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Holiday scams to watch out for and how to avoid them
During the holiday season, scammers may try to take advantage of people’s generous, kind, or trusting spirit. During this popular time for shopping, shipping, receiving email notifications, ecards, and earning a bit of extra cash, holiday scams can be aplenty. Fortunately, you don't have to fall for their tricks! Protect yourself with these tips from Direct Auto & Life Insurance.

Plus, remember to protect yourself with the insurance you need. Talk to a friendly Direct agent about your car and life insurance needs — today!

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Fake Web Stores:

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping! However, before confirming your purchase, be alert to fake web stores that sell knockoff products or never actually ship the goods you paid for.


Solution:

Before buying gifts online, research unfamiliar ecommerce sites, read reviews, check the URL and website for grammatical errors, confirm the store’s contact information, only pay with a credit card, check that the URL starts with “https,” and consider if their super low price is too good to be true.




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Bogus Email Notifications:

Get an email from a store you didn’t order from? Beware: it could be a “phishing” attempt to steal your information. Thieves pretending to be a legitimate business may ask you to “click here” and provide personal details to review things like phony shipping information or a nonexistent problem with your order.


Solution:

Unless you’ve placed an order with the company or are expecting a package, don’t click on the link. If you do click the link and personal information is requested, stop and close the browser window. To verify whether it’s a real notification, search the company’s name in a search engine and visit the website to enter the details, or call the number listed on their contact page.




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Holiday Hiring Scams:

The holiday season is a prime time for finding temporary work, and criminals try to take advantage of this by advertising fraudulent positions that could be disguised as work-from-home or “secret shopper” jobs attempting to take your money, steal your personal information, and rip you off.


Solution:

Before you make contact, research the company online by reading reviews and visiting the Better Business Bureau website. In general, be wary of jobs that hire on the spot, conduct interviews online only, lack contact information on their website, and require an upfront payment to accept the position.

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Phony Charities:

If you’re planning to make a charitable contribution, don’t let scammers take advantage of your generosity. Phony charities can either pose as well-known nonprofits, or invent their own name, but will ask for donations that end up in their personal bank account.


Solution:

Do your research before you donate. Use an online resource like Charity Navigator or GuideStar to confirm the organization is legit. If possible, avoid making cash, gift card, or wired donations — and make sure you know where your donation is going.




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Holiday eCards:

Electronic greeting cards are a popular way to spread holiday cheer. However, what may look like a legitimate holiday ecard could actually be spam, spyware, or a computer virus in disguise.


Solution:

If you recognize the name of the sender, it’s probably safe to open the ecard. However, to be sure, run a virus scan on your email messages, contact the friend or family member to verify they sent it, or visit the ecard company directly to open.



Want to learn more about Direct Auto & Life Insurance? Visit us online at DirectGeneral.com

By the Direct Auto & Life Insurance carrier & agency members of the National General Ins. Grp., Winston-Salem, NC. This article is for general information or entertainment purposes only. Direct General does not endorse and is not affiliated with any of the companies or apps listed in this article. Direct General is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services or other materials on or available through these websites or resources. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Sources:

Better Business Bureau

https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/16505-the-12-scams-of-christmas-what-to-look-for-and-how-to-avoid-them
https://www.bbb.org/pittsburgh/holiday-resource-center/avoid-holiday-scams/

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