Crime Prevention, Safety & Education

The Village's Crime Prevention Officer, Alexandra Ovington, is responsible for establishing and maintaining community contacts within the Department’s service area by developing and implementing presentations relating to crime prevention issues. The Officer participates in school-based education programs such as the PEDAL car program, Home Alone and Babysitting Safety presentations, officer friendly visits, and the 3rd grade officer friendly program which covers stranger safety, bullying and Internet safety and is taught by all members of the Community Services Bureau.

The Crime Prevention Officer also provides programs such as Residential and Business Security Surveys, Home and Personal Safety, and Identity Theft presentations.  The CPO has ancillary responsibilities such as false alarm review, liaison to the Arlington Heights Crime Stoppers, Village Plan Review, overseeing all social media accounts, organizing and planning of National Night Out, organizing the Toys for Tots drive, and providing information to the press as the Public Information Officer.

Bullying of Youth & Seniors

Youth Bullying
In the past, bullying was dismissed as a normal part of growing up.  Today we recognize the devastating effects of bullying.  We must educate those who are still living in the past. 

Bullying Defined...

Bullying is characterized by repeated, unprovoked harassment of another individual in which that individual had difficulty defending him/herself.   

Examples of Bullying...

  • Punching, shoving and other acts that cause physical harm
  • Spreading rumors – including cyber-bullying
  • Excluding people from a “group”
  • Teasing in a mean way
  • Getting certain people to “gang up” on others 

We must always consider the bully, the victim, and the bystander when addressing this problem.  Which one are you?  Various studies conclude that as many as 50% of children are victims and 25% are bullies at some time during their childhood.  Imagine how many bystanders there are! 

Effects on Victims...

  • Poor academic performance and school failure
  • Poor mental and psychological health – depression, anxiety and behavioral problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Delinquency
  • Relationship problems with friends and family.

A bully can experience similar consequences as well as possible legal ramifications. 

If You Are Being Bullied...

  • NEVER blame yourself
  • Talk to your parents or an adult you can trust, such as a teacher or school counselor
  • Act confident - do not retaliate, do not show you are upset and walk away.
  • Make friends with other students – It is more difficult to bully a group of friends
  • Avoid bullying situations – try not to be alone with the bully

If You See Someone Else Being Bullied...

  • Refuse to join in – stand firm
  • Offer support to those being bullied – they need to know they are not alone
  • Get help if necessary
  • Encourage them to speak to their parents or a trusted adult 

Senior Bullying
Bullying is mostly associated with children.  One child corners another in the hallway and begins  to tease and push them.  There is no age limit for bullying.  In fact, some reports have shown seniors face bullying more often than children.  This is an issue which should not be ignored.     

Bullying Behavior...

  • Can range from verbal intimidation all the way to physical violence.   
  • Repetitive, negative behavior towards another person which violates standards of appropriate conduct. 
  • Negative behavior occurring over a period of time, typically becoming more extreme. 
  • Behavior which may be consciously or unconsciously committed by the bully. 
  • The battle over a limited number of shared resources like chairs, tables, TVs or staff attention may promote bullying. 
  • Women tend towards passive-aggressive behavior like gossiping and spreading rumors, while men are more direct and “in your face”. 
  • Negative gossip, public snubbing, being left out of social gatherings and vocal insults are just a few examples of bullying behavior.

The Bully and the Target...

  • Someone with more power and status trying to control someone with less.                     
  • Relative intimidating a senior into releasing property or other assets. 
  • Health care professional bullying a senior because they are frustrated or just because they can.
  • Senior peer-to-peer bullying is prevalent in assisted living facilities and senior communities. 

Why Seniors Can Become Bullies...

  • Some senior bullies were bullies when they were younger.  
  • Seniors sometimes do not welcome aging and become disorderly and aggressive towards others. 
  • Dementia can cause seniors to become confused, aggressive or less inhibited. 
  • Seniors who lose their independence might try and dominate others to establish some control in their life. 


  • Bullying must be identified and not allowed to continue. 
  • Implement a Code of Conduct creating a culture which does not tolerate bullying. 
  • Make sure staff, relatives and other senior residents can identify bullying and then intervene. 
  • Encourage seniors to report bullying.  They may keep the information to themselves because they are embarrassed or have no friends and family to confide in. 
  • Report bullying to staff, senior advocates, ombudsmen, social workers and family members. 

