solicit door to door or to have
leftover material from another job in the neighborhood that they
want to use up. Or Claim that they just happen to be passing by
and noticed you needed their service.
- Accept only cash payments
- Require payment in full up front
- Refuse or fail to provide
- Suggest that you borrow money
from a lender they happen to know. Many one of these situations
are a red flag to you that something may not be right.
- Ask for a written contract that
fully outlines the details of the job, including product and
materials specifications, time lines, warranties, and payment
schedules. Never sign a contract without reading it carefully,
or if it has blank spaces to be filled in later. A good contract
should protect both you and the contractor. If the contract is
vague or confusing, or there is something about it that you
STOP! Do not let someone rob you
with a ballpoint pen. Con artists and swindlers use many different ploys
to separate you from your money. Some simple things you can do to
- Always be careful about giving
out personal information, especially financial information, to
someone you don’t know—whether you are approached at your front
door, on the street, at the shopping center, or on the
- If someone calls you on the
phone and asks for your social security, credit card or bank
account number, do not give it to them. When someone calls, you
have no sure way of verifying who they say they are.
- Be wary of anyone who calls or
approaches you and asks that you produce cash for any reason.
People posing as law enforcement officials, bank examiners and
others bilk unsuspecting victims out of millions of dollars each
year. No legitimate police officer, bank official, or government
agency will ever ask you to provide cash to help them in an
investigation. Legitimate sweepstakes and contest operators
never require the “winner” to produce payment to collect their
- Check their identification.
Government officials, police officers, utility company
employees, and others who work with the public all carry
identification. Don’t be shy about asking to see it—and calling
the appropriate agency or company to confirm their legitimacy