Beware of the perils of overconfidence bias

In 2006, James Montier, a researcher at the investment banking arm of Dresdner Bank, tested the behavioral biases of approximately 300 investment fund managers. One of the questions he asked: “Are you above average at your job?” More than 70% of the respondents answered “yes.” A number even included comments along the lines of, “I know everyone else says they are, but I really am!” Most of the remaining respondents considered themselves average, with only a small fraction reporting themselves as being below average.

Business Briefs: Manresa Bread introduces bagel day, city examines sales tax revenue report

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Manresa Bread is slated to host Bagel Day on Tuesdays until supplies run out.

Manresa Bread serves up Bagel Day

Manresa Bread has introduced a weekly Bagel Day to its menu at 271 State St. in downtown Los Altos.

Bagels made with gluten-free flour are featured every Tuesday until supplies run out. Four options are available: plain, sesame, everything and cinnamon raisin. Bagels are priced at $4 each, or $5 with schmear.

LACI to feature three stories of gathering space at State Street Market

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Work is well underway on the massive mixed-use project on State Street backed by Los Altos Community Investments.

An opening date has not been announced, but work is well underway on the massive mixed-use project on State Street owned by Los Altos Community Investments.

Local resident turns curvy career into podcast

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Courtesy of Beth Davies
Los Altos resident Beth Davies, right, interviews Michael Forrest for an episode of her “Career Curves” podcast.

Los Altos resident Beth Davies has had a curvy career, starting out as a lawyer and transitioning into human resources for companies such as Apple and Tesla before launching her own podcast, aptly titled “Career Curves.”

‘Expiring license’ scam tricks Microsoft Windows users

Microsoft Corp. no longer will provide technical assistance, software updates or bug fixes for Windows 7, which is big news for users of the popular operating system. The recent announcement is giving scammers an opportunity to confuse Windows users into paying to update their “expiring Windows license” – whether they need to or not, according to recent Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker reports.

How the scam works

You receive a call from someone who claims to be a concerned Microsoft employee, who explains that you need to upgrade your operating system if you want your computer to keep working. The caller may say that you need to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or simply that your Windows license is expiring.

The caller may seem friendly and helpful, but he or she is far from it. Someone may convince you to pay yearly fees (that don’t exist) or request remote access to your computer under the guise of installing software. If you pay the fees, you could lose hundreds of dollars. But if you allow the scammer access to your computer, your secure personal information, such as banking details and login credentials, can be compromised. This puts you at risk for identity theft.

Protect yourself

To safeguard consumers from the scam, the Better Business Bureau recommends the following.

  • Don’t trust unsolicited callers. Reputable companies don’t call consumers without their permission.
  • Double check unusual claims. If someone calls you claiming you have a problem you had no idea existed, don’t take their word for it. Hang up and do some research before you accept any help. In the BBB Scam Tracker reports, victims claim they were already using Windows 10 when they got a call advising they needed to upgrade.
  • Never allow a stranger remote access to your computer. If you have a genuine tech problem, get help from a reputable company or individual.
  • Get tech information straight from the source. If your computer runs Windows, for example, find out about updates, new operating systems and tech support directly from Microsoft. Double check you are on the official website or calling the real support line before you share personal information or pay any money.

Better Business Bureau representatives checked with Microsoft, and officials confirmed that the company never reaches out to offer support by phone or pop-up on a computer screen. All support requests are initiated by customers. Microsoft won’t reimburse scam victims for money or gift cards given to scammers, but representatives will check a computer to make sure any viruses or malware have been removed.

For more information, visit tips.

For BBB’s research on why some people are more susceptible to scams, visit

Victims of a scam can report it at to help others stay alert and informed and avoid similar fraudulent activity.

Transactions for the week of Feb. 26

Los Altos

950 Damian Way, Goins Trust to Y. Weingarten for $3,900,000

659 Hollingsworth Drive, M. Laptalo to J. & S. Laptalo for $2,450,000


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