Whether physical or emotional, being bullied can be traumatic regardless of age.  We must all take a stand against bullying.


Diversional Burglary Prevention
We all experience moments of distraction.  We get busy and have more than one thing on our minds.  We only lose time when that happens.  If we fall victim to offenders that use the art of distraction we can lose much more, including jewelry, cash and valuable family heirlooms.  Seniors are common targets.   

Never allow any worker without an appointment to enter your home.  Cons may pretend to work for a well known established company or possibly the Village of Arlington Heights.  This type of crime takes more than one offender.  Cons will often use what sounds like a legitimate problem as a distraction while other offenders enter your home to commit a theft.  If talking to subjects outside of your home make sure all exterior doors remain locked. Roof repair, window repair, natural gas leak, frozen pipes, tree trimming, gutter cleaning, snow removal and water meter checks are some prime examples. 

Actual Arlington Heights Cases...

  1. Victim pulled into garage and was approached by offender explaining that there was a frozen water pipe in the neighbor's townhouse.  The victim and offender went upstairs while the victim's wife was still downstairs.  A second offender entered the residence and asked her to run water in the first floor bathroom.  After both offenders left, the victim discovered over $14,000 in jewelry missing from the bedroom.
  2. Offenders rang the front door bell and told the victim she needed roof repairs.  She was distracted and confused because the offender spoke rapidly.  The first offender went upstairs while the second subject took the victim into the kitchen.  She walked back to the stairs and met the offender coming down.  She told them to leave.  The victim discovered that her wedding/engagement ring set valued at $800 and a watch valued at $200 had been removed from the upstairs bedroom.
  3. Offender appeared at the victim's door claiming to be trimming trees in the area.  He explained that the neighbor had asked him to trim back one of her trees.  When the victim walked toward the back yard the offender had entered the residence and was next to her.  They were looking out the back window when the offender received a cell phone call.  He then left quickly out the front door.  The victim later found approximately $400 missing from a bedroom dresser.
  4. Offender rang the door bell and asked the victim if he could remove the snow from her roof for $50.  He walked into the house and asked if her neighbors might be interested.  She asked if the offender could come back the next day and he left.  The victim later found that a second offender stole one diamond ring and one gold wedding band valued at over $2,500.
  5. An offender claiming to be a village official asked to victim to accompany him to the back of her yard to ask her questions concerning Village street work.  The subject talked for five minutes and then left.  The victim later discovered two gold chains, one broach, one pendant and a diamond ring were all missing.  The ring has a known value of $600.

Residential Burglary Prevention
Unfortunately, we are no longer living in the “good old days” when we could leave our doors unlocked, windows open and garage door up.   Criminals are looking for those opportunities and more when picking a target.  Your goal is to create a secure environment that a criminal will avoid - an attempt to break in is too much.   

Burglary Facts...

  • National average loss:  $1,991 per offense (FBI 2007) 
  • 64% of residential burglaries occurred during daylight hours (FBI 2007) 
  • Force used in 63% of residential burglaries. 
  • Front door is the most common entry point

Prevention Tips...

  • Address numbers should be clearly visible from the street – helps improve police and fire response times
  • Exterior lighting:  Automatic sensor lighting in front and motion detection lighting in back. 
  • Use solid core exterior doors with double key deadbolt locks (Min. 1” throw/3” screws). 
  • If a window is close to the door - keep the key a safe distance away. 
  • Install a door viewer if the door is solid.   
  • Sliding glass doors should have a burglar bar in the track.
  • Landscaping – bushes should be 3’or lower and trees should be trimmed 6’ up.  This will increase natural surveillance. 
  • Make sure alarm system is functioning properly 
  • Consider purchasing a safe for valuables and firearms.  Secure safe to floor or wall.
  • Make a list of your valuables, to include make, model and serial number. 
  • Make a video inventory of your property. 

Vacation Tips...

