The Elmhurst Police Department is partnering with local businesses to help prevent fraud within our community. Nationwide, police agencies are noticing a trend of common internet and telephone scams, often targeting elderly victims. The most common illegal scams we have seen include the caller impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming to be a loved one or family member in need of immediate help, or claiming to be affiliated with local or federal law enforcement.
Victims of these scams are then instructed to purchase numerous iTunes or Amazon gift cards, pre-paid credit cards, or transfer money using Western Union out of the country. The victims are then instructed to call the scammer back and provide the serial numbers on the cards, which are then immediately used for purchases with victims losing anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
With the cooperation of businesses within our community, together we have posted “Stop Scam” signs near point of purchase locations or where gift cards are sold. “This is a great opportunity to proactively work with our local retailers and prevent these types of crimes from occurring. We have had several cases where citizens in Elmhurst have lost thousands of dollars in these scams” said Chief Michael Ruth. “It is especially important for us to protect those who are most vulnerable. Elderly victims often on fixed incomes are commonly targeted in this scam and it’s rewarding to hear that these signs can prevent them from falling victim” Chief Ruth said.
If you suspect someone you know is being deceived by one of these scams, please call the Elmhurst Police Department at (630)-530-3050.