Crime Prevention

Unemployment Scams

The Village of Villa Park has unfortunately joined the list of areas seeing significant instances of fraud related to unemployment benefits. Victims are receiving official notice from the State of Illinois that someone had filed for unemployment benefits using the victim’s personal information. The Illinois Department of Employment Security is continuing to try and address this far-reaching crime. 

The Villa Park Police Department advises that you do not activate or use any cards received for unemployment funds that you did not request.

Due to the large number of victims, the Villa Park Police Department has established a procedure for accepting initial reports of identity theft related to this scam: 

  1. Villa Park residents should use this report form found HERE. You can complete the form at home at your convenience. 
  2. To ensure the security of your personal information, please do not mail, email, or otherwise try to submit the completed document online. Please hand-deliver completed forms to the lobby of the Villa Park Police Department, 40 S. Ardmore Ave, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Alternatively, a victim can call 9-1-1 and ask for an officer to collect the completed form at the victim’s residence. 
  3. If you received any documentation or cards in the mail as a result of this scam, please include these items or copies of them with your completed form.
  4. If requested, an officer or detective will contact you to follow up on your completed form. 

In addition to creating an official police report documenting your victimization, as outlined above, the Villa Park Police Department also recommends the following steps to victims of this crime:

  1. Contact IDES to report the fraudulent claim at (800) 814-0513.
  2. Report the fraud to 
  3. Do not activate the card or contact Key Bank.
  4. Request your free credit reports via and review them for other fraudulent activities.  It is always good practice to check your credit annually at a minimum.

Additional information can be found on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.

Email/Web Scams

Protect Yourself from Phishing

Phishing attacks use 'spoofed' emails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers, and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince up to 5% of recipients to respond to them.

What Consumers Can Do To Protect Themselves

  • Treat email requests for financial information or other personal data with suspicion. Do not reply to the email or respond by clicking on a link within the email message.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify if it is genuine. Call a phone number or visit a website that you know to be legitimate.
  • Be cautious and check your monthly statements to verify all transactions. Notify your bank immediately of any erroneous or suspicious transactions.
  • Report suspicious emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Who Is Taking The Bait

Hundreds of consumers are finding themselves the victims of a high-tech scam known as "phishing." It involves fraudsters who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and pretend to be a legitimate financial institution or credit card company. The fraudsters send out "official-looking" emails designed to trick consumers into divulging financial and personal information such as account numbers, passwords, user names, Social Security Numbers, and other sensitive data.

Most of the email messages claim there is an account problem or warn of a possible account fraud threat. In many cases, the email also includes a link to a fake website that has been set up to mimic the legitimate online business. Either way-the whole idea is to convince the consumer there is an immediate need to update their financial information.

Many of those who receive spammed email do not have accounts or customer relationships with the legitimate business that the emails purport to come from. This is because the fraudsters who sent them most likely used a "spamming" (mass emailing) technique to reach thousands of people. They are counting on the fact that some email recipients will have an account or customer relationship with the legitimate company, and that they will believe the email has come from a trusted source.

How Stolen Data Is Being Used

Those who respond to phishing emails and turn over the requested financial or personal information may be putting their accounts and financial status at risk in the following ways:

  • Phishing fraudsters can use the email data received from a recipient to access existing bank card accounts to withdraw money or buy expensive merchandise or services.
  • They can also use the data to open new bank or credit card accounts in the victims' names and use the new account to buy merchandise or get a cash advance. If the phishing fraudster opens new accounts with the victims' names, but uses an address other than that of the victim, the crime can be classified as identity theft.
  • In addition, a phishing scheme can involve the use of computer viruses and worms to disseminate the phishing emails to still more people.

Reporting Criminal Information

If you believe you are a recipient of a possible phishing email, send copies of the email to the Federal Trade Commission email account and the Anti Phishing Working group email account.

If you believe you have been a victim of a phishing crime, file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (a joint project of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.) For more information about phishing, read the Federal Trade Commission's publication, "How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam."