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When renting a car, avoid this major privacy blunder.

The holiday season is a time for family and friends to get together. If you have a long drive ahead of you, here are a few pro tips to help you save time and money.

Do you intend to stay in a hotel? Don’t use your room TV to access streaming services. Here are three hacks to help you make the most of your temporary television.

If you plan to rent a car while on vacation, going through a reputable agency is a safe bet. Scammers are taking advantage of the increased demand for rentals.

Even if you don’t fall for a scam, there’s another way your information could be compromised.

Begin your day with a fantastic tech tip.

Scammers recognise an opportunity.

Rental car companies depleted their inventory during the pandemic, and it can still be difficult to find a rental car in some areas during peak travel times.

To ensure that fake rental agencies appear high in search results, cybercriminals can boost search term rankings. The scam begins when an unsuspecting victim inquires about available rentals.

In one common variation of this scam, a “customer service representative” will offer you a special deal. If you pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card, you will receive a significant discount.

You buy the cards and give the phoney representative your PIN. The scammer then informs you that the money did not transfer and that you must purchase another card.

Of course, the rental company is a forgery, and the untraceable money will be gone in an instant.

Never use a gift card or prepaid debit card to pay for anything. No legitimate company will require you to use that method of payment.

Everyone makes the same mistake when renting a car.

When you rent a car, you most likely sync your smartphone with the vehicle via Bluetooth or a charging cable. It makes sense to listen to music, get directions, or make a phone call while driving.

Most people don’t realise that when they sync their phone with a rental car, their contacts, locations, music subscriptions, social media, and text messages are transferred to the car’s onboard computer.

All of your data is accessible to the next person who rents that car. Yikes. Rental companies sell vehicles from their fleets on a regular basis, so you never know where your information will end up.

Remove your phone from the paired devices before returning a rental car. Better yet, if a factory reset option is available, use it. It will remove all data from the car’s computers.

More road safety: One buried Google Maps setting you must change right now

How to Avoid Car Rental Scams
Here are some additional suggestions to keep you (and your wallet) safe:

• Instead of searching the internet for customer service phone numbers, use the contact information listed directly on a business’s website.

• Avoid sponsored links. Fake websites occasionally appear at the top of search results. Use caution when clicking. Hover over the URL to ensure that it appears legitimate.

• If in doubt, confirm special offers with the company directly. If you have any questions about a promotional offer, look up the customer service number on the company’s official website. Call them directly to ensure the deal is genuine.

Maintain your technological knowledge.

“Kim Komando Today” is the name of my popular podcast. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers from all over the country with tech questions like yours. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. For your convenience, you can view a recent episode by clicking on the link below.

Plus, what to do if you’re locked out of your Facebook account, how to get weather alerts on your phone, Twitter’s office supply fire sale, and how a new gift card scam uses barcode stickers to steal your money. Would you also have plastic surgery to look like an AI image? Surgeons report receiving these disturbing requests.

Listen to my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast player.

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