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An Open Letter From the Ladue Chief of Police

A warning about Microsoft Phone Scam Artists in Ladue.

Dear Residents and Web-Site visitors,

Recently, I have received several calls from residents who reported being called by Microsoft Corporation. The callers requested the resident to log on to their computer and allow remote access to their computer to check for viruses.

The following information was provided by Microsoft to inform individuals of how to handle these types of calls.

Please take a few minutes to review the information and educate yourself on this type of computer crime.

Avoid tech support phone scams

  • Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're using.

Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Never trust unsolicited calls. Never provide any personal information.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams

  • If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:
  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Take the caller's information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.

Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

Thank You,


Rich Wooten, Ladue Chief of Police 

James Baer (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Chief, you do so much to keep Ladue citizens safe and aware. Thank you.

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