  • Make your home look like you are still there. 
  • Have several electronic devices on timers: lights, radio, television, etc.
  • Have a neighbor or friend collect mail or newspapers.  Do not stop these services; would you tell a complete stranger that you are on vacation?
  • Have a neighbor park their vehicle in your driveway.
  • Have your lawn and landscaping regularly maintained.  
  • During the winter, ensure your driveway and sidewalks are clear of snow.
  • Leave your window treatments open
  • Tell a trusted neighbor that you will be away so they can watch for suspicious activity.
  • Never share your vacation information with taxi cab or limo drivers.
  • Never post your vacation information on Social Media sites.

Reporting a Burglary
In the event you arrive home and find it forcibly entered – DO NOT ENTER.  Go to a neighbor’s home and call 911.   Stay there until police arrive and provide assistance as requested.  

Contact the Arlington Heights Police Department Community Services Bureau Crime Prevention Officer for a free Home/Business Security Survey at 847.368.5300.

Vehicle Burglary Prevention
Would you leave a stack of $20 dollar bills sitting on the dashboard of your car while you were working, shopping, visiting a friend or just sitting inside your home?  If you are like most people the answer is a resounding NO!  But there are hundreds maybe even thousands of people in Arlington Heights each day that leave their GPS, radar detector, laptop computer, ipod, purse, briefcase or other valuables sitting in plain view on the car seat, dashboard or floor.  The vast majority of the Vehicle Burglaries in Arlington Heights involve valuables in plain view being taken out of locked or unlocked vehicles parked in business, apartment, and condo parking lots, as well as, residential driveways and along village streets. These crimes can occur at anytime during the day or night . 

Vehicle burglary is a crime of opportunity.  There are three basic elements of a typical vehicle burglary: 

  1. Vehicle parked outside and accessible to a potential criminal.
  2. Items of value (GPS, Radar Detectors, Purses, Computers, etc) are left in plain view.   
  3. Offender either breaks window or opens unlocked door and removes items.  

Prevention Tips...

  • Use a garage if available. 
  • Remove all items of value from plain view, including the brackets or docking stations.    
  • Always close the windows and lock your car.  
  • Park your car in a well-lit area, where it can be easily and frequently viewed.  
  • Do not leave important papers including personal identification, check books, vehicle titles or a spare key in the car. 
  • Document all serial numbers and/or engrave property.  
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately to report any suspicious person(s), car(s) or activity.
  • Do not confront suspicious subjects.  Your personal safety is more valuable than any piece of property.

By following these recommendations we, as a community can reduce the incidents of vehicle burglary by limiting the offender’s desire to complete the crime.

Frauds & Scams

Charity Fraud Prevention
In today’s economy, many charities are dealing with a variety of ups and downs, such as increases in the demand for service, and decreases in funding.  To meet their challenges, many are asking for bigger contributions, asking for contributions more often and looking for a bigger pool of donors. In addition, legitimate charities are facing competition from fraudsters who either solicit for bogus charities or aren’t honest about how the so-called charity will use contributions. (Federal Trade Commission 2010). 

Keep in mind that some charities pay professional fund-raisers. They may claim to be collecting money for your local police department but the actual officers are not making those calls. These professionals are in business to make money. They are entitled to keep a portion of the money they collect. 

Warning Signs of a Charity Scam...

It is suggested that donors should avoid any charity or fundraiser that:

  • Refuses to provide written information about its identity, its costs and how the donation will be used.
  • Will not provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
  • Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
  • Thanks a potential donor for a pledge the person doesn’t remember making.
  • Asks a potential contributor for credit card information before the person has agreed to contribute.
  • Uses high pressure tactics to secure a donation before the donor has a chance to make an informed decision.
  • Asks for donations in cash.
  • Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
  • Guarantees sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution.

Be wary of charities that spring up overnight in connection with current events and natural disasters, protect yourself...

  • Ask for written information about the charity.
  • Call the charity – find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation.
  • Check to see if the charity or fundraiser is registered.

Go to and search the Charitable Database. Illinois law requires charitable organizations which solicit and/or hold charitable monies in Illinois to register and file annual financial reports with the Attorney General's Office. These annual financial reports provide a valuable source of information to help you ascertain a particular charity’s programs, activities, grants, finances, and priorities. The Charitable Database allows you to search for public charities and private foundations which are registered in Illinois by name, registration number, FEIN number, city, state and/or zip code. 

