Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do to prepare myself and my family in case of emergency?
Since September 11, 2001; we have all been concerned with our response to any emergency. The Village of Lincolnwood has an emergency plan that coordinates Village Services through the Emergency Operations Center. This plan coordinates the Village response to any emergency and is backed up by the liaisons with County, State and Federal Agencies.
The Lincolnwood Fire Department is a member of MABAS which coordinates the statewide Emergency Medical Service, Hazardous Materials and Fire Fighting response to any major emergency. The Police Department is a member of NIPAS which coordinates the same type of response plan within our area supplying officers, a specially trained crowd control unit and a well-coordinated and trained Emergency Services Team to handle any high risk incidents.
The rapid access to public safety personnel and equipment is the backbone of any emergency plan and both the Police and Fire organizations have been up and running effectively for many years.
There are several websites that can supply information on the role of the citizen during any emergency and specifically what you can do to prepare your home and family. Please take the time to examine the information that is available.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security at: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home7.jsp
The Illinois Department of Homeland Security at: http://www.illinois.gov/security/athome.htm
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency at: http://www.state.il.us/iema/
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) website has a down-loadable (PDF) version of the "Family Emergency Preparedness Plan What is the best way to protect my family and my home?
There are several things you can do to protect your home and family. They involve the use of proper security, technology and the partnership between your neighborhood and the local police.
1. Consider installing a burglar alarm. The proper use of an alarm is a significant deterrent.
2. Our history tells the story of people banding together for their protection. This is still a valuable strategy today. Involve your neighborhood. Being a conscientious neighbor means being aware of what is going on in your neighborhood. Neighbors should cooperate in caring for each others family members and property. No one knows your neighborhoods as well as you do; report any suspicious incidents to the police.
3. Consider using the crime prevention services of the Lincolnwood Police Department by organizing your neighbors for a crime prevention seminar. An informed neighborhood partnered with the local police is a valuable asset.
What can I do about auto theft and thefts from auto?
Auto thefts and thefts from vehicles is a constant problem throughout our area. An auto burglary occurs when someone breaks into a locked vehicle and takes property, and a theft from a vehicle occurs when the vehicle is not locked as many of these were not. While these are not crimes of violence or of the highest priority for investigation, they are obviously important to the victim and if there are any leads in these cases, they are at least assigned to investigators to at least look into. Some of these thefts can be quite large, in the thousands of dollars, and many could have been prevented. Most occur during the night when the car is parked and unattended and when most of the neighborhood is asleep.
Some helpful hints:
1. If you have a garage, clean out enough room and put your car in it when it is not being driven. The proper use of a garage is the best and easiest way to stop a crime of opportunity from happening to you.
2. If you do not have a garage, always lock your car. By locking your car you may not only save your own property you may even keep a young person from the criminal justice system who might never have forced entry, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to commit this crime by taking that loose change you left on the console. You may save a child from beginning the road to crime and never even know it.
3. Remove property from plain sight for the same reason. Don't think that by covering up the cell phone with a jacket will work. It's only a matter of time before you either forget to cover it up or do so haphazardly and the property is still visible.
4. Alarms may help, but make sure it is a good one and that you maintain it or the neighbors may call about the constant noise, long after your cell phone, briefcase, camera and other property has been stolen and sold which doesn't take but an hour or so.
Report Suspicious People:
When you see someone walking down the street looking into every car call the police; that is the definition of suspicious activity. When you see someone walking by the same car several times and looking into that specific car or trying to get into a car with a coat hanger, again call the police.
What if you do call on one of these and it turns out to be the owner breaking into his own car because they left the keys inside? We will contact them, find out and leave them to their business or call someone to help if they need. They will probably be happy that someone was watching out for their property.
Honestly, we would rather go out on many of these types of calls than take one extensive automobile burglary. It takes less of our time in the long run than one report and all the investigation we do, so please do call.
