deeds quick by tricky


                                                                 Seniors and Law Enforcement Together
                             Serving & Protecting Senior Citizens                                           March 2006

                                                                                      Coordinated by S.A.L.T. Chairman Ken McNatt

Home Mortgage Scams
Submitted by James Loftus
                                                            q    Violates the
 D   etective James Loftus, from the Chicago                     established trust.
Police Financial Crimes Unit, gave an informative           q    Criminals will
presentation to the S.A.L.T. Council about the                   target seniors with
local mortgage fraud that is occurring in the                    no mortgages or
Chicago and suburban areas.                                      people who have
                                                                 liens on their
We have all seen the news with stories about                     homes.
seniors, single women or low-income people                  q    If a crime has been committed, contact a civil
who have lost their homes to mortgage scams                      attorney and the local police. They will put out a
or fraudulent companies who have taken their                     fraud alert.
money and in many cases their homes.                        q    For security reasons, put your house in a “Land
Unfortunately, we all have to be extra cautious                  Trust.” This will help deter the crime.
and aware of “whom” we are dealing with today.

The growth of mortgage fraud has increased                 When selling your home, know the following
over 300% in the past 12 months. It is a federal           facts:
offense. It is the largest growing financial fraud
                                                             q    What does a Title Company do?
Mortgage Fraud Economics:                                    q    Who attends each closing?
                                                             q    Where does the money come from?
q   Target properties with high equity/value.
                                                             q    Who is responsible if fraud is committed?
q   Exploits common practices within the real
    estate industry.
                                                                                                        (continued on page 2)

Mission Statement
The purpose of Milton Township S.A.L.T. Council is to determine and to meet the needs of Senior Citizens by reducing crime
and abuse and by enhancing safety through communication and education in cooperation with the Township, law
enforcement agencies, and other community agencies and organizations.
   Page 2
(Mortgage Scams continued from page 1)

Tools of the crime…Beware of the following                Foreigners run most of these scams and the money
when closing on a home mortgage:                          is sent overseas as they request withdrawals. That
                                                          should be a red flag for the banks, but often is
    q   Forged signatures on deeds                        not noted until customers notify them of deficits
    q   Counterfeit identifications                       in their bank accounts.
    q   Counterfeit W-2’s
                                                          Although banks usually reimburse victims of ATM
    q   Identity Theft                                    skimming, it may take several weeks. To protect
    q   Corrupt real estate professional                  yourself:
    q   Careless business operations
    q   Improper audits or due diligence                      ü Avoid ATMs with new equipment
                                                                protruding from or near the card slot.
If you feel you have been a victim of “mortgage               ü Avoid those ATMs that have a sign
fraud”, contact a trusted civil attorney who is well            telling you of new equipment, they are
versed in real estate law. They can assist you in               often bogus.
proper response to this circumstance.                         ü Cover your hand when entering your
                                                                PIN number.
                                                              ü Ask your bank to set an ATM withdrawal
 If you would like to attend our monthly presentations          limit on your account.
 or meetings please contact Milton Township at                ü Keep tabs on your account balance.
 630.668.1616 for the time, date and location. They are
 open to the public!                                      Report ATM skimming incidents to your bank,
                                                          police department and/or local secret service field
Automated Thievery                                        office at:
Submitted by Ken McNatt
                                                               This information was provided through the
                              O                                       AARP Bulletin- January 2006
 O ver six days last October, at least 700 residents
of the Winston – Salem, N.C., area found that money                         Phone Tips
was stolen from their bank accounts after they had
used automated teller machines. The weapons used          #1 To avoid/reduce unwanted solicitations
were portable debit card “readers” and miniature          contact the National Do Not Call Registry at
“spy” cameras. The bank had no idea until their
                                                          1.888.382.1222 or You
customers notified them.
                                                          can register all of your telephone numbers
Like thousands of bank customers across the               (home,cell,fax). You must do this every five
country, these people were victims of ATM                 years to stay current.
“skimming”, a scam that led to nearly $3 billion in
losses last year. It falls under Identify Theft crimes.   #2 You are charged $1.00 or more everytime you
There are a number of devices easily accessible,          call 411 for telephone assistance. Simply dial
which can be used to steal data. Once the data is         1.800.FREE.411 or 1.800.373.3411 without
retrieved, duplicate debit cards are produced with
                                                          incurring a charge at all, except the minutes
PIN numbers written on the back and sold on the
black market. The cards are then used at ATMs             required to make the call.
around the world for online transactions.
  Page 3                                                  q   Understand Deeds (special warranty

