Woman scammed after caller "spoofs" Police Department phone number


           Buffalo Grove Police are cautioning residents about a scam that apparently “ghosts” or “spoofs” the Police Department’s non-emergency phone number.

This comes after a resident reported that said she gave $1,500 to what she was told was the “Federal State Commission.” Reports say the caller, who said her name was “Emily Edward” had apparently compromised the resident’s personal information and told the resident that she would need to pay $1,500 to clear her name or there would be a warrant for her arrest issued.

When the resident began to question the call, the caller said she would have a Buffalo Grove Police officer call her.

A short time later, the resident got a phone call from someone identifying himself as “Sergeant Harper” with badge number 901 calling from the nonemergency phone number (847-459-2560) for the Buffalo Grove Police Department. Seemingly satisfied, the resident called the original caller again and was instructed to purchase three $500 gift cards at Target, which she did.

            There is no Sergeant Harper on the Buffalo Grove Police Department and the phone number had been ”ghosted” to make the call seem legitimate.

            Police officials say residents who are concerned about receiving a phone call from the Buffalo Grove Police they believe to be a spoofed call, should confirm the caller’s identity by hanging up, and calling the actual non-emergency number, (847-459-2560), and requesting to speak with the officer who made the call. This way, police officials say, if the call is legitimate, they can be connected. If it is an attempt to scam the resident, they can be guided down the correct path by the desk officer who will provide residents information about filing a report if needed, and other ways to protect their identity, and avoid potential fraud.

** Loud music complaint unmasks other issues – Police responded to a complaint at Versailles Banquets in the 100 block of north McHenry Road. Management told police that since they had a 2 a.m. liquor license, they could stay open until 2 a.m. While that may be the case, police said it didn’t provide provisions for loud music. But wait, there’s more. Responding officers noted that three of the waiters serving customers outdoors were not following the 6-foot social distancing guidelines, nor were they wearing face coverings. Officers also noted that there were customers not wearing face coverings standing around an indoor bar. The manager on duty said he was not aware of the state’s Phase 3 guidelines.

** Bogus unemployment claims reported – Buffalo Grove Police report three cases of residents receiving notice of unemployment claims that they didn’t file. In one case, a Buffalo Grove resident said he received a letter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts informing him that a fraudulent claim for “pandemic unemployment insurance” had been filed in his name. The man knew it was a fake because he’s retired, has never lived in Massachusetts and has never worked there. A third complaint of fraudulent unemployment claim was by a resident on June 24. Reports say the woman received notification of the fake filing on June 18. In the report, the resident says on June 21 “…ABC or NBC evening news informed me that fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance are being made and they recommended contacting the local police, FBI, and IL Department of Employment Security.” She contacted IDES and then the Buffalo Grove Police.

Good night Chet, Good night David.

** More fraud reported – In addition to bogus unemployment claims, scoundrels continue to prey on some Buffalo Grove residents. Buffalo Grove Police report three fraud cases in the past week. In one case, a resident said the mailing address for her benefits was changed to an address in Niles. The resident contacted Social Security Administration officials who could not explain how the switch occurred. In a second report of fraud, a resident told police her father received a call from a man “with an Indian accent” who said he was from the Social Security Administration. The caller, who said his name was “Clyde Walton” told the man, with his daughter listening in, that the man’s Social Security Account had been compromised and action was needed. When the man’s daughter wanted more information about Clyde the caller, he became angry, told the woman to “shut up,” and then hung up on her.

** When you’re over 40, the police notice – A Glenview man is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court July 15 after allegedly driving 89 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour speed zone.

Reports say Lukasz Stalica, 26, told officers that the car was imported from Japan and had the steering wheel on the left side, and that he was confused because the car’s speedometer was listed in kilometers. Reports also indicate that Stalica was allegedly intoxicated. Police say that upon exiting the vehicle, Stalica was reminded by a female passenger to, reports say, “pull up his pants,” which he reportedly did before lowering his face covering. Reports says officers noted a strong odor of alcohol. After failing field sobriety test, he was taken to the Buffalo Grove police department where, reports say, he was “was disruptive,” and used inappropriate language, insulted the desk officer and was condescending towards officers.

