Ruse Burglaries in Hoffman Estates, IL 12-10-15
There has been some reported “ruse burglaries” in the communities around us where the offenders keep the homeowners occupied while another subject goes through the house and steals valuables. One of the most common “ruses” that presently is being used consists of a person coming to the door and saying that they are from “ComEd” or from “The Village” and that they are having power surge problems in the area. They will then tell you that they need to check your outlets to measure the current coming into the house. At this point, they will try to gain entry into your residence and try to keep you occupied in order to have another subject go through your house and remove valuables.
Another common “ruse burglary” is very similar except the offenders will tell you that they are from the water department and need to check the water pressure in your house. They will ask you to let them into your house to check the water pressure. Once inside they will try to distract you by having you turn on the kitchen or bathroom faucet while they check pressure. Once again, they will keep you occupied in order to allow another offender time to search your house and take your valuables. Sometimes, the offenders will claim to be a contractor doing work for a neighbor and ask you to accompany them so that you can show them your property line. This tactic gets you away from your house and allows them an easy entry into your residence.
There are several “ruse” tactics that these people will use, but they all rely on getting you to allow them access to your house and keeping you occupied. Please, always be suspicious when someone you don’t know comes to your door and requests access to your residence.
There are several steps that you can take to keep yourself from being a victim of a crime.
1. If someone comes to your door and claims to be from the village or a utility company, ALWAYS ASK FOR IDENTIFICATION. Our village employees have picture ID’s that were issued by the Village of Hoffman Estates. Utility company employees should also have identification issued to them by their companies.
2. If you are not sure if you should let them in, DO NOT!
3. CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT (DIAL 911) to verify the person’s identity. If they are truly from the village or from a utility company, they will wait patiently for the police to arrive.
Please do not hesitate to contact the police department to check on suspicious activity. Calling in suspicious activity makes your neighborhood safe! Be safe – Don’t Be A Victim
Phone Scams in Hoffman Estates, IL 12-12-14
Victims have reported several variations of cold call telephone scams that result in identity theft or the loss of money. These fraud schemes are very complex and the callers can be extremely convincing. Here are some of the common caller topics:
- Owing the IRS back taxes
- Family members needing money for jail bond
- Computer virus repairs
- Student loans and payday loans
- Mystery shopper job offers
Many of these callers use publicly available information to initiate a conversation and ultimately convince the victim they are calling for legitimate reasons. Should you receive one of these suspicious calls, here are a few tips to help protect yourself:
- When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the company back on their publicly listed telephone number.
- Never provide usernames, passwords, banking information or credit card numbers to the caller.
- Legitimate businesses will not use GreenDot Money Pak's as form of debt payment.
- A quick Internet search of the fraud scheme will generally confirm your instinct.
For additional assistance contact the Hoffman Estates Police Department at (847) 781-2800 BEFORE taking any action.
Catalytic Converter Thefts in Hoffman Estates, IL 08-26-14
The Hoffman Estates Police Department has seen an increase in the number of reported catalytic converter thefts. Catalytic converter thefts are taking place because the converters contain several types of recyclable materials that can easily be scrapped for quick profit. With just a few cuts with a battery-powered saw, the catalytic converter can be stolen in less than a minute. So what can you do to protect your vehicle?
Here are a few prevention tips to reduce your risk:
Always park in well lighted areas. Park in areas where your vehicle will be easily seen by passers-by. At shopping centers or similar lots park close to the entrance or near the access roads where there is a lot of traffic.
Purchase a vehicle security system and make sure it’s set to trigger with just the slightest motion. A catalytic converter protection device can be installed on your vehicle that will clamp around the converter.
Be aware of your surroundings. Report suspicious activity, persons or vehicles. If your converter is stolen, file a police report immediately after the theft is discovered.
Further information can be obtained from Sergeant Dornbos at (847) 882-1818.