Protecting yourself online – 3 stressful purchases that fraudsters target


(NC) - More and more of us are conducting our lives online during the pandemic, purchasing products like insurance, getting quotes for renovations or applying to jobs. While these moments are often already stressful, they are also perfect opportunities for scams that fraudsters prey on.

Aviva Canada has a fraud hub that allows you to report suspicious sites or possible scams. As you’re navigating the web, here are some tips from the insurance company to avoid getting duped when you’re doing business online.

1. Avoid anything that looks too good to be true
Criminals can easily set up convincing sites to look like the real thing — it’s known as spoofing. That’s why you should do a little research when you see an amazing deal, particularly when it comes to purchasing insurance online.

Fake insurance sites will trick people with the promise of very cheap coverage. So ask yourself, is the quote you're getting seem too low to be true? Is everything spelled correctly? Does their website name look right? If you’re at all suspicious, stay away.

2. Applying for a job? Make sure it’s the real deal
Some fraudsters will contact people through social media and other messaging platforms (such as WhatsApp), asking them to share their personal details or pay money in order to apply for a job. To trick people into thinking the job posting is real, using a company’s brand and public information from the official company website.

But no employer will ask you to send money to apply for a job. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the job posting, get in touch with the organization itself or check to see if the job is listed on their LinkedIn or Careers page.

3. Unbelievably low bids for repairs
When you’re searching for a contractor to make repairs or renovations to your home, some will immediately call or email you to offer a low bid that is far below what any other construction companies in the area charge.

But once the job starts, unexpected costs and unforeseen problems may suddenly appear. Some contractors may even resort to stopping all work after your home is partially demolished if additional payments aren’t made. Always get a couple of quotes from reputable companies to compare before deciding on one. If a company offers the same job for a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.

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