Northbrook Police Warn of Phone Scams

July 30, 2014

Prepaid Credit Cards

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The following is from the Northbrook Police Department:

The few minutes you take to read this and share with your friends,
family and co-workers may save you $$$!

Scams, Frauds and Con Artists…. A few new facts to know:

There has been a recent flood of phone scams
in our area and throughout the country. If you did not initiate the contact,
don’t give any personal information over the phone, online or let someone into
your home.

A common scam that has been reported to Northbrook Police, as well as in
surrounding area communities, involves a caller claiming to be with an agency
or utility such as the IRS, ComEd, ATT or another common business. They will
advise that there was an error in your taxes or a late bill, and that you need
to get a prepaid credit card and give them the access code immediately to avoid
penalties, disconnection of the utility or even jail. The caller instructs the
victim to put money on a debit/gift card or free pay card such as a GreenDot
Card and provide the card number and access code as payment. (Another popular
phone scam is when an unknown caller tells you that you won a prize but you
just have to pay for the taxes prior to receiving the prize. In addition, be
weary if you receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be a family
member asking for money to be sent to them.)

No one from any legitimate agency would ever ask you to purchase and pay
with prepaid credit cards. If you are ever requested to pay a bill over the
phone with a debit or Green Dot Card – STOP – and disconnect the call
immediately. Once the card information is given to a scammer there is NO
getting the money back or canceling the card, the money is gone!

This is
happening to both residents and businesses. Most recently to two local businesses.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Northbrook Police Department
Crime Prevention Unit at 847/664-4427.

Remember…Unless you initiate the call or contact with a bank, credit
card company or any other service provider, do not give any information when an
email or phone call is received. More often than not these are
#34;Phishing#34; attempts.

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames,
passwords, credit card details, and personal information by masquerading as a
trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.