Evanston police are warning residents about two scams being attempted by crooks working the south and west sides of the city.

The police say they’ve have multiple reports from citizens about both types of con games.

In the first scam a suspect approaches the victim on the street or at their door and asks for money for a sick child, claims to be a neighbor or asks to do minor work for himself or the child.

If the victim offers to call police for assistance, the subject leaves or says police have refused to help.

In the second scam the stranger claims to be from the gas company and demands to see a copy of the homeowner’s gas bill so the homeowner to be considered for a refund. Nicor Gas offers no such refund and the suspect is not a Nicor employee.

Police say other versions of that scam have involved suspects posing as city water department employees or private contractors or landscapers who claim to have damaged something on the homeowner’s property. All demand access to the home or try to entice the occupant outside, leaving doors unlocked.

Police urge residents to not allow any person exhibiting such behavior into the home or go outside with them to examine claims of damage.

The police urge residents to immediately call 911 or the police non-emergency number at 847-866-5000 to report such incidents.

Residents can also check claims that someone is a Nicor employee by calling Nicor’s Customer Service line at 1-888-642-6748 and to check claims someone is an Evanston city employee by calling the main city phone number at 847-328-2100.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.