                                                      the unsuspecting homeowners millions of
Avoiding Home Repair Fraud                            dollars every year. This is a sample case study to
Submitted by Joe Vanest                               illustrate just how easy it is for you to get caught up
                                                      in a home repair fraud. Please use extreme caution
  I      t was a bitter, cold, wintry day when Mrs. when confronted with the following warning signs
Williams, widowed a number of years, went to of a potential scam:
see who was at the door. A man greeted her saying,
“Mrs. Williams, I have a crew working up the street 1) Door to door salespersons with no local
and I noticed you are missing some shingles on connections that offer to do home repair work for
your roof”. He volunteered to go up on the roof substantially less than the market price.
and check it out at no charge. She at first declined
and then he convinced her she needed to have it 2) Solicitations for repair work from a company
taken care of or her house could suffer damage. that lists only a telephone number or post office
He seemed like a nice honest and sincere man so box number to contact them.
she gave her approval.
                                                      3) Contractors who fail to provide customers
When he came down from the roof to give his references when requested.
report, he said the roof was okay and it must have
been the way the sun was reflecting off the shingles, 4) Persons offering to inspect your home for free.
but he noticed there was severe damage to her
chimney and that was a fire hazard. He could give 5) Contractors demanding cash payment for a job
a discount of 10% if she signed a contract today. or who ask you to make a check payable to a person
She agreed to sign the contract.                      other than the owner or company name.

As they discussed this matter, the contractor          6) Offers from a contractor to drive you to the
commented on the frost on the windows. He              bank to withdraw funds to pay for the work.
explained how much heat was being lost and at
the cost of fuel today she should replace those        7) Contractors who offer loans.
windows. She said she couldn’t afford to do it
right now, but the contractor gave her a price she     8) Repair companies who ask for a property deed
couldn’t refuse and offered to give her a loan at a    as collateral. Only consider this action to a
very low interest rate, because he wanted to help      recognized loan institution.
her out.
                                                       If you think you have been defrauded or you
Mrs. Williams signed a contract for the chimney have questions, bring it to the attention of
repairs and the new windows. She wrote a check your State’s Attorney or the Illinois Attorney
for $2,000 as a down payment on the windows General’s Office.
and gave the contractor the deed to her property           Springfield - 800.243.0618 • TTY-877.844.5461
as collateral on the loan. After several weeks waiting       Chicago - 800.386.5438 •
for the work to commence, Mrs. Williams
discovered she could not locate the contractor.                   FREE PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
There was no such address or telephone number This presentation by Joe Vanest was illustrated by a twelve-
as shown on his billing sheet.                          minute video entitled “Home Improvement Fraud” and is
                                                        available for showing to community groups by calling the
Mrs. Williams had become the victim of the              Milton Township office and asking for Gail.
vicious home improvement racket that costs                                 630.668.1616
     Page 4                                                    deeds, quick claim deeds, warranty deeds)
    Page 4

                                                        Aggressive Drivers!
                                                        Submitted by Cpl. Jack Dellinger

                                                        Who are they?
                                                        Here is what we know of them, so far:

                                                        •These high-risk drivers climb into the anonymity
                                                        of an automobile and take out their frustrations
                                                        on anybody at any time.
Be Alert!                                               •For them, level of concern for fellow motorists
                                                        is low.
No successful pickpocket will be as obvious as this
                                                        •They run stop signs and red lights, speed, tailgate,
elephant. They have the stealth of the Artful Dodger.
                                                        weave in and out of traffic and pass on the right.
They can be in your presence without you being
                                                        •Make hand and facial gestures, scream, honk and
aware of it. They blend into the surroundings.
                                                        flash their lights.
                                                        •They drive at speeds far in excess of the norm
Not everyone will be traveling in a foreign country
                                                        which causes them to: follow too closely, change
when they are “lifted” of their personal possessions.
                                                        lanes frequently and abruptly without notice or
Today…we are not safe at home in DuPage County,
                                                        signals, pass on the shoulder or unpaved portions
at the supermarket or the mall. There are numerous
                                                        of the roadway, and leer at and/or threaten-verbally
cases where the thieves with fast hands have lifted
                                                        or through gestures- motorists who are thoughtless
wallets from handbags or taken the bag itself.
                                                        enough to be in front of them.
In this age of high Identity Theft… one cannot be
                                                        When Confronted by an Aggressive Driver:
too cautious. Here are several reminders to reduce
the risk of getting your “pocket picked”!
                                                        •Make every attempt to get out of the way.
                                                        •Do not challenge them by speeding up or
q      Keep you valuables out of sight
                                                        attempting to hold your own in your travel lane.
q      Be alert in crowded areas
                                                        •Wear your seat belt.
q      Carry your purse in front of you
                                                        •Avoid eye contact.
q      Keep your wallet in your front pocket
                                                        •Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
q      Never put your purse in the grocery cart
                                                        •Report aggressive drivers to the police by
                                                        providing a vehicle description, license number
We are always looking for information to share with
                                                        and location, and if possible, direction of travel.
our readers or real experiences from which we can
all learn. If you have any additional ideas to share,
                                                        Avoid the challenges or confrontations of
please send them to:
                                                        an aggressive driver and support law
       Ken McNatt, S.A.L.T. Communicator                enforcement’s efforts to rid the streets and
                  Milton Township                       highways of this menace.
       1492 N. Main Street • Wheaton 60187

