Naperville police are cautioning residents to be on their guard against financial scams being conducted via the telephone and e-mail.
One of the newer schemes plays on residents’ concerns that their accounts for city-provided utility services might be overdue, police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said Monday in a release.
“In recent weeks, the city has ... been made aware of customers receiving utility account ‘past due’ phone calls from a phone number in Area Code 818,” Cammiso said in the statement. “These calls are not from the city.”
“Calls from the city regarding utility accounts will show up on caller IDs as ‘City of Naperville,’ and almost always show the number 630-420-6059. The city does not make any calls from an 800 number requesting payments for utility services.”
Con artists are also using the telephone and e-mail to pose as representatives of other government agencies, as well as pay day loan businesses and Dish Network, Cammiso said. They often “assert that the victims owe back taxes or have some other non-existent financial obligation,” he said.
“Many of these calls threaten the victim with arrest, large fines and, in some instances, revocation of immigration status and deportation, if the victim does not provide either a credit card number or other banking information to immediately settle the debt,” Cammiso said.
Senior citizens have also been targeted in so-called “grandchild scams,” Cammiso said.
“In these scams, the victim receives a phone call from a ‘grandchild’ who claims to have been arrested, and requests the victim forward funds, usually via a money transfer company” to pay for their bail or a fine, Cammiso said. “Residents should always confirm the validity of any such information with family members” before sending any money anywhere, he said.
“In yet another common scam, residents have been called by individuals claiming to be representatives of Microsoft or other computer-related firms, claiming to have remotely scanned the victim’s computer,” Cammiso said. “The caller claims to have identified viruses on the victim’s computer, and offers to sell the victim software or a monitoring program,” he said.
“Anyone receiving such calls or e-mails should never provide the caller with any personal or banking information,” Cammiso said.
Residents who believe they have been the targets of scams or who receive suspicious phone calls or e-mails can contact police at 630-420-6006.