Consumer Fraud Prevention
I’m too smart to be a victim. Who could be so gullible to send money to a stranger? Who lets just anyone off the street into their home? Who believes in miracle cures? Who gives out personal information over the phone? Surprisingly there is no typical fraud victim. Research finds that fraud victims are likely to be educated, informed and active in their community. Scammers don’t care who they take advantage of. They are only interested in one thing - money!

Cons are well-mannered, friendly and first. If they don’t catch you with kindness they will use aggression, intimidation and threats.

  • Never give a caller your credit card, phone card, Social Security number or bank account number over the phone. It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.
  • Beware if anyone asks you to wire money to them, even relatives. Confirm the identity of the person and the reason for the request. Cons will pretend to be someone legitimate who needs money or information.
  • Don’t buy health products or treatments that promise quick dramatic cures, offer a single cure for multiple illnesses or use imprecise and non-medical language.
  • Beware of cheap home repair work that would otherwise be expensive. The con may just do part of the work, use shoddy materials and untrained workers, or simply take your deposit and never return. Never pay with cash. Never accept offers from drive-up workers who “just happen” to be in the neighborhood. Demand information in writing.
  • Watch out for magazine sellers and clearinghouses that offer prizes in return for purchasing merchandise. You may enter a sweepstakes and get billed for magazines or products you never ordered.
  • Never allow any worker you did not have an appointment with enter your home. If talking outside make sure all exterior doors remain locked. Cons will often use what sounds like a legitimate problem as a distraction while others enter your home to take jewelry, money and other valuables.
  • You have the right and power to say NO! If the caller makes you nervous, be assertive and end the conversation. Cons know that the longer they keep you on the phone the higher their chances of success.

Report cons to your police department and the Illinois Attorney General's office. Reporting is vital. Very few frauds are reported, which leaves con artists free to prey upon others. Remember...If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

IRS Scams
Individuals impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees are making unsolicited threatening telephone calls to taxpayers. They use the threat of arrest to obtain money from victims by falsely representing that the victims owe back taxes or other fees. The perpetrators demand that the victims send them money via iTunes cards, other prepaid debit cards, money orders, or wire transfers from their banks.

The Treasury Inspector General website provides valuable information on how to protect yourself, and what to do and not do.  If you believe you have been the victim of a IRS Impersonation Scam, please contact the Treasury Inspector General.  

Holiday Safety

425 ILCS 30/Fireworks Regulation Act of Illinois...
The term fireworks shall mean and include any explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect; firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, Roman candles, bombs or other fireworks of like construction and any fireworks containing any explosive compound. 

The term “fireworks” shall not include snake or glow worm pellets, smoke devices, sparklers, or other devices in which paper or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used. 

425 ILCS 35/2 Possession, Sale and Use of Fireworks... 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, co-partnership, or corporation to knowingly possess, offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, or use or explode any display fireworks, flame effects, or consumer fireworks. City/Village/Town government shall have power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for granting of permits for pyrotechnic and consumer displays. 

Village of Arlington Heights | Ordinance Section 27-601...
Fireworks Regulation Act of Illinois fireworks definition (above) was adopted. 

Village of Arlington Heights | Ordinance Section 27-602...
It shall be unlawful for any person within the Village to own, possess, discharge, manufacture, sell, expose for sale, loan or give away any substance or article of fireworks; except that the Village Manager may issue a permit for public fireworks display. 

If found in possession of or observed using fireworks in Arlington Heights the following could occur...

  • Issuance of a Local Ordinance Violation Complaint under 27-602 with a mandatory court appearance.
  • Posting of $75 cash bond, $1,000/10% bond or issued Individual Recognizance Bond.
  • Possible State charge under 35/2 – Class A Misdemeanor
  • Possible in-custody transportation to police station for formal processing, which includes fingerprinting and photograph.
  • Seizure of all illegal fireworks.
  • Additional court fines and costs.
  • Release of arrest and case information to press and news media. 


Halloween can be a fun and exciting holiday, but only if we follow some simple safety rules. Remember that our children are going door to door in costumes at night taking treats from possible strangers. Even if we only go to the houses we know there are still some safety concerns. 

Consumer Safety Tips...

