Recently in Downers Grove, a resident reported to police that a person appeared at their home claiming to be a new neighbor. The person told the victim that they had just purchased a home "down the street." and wanted the victim to come outside so he could explain some improvements that he was planning on making to the property. The entire story was a ruse to lure the resident out of their home so the offender's partner could go into the unlocked home of the victim to steal valuables.
It is important that all attempts to victimize residents are reported immediately to the Police Department, even if the attempt is not successful. Police officers will increase patrols and advise residents of the incident via newsletters, newspaper articles, and cable television, so they will not fall victim. Information is also shared with other area police departments.
- Exercise caution when someone comes to your home that you do not recognize.
- Always confirm that anyone you allow to enter your home is legitimate. If you are in doubt, call 9-1-1 immediately. The Downers Grove Police Department is here to assist you.
- Do not hesitate to call anytime you are concerned about your safety or the safety of another resident.
Other Popular Scams
This scam usually targets senior citizens. The caller will impersonate either the grandchild of the victim, or claim to be a person in a position of authority such as a police officer, medical profesional or an attorney. The caller claims the grandson or granddaughter of the victim is in desperate need of money to get out of jail or some type of other trouble. The scammer will convince their victim that they need money quickly, and the victim complies in order to help their grandchild. NEVER send money to anyone on the telephone claiming there is an urgent emergency - ALWAYS check it out first.
The victim receives an e-mail that says they've won a sweepstakes or lottery prize. In order to claim this prize, you must pay the taxes or a handling fee by wiring a sum of money. Remember, you should not have to pay any fees or taxes to claim a prize - EVER. NEVER wire money, cash checks for unknown businesses, or respond to suspicious e-mails.
Limit your exposure to these scams by being cautious about who has your personal information. Be aware that anytime you register for sweepstakes, including prizes such a cars, vacation, or cash, your information can be sold to scam artists who will contact you claiming that you have won.
Jury Duty Warrant
In this scam, the offender is trying to steal the identity of the victim. The caller identifies themselves as an officer of the court and tells the victim that they failed to appear for jury duty and an arrest warrant has been issued by the court. The scammer offers to "cancel" the warrant if the victim provides pertinent information such as their social security number. This information is used to steal the identity of the victim. You would never be contacted by the court system and instructed how to "cancel" an arrest warrant; and no court official would ask for your social security number over the phone.