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Posted on: April 11, 2020

Scam & Burglary Reports in Northbrook

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We’ve received reports of "maintenance worker" scams, where someone poses as a professional needing to do unexpected work on or near your house. Scammers are also posing as employees from the Village’s “Water Department” with the intent to gain access and burglarize your home. Please be vigilant and cautious. The Northbrook Police Department and Public Works Department want you to take note of the following: 

1.  Public Works employees will arrive in a marked vehicle with a number and the Village seal. If you’re unsure, secure your front door and contact Public Works at 847-272-4711 (Mon-Fri from 7am-3pm) or the Police non-emergency line at 847-564-2060 (24/7) to verify the person’s identity.

2. Public Works employees do not need to enter homes unless they are called out by the property owner for a specific issue (leaking meter, frozen meter, pressure issues, scheduled water meter replacement, sewer back-up, flooding issue).

3. Public Works employees may come to the door to notify residents of something, such as water being shut off for a water main break repair or construction work that will impact their access to their driveway. Employees may also have to conduct an inspection for a tree removal permit and take pictures, however they will notify the resident before entering a backyard if needed. These instances do not require employees to come into the home.

4. There are times when a Public Works employee has to go into a resident’s home. However, it is usually not without an appointment or responding to a resident call/request for service (e.g. a leaking water meter, sewer back-up, or flooding issue). Non-emergency requests are typically scheduled with the residents; again, you can verify the employee by calling Public Works or the Police Department.

5. If you are suspicious and have not verified the worker, do not agree to go to your basement, backyard, or side of your house without taking precautions. Make sure to get your keys and lock your doors and windows behind you first. Do not leave workers unattended in your home. 

Offenders will also typically represent themselves as an employee of a tree removal company or as a roofing, fence, or chimney repair person. Scammers will try to get you to leave your home or will try to gain access to your residence. The Northbrook Police Department recommends the following: 

  1. Look through your window or peep hole before opening the door. Ask for identification and a telephone number for a supervisor at the company they represent. If possible, take a photo of the person and their vehicle.
  2. Call the PD non-emergency number, 847-564-2060, press 0, to request an officer to your residence to verify the person’s identity and job affiliation.
  3. Do not agree to go to your backyard or side of the house with this person. If you must, make sure to get your keys and lock your front door behind you first.

Trust your gut, and notify the Northbrook Police Department if you feel you are being scammed.

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