  • Be highly visible during dusk or darkness. Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape. Attach a glow stick.
  • Costumes should be properly fitted and short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling, and made with flame resistant materials.
  • Masks may limit or block eyesight.  Consider using non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup.
  • Swords, knives and similar accessories should be made of soft and flexible material.
  • Carry a small flashlight to light your way.
  • Wear a watch.


  • Stay in neighborhoods you are familiar with.
  • Only visit homes with outside lights on.
  • Plan your entire route and make sure your family knows it.
  • Accept treats only in the doorway.
  • Never go inside a house.
  • Stay away from open fires or candles.

Personal Safety...

  • Don't run, just walk.
  • Stay in groups; never trick-or-treat alone. If you are with a parent do not get too far ahead.
  • Don’t let strangers take your picture without your parent’s permission.
  • Stay on sidewalks and driveways – it is not polite to cross through the yard.
  • Cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk. Look left, right and left again to make sure the way is clear. Watch for vehicles – drivers may have trouble seeing you.
  • Return at the agreed upon time.
  • Carry a cell phone for emergencies or to let someone know you will be late.
  • Call 911 to report suspicious activity.

Candy & Treats...

  • No treats should be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by the child’s parent or guardian.
  • Throw away non-factory packaged items such as popcorn, fruit or small candies.  
  • Throw away candy with loose or torn wrappers. 

Shopping for the Holidays
Have you finished your holiday shopping? If you are like most people the answer is a resounding NO! We tend to wait for the day after Thanksgiving to go out and fight the crowds for sale item scraps. This is the perfect environment for criminals. We are in a hurry, distracted, stressed, carrying extra cash, holding several items and often parked in a remote parking area. The fact that you still have shopping to do makes the following holiday safety list very important and timely...

  • Before you leave to go shopping tell a family member or friend where you will be and when to expect you home.
  • Park in a well-lit high traffic area of the parking lot. Avoid secluded and dark areas.
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view. Lock them in your trunk or cover them.
  • Roll up your windows, lock the vehicle and take your keys.
  • Shop with an adult friend. Criminals tend to look for someone who is alone.
  • Avoid carrying or displaying large amounts of cash. Carry any cash or credit cards in an interior or front pocket. Purses are a prime target.
  • Do not be distracted by strangers who ask you a seemingly innocent question.
  • Make sure you protect your credit/debit card account numbers. Don’t leave them on the check-out counter for longer than is necessary.
  • Make sure the card you give the cashier is the same one they return to you.
  • Take all receipts home and shred if necessary.
  • Do not leave your purse or wallet in the shopping cart. Take them with you if you leave the cart for any reason.
  • Never leave your purse unattended in any changing room.
  • When you return to your car have your keys in your hand and your head up.
  • Avoid distractions and pay attention to your surroundings until you are safely inside your vehicle.
  • Look underneath and inside your vehicle before quickly getting in.
  • Lock your door immediately.
  • When loading your packages place your purse or wallet in the vehicle first so that it’s not in the cart when you turn your back.
  • Never hesitate to ask for store security to escort you to your vehicle should you feel apprehensive about anything.

Package Theft Prevention
Are you expecting a package delivery today? Package theft tends to increase during the holiday season as residents purchase more goods that are shipped to their homes, but it can happen any time of the year. Many of these crimes occur during daylight hours while you're away. Thieves are known to target a home after a delivery is made. They often follow or watch for delivery trucks. Many of these incidents are crime of opportunity. An offender may not intend to target a particular home, but walks or drives by an area and sees an easy target where something of perceived value can be quickly taken without notice. Not only is an unattended package that is visible from the street vulnerable to theft, but it may indicate that no one is home, making the home a possible target for burglary.


  • Choose a shipping option that requires a signature.
  • Track delivery status online and set up email or text notifications.
  • Ship your package to a location where someone you know will be available to receive it: work, relatives, neighbors, or friend's home. If you are going on vacation, place deliveries on hold until you return.
  • Consider using other delivery options that are available. Retailers and shipping companies may deliver to other secured locations including lockers or allow you to pick up at the retail store or package carrier.
  • If you frequently receive deliveries to your residence, consider purchasing a locking parcel delivery box that can be bolted down or secured.
  • If there are no other options, provide specific instructions about where the package should be left on your property. Choose a location that conceals the item, so that it can't be seen by people walking or driving in the area.

Neighborhood Awareness for Package Thefts...

  • A suspicious person standing in front of a residence on a cell phone.
  • Vehicles circling a neighborhood and/or following delivery trucks.
  • Suspicious persons attempting to gain entry into a condo or apartment complex by posing as a delivery person.
  • If you see something, say something. Immediately call 911 to report package theft to the Arlington Heights Police Department.
Identity Theft

Identity Theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information such as name, address, date of birth, social security number and mother’s maiden name, in order to impersonate them. The thief can use this information for a variety of frauds, such as taking over the victim’s financial accounts, opening new accounts, applying for loans and credit cards, purchasing vehicles and homes, renting apartments and establishing accounts for utility or phone services. 

Victims of Identity Theft lose more than money; they lose peace of mind. Victims often spend dozens of hours working with creditors, credit reporting agencies, financial institutions and law enforcement to reclaim their good names and credit records. The recovery process can take months – even years. Follow these tips to prevent an offender from becoming YOU...

  • Do not give out your social security number unless necessary, and do not carry your card in your purse or wallet.
  • Carry only the ID and credit cards you need.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Do not give personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
  • Do not transmit personal information over the Internet unless it is a secure site.
  • Do not reveal personal information in e-mails or discussion forums.
  • Mail outgoing bills at the post office; do not put them in your home mailbox.
  • Empty your mailbox as soon as possible.
  • Shred documents containing personal information before discarding.
  • Eliminate pre-approved credit card applications by calling 1-800-OPTOUT.
  • Enroll in direct deposit.
  • Know when your account statements are mailed, and report discrepancies and late or missing statements.
  • Order your credit report every year from the three credit reporting agencies. By law you are entitled to one free report a year from each of the agencies.

A fast response to Identity Theft is the best way to minimize the damage to your name and financial health. It is recommended that you immediately take the following steps...

  • Report fraud by phone and in writing to all creditors.
  • Place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report with all three credit bureaus.
  • File a police report.
  • Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm unusual activity.
  • Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
Online Safety

The Internet is a powerful tool. It is important that we understand the dangers so that each Internet use can be a safe and positive experience. If we let our guard down the Internet can do us serious harm. If you don’t want millions of people to see or know something about you then don’t put it on the Internet.  

Safety Tips...

  • Never to give out personal information on the Internet. Do not share your real name, phone number, address, where you live, where you go to school, anything about your family or personal photographs.
  • Protect your password. Friends may type inappropriate messages under your name for fun or someone could steal your identity. This could lead to unwanted trouble for you and your family.
  • It is best not to talk to strangers. Someone may pretend to be someone he or she is not.
  • Always ask your parent’s permission to visit a chat room.
  • Never meet with someone you have met online unless your parents are with you.
  • If you fill out a personal profile online, do not write anything that says too much about you. You may think only your friends can see it, but strangers will have access to the same information.
  • Never send pictures over the Internet without your parent’s permission.
  • Never download files or pictures from an unknown source; they could be a virus, bad pictures or some other illegal material.
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening or harassing.
  • Sending threatening or harassing messages is considered a criminal offense.
  • Bullying someone on-line could be harmful to you and your target.
  • High schools, colleges and potential employers will search the Web for negative information or pictures before enrolling or hiring you.
  • Always tell your parents if anything happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you think might be dangerous.

PayPal Email Scam Prevention

Internet scams come in all shapes and sizes. Those that want to steal your personal information or money are constantly trying new methods. The Internet gives these scammers anonymity and a target rich environment. It is almost impossible to prevent a scammer from sending us a wide variety of bait, but very easy to avoid getting hooked. 

PayPal has a reputation for being an extremely safe way to pay for goods and services on-line. Offenders will use that reputation to their advantage. The following are some scams to be aware of...

PayPal Disputed Transaction

  • You will receive a fake PayPal payment confirmation email detailing a purchase you never made.
  • At the bottom of the email you are given the option to cancel the payment by clicking on “Cancel Transaction” or “Dispute Transaction”. You may even see (Encrypted Link) attached.
  • If you click on that option you probably will get a web form asking you to submit your PayPal account details.
  • If you fill out and submit this form the scammer will have access to your accounts

PayPal System Trouble

  • You will receive a fake PayPal email explaining that PayPal is experiencing system trouble and lost member data.
  • They ask you to click on the link and log into your account to check that your information was not affected.
  • By logging in you give the scammer account information, passwords and access.

