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The Naughty List: Three holiday scams to watch out for this season

The most wonderful time of the year is officially upon us, but along with life, movement and holiday shopping comes a whole new wave of seasonal scams. From shoplifting to personal information to parcel theft, there is no shortage of fraudsters who get their names added to the naughty list this time of year. Learn what to look out for so you can keep your vacation happy and bright.

Fake charity scams

Fraudsters know that hearts and wallets open during the holiday season, forcing some to ask for charitable donations to fake causes via email, funding sites and social media. Before you click the donate button, do a little research and make sure your generosity supports a legitimate cause. If an email contains grammatical errors or looks suspicious, it probably is. Visit an organization̵

7;s website directly to make a donation, instead of clicking on the link in an unsolicited email. With over 195,000 registered charities, check the Charity Navigator to confirm an organization’s legitimacy before making a donation.

Fake gift cards and giveaways

Be careful if you discover that you have suddenly won a free gift card or giveaway in a contest that you do not remember participating in. Fraudsters use this tactic to entice people to provide personal information, which they then sell to cybercriminals. Never leave information such as your name, postal address, social security number or bank information to verified contacts by e-mail or telephone.

Porch piracy

With an increase in holiday shopping and online delivery comes an increase in holiday theft. In recent years, a favorite trend among criminals has followed trucks to steal packages from porches after they have been delivered. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of falling victim to porch thefts. Installing a security camera or camera doorbell will not only catch a thief in the act, these devices are often enough to deter criminals from completely targeting your home. In addition, motion-activated lamps draw attention to any activity that may occur after dusk, making the task of pirating the porch more inconvenient and risky.

If you work somewhere where you can receive packages, consider having shipments delivered to your office so that they do not sit on your porch unattended for hours. If this is not an option, check out Amazon Locker sites in your area for any Amazon orders. These cabinets let you come by and pick up your deliveries when it suits you using an electronic code.

Interested in learning more about scams, frauds and cybersecurity? Check out Cybersecurity 101, read about how to protect your business from cyber threats, read more about how Central handles fraud before it happens or check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “12 Days of Fraud” on Instagram.

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