What can I do to protect myself from Identity Theft?
Identity Theft - What is it?
You become a victim of Identity Theft when someone steals key pieces of information about you. This could include your name, address, date of birth, social security number or even your mother's maiden name. Theft of these items enables someone to commit any number of acts of fraud including, taking over your financial accounts, opening new accounts, applying for credit cards or loans, social security benefits and use of rental services. The goal of identity thieves is to spend as much money as possible before the person realizes they have been victimized.
Lock Up Your Personal Data
You don't have to keep your credit cards and checkbook in the safe, but here are some hints to help prevent someone from illegally utilizing your personal information.
Be careful when giving out personal information on the telephone. Thieves will sometimes call and identify themselves as a bank, store, or other financial institution representative. They may ask for your personal identification, bank, or credit card account numbers. Their explanation may be that they need the information to verify your account for a special discount, offer, or other prize. You should contact the institution yourself before giving out any information over the phone.
When making a purchase with a check, a merchant should not ask for a credit card to verify your name or to write down the account number on the check. If they request an ID, give them your driver's license or State ID card. 3.
Be careful giving out personal information when using the Internet. Fraudulent sites have been set up to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting consumers. There are also marketing scams and web-site cons on the Internet that offer some type of prize or reward for enrolling or e-mailing their message to your friends. (The usually small prize comes at a high expense!)
You may want to elect to remove your social security number from your checks and especially your driver's license. With your name, date of birth, and social security number, a thief can obtain a credit card using your personal information.
Shred or cut up any discarded mail that contains your account numbers or any personal information. This helps to prevent thieves from going through your garbage to copy down this information.
If someone calls for a charitable contribution, never give out your credit card number over the phone. Have them send you a written pledge/donation form and verify the charity yourself.
Sign the back of your credit cards as soon as they arrive in the mail. Sign all credit cards, checks, and important documents the same.
Remember...Minimize Your Risk. Take preventative actions to avoid being victimized. Don't give anyone personal information about yourself. Shred any documents or credit cards that you do not need or use. Keep track of your purse, wallet and briefcase at all times. Retrieve your mail from your mailbox promptly.
What Do I Do if Someone is Using my Personal Data or my Credit Cards Illegally?
If your credit cards or check book has been stolen or lost, contact the issuing lender or bank and have the account closed or frozen.
Contact the police department where the theft occurred. There may be jurisdictional difficulties concerning where the information was stolen and where the thefts actually occurred. If you experience difficulties, contact you local police for assistance.
If you find out someone has been using your personal data to fraudulently obtain credit in your name, you will want to contact the three national consumer-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Report to them that someone is using your name to illegally obtain credit. You can order your credit report and identify the accounts that are fraudulent. When you find a fraudulent account, you can then fill out a fraud affidavit or statement to have that account taken off your credit report. Many financial experts recommend checking your credit report once a year to correct any false information and to determine if anyone has tried to obtain credit or open accounts in your name.
The consumer-reporting agencies can place a security alert on your credit report. This advises other credit issuing agencies that you have been the victim of a credit-related fraud. This can usually be done over the phone.
How to order a credit report?
In most cases, there is no fee for a credit report if you have been denied credit because fraudulent activity affected your credit rating. Contact each consumer-reporting agency to determine the applicable fee, if any, for a copy of your credit report. Most agencies request the following information to process your credit report:
Full name (including suffix, Jr, II, III)
Any other names used in the past (maiden, previous marriage, etc.) Include your spouse's name
Current and former addresses within 5 years, including zip codes
Social security number
Date of birth
Employer's name/address (if applicable)
Copy of your driver's license or utility bill
Equifax: (800) 685-1111 -PO Box 105873 Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian: (888) 397-3742PO Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013-2104
Trans Union (800) 916-8800PO Box 1000 Chester, PA 19022
For further assistance, contact the Lincolnwood Police Department (847) 673-2167
Visit these related sites for more information:
Fight Credit Card Fraud
"Consumers can play a pivotal role in the war against credit card fraud"
Here's what you can do to help keep your credit cards out of the hands of fraud artists and thieves.
