With the tax filing deadline this week, spring bringing out repair companies, and other repeated telephone fraud, the Geneva Police Department is offering residents and merchants tips on how to handle several of the most frequent scams.
ComEd: A “ComEd representative” threatens to disconnect power service unless late payments are made over the phone.
• The City, not Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), is Geneva’s electric utility provider. If residents have doubts about the validity of any call regarding their utility bill, contact the City’s Finance Division at 630-232-0854.
IRS: “IRS representatives” are calling residents demanding personal information and payments for taxes allegedly owed. The “representative” usually requests the resident pay with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The caller often threatens the victim with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
• People who receive an IRS call asking to pay back taxes should hang up immediately. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to receive help with any legitimate outstanding tax payment questions.
Roof/Driveway Repair: “Contractors” knock on a front door claiming to have leftover asphalt from a nearby job or that they have spotted damage on a home’s roof. They will be very aggressive in their approach or make a deal “you can’t refuse.” After the work is completed — if the crew even finishes the job — the contractor demands more money. Another popular scam is contractors insisting payment upfront and then using shoddy/inferior materials for the job.
• In these situations, residents should attain multiple written estimates, ask to see licenses and permits, and check if the contractor is bonded. Always ask for references from previous clients. Never pay in full until the work is completed, do not pay in cash and get a receipt for payment. Do not allow unsolicited people inside the home. Some scams involve a person distracting a resident in another room or outside to allow a second person to enter the residence to steal property.
Geneva High School Sponsorships: In recent years, Geneva businesses have been approached by “marketing agencies” who are working on behalf of Geneva High School’s sports teams. The most recent scam featured “Sports Media Marketing” asking merchants to support the varsity football team by purchasing T-shirt sponsorships.
• This company is not approved by Geneva Community Unit School District 304 to sell sponsorships or produce T-shirts. Geneva High School does work regularly with two companies: Royal Publishing and Home Team Marketing. Merchants can verify sports sponsorship opportunities by calling the Geneva High School Athletic Department at 630-463-3810.
The Geneva Police Department encourages the community to be vigilant against the various types of scams circulating throughout the area. People who have been victimized by fraudulent behavior should not hesitate to contact the Police Department at 630-232-4736.