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Palos Park Police Department's Safety Information for Seniors

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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 the check.

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 CITIZEN PROGRAM
“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 SHIFTS.

ANY PALOS PARK SENIOR INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM IS ENCOURAGED TO CALL CHIEF JOE MILLER AT 708 671 3770.

 

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 contractors who:
    • 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 references
    • 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 don’t understand

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 protect yourself.

  • 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 telephone.
  • 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 prize either.
  • 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
 

 


8999 West 123rd Street
Palos Park, IL 60464
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NON-EMERGENCY POLICE RESPONSE (708) 448-2191
POLICE BUSINESS (708)448-0639 or (708)671-3770
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday-Friday

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