(Lake County, IL) Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim is warning residents of potential scams that attempt to prey on people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nerheim said his office has been advised that scammers are making phone calls posing at health care workers or companies offering COVID-19 tests. In many cases, these scammers claim they are able to either obtain tests for people or are able to get test results to people quicker. In these cases, the person is asked to pay in cash or hand over personal identifying information in exchange for the test.
“In most cases, these crimes are preventable by using common sense,” State’s Attorney Nerheim said. “People should always be wary of any business, charity, government or individual requesting payments in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards through the mail. In addition, people should never share identifiable personal or financial information with any unknown sources.”
The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will never send an employee to the home of a person to sell a COVID-19 test. Testing is limited to high-risk individuals in the State of Illinois and must be arranged through a healthcare provider. For more information, please visit www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus.
Should someone become the target or fall victim to a scam during COVID-19 pandemic, they should reach out to local law enforcement or contact the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office directly at (847) 377-3000 or via email at email@example.com. People can also file a complaint online with the Illinois Attorney Generals Office at illinoisattorneygeneral.gov or follow the links on the state’s attorney’s website at lcsao.org.
Statement from Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim regarding the Governor’s Executive Order:
For people that may have information regarding businesses possibly operating outside the guidelines of the Governor’s Executive Order, or people congregating or not otherwise following the stay-home order, the following resources are available:
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has developed a webpage at www.frontlinepss.com/lakeilreport where the public can log a business complaint to the executive order.
Anybody wishing to log such a complaint, should do so via this website, rather than calling the Lake County dispatch center. The Sheriff’s Office will monitor the webpage and direct complaints to the specific department to review the information. These departments include but are not limited to: the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, a municipal police department, the Lake County Health Department, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, or the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Questions regarding which businesses are considered “essential businesses” can be directed to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity at www2.illinois.gov/dceo.
Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Coronavirus update:
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has been in constant contact with the 19th Judicial Circuit Court, the Lake County Public Defender’s Office, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Clerk of the 19th Judicial Circuit regarding the decision to continue most court dates for 28 days, starting Tuesday, March 17.
After the final decision to continue court dates was enacted by the 19th Judicial Circuit Court due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the state’s attorney’s office worked to ensure proper staffing levels were in place to fulfill the obligations for the people of Lake County.
Below is important information distributed regarding the ongoing crisis:
• Lake County bond court, juvenile court, and domestic violence court will remain staffed with essential personnel from the Lake County State[s Attorney's Office to attend to cases through the coming weeks.
• All criminal cases including bond court, felony and misdemeanor cases, domestic violence, and DUI’s that cannot be continued should report to courtroom T-110. They include cases for speedy trial terms, statutory summary suspension hearings, forfeiture and probation violation hearings in which an agreement to continue the trial or hearing has not been reached. Bond hearing will continue to be heard daily.
• Assistant state's attorney's and personnel deemed essential will report to conduct emergency motions, bond hearings, trials involving speedy trial demands where a continuance is not agreed upon, and plea agreements where a defendant is in custody.
• Emergency and plenary orders of protection will continue, as will involuntary mental health admissions, and cases involving treatment, fitness and quarantine hearings.
• Assistant state's attorney's will be on hand for warrants and other emergency motions.
• Assistant state's attorney's will be on hand at the juvenile centers for detention hearings, emergency motions, and shelter care hearings.
• All branch court cases will be continued for 28 days. Assistant state’s attorney’s will not be stationed at branch courts through the shutdown.
• All Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring courts including Drug Court, Mental Health Court, STOP and Veteran’s Court, will be continued until further notice. Emergency matters for those courts will take place on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.
• The Lake County Grand Jury will meet on March 18. Grand Jury proceedings after March 18 will be suspended. Grand jurors whose terms expire on or before March 31 shall be extended until April 29, and no new grand jury shall be empaneled until May 6.
• Felony review, the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center and county cyber lab will remain fully operational throughout the shut down in order to assist law enforcement partners in keeping our communities safe.
• All family cases will be continued for 28 days, except for matters involving orders of protection assigned to a family law judge, emergency child support issues, and matters where an emergency as defined by statute and local court rule. Some of those cases will be handled via videoconferencing or teleconferencing.
• All civil cases are continued for 28 days except for emergency motions. Some or all of those will also take place via videoconferencing or teleconferencing.
• People involved in criminal cases are urged to contact their individual defense attorneys to discuss their case to ensure they receive the most up-to-date information.
• People are urged to log in to the Public Access on the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s website at https://www.lakecountycircuitclerk.org/ to keep up-to-date on their individual cases.
• A link to the entire order from the 19th Judicial Court can be found at their website at https://19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/
• In the interim, we urge people to continue to follow the tips and other information released by the Lake County Health Department on their website at https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4377/Coronavirus-Disease-2019-COVID-19.
On behalf of the entire Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, I commend everyone for their hard work during these difficult times. I’m confident the people of Lake County will come together in the face of this adversity.
Thank you all, and stay safe,