Village News

 

Come one, come all … to the annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Grace United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 16th from 8am-11am.  Enjoy pancakes and sausage before visiting with Santa.  Parents: remember to bring your camera.  This event is co-hosted by the Lake Bluff Park District and Kiwanis.

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When being scammed, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that the customer’s service will be shut off if the customer fails to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card.

Scammers have even duplicated the upfront Interactive Voice Response system of some utilities, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some of these scammers also use caller ID “spoofing” to replicate a utility’s phone number.

Red flags for scam activity

  • The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.

How to protect yourself

  • Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail or in person.
  • Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.

Don’t Get Scammed: You can avoid scams by taking a few precautions:

  • Never provide social security numbers or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
  • Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
  • When in doubt, check it out. Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
  • Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.

Anyone who believes he or she has been a target of a phone scam is urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General's office toll free at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013) or visit the Illinois Attorney General's web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and click on the link "Protecting Consumers."

If you have a concern about the status of your account, you can contact:

  • ComEd 1-800-EDISON1
  • North Shore Gas 866-556-6004

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Residents who don’t lock their cars continue to be victims, and Lake Bluff Police officials again urge residents to take their keys and lock their cars. Gang-affiliated criminals have struck Lake Bluff and the North Shore throughout the summer. Often we find these auto-burglaries have one thing in common: the car is left unlocked. It takes less than 20 seconds to open an unlocked car, grab what is in plain view, check the usual hiding places for other items, and get away. How long would it take you to lock your car?

“We continue to see thieves take advantage of unlocked cars in our community,” said Police Chief David Belmonte. “We have increased our night patrols and continue to work with other agencies to stop these criminals, but every car stolen this year had the keys left in it. We are making ourselves targets.” The members of the Lake Bluff Police Department encourage these steps to avoid being a victim:

  • Lock ALL your vehicle’s doors and close every window.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car.
  • If you must leave valuable items in your car, place items out of sight.
  • Call the Police Department to report ANY suspicious activities, persons, or vehicles.

Do your part by taking preventive action and spreading the word. You can make a difference.

Starting December 13, the Village's CodeRED emergency notification system will now text you from a different phone number (76993). Everyone currently registered with CodeRED will be transitioned to the new number. However, this is still a great time to register or update your information with CodeRED! It only takes a minute - just click here.

Early Sunday, October 22, 2017, the Lake Bluff Police Department investigated a report of criminal defacement involving anti-Semitic and anti-African American graffiti. The graffiti was spray painted at four different locations including two roadways, a driveway and a tree. The Lake Bluff Public Works Department promptly removed the graffiti. 

“It does not appear that the graffiti targeted any single person. But, we should all view this as an assault on our values as a community,” said Police Chief David Belmonte. “This hateful act has no place in this town and will not be tolerated. This Department will investigate the matter thoroughly.”

Lake Bluff officials are stressing that anti-Semitism and racism have no place in the Village. Reflecting on the on-going community dialogue surrounding short-term rental regulations and the= vandalism incident, Village President Kathleen O’Hara started the October 23 meeting of the Lake Bluff Board of Trustees by reading a statement.

“All of us must embrace and adhere to the guiding principles which define us as a community,” said O’Hara. “There is no other way.”

She cited the Village Strategic Plan’s guiding principles:

  • Take personal responsibility for the quality of our community
  • Act with integrity, accountability, and in the best interests of all
  • Demonstrate kindness, neighborliness and concern for others
  • Be inclusive, welcoming, and open minded
  • Interact with respect civility in all circumstances
  • Embrace a positive, forward-looking orientation
  • Cherish our history, culture and legacy of excellence 

“The Village Board is very concerned about what happened on Sunday,” O’Hara stated when asked today. “While the graffiti appears to be a random act, it is still nothing other than repugnant. This crime is completely inconsistent with who we are as a community and the direction we are heading. There’s no place for it. Period.”

Anyone with information should call the Lake Bluff Police Department Investigations Division at 847-234-8760 ex. 5.

The Village of Lake Bluff is making efforts to prepare its residents and businesses for disasters by taking part in America’s PrepareAthon! and in conjunction with the CodeRED emergency notification system.  The CodeRED Weather Warning system is an opt-in service that automatically notifies those registered of tornado, flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings just minutes after an alert is issued by the National Weather Service, making it an essential preparedness tool to stay safe.

“It’s important to Be Smart, Take Part and Prepare for disasters. The CodeRED system will help us prepare our residents if severe weather is headed our way. We will also use it to keep the community informed throughout an emergency event,” said David Belmonte, Lake Bluff’s Chief of Police.

Chief Belmonte urges all residents to enroll to receive emergency alerts through CodeRED. Those who have already enrolled to receive CodeRED notifications but have recently moved or changed telephone numbers are encouraged to  click on the CodeRED logo on the Village's website (lakebluff.org) to update their contact information.

“We ask residents to encourage their family members, friends, colleagues and other groups about the CodeRED system and make sure they are in the emergency database. We rely on the CodeRED system to keep our community informed, but we need to make sure we have your correct contact information,” Belmonte said.  “It is important that even if you previously registered, you should again to verify you are in the database.”

Those without Internet access may call the Lake Bluff Police Department Records Division at 847-234-8760 extension “2” Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. to subscribe to receive CodeRED alerts by supplying their information over the phone.

America’s PrepareAthon! is a national, grassroots campaign for action to increase individual and community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises throughout the year. One of the Village of Lake Bluff’s role during this campaign is to increase the number of residents and businesses enrolled to receive CodeRED emergency and severe weather notifications.

For more information about America’s PrepareAthon!, please visit ready.gov/prepare or email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Join the twitter discussion @PrepareAthon.