This offense is committed when a con man spots someone out in their yard. He/she approaches the person and then attempts to distract the person’s attention. During this time a second (or third) person then enters the home while the homeowner is distracted, and steals valuables such as jewelry, cash, etc.
If you’re working in your yard, keep all entry/exit locations to your house locked that are not in your view. If a stranger approaches you and wants to use your phone, tell him/her “no”, but you will make an emergency call for him/her if they desire. Do not let anyone you don’t know into your house. Sometimes con men pose as utility workers. If you are not expecting a utility worker at your house, ask to see identification and call the utility company to verify the identity.
If you think you are a victim of a con game or con man, stop the con and call the Romeoville Police Department at 815-886-7219.
GPS UNITS STOLEN
The Romeoville Police Department has received a number of burglary to motor vehicle reports where the stolen items were portable GPS units. In many of these cases a vehicle window was broken in order to obtain the unit. Residents are reminded to either keep these units out of view or remove them from the vehicle when not in use. Also, do not leave the empty bracket mounted on the windshield/dash which may indicate to the car burglar that the unit may still be inside the vehicle. At this time portable GPS units are the number one item being stolen/targeted by thieves. Residents are encouraged to lock their car doors. Although sometimes thieves do break a car window to gain entry, the majority of car burglaries are done via unlocked car doors.
"RELATIVE IN ACCIDENT" TELEPHONE SCAM
The police department has received several calls from residents of a telephone scam that is being committed. A resident receives a call from an unknown person who requests that the resident call a specific telephone number to obtain information about an unknown relative who has been involved in a serious accident. When the phone number is called, there isn’t anyone on the other end. From that point on, the resident’s phone calls have been forwarded to that number they just called, and a party on the other end of that telephone number can make calls from that number and bill them to the residents telephone account. On one of these incidents the resident’s caller ID displayed “prison” when the initial call was received. Residents should be mindful about the potential for receiving suspicious telephone calls. If in doubt, do not call the number given, and contact the police immediately.
"JURY DUTY" TELEPHONE SCAM
A telephone scam has been identified where a person calls a citizen and states he is an employee of a U.S. Court and advises the citizen they have been selected for jury duty. These individuals ask to verify names and Social Security numbers, then ask for credit card numbers. If the request is refused, citizens are then threatened with fines and/or other legal action. The judicial system does not contact people by telephone and ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, credit card numbers or other personal information. If you receive one of these telephone calls, do not provide any personal or confidential information to these individuals. This is an attempt to steal or to use your identity and is a fraudulent call. You should also report this incident to the Police Department.
"PHISHING" E-MAIL SCAM
The Police Department has received calls from residents who were a victim of an email scam called “phishing”, (pronounced: fishing). The scam works like this: The recipient receives an official looking email, usually from a financial institution. This email requests the recipient click on a specific link to update their account or it will be closed. This link will lead to another official looking web page that requests they input personal information (Social Security number, date of birth, etc). This is a fraud. If the personal information is entered, the criminal(s) on the other end of the website now have a persons private information and are able to open credit accounts in that individual’s name. Some of the business names used by criminals in this fraud have been Citibank, Bank of America and ebay. The best prevention measure is DO NOT respond to an unsolicited email. Financial institutions report they will not send out emails to account holders to update their information.
"PIDGEON DROP" SCAM
The Police Department has received two reports within the past year of a scam occurring called a pidgeon drop. The scam went like this: The victim is approached by an offender who states he has a winning lottery ticket, but cannot collect the winnings because he/she is an illegal immigrant and asks the victim for help. On one occasion the offender gave the victim a telephone number to call that was allegedly to the Lottery Commission to verify that illegal immigrants cannot collect from a winning lottery ticket. The victim called this number and received “verification” that an illegal immigrant cannot collect. The offender tells the victim he/she will split the lottery winnings if they help by putting up earnest money. When a bank withdrawal was made by the victim, the money was given to the offender. The offender appeared to place the money in a white bag and handed it back to the victim advising they could hold the money until it was needed. The offender then left the victim. The victim opened the bag and it only contained shredded paper, and no money. In one of these instances a third person was brought into this scam by the offender who appeared to be just another person walking by. It turned out, this third person was working with the offender. Anyone approached by a person giving these or similar circumstances should know this is a fraud, and should call the police immediately.
The Police Department has received reports of a lotto scam being perpetrated on residents. A resident receives a formal letter that says they have won a lotto held in Dublin Ireland. The letter goes on to say that entrants in this lotto are residents from North America, Europe and Asia and you are selected as one of the winners. Enclosed in the envelope is an official looking check usually in the amount of $2000 - $3000. The letter instructs you to deposit this check into your bank account, and withdraw a slightly lesser sum (to cover fees and taxes) and send this amount to them and you will in turn receive your award which is approximately $114,000. Within a couple of days your bank will contact you to inform you the check is fraudulent. In some cases the victim did withdraw the money and sent it to the letter's originator who is listed as "Imperial Foundation Lotto." This is a fraud. DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY and do not attempt to deposit this check into your bank account. Residents who receive this or a similar letter should contact the Police Department.
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Anonymous Tip Line
Handicap Parking Ordinance
1050 West Romeo Road
Romeoville, IL 60446
Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm