Complaints about unemployment scams skyrocket

Buffalo Grove Police report 13 complaints from residents who say they were contacted about bogus claims opened with the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

            In all 13 cases, residents said they received a debit card under the ruse that it was in response to their application for unemployment benefits with IDES.  In most cases, the card was issued by Cleveland-based Key Bank. Based on information on its website, Key Bank does not have branches in Illinois.

            While the Buffalo Grove Police have not issued guidelines for specifically handling identity theft related to IDES, Terry Savage, a nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy, and the markets, who writes a weekly personal finance column syndicated in major newspapers by Tribune Content Agency, wrote in the Chicago Tribune on July 27 that the scam hits “mostly seniors — unexpectedly receive a debit card from the bank that manages state unemployment payouts. It’s attached to a letter welcoming them to the unemployment system and instructing them to activate the card. Authorities are investigating whether this is an inside job — perhaps someone inside the unemployment department or at the bank — authorizing payments. Once the card is activated, the scammers may have a duplicate card to withdraw funds before the unknowing recipient figures it out. It’s an unfolding mystery.”

            Savage’s advice for residents who receive an unexpected debit card is “do not activate it. Instead, report it to the issuing bank immediately. If it purports to be from state unemployment offices, look for its fraud hotline, and leave a message if you can’t get through. Hold on to the unactivated card as evidence.”

            She advises that persons receiving a fake IDES claim and card should get a credit report. “You are allowed a free credit report every year from each of the three major bureaus. Go to for online links to each bureau; you won’t have to pay fees for the report or identity protection services.”

            It’s also highly recommended that a police report is filed. “This could become an essential element if you later become a further victim of identity theft. Your insurance claim can be processed more easily if there is a police report. And if you ever receive a 1099-G for taxable income from unemployment benefits, you will have more proof that you were victimized,” Savage writes.

            She has additional information in a post, IDES and Identity Theft? on her website,

            ** Additional fraud reported In addition to the reports of bogus IDES filing, Buffalo Grove Police says six residents reported they were contacted by scammers who tried to victimize them.

Cases included:

·         A resident reporting a fraudulent IRS tax filing.

·         An attempted opening of an account with Time-Warner cable

·         Unauthorized bank transfers totaling $20,000.

·         A resident who bought a vehicle on Facebook Marketplace and was then told to complete the purchase by buying $1,600 in gift cards. After the resident provided the numbers to the seller, he was then instructed to send an additional $1,000 for insurance during delivery. At this point the resident realized it as a scam.

·         A Buffalo Grove couple told police they sold two beds on Craig’s List and received a check for $2,100 to a $500 purchase.  They were told to send the extra money for movers who would pick up the beds and deliver them to Florida where the alleged purchaser lived. The couple then heard from the “purchaser” who said they did not want the beds and the couple should send $400 back and keep $100. Suspecting a scam, the couple tried to call the purchaser who, say reports, acted as if they couldn’t hear anything on the phone and hung up. Classified ads were so much easier.

·         A resident was trying to book a vacation in Florida and sent the “property director” $2,300.  The resident soon found out that the property director was in the United Kingdom and the rightful property owner and accounts are based in Florida.

·         A resident reported to police that $23,220 in fraudulent online checks were written against his account. The man is working with his bank to resolve the issue.

** Cooler thefts reported Two Yeti coolers with a total value of $499.98 were reported stolen from a hardware store in the 700 block of south Buffalo Grove Road.

** Maybe it’s a good move A resident contacted police because she was concerned that a neighbor was taking photos of her as she moved out. Reports say the two neighbors had not been on the best of terms and the man taking the photos told police he was doing so in case the neighbor who was moving “vandalized his property.”

** Up in smoke The manager of a tobacco shop in the 1000 block of Weiland Road reported that between 70 and 80 cartons of cigarettes were stolen. Thieves entered the store by breaking a window. Value of the swiped smokes is between $80 and $100 a carton.

** Vandalism reported -- A resident reported that over the past eight weeks his property has been targeted by unknown individuals who have egged and thrown water balloons at the front, sides and back of his home, written "pig" in the dirt on the side, and allegedly dented the rear hatch door of his company-owned SUV, written "pig" in chalk on sidewalk near the front of his home, sent large pizza orders to his home which he did not order and caused approximately $1000 damage to several bushes and a tree on his property. The landscaping was possibly damaged by a chemical contained within a balloon.

Stupid is as stupid does

Buffalo Grove Police issued four tickets for DUI, four tickets for driving on a suspended of revoked drivers license, two for driving an uninsured motor vehicle, one for driving without a driver’s license and one for transporting open liquor.

Community News

Less opposition?

            What’s in a name? Apparently when it comes to economic development, quite a bit. As the Daily Herald’s Steve Zalusky reports, a decade ago residents were up in arms about a proposed development that would have infringed on the Buffalo Grove Golf Course. The words golf course rattled residents.

            However, during a the Village Board’s July 20 meeting, some residents who were vehemently against development on the golf course, seemingly embraced a proposed redevelopment of Town Center by Kensington Development Partners. Why? Possibly because the golf course conjures images of open green space while Town Center brings to mind vacancies and a strip center that lacks visual appeal and retail anchors to attract shoppers.

            Another contentious part of economic development, establishment of a Tax Increment Financing district, was also approved by the Board.

 Rotary Ducks

            Even without Buffalo Grove Days as its stage, the Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove is still holding its annual Duck Race. Like many events during the pandemic, the race will be done virtually on Sunday, Sept. 6.

            There are three levels of entries – Lucky Duck, which is a single duck for $5, Quack Pack, which is six ducks for $25 and the Flock of Ducks, which offer participants 25 ducks for $100.

            Rotary plans on awarding more than $3,000 in prize money including prizes $1,500, $500 $250, with 10 people winning $100.

            Persons can enter by going to this link.

            The Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove supports many local charities and community initiatives, including hunger relief, safety programs, park improvements, Special Olympics, school programs, and student exchanges. Beyond their local efforts, its members have traveled to global service projects that include providing fresh water in Africa, development projects for schools in the Guatemalan jungle, and immunization efforts to eradicate polio in India and Nigeria.


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