         Be sure to visit the Milton Township                       People Saving People
        website for past issues of the S.A.L.T.
      Communicator and current scam information.           
 Page 5

Social Security Online Services
Submitted by Rick Lenoir, Social Security Administration,
Asst. District Manager, Aurora, Illinois

M       ore and more Americans are discovering
the convenience and speed of Social Security’s
online services. Instead of traveling to the local
Social Security office and waiting in line, many more than half a million people have filed
people are going online to our website applications this way. and conducting business
from the comfort of their own homes.                Replace your Medicare card. If your Medicare
                                                    card has been lost, stolen or damaged, just visit
The numbers tell the story. Online transactions our website to order a replacement. You will get it
have nearly tripled since 2002, and this year, we in the mail about 30 days after requesting it.
are on pace to set another new record. Here are
just five of many online transactions you can take Find out if you can get extra help to pay for the
care of by logging on when it best suits your new Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
schedule.                                           Beginning in January 2006, you can file an application
                                                    for extra help to pay for monthly premiums, annual
Plan for your future. Social Security’s Benefits deductibles and prescription co payments under
Planner is a great way to help you plan your the new prescription drug program or Medicare Part
financial future. Whether you’re looking ahead to D. Go online to find out if you are eligible for extra
retirement or determining what benefits you or your help and complete the application.
family may qualify for in the unfortunate event of
disability or death.                                 These services along with many others can be found
Find out if you can get benefits now. Have you         Visit the link and join many others now conducting
ever wondered if you or a family member might                             their Social Security business online.
now be eligible for benefits? There’s an easy way
to find out. Just visit our Benefit Eligibility
Screening Tool, or BEST. Answer a series of
questions and find out whether you are eligible                         Dr. Jack Udelohofen passed away
for retirement, disability or supplemental security             the end of February. He was a charter
income (SSI) benefits. Completing one simple                member of the Citizen’s Committee for
questionnaire can do all of this, and it only takes        the Milton Township S.A.L.T. Council since
about 5-10 minutes.                                       1998. He worked very hard educating the
                                                            community about the various programs offered
Apply for Social Security. If you are ready to              through Milton Township and the S.A.L.T.
apply for Social Security benefits, it is only a link       Council. The Milton Township S.A.L.T.
away. Each year, tens of thousands of people take           Council would like to publicly thank Dr.
advantage of our online benefit applications                Jack Udelhofen’s family for his years of
because they are a convenient, easy way to apply            service to the community and the
for Social Security benefits. In fact, since online         S.A.L.T. Council. He will be
applications became available in November 2000,             missed but never forgotten.
                        Serving & Protecting Senior Citizens

            S.A.L.T. Council Members
            Ken J. McNatt, Chairman • Joe Vanest, Vice Chairman • Jodi Hefler, Glen Ellyn Senior Citizen
            Coordinator/Community Relations • Gail Hinkle, Social Services Coordinator
            Bill Parbs, Director of Communications

            DuPage Sheriff’s Office
            Jim Hatcher, Director of Senior Services • Cpl. Randy Groh, Deputy Sheriff Liaison • Bill Mennell

            Chief Greg Berk, Wheaton Fire Chief • Sue Davison, Medicare Advocate CDH
            Chief Phillip DiMensa, Winfield Fire District • Marcy Fairbank, Community Nursing Service
            Rich Janske, Wheaton Police Dept. • Fire Chief Jerry Kleinwachter, Warrenville Fire Dist.
            Debbie McKenzie, Glendale Heights Police Dept. • James Monson, Glen Ellyn Police Dept.
            Clifford Mortenson, Wheaton Fire Dept.

            Citizen’s Committee
            Larry Gage • Sister Peg Ivers, St. Daniel the Prophet • William Krick • Rose Palma
            Patricia Terkovich, Arden Courts • Jeanne Pitra • Horace Polglaze • Don Russell
            Claude de St. Paer • Charles Schlabach • Barbara Smith • Ron Smith

           In Cooperation with DuPage Sheriff’s Office - John Zaruba, Sheriff

                                                                          Automated Thievery            u
                                                               Avoiding Home Repair Fraud               u
                                                               Aggressive Drivers                       u
                                                            Social Security Online Services             u
                                                            Home Mortgage Scams                         u

                                                                                       HOT Topics

                                                 Wheaton, IL 60187
                                                 1492 N. Main Street

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