Reports say Stalica bragged about “how much money he made and how he allegedly beat up a friend whom he just bonded out of jail for a gun offense. Stalica allegedly told police his arrest was “just a big waste of his time,” and that he “didn't believe drinking and driving should be illegal unless someone was injured or killed.”

He was charged with DUI, speeding in excess of 40 miles over the posted speed limit and driving without a valid driver’s license.

After processing, reports say Stalica was “picked up by Lyft,” which must have been an interesting ride.

            ** When you least expected, you’re selected – A resident who lives in the 400 block of Gardenia Lane, contacted police about the location and angle of his neighbor’s security camera and lights. Officers checked and found that they were located and positioned in what reports said was a “reasonable manner for home security.” The resident said he had tried to speak with his neighbor, but, note reports, “… but their relationship has deteriorated since the stay-at-home order.” Maybe they should have both stayed inside.

            ** Tires slashed – A resident in the 700 block of Grove Drive reported damage to all four tires on his truck June 20. Reports indicate that two tires were flat and two had lost a significant amount of air. The tires are valued at $800.

            ** The falling leaves – A resident in the 600 block of Grove Drive contacted police because he was upset with the maintenance firm that cleaned the gutters on his building. The man reportedly told police that while the firm was cleaning the gutters, they threw “whirlybirds” on to an area where the man plants flowers, an act he said was intentional.

            The Department’s botanical brigade checked and found that there were “whirlybirds” on the ground by adjoining units. The resident said that was because the maintenance crew threw them toward those units as well. The man was told by police that yard maintenance is a homeowners’ association issue and that he should discuss it with them. That’s called a subtle hint.

            And, if you must know, whirlybirds are also commonly referred to as “helicopters,” “whirlers,” “twisters” or “whirligigs.” Technically known as samaras, they are the winged seeds produced by maple trees. So there.

** Stupid is as stupid does -- Buffalo Grove Police report one arrest for DUI, two for driving without a valid driver’s license, one for driving without insurance, one for driving an unsafe vehicle and one for operating a motor vehicle without a muffler.

Community Updates

Park District reopening facilities

            The Buffalo Grove Park District has announced that many of its facilities are set to reopen.

According to the Park District, most facilities reopened Monday, June 29, with the exception of the Fitness Center, which will reopen Monday, July 6.

            In a news release, the Park District said “personnel are currently removing the caution tape that has been placed on the playground equipment throughout the community. For safety reasons, we ask that members of the public do not use any playground equipment until the caution tape has been removed; and, please do not remove any caution tape. Please also maintain social distancing; and, we recommend wearing a facemask if other people are also using the playground.”

            A new program guide for July is was released Monday, June 29, with registration starting the same day. Programs will begin on July 6. The guide and updated information are available at BGParks.org.

Libraries announce July programs

            While the buildings remain closed, the Indian Trails Library District and Vernon Area Public Library have announced programming for July.

Indian Trails Library information is available at indiantrailslibrary.org while the schedule for programming at the Vernon Area Public Library can be found at www.vapld.info.

Residents skeptical of TIF district

Concerns about development near homes, on the Buffalo Grove Golf Course and valuation of a proposed tax increment financing district highlighted a public hearing on the proposal June 22. According to a report in the Daily Herald, “proponents say the TIF district is needed to revitalize an area that has lacked economic growth and features numerous vacant business spaces.”

The Village Board is expected to vote on the proposed TIF district at its July 20 meeting.

Vernon Township hikes assistance for residents in need

The Vernon Township Board has approved increased funding for general assistance and lower eligibility requirements for emergency assistance to township residents due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“We recognize the difficult times many of our residents are living through, given the COVID-19 and the subsequent recession,” said Vernon Township Supervisor Jonathan Altenberg. “We hope that these changes can help.”

The availability of one-time emergency assistance will change from once every 18 months, to once every 12 months, and income limits will increase to allow more to qualify for emergency assistance.

Previously, a family of four applying for a $1,000 emergency assistance grant would require monthly income under $3,342. That threshold has now been raised to $5,941.

General assistance monthly disbursements for qualified residents will increase from $315 to $500 per month.

Complete information is available at this link.

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