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St. Charles police warn of scam

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 4:36 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 10:22 p.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Police Department is warning residents not to share personal information to people purporting to be from Microsoft, according to a news release.

Residents reportedly told police that men and women claiming to represent Microsoft have called them several times during the last week. Speaking with strong foreign accents, the callers attempted to help fix a problem with the residents’ home computers and laptops, police said.

Police said this is a common scam, and that the offenders are trying to gain the residents’ trust.

Police recommend residents hang up if they receive such a call because these outcomes might occur:

• Malicious software can be installed on your computer that can be used to gather personal information.

• The scammers can take control of your computer remotely, allowing them to change privacy settings and leaving your computer vulnerable.

• Scammers might ask for credit card information to bill you for phony services.

• You could be directed to fraudulent websites that might ask for your credit card or other personal information.

Microsoft and similar companies do not make unsolicited phone calls, police said.

If you believe you are a victim of a scam and might have shared personal information – such as your Social Security number or credit card information – call your credit card companies and the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

You might be required to file a police report, which can be done at the St. Charles Police Department in downtown St. Charles.

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