Think of credit cards as cash .
Never leave your cards unattended
Always know the location of your cards
Destroy expired cards
Sign the back of new cards immediately
Report lost or stolen cards immediately
Protect your PIN - memorize it and do not write it down
Be careful how, when and to whom you give your card number and related information
Destroy personal financial information - don't just throw it away
If your are not going to be using your cards for an extended period of time lock them away in a safe place
Always verify your account statement and report any discrepancies immediately
Make certain you get your card back after every transaction
Keep your card in plain view when making a transaction
Make certain that if you are being sent out a new card that it arrives within a few days of the date promised
Take extra care if you have cards with large credit limit
Does the Police Department solicit donations or contributions?
No, the Police and the Fire Department do not solicit donations or contributions. Many organizations solicit funds on behalf of Police or Fire personnel however; the funds do not benefit Lincolnwood Police or Fire Fighters. Do not be coerced into donating funds to an organization. Legitimate organizations will allow you plenty of time to make a decision.
What special tips are there for going to a shopping mall alone at night?
1. If you have concerns, ask store personnel to arrange for a security guard to accompany you
2. If no security guard is available, always feel free to call police.
3. If you see someone suspicious in the parking lot, proceed to your car or to a store nearby and advise police
4. Always put your packages in the trunk of your car if you are making more than one trip
5. Dress down
6. Leave expensive or flashy jewelry at home
7. Take only the cash, credit card or check that you need for your purchases
What if someone is following me in my car?
Always go to a place where there are people
Drive to a police or fire station and pull up right in front
If necessary, go to a gas station or a supermarket
What should I do in cases where someone appears to have road rage and it is directed at me?
Take another route in an attempt to lose the person
Do not make eye contact
Do not confront the person
If you cannot get away from them, go to a police or fire station or to a place where there are people
I am afraid to use my ATM at night, what tips are available for ATM use?
Be Ready, Be Quick, Be Alert!
Robberies have been a problem at ATM's for some time. Here are some safety tips which may make using the ATM's safer:
1. If you drive to the ATM it is best to lock your car when using the ATM. But, keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction.
2. Be alert for anything suspicious, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM, or someone who just appears to be "hanging" around the area.
3. If you sense something wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM.
4. When waiting in line, wait well behind the person or persons using the ATM.
5. When you are using the ATM and someone is closer than you would like ask them to step back a few steps. If they do not step back it may be best to cancel you transaction and wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves or you could go to another ATM.
6. Have everything ready before you approach the ATM; have your card ready, know your code, fill out your deposit envelop before approaching the ATM.
7. Do NOT write your code on your ATM card. Keep your code secret. If needed, check the code before approaching the ATM.
8. Stand directly in front of the ATM, blocking the view of others. You don't want others to see your code or to see what type of transaction you make, or how much money you withdraw.
9. If you must use an ATM after dark, have a friend go with you if possible. Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m.
10. At a drive-up ATM keep all windows closed, except the one you are using, and all doors locked. Keep the car running, and keep your eyes moving, watching the front, sides, and rear area; if someone approaches your vehicle on foot cancel the transaction and leave.
11. When your transaction is completed immediately take your property--card, receipt, money, etc. and put them in your pocket or purse and leave immediately. You can count your money later.
12. When you leave the ATM and you feel someone is following you walk or drive into the closest open business and call the Police.
13. Report all ATM crimes to the local police and the financial institution.
How can I protect my child from Internet related crime?
Cyber Safety for Kids Online-A Parents' Guide
The Internet has opened up a world of information for anyone with a computer and a connection. Your children will learn about computers. But just as you wouldn't send children near a busy road without some safety rules, you shouldn't send them on to the information superhighway without rules of the road. Too many dangers from pedophiles to con artists can reach children (and adults) through the Internet.
