Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Holiday Cyber Scams

Holiday Rooms in Bloom, The Grinch, House Tours, Craft Fairs, Free Concerts, a Cookie Spree and more to enjoy in St. Louis City.

December 5, 2013 | 6 min reading time

Holiday Cyber Scams

I want to begin this week's Spotlight by passing along some valuable information from Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.  As the holidays approach, it's important for computer users to be aware of seasonal scams and cyber campaigns.  The scams may come in the form of:

  • Electronic greeting cards, screensavers, shipping notifications, holiday emails or other electronic media which may contain malware.
  • Requests for charitable contributions, credit card applications and shopping advertisements which may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts.
  • Identify theft attempts against your smart phone, tablet, or other portable electronic device.
To protect yourself against these scams, remember:
  • Unless you trust the sender, don't open the email or click on links in email messages.
  • Always check a charity with the Better Business Bureau or the Missouri Attorney General.
  • Never fill out a credit card application online.

 If you believe you have been targeted by a scam, call the Circuit Attorney's Fraud Prevention Task Force hotline at (314) 612-1412.


Upcoming Events

Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 – Holiday Rooms in Bloom, Historic Samuel Cupples House, 11 a.m.

Be sure to stop by the Historic Samuel Cupples House on the campus of Saint Louis University, 3673 W. Pine Mall, today through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day to see the Holiday Rooms in Bloom.  St. Louis' premiere florists have created fantastic arrangements that celebrate the beauty of the holiday season.  The members of the SLU chapter of Alpha Phi Omega have added their creativity to the festivities as well.  Call (314) 977-2666.

Dec. 7 – Grinchmas on South Grand, MoKaBe's Coffeehouse & Tower Grove Creamery, 9 a.m.

The Grinch will arrive on South Grand this Saturday to spread holiday cheer and joy, and to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals along with the Moolah Shriners Clowns who will provide face painting and balloon animals.  The Grinch will be at MoKaBe's Coffeehouse and Tower Grove Creamery at Grand and Arsenal from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For a $7 donation to the hospital, participants can get their photo taken with the Grinch.  For more information, visit the web site.

Dec. 7 – Christmas On The Hill, various locations, Noon

The 2013 Christmas On The Hill celebration in The Hill neighborhood will take place this Saturday from Noon to 9 p.m. and will include some old favorites like Storytelling with La Befana at Gelato di Riso, Carriage Rides, A Christmas Market, free Tours of the Hill and more.  New for this year will be the Tree Lighting Ceremony in front of St. Ambrose Church at 6 p.m. and the day will wrap up with a spectacular free concert in St. Ambrose Church at 7 p.m.  For more details, visit the web site.

Dec. 7 – Artropy Craft Show, Regional Arts Commission, 10 a.m.

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for that special someone?  More than 30 local St. Louis artists will participate in the Artropy Craft Show this Saturday at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Boulevard, in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood.  Shoppers will be able to browse handmade art, jewelry, fashion accessories, pottery, housewares, and more.  The craft show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Dec. 7 – 1763 St. LouisHoliday, Old Courthouse, Noon

Experience Christmas from 1763 by stopping by the Old Courthouse in beautiful downtown St. Louis at Broadway and Market this Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m.  Dance instruction will be given for the most popular dances of the mid-18th century and a food historian will present treats common to St. Louis dinner tables during the 1763 holiday season.  For more details, visit the web site.

Dec. 7 – Wintermarkt Outdoor Festival and Craft Fair, GregFreemanFour CornersPark, 11 a.m.

Get into the spirit of the holiday season by stopping by the Wintermarkt Outdoor Festival and Craft Fair this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This is an annual, local, German-inspired festival where shoppers will be able to find artists selling unique handmade art and crafts including jewelry, photographs, candles, Christmas ornaments and much more.  The festival and craft fair will take place in Greg Freeman Four Corners Park, 6008 Kingsbury Avenue at Des Peres Avenue, in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood.  Questions?  Call (314) 862-5122.

Dec. 7 & 8 – Free Concert, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m.

The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America will present its annual free holiday concert twice this weekend at the St. Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral, 3633 Lindell Boulevard in Grand Center.  An evening performance will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. and a matinee performance will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday.  The shows are free, but tickets are required and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  For all the details, call (314) 533-7410.

Dec. 7 & 8 – 38th Annual Soulard Holiday Parlour Tour, departs from Gene Slay's Boys' Club of St. Louis, 10 a.m.

The Soulard Restoration Group is inviting everyone to enjoy the 38th Annual Soulard Holiday Parlour Tour this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The guided tour will feature homes decorated in their holiday best from all eras of Soulard history.  The cost is $25 per person the day of the event.  Tours will depart from Gene Slay's Boys' Club of St. Louis, 2524 S. 11th Street.  Need more information?  Visit the web site.

Dec. 7 & 8 – 30th Annual Cherokee Antique Row Cookie Spree, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the 30th Annual Cherokee Antique Row Cookie Spree this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.  Local merchants on Cherokee Street, from Jefferson Boulevard east to Lemp, will offer a bounty of holiday surprises, with each unique shop offering a variety of free holiday cookies.  Enjoy music, seasonal festivities and yuletide charm.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Dec. 8 – Lafayette Square House Tour, Park House at 2023 Lafayette Avenue, 10 a.m.

The 2013 Holiday Parlor Tour of historic homes in the Lafayette Square neighborhood will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday.  The tour will begin at the Park House, located at 2023 Lafayette Avenue, and will include several homes, all decked out for the holidays.  Tour tickets will be $20 the day of the tour, with proceeds benefiting neighborhood programs and improvements in the Lafayette Square area.  Tickets can be purchased by phone at (314) 772-5724.

Dec. 8 – Free Concert, ChristChurch Cathedral, Episcopal-Anglican, 2 p.m.

Webster University's annual "A Gift to the City" free concert will take place this Sunday from 2 – 3 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal-Anglican, Locust and N. 13th Street in downtown St. Louis.  The concert will feature the Webster University Chamber Orchestra and the Webster University Chamber Singers performing seasonal holiday favorites mixed with other music of the Christmas season.  To learn more, call (314) 255-1634.

Save the Date

Dec. 14 – Holidays In Old North Festival and Craft Market, Crown Square, 11 a.m.

Dec. 14 – Blues Viewing Party, Steinberg Rink, 5:30 p.m.


Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight? If so, you may email the information about it to me at deekenc@stlouis-mo.govo r to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration. You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


Cold Weather Alert

In closing, I want to join with City Health Director Pamela Rice Walker, MPA, CPHA, in encouraging you to prepare for the extended cold weather that St. Louis is expected to experience from now though most of next week.  Maintain your home at a minimum 60 degree temperature, dress in layers both inside and outside, and do not use alternative heating sources to warm your home.  St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson cautions everyone to remember that alternative heating sources are dangerous and pose a risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, and he encourages all property owners and tenants to have working smoke detectors in their homes.  Should you find yourself in need of a warm place, call the United Way of Greater St. Louis Information Referral line at 1-800-427-4626 or dial 2-1-1 for information on warming sites.  Stay safe during this cold snap and be sure to check on your elderly neighbors.


Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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