PayPal Security Alert

  • You will receive a fake PayPal email alerting you that PayPal has detected log in attempts from a foreign IP address.
  • They will ask you to provide confidential PayPal account information to confirm that you are the account holder.
  • Once this information is provided the scammer will have access to your accounts.

These scams work because we are quick to protect our resources. Here are some prevention measures...

  • Never Click!  By clicking you are taking the bait and you are as good as caught!
  • Emails from PayPal will always address you by your first and last name or business name; whereas scams may include “Dear PayPal User” or “Dear PayPal Member”.
  • PayPal emails will never ask you to download an attachment or a software program. Scam downloads often contain a virus.
  • If you receive a suspicious PayPal email forward the entire email to [email protected] and delete it from your email account.
Pedestrian Safety

625 ILCS 5/11-1001 | Pedestrian obedience to traffic control devices...
A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to him, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. 

625 ILCS 5/11-1002 | Pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks...
When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. The presence of a pedestrian in a crosswalk does not automatically require all vehicles to stop. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. 

Prior to July 2010, the law required drivers to yield and stop “only when necessary”. Now it requires drivers to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks; even those without stop signs or traffic lights. 

625 ILCS 5/11-1003 | Crossing at other than crosswalks...
Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. 

An unmarked crosswalk is still a crosswalk. If there is a sidewalk on one side of the roadway, the lines (imaginary or not) that cross to the other side make up the crosswalk. It is still a crosswalk if there is a sidewalk on only one side of the roadway. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 there were 4,378 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 69,000 pedestrians were injured. This averages to one injury every 8 minutes. Most pedestrian and bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas, non-intersection locations and at night. 

What can a pedestrian do to stay safe...

  • Cross at the designated crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and then left again and keep your head up and watch as you cross.
  • Walk, don't run.  
  • Carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing at night.
  • It is safer to walk on the sidewalk.  If you must walk on the street or roadway shoulder then face traffic.
Solicitor Information

Is there a solicitor at your door?  Here's what you need to know...

  • Post a weatherproof card (recommended minimum 3” x 4”) on or near the main entrance door to the residence or business containing the words: NO SOLICITORS OR PEDDLERS. The letters on the card should be reasonably visible.
  • A card posted at a residence is sufficient notice to the solicitor.
  • It is the solicitor’s responsibility, whether registered or not, to look for the notice and immediately leave if posted.
  • You may have to point out the posted card and ask the solicitor to leave.
  • If the solicitor refuses to leave, call 911.
  • Be prepared to provide the police the solicitor’s description, vehicle information and their last direction of travel.
  • If you allow solicitors and peddlers on your property you can request to see their Permit ID provided by the Building Department.

The Arlington Heights Building Department issues Solicitor/Peddler Permits.  Peddlers and solicitors are required to obtain permits for door to door soliciting, peddling, soliciting at intersections and site sales. Soliciting at intersections is only permitted for Not for Profit groups. 

The following requirements and limitations apply...

  • Permit required; no charge.  
  • Solicitation and tag days at intersections shall be limited to two consecutive days.
  • No soliciting or peddling shall be permitted before the hours of 9:00 A.M. or after the hour of 9:00 P.M. within the Village, and no peddling or soliciting shall be conducted on Sundays.
  • It shall be unlawful for any peddler or solicitor to engage in any form of solicitation other than those specified in the permit application.
  • Individuals canvassing a neighborhood distributing political or religious information are not required to apply for a permit.

Traffic Related Requirements...

  • Solicitation shall only occur at intersections where all traffic is required to come to a full stop.
  • Individuals soliciting upon streets or highways shall be at least 16 years of age and shall wear a high visibility vest.

Solicitors meeting all the Village of Arlington Heights requirements may still try to victimize citizens. Criminals may pretend to be a solicitor as a diversion or ruse in an attempt to get into a home. Don’t open your door if you are unsure and never let anyone into your home unless you scheduled an appointment.

Tip 411 Crime Reports
Find crime reports for the Village of Arlington Heights at Tip411. Crime reports are also shared on the Arlington Heights Police Department on Facebook and/or Twitter pages.