FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ross Finnelly, Division Chief of Investigations
It has been reported that Village residents and businesses are receiving
automated “robo” calls
that are showing up on their caller ID
as coming from the Village of Oak Lawn.
These calls are the result of a third party “spoofing”, or manipulating
the technology to make it appear that the calls are originating from the
Village when they are in fact originating from a different number.
The nature of these calls is usually attempting to sell
a product or service or there is no one on the line when
you answer. If you receive any calls demanding money
or personal or financial information contact the
Oak Lawn Police Department non-emergency number
ComEd has seen an increase in reports of individuals calling ComEd customers and falsely claiming their electric service will be disconnected unless payment is made. These impersonators instruct customers to buy a prepaid credit card and call back to a different phone number with the personal identification number (PIN) or other personal information. They also use a tactic called “spoofing” to manipulate the Caller ID displayed phone number so that it appears as a ComEd number.
ComEd representatives will never call you to ask you for cash or request that you purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on your bill. If you have concerns about the status of your account, call ComEd’s Customer Service line at 1-800-334-7661(1-800-EDISON1).
- Report Phone Scams
Unfortunately, this scam and many, many, others are quite common in today’s world. Many of them originate from overseas offenders and it’s near impossible to identify who they are in this world of computer and other technologies. It is imperative the public be informed and understand it is o.k. to hang up on all unsolicited phone calls. As you all know, the scammers are already treading into scam calls on all of our cell phones. You are under no obligation to speak to anyone. A simple “no thanks”, and a hanging up, is all it takes.
If you believe you have been the target of a phone scam, ComEd urges you to contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013), or visit the Illinois Attorney General's website “Protecting Consumers” link.
- Report Identity Theft
If you believe your identity has been stolen and a ComEd account has been opened in your name, you may make a claim regarding the fraudulent activity by filling out an affidavit..pdf.
Pease mail or fax completed forms to:
ATTN: Revenue Management
P.O. Box 2550
Chicago, IL 60690-2550
How to Avoid Becoming a Burglary Victim
1. Every 15 seconds, a residential burglary occurs somewhere in the United States.
2. Some of these burglaries are Ruse Burglaries, scam artists who pose as legitimate workers who will talk their way into the victims’ home. Some even unlock a window or a door for illegitimate entry at a later date and time. Some are opportunists who just happen to spot an easy target, such as the elderly, or an open door or window.
3. The neighborhood is our best defense, don’t hesitate to be nosy. Obtain descriptions of vehicles and license plates. If you see anything out of the ordinary, call the Police.
4. Tell close neighbors that you trust if you plan to be away or expect any deliveries. If they are in the know, they may notice something you didn’t mention and spot unexpected callers at your home. Burglars often stop at the front door of a home, ring several times then knock to see if anyone is there.
5. Use timers on interior lights if you are away from the home. Cancel newspapers and mail delivery or have a trusted friend pick them up daily.
6. A dog is an asset and deterrent. Burglars are more likely to avoid a house with a dog. Small dogs make a lot of noise and bark longer and louder than some big dogs.
7. Survey your property, inside and out to determine any weak links in your home security. High risk areas are windows and doors in secluded spots, the door from your garage into the house, side breezeways where a burglar can’t be seen. Keep landscaping trimmed and remove large shrubs that can provide cover for a burglar.
8. Take action to increase protection in these vulnerable areas. Install keyed locks on windows and use deadbolts on doors. If windows are left open on the second floor, make sure your ladder is locked away.
9. Be wary of who you allow into your home. Do not give any information to those you don’t know such as what you own and your travel schedule. This applies to neighbors as well, those you know little about or don’t trust. Do not leave valuables in plain view from inside the home or outside.
10. When you can, vary the times you enter and leave your home. If you own several cars, switch drivers frequently making it more difficult for an observer to know who is home and when.
11. Residential security systems are becoming more available and less costly. You can research these on-line to determine what may best suit your needs. Even fake cameras can be a deterrent but only if they resemble the real thing. Fake signs and stickers don’t work but if you do have an alarm, real stickers and signs help.
12. Install and utilize motion detector lighting on your garage, rear yard, and front door. Motion activated cameras are another powerful weapon as a burglary deterrent and can be linked to a computer. Deer and trail cams are inexpensive and can be hung high and out of direct sight. Some of these cameras can be linked to your cell phone and can store pictures on an off-site back up such as your G-Mail account.
13. A visible alarm system linked to your local police is also an effective deterrent.
14. Avoid creating temptation for the thieves. Don’t leave valuable property such as lawnmowers, snow blowers, and bikes unattended in the yard. These items are easily stolen and easily sold by the offender.
15. Do not leave a key hidden anywhere on the outside of a home. The burglars know all the "Secret" hiding places. (Elicka Peterson-Sparks , 2015)
16. If you have ever been burglarized, you are six times more likely to be victimized again. Do take extra precautions. Burglaries can be much more than that, if your personal identifiers are taken, you could wind up being an Identity Theft victim as well.