Fraudsters posing as representatives from utilities, cable companies and government agencies have been shaking down Naperville residents for money owed on utilities or other non-existent debts in phone and email scams.
Naperville Police said they continue to field a significant number of complaints from residents who’ve recently fallen victim to a long laundry list of phone and email scams -- especially senior citizens.
Fraudsters have been posing as representatives from Commonwealth Edison, Pay Day Loans, Dish Network or other government agency, have been calling or sending emails to residents, claiming they owe back taxes or some other non-existent financial obligation, police said in a media advisory.
Victims are threatened with arrest, large fines, disconnection of services, or revocation of immigration status and deportation if they don’t provide a credit card number or banking information to immediately settle the debt, police said.
The city has also been aware of customers receiving “past due” phone calls from individuals originating from the 818 area code in the Los Angeles area in recent weeks. Police remind residents that the 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. Also, the city does not make calls from an 800-number requesting payments for utility services.
The so-called “grandchild scam” is back again targeting senior citizens. The victim receives a phone call from a “grandchild” who claims to have been arrested in Canada, Mexico or an island country. The “grandchild” requests victims to forward funds, usually through a money transfer company, such as Western Union, to pay for bail or their fine.
“Residents should always confirm the validity of such information with family members prior to complying with the requests made by the caller,” police said.
Last on the list of scams, residents have reported receiving calls from individuals posing as Microsoft representatives or other computer-related firms, claiming they have scanned the victim’s computer. The imposters advise that they identified viruses on the victim’s computer and offer to sell them virus protection software or a monitoring program.
“Anyone receiving such calls or emails should never provide the caller with any personal or banking information” police warn.