The Park Ridge Police Department Detective Bureau coordinates and conducts all criminal investigations within the Borough of Park Ridge. Other responsibilities include but are not limited to, general criminal investigations, background investigations, criminal warrants, surveillance operations, juvenile matters and narcotics investigations. The Detective Bureau is also responsible for the collection, submission, and analyzation of all evidence.
The Detective Bureau works closely with other local law enforcement agencies, as well as most county, state, and federal agencies serving on various task forces and information sharing groups. The Detective Bureau staff regularly attends in-service training in order to keep up to date with new case law, investigative techniques, policy and procedure updates to name a few.
The Park Ridge Police Detective Bureau consists of a Captain assigned to oversee the day to day operations of the unit, one senior detective, as well as one junior detective, who is regularly assigned to patrol duties. The Detective Bureau, upon request, utilizes patrol personnel occasionally when conducting covert operations and special details that would require the use of manpower.
All persons who wish to report an anonymous tip or report any information regarding any crime or suspicious activity are urged to email the Detective Bureau here. We assure you that your concern or tip will be kept strictly confidential.
Detective Department News
Phone Scams and Number Spoofing
I often get asked what phone spoofing is. Spoofing, as defined by the Verizon.com website, is:
- Caller ID spoofing is the process of changing the Caller ID to any number other than the actual calling number.
- Caller ID spoofing happens when a caller knowingly falsifies the info transmitted to disguise the number they're calling from.
- The number that displays on your caller ID may look as though it's coming from a government agency, business, or even someone in your contacts list in an attempt to trick you into answering the call.
It basically means a person or persons use a piece of software to make it look like a phone call is coming from someone else on your caller ID screen. We've had incidents where the caller made it look like we (the PRPD) was calling the victim to come arrest them for allegedly not paying their taxes. It made even a very aware person start to believe the scam; thankfully they did the right thing and called us directly and confirmed it was a scam.
Spoofed calls occur daily, my phone included. The best recommendation is if you don't know the number, let it go to voicemail. The NUMBER ONE WAY to confirm it's a scam is to look up the actual number to the agency, business, police department, etc that is allegedly calling you and call them directly to inquire if they in fact called you. For example:
You get a call from an unidentified number, pick it up, and speak with someone claiming to be from the IRS. They claim you are late on your taxes and they will put a warrant out for your arrest if you don't pay immediately over the phone. [Something doesn't seem right, I know I paid my taxes] OR [They're right, I am late, but usually it's a letter in the mail] - if your gut is telling you something isn't right, it probably isn't. Get the person's name and extension and hang up. There's a good chance they'll hang up on you when you start asking identifying information. Use the internet or phone book to look up your local IRS office and call them directly. Ask them if the information is accurate and if they called you.
Most federal, state and local government agencies do not call you for money, they send mailers. The same goes for most utility companies. Even the most attentive people misplace a bill or forget to pay it from time-to-time, but don't fall prey to scammers because of it! Get an old bill and call the company directly to find out if you are past-due and arrange payment the way you normally would. If there is ever a question don't hesitate to call us and we'll confirm it for you!
NO LEGITIMATE COMPANY OR AGENCY WILL EVER ASK FOR PAYMENT VIA GIFT CARDS OR WESTERN UNION!!! JUST HANG UP!
Important Information / Common Questions
Car burglaries and thefts have increased throughout the region and state in the last couple years. Criminals will sneak through yards and pull on car door handles to find an unlocked vehicles. They will attempt to start the vehicle to determine if the key fob is in it. If it has a FOB, they'll steal the car, if it doesn't they'll steal your property. PLEASE remove key FOBs when you leave the car and always lock your doors!
Some examples of current phone scams include the "grandson/son/nephew in trouble or injured", "IRS taxes due", "computer repair service", and "PSEG bill is overdue" which are listed in detail below. The #1 way to know it is a scam is if they ask you to pay by a gift card, wire transfer, or deposit money in to your account on the suspect's behalf. NO LEGITIMATE BUSINESS REQUESTS PAYMENT BY GIFT CARDS!! Hang up and call the company by looking their number up online or in the phone book if you have one!
- "Grandson in trouble" - the caller will claim your grandchild/nephew/son is in jail in a foreign country (usually England) and needs bail money. Some scammers even put on a younger sounding person to convince the victim it's their relative. It's extremely effective and has unfortunately happened to a few residents.
- "IRS" - the caller will claim to be an IRS agent or similar and claim your taxes are overdue and you need to pay it right then or else the Park Ridge Police or whatever agency will come and arrest you. This is FALSE! The IRS will send letters if you are past due! More importantly, Park Ridge PD does not arrest anyone for the IRS! Call us immediately and we'll be happy to tell you we're not coming for you.
- "PSE&G bill is overdue" - as simple as it seems but it works. Hang up and call your utility company direct and confirm with them if your bill is overdue or not.
- "Computer Repair Service" - you will receive a 'cold call' from someone or a pop-up will come up on your screen with a phone number as a result of a virus or a suspicious web page. The person will claim your computer is infected and they can help you for $XXX dollars but they need access to your computer. You provide it and they log on and gain access to your bank accounts and transfer money out. They also transfer money between your accounts to make it seem as if they charged your account.
Part of the responsibilities of the Detective Bureau is handling all the juvenile matters/incidents in town. These can range from such minor things as being in a park after dark to weapon offenses, cyber harassment, and other crimes. This is one of the most important functions of the Detectives and is one we're passionate about. The Juvenile justice system is that of education rather than punishment. There are many options available for minor offenses and even larger crimes are handled in a different manner than it would be if an adult had committed it. We also assist (along with other county and state agencies) with Family Crisis matters as needed. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns: (201) 391-5401 x5236 / x5235
Q. What should I do if I receive a scam call?
A: If you have provided social security numbers, date of birth, etc OR conducted any type of financial transaction then definitely call our non-emergency line and report the incident so we can take a report and I can follow up on it. If you have not provided any information to the person then you can elect not to notify us due to the fact there would be no crime associated with the call. When in doubt, call us!
Q. What is phone number "spoofing"?
A: It is when a person uses a computer program or application to confuse the phone system as to what the originating number actually is. It enables a suspect to 'mask' their phone number and make it appear as whatever they want. Phone scammers always use a spoofed number to attempt to hide their identities.