How to Prevent Scams

Spreading Public Awareness about Scams

The Naperville Police Department recently held a public presentation, to spread awareness about how to prevent being scams.

NPD crime prevention specialist Julie Smith spoke to community members at city hall about how to prevent, spot, and respond to scams.

Smith said those who perpetrate scams, are professionals, and know exactly what to look for to sell the scam, as Naperville residents at the presentation attested to, firsthand.

How Scams Play Out

“They prey on your vulnerabilities. So whatever area you’re most vulnerable, that’s where they will manage to get to you. In my case, it was with my grandchildren,” said Steve and Sharon Cornell attendees of the presentation.

The “grandchildren” or “relative” scam is one of many ploys done over the phone, primarily to senior citizens.

“Hi grandpa, this is your favorite grandson. I’m in jail, I was in an automobile accident. I need money, for bail,” Said Steve Cornell

That’s one of many scams that tries to capitalize on your fears or your hopes. Other phone scams might try to convince someone they owe money to the IRS, utility services, or bank, they also claim you’re in legal trouble with the police.

Emails and even fake websites can also be misleading, asking those viewing them to enter personal information, or saying they won a sweepstakes.

Staying Vigilant

Smith stressed that official government entities and most businesses will never call or email and ask for personal information or money, and if you feel as though something isn’t right, always trust your instincts. Double check phone numbers, emails, websites, contacts, personal information or anything else that feels suspicious.

“Do your homework, be aware, don’t take anything at face value until you can verify it. And Naperville Police is a very good source,” the Cornell’s said.

For more information, you can read about the presentation, on NPD’s website.

And you can of course report any suspicious activity you encounter to the NPD or the Naperville Crime Stoppers.

Naperville News 17’s Ryan Skryd reports.

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