SCAM ALERT for retailers with online shopping capabilities

From IL Retail Merchants Association
April 13, 2015

Please be cautious of a fraudulent company currently targeting small and mid-level retailers with online shopping capabilities. Recent reports detail phone calls made to businesses inquiring about analytic services. These calls are part of a large-scale financial breach directed towards retailers and their customers.

What to look for: The caller disguises himself as a newly established company offering services to analyze a retailer’s shopping cart traffic in order to produce a “valuable” report that can increase web-based revenue.

The risk: After granting access to the business’ ecommerce information, the hacker steals the financial data from both the business and customers.

Tips to identifying a social engineering scammer:

If you or your employees are unsure of the callers intent, take extra steps to verify them!

  1. Have someone technical request additional information from them rather than allow your membership/ sales person to discuss. They will not be able to answer technical questions about their product.
  2. Look at the hacker’s website. It will appear very simple or poorly constructed.
  3. Ask for their address. You should be suspicious if their only available business address is a P.O. Box.
  4. They may claim to be doing business only in your state and give you the name of a local city. Try quizzing them about the local area through engaging conversation; they will not be able to name nearby cities or know relevant information.
  5. Ask if they can provide a portfolio or a list of their previously serviced companies.
  6. Be aware if they use a Google Voice phone number or a recycled/disposable cell phone number. (An internet reverse phone search can provide this information)
  7. Ask to call them back. They typically do not answer the phone when you call them back. They need to be able to call you back, so they can prepare and gather your target file for the scam.
  8. They may have a foreign accent and sound like they are reading from a script.

What benefits should businesses be forced to provide employees?

The Hobby Lobby decision issued Monday by the U.S. Supreme court has the nation in a frenzy. The decision protecting employers from being required to provide contraceptives is limited in scope, applying only to closely held/family-owned for-profit businesses. This is not applicable to publicly traded businesses. Further, not-for-profit organizations were not addressed in this opinion.


This decision did not change or alter IL state statutes and/or mandates regarding contraceptives. Those mandates in Illinois have been in place since January 1, 2004 and will have to be challenged in state court. The Illinois state mandates “require all individual and group insurance and health maintenance organizations (HMO) policies that provide coverage for outpatient services and outpatient prescription drugs or devices, [to] provide coverage for all outpatient contraceptive drugs or devices approved by the FDA”.


So what do you think? Should businesses, specifically small, locally owned businesses be required by law to provide coverage for birth control, or for that matter, any other specific drug? Or should it be the business owners right to decide what they want to offer, and the employees decision if they want to work there or not based on what benefits are offered?

Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum Wage ImageThe Chicago Minimum Wage Working Group reported back earlier this week that the minimum wage in Chicago should be raised to $13 an hour by the year 2018 and linked to inflation thereafter.

Let’s break this down and see how it would affect the LZ Area Chamber of Commerce or other similar size businesses.

For a business (like the Chamber) currently paying $10.50 an hour for a part-time job (already $2.25 above the state’s min. wage), a forced $2.50 increase to $13 per hour would equate to $3,250 per year for an employee working an average of 25 hours per week.

To increase payroll over $3,000 for one employee would cause the Chamber to either eliminate other expenses (service or another position) or increase prices (dues, event tickets, etc.) to cover the cost.  The potential results of this could mean lower attendance at Chamber events, fewer member, and or possibly a small cost ($10 – $20) to participate in every event and activity.

We would like to hear how a mandated minimum wage increase might impact your business.  Please provide your feedback and input.

COMMUNITY ALERT – Pre-Paid Credit Card Scam

May 27, 2014
***Pre-Paid Credit Card Scam***

LZ Police Dept LogoOn May 27, 2014, a business in our Village received a call from a subject identifying himself as a
representative of ComEd. The caller advised of a large outstanding debt and advised the utility
would be shut-off if payment was not received. The caller advised the business to obtain Green-
Dot cards, and call them back to provide the card information so the funds are transferred.
Additional forms of this scam are;
Another twist of this scam is businesses being contacted by their “corporate office” and requested
to do the same practice of loading pre-paid cards and providing the information to the caller. In
some of the instances they would claim they are testing the credit card system, POS terminal,
system for existing or possible problems. They have also claimed these transactions are to cover
various fees.
We also had an instance where a caller to a retail stores relayed a bomb threat. The caller asked to
speak to the store manager, demanding that Green Dot MoneyPak cards each be activated and
loaded with $500 and that the card numbers be read aloud over the phone. The caller threatened
to blow up the stores if the managers did not comply and also threatened the store employees’
homes and families. The manager did not comply with the demands, and no explosive devices
were found.
We are warning residents and businesses that legitimate businesses and government agencies do
not conduct business transactions in this manner and do not instruct victims to purchase Green
Dot Money Pack cards or other pre-paid credit cards. Verify any unsolicited business transaction
requests by contacting the company yourself by a telephone number or email address which you
These scams are currently occurring on a regular basis throughout the United States.
Green Dot has a fraud reporting number to contact as well at 800-GREEN DOT and its website has information regarding how to avoid common scams related to its products.
If you have any information about this scam, please contact the Lake Zurich Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division at (847)719-1695.

Lake Zurich Police Department

200 Mohawk Trail
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Emergency – 911
Dispatch (847) 438-2349


2014 Showcase Booth Winners

2014 Best Booth Avalon Salon

2014 Best Booth Avalon Salon

2014 Best Themed Booth - Inland Bank
2014 Best Themed Booth – Inland Bank

2014 Best Marketing - New Balance Store Crystal Lake

2014 Best Marketing – New Balance Store Crystal Lake

2014 Most Interactive Booth - New Life Evangelical Church & School

2014 Most Interactive Booth – New Life Evangelical Church & School


The Purpose of Man Video Must See

Man’s Search for Meaning.  Here’s an amazing talk by Dr. Victor Frankl that really helps to explain it.  A must see …  Click on video image to view.

Mans Search for Meaning

5 Tips That Will Transform Your Small Business

Mark Lindstrom5 tips that will transform your small business

Martin LindstromTODAY contributor

Feb. 1, 2014 at 1:12 PM ET

Branding expert Martin Lindstrom shows how a business turn-around is not only possible, but completely do-able in a very compressed timeframe.

More than 100,000 small businesses close their doors every year in the United States. Stiff online competition, fallout from the financial crisis and unlimited choices mean that shop owners need to think differently if they want to survive in today’s complex marketplace.

To find out if you’re at risk, take a look at these three “Rules of 5.” These apply to conventional retailers, not food and beverage outlets.
  1. How many times per week do your customers refer back to your window display? Fewer than five? There’s an issue.


Main Street Makeover from NBC Today

Main Street Makeover from NBC Today ShowTODAY   |  February 02, 2014

Main Street Makeover: Turning around failing small businesses

For small businesses trying to survive, one man said he could keep them from failing — but not without some tough love.

In the second part of a two-part series, branding expert Martin Lindstrom lent his expertise to two family-owned businesses just steps from closing for good.


Click Here to watch report (Important message starting at the 3:42 minute mark)

2013 Excellence Award Winners


2013 Excellence Award Winners

Celebrating the Accomplishments in our Communities


The LZ Area Chamber of Commerce (LZACC) is proud to announce the award recipients for the 2013 Excellence Awards. The awards banquet was held on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer with 240 area business, political, and community leaders present.  Read more