Explain that although a person may be alone in a room using the computer, once logged on to the Internet, he or she is no longer alone. People skilled in using the Internet can find out who you are and where you are. They can even tap into information in your computer.
Set aside time to explore the Internet together. If your child has some computer experience, let him or her take the lead. Visit areas of the World Wide Web that have special sites for children.
The best tool a child has for screening material found on the Internet is his or her brain. Teach children about exploitation, pornography, hate literature, excessive violence, and other issues that concern you so they know how to respond when they see this material.
Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features. These features can block contact that is not clearly marked as appropriate for children: chat rooms, bulletin boards, news groups, and discussion groups -- or access to the Internet entirely.
Purchase blocking software and design your own safety system. Different packages can block sites by name, search for unacceptable words and block access to sites containing those words, block entire categories of material, and prevent children from giving out personal information.
Monitor your children when they're online and monitor the time they spend online. If a child becomes uneasy or defensive when you walk into the room or when you linger, this could be a sign that he or she is up to something unusual or even forbidden.
Tell Your Children ...
Always to let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening on the Internet.
Never to give out their name, address, telephone number, password, school name, parent's name, or any other personal information.
Never to agree to meet face to face with someone they've met online.
Never to respond to messages that have bad words or seem scary or just weird.
Never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
Never to send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
What You Can Do In The Community
Make sure that access to the Internet at your children's school is monitored by adults.
Know your children's friends and their parents. If your child's friend has Internet access at home, talk to the parents about the rules they have established. Find out if they are online.
If your child receives threatening e-mails or pornographic material, save the offensive material and contact that user's Internet service provider and the Lincolnwood Police.
If you come across sites that are inappropriate for children when you are surfing the Net, send the addresses to online services that offer parental control features or to sites advertising protection software to add to their list to be reviewed for inclusion or exclusion. Even if you don't subscribe to the service or own the protection software, you can help protect other children.
Check the FBI website for more information
What can I do about annoying or harassing phone calls?
Ameritech Annoyance Call Bureau
Ameritech will position itself to deliver advance services and capabilities in order to determine an unwanted caller. If you are the recipient of numerous harassing, obscene or threatening telephone calls you need to follow these guidelines in order to help accurately trace unwanted callers:
You are an Lincolnwood resident
You have received at least two or more unwanted phone calls
Call the Lincolnwood Police Department non-emergency phone number, 847 673-2167 and make a report
If there is a known offender/caller, make sure that is indicated on the police report
If you would like your telephone line traced contact the Ameritech Annoyance Call Bureau at 1-800-769-4099 with the police report case number.
Ameritech will inform you of the length of time the trace will be in effect and any charges
The complaint/case number authorizes Ameritech to conduct a tracing investigation and release any information to the Lincolnwood Police Department. Disposition of the investigation will be reviewed with the complainant if the trace is successful
You Can Find Out Who's Calling!
Punch the star symbol (*) then 57. This starts a trace on the last call you received. Write down the number you are given.
Or punch the star symbol (*) then 69. This will ring the last number that called you.
(Fees will appear on your phone bill)
Are there any special parking restrictions within the Village?
Recreation vehicles, boats and trailers cannot be parked on the street for more than 30 minutes. Upon written request, the Chief of Police may grant a 24 hour grace period. Only 4 grace periods can be granted a year and not on consecutive days.
Vehicles for sale may not be parked on any public street.
Commercial vehicles cannot be parked on any public street or alley between 7:00 pm through 7:00 am on weekdays or between 7:00 pm Saturday through 7:00am on Mondays.
A commercial vehicle is any vehicle bearing commercial markings or lettering that indicates it is used for commercial purposes or any Class 1 or 2 vehicle which has license plates registered to a commercial business.
Inoperable vehicles cannot be left on public streets or alleys.