The State of Illinois provides a very detailed website with information regarding disaster preparedness and homeland security: www.ready.illinois.gov
Information relates to families and businesses, terrorism, and natural disasters such as the recent tornado outbreak that struck our state. We often forget that terrorism can strike close to home as well. Terrorism is not limited to specific groups. A lone individual can wreak havoc and cause disruptions to everyday life. Several brief videos about terrorism are available at: www.illinois.gov/ready/multi-media/Pages/Video.aspx
Remember: If you see something, say something – report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.
- Seven Signs of Terrorism
- Tests of Security
- Acquiring Supplies
- Suspicious or out of place behavior
- Dry Runs / Trial Runs
- Deploying Assets / Getting into Position
License Plate Renewal Reminder
Just a reminder that the Secretary of State is not sending out notices in the mail regarding expiring license plates. Paperless License Plates Renewal Notices are the convenient and secure way for Illinois motorists to go green and receive their notice by e-mail. To receive your license plate renewal by e-mail, enter your Registration ID and PIN located on the Renewal Notice you received in the mail or your current registration card. If you do not have a renewal notice or a current registration card, please call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980 to obtain your Registration ID and PIN number.
To receive emails register at https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail/.
The IRS continues to warn consumers to guard against scam phone calls from thieves intent on stealing their money or their identity. Criminals pose as the IRS to trick victims out of their money or personal information. Here are several tips to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:
- Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.
- Callers try to scare their victims. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
- Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
- Cons try new tricks all the time. Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.
- Scams cost victims over $23 million. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013. Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.
The IRS will not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call at 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Phone scams first tried to sting older people, new immigrants to the U.S. and those who speak English as a second language. Now the crooks try to swindle just about anyone. And they’ve ripped-off people in every state in the nation.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time.
Beware of falling prey to telemarketing fraud schemes and phone scams. Every year, thousands of consumers lose as little as a few dollars to as much as their life savings to telephone scam artists. Everyone is a potential target, because fraud isn’t limited by race, ethnic background, gender, age, education, or income. Avoid becoming a victim by reading the list below of common scams and ways to protect yourself.
- Caller ID Spoofing- You receive a call where total strangers pretend to be someone else and they back up their claims with spoofed Caller ID. The scam artists might then ask for money, demand a payment, request your personal information, addresses, or banking info. People report getting calls from 'Secretary of State', grandchildren, law firms, IRS, and government officials.
- For example, the caller identified himself as a court official and informed the victim that she is being prosecuted for failing to show up for Jury Duty. When the victim replies that this is the first time she hears that she was summoned for jury duty, the caller suggests that this may be a clerical error in the court system, and he asks for her full legal name, date of birth, and Social Security number to check the official summons files. The scam artist informs the victim that this data will be kept confidential, but it is required for cancellation of the outstanding arrest warrant.
- Charities & Fundraising Fraud-You may receive calls from scam artists posing as a charity and asking for donations. However, the charity is either non-existent or unaware of the solicitation.
- Credit and Loan Offers- In this scenario a scam artist promises a consumer a loan or a credit card on very attractive terms. All the consumer has to do is just send a processing fee, or provide checking account info, and the offer is guaranteed. After the payment is made the company disappears, and the victim is often left with an empty checking account.
- Identity Theft & Telemarketing- Scam artists lie on the telephone to get your personal information. They may lie about who they are, claiming that they're from a legitimate company and that you have a problem with your account. Or they may pose as representatives of a bank or government agency and ask you to confirm your billing information. Once they have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit cards, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.
- Sweepstakes and Lotteries- “Congratulations, it's your lucky day! You've just won $5,000!” If you get a phone call or a letter with a message like this, be skeptical. Scam artists often use the promise of a valuable prize or award to entice consumers to send money, buy overpriced products or services, or contribute to bogus charities. People who fall for their ploys may end up paying more and more for the products — if they ever get them at all.
Ways to Protect Yourself:
- Never give out your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number on the phone
- Always ask for written information before you agree to anything
- Reduce telemarketing calls by registering your number on the National Do Not Call Registry-Beware this may not eliminate all calls by scam artists.
- Look out for these frequently used “lines”:
“You’ve been specially selected to hear this offer.”
“You’ll get a wonderful free bonus if you buy our product.”
“You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.”
“You must send money right away.”
“We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.”
For more information or to report a scam contact:
- The Federal Trade Commission: call 1-877-382-4357
- Ill Attorney General: call 1-800-386-5438
- Mundelein Police Department: call 1-847-968-4600
How to prevent yourself from being a victim of a vehicle burglary
- Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times.
- DO NOT leave valuables in your vehicle.
- DO NOT leave keys to your vehicle inside the vehicle.
- DO NOT leave the vehicle running unattended.
Over the past several weeks this agency and surrounding agencies have experienced numerous residential burglaries commonly referred to as distraction or “ruse” burglaries. This style of burglary is unique in the fact that the homeowner is present during the burglary and usually never realizes until hours or days later that a burglary has even occurred. The subjects committing the burglaries target elderly individuals and pose as utility workers, surveyors, landscapers, construction workers, or village representatives. The object is to get the homeowner (s) out of the house and into a secluded area (usually the back yard or even a basement) while a second and/or third subject enter the residence and ransack various rooms looking for cash and jewelry. The whole incident is usually completed within a few minutes and the subjects leave the property in the vehicle they arrived in. The offenders are usually mistaken to be Hispanic as they have a dark complexion and speak in a foreign language. The offenders also try to conceal their identity by wearing sunglasses and/or hats. The persons who commit these types of crimes have many variations of the “ruse” and they are usually very good talkers.
The following is a list of recommended procedures should unknown persons come to your house requesting assistance or asking to complete any type of work that you did not request:
- Ask for identification when someone comes to your door and call police and have them verify.
- Don’t leave your house or allow anyone inside your house.
- Check on your neighbors if you see any suspicious behavior on your street.
- Attempt to obtain license plate information and a full vehicle description including make, model, and color.
- Contact the police immediately should become suspicious of any persons/vehicles in the neighborhood.
This bulletin is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Investigations Division of the Mundelein Police Department at 847-968-4600.
The Mundelein Police Department has been alerted to a phone scam aimed at stealing taxpayers’ money and warns the public to take note. This scam involves callers claiming to be from the IRS telling intended victims they owe taxes and must pay their tax bill using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers then threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation, or loss of a business or driver’s license. For years, scam artists have used this ploy to call or email residents claiming they owe unpaid taxes. The callers who commit this fraud often have some personal information about the resident whom they are contacting, such as their name and the last four digits of their social security numbers. To clarify, the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone. Mundelein residents can protect themselves from scams like this by never sharing their personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media and never wire money to anyone they do not know. The Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service offer on-line services to report attempted phone scams.