Avoid holiday scams with these tips from Fox Communities Credit Union

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year for scammers, but we can change all that with this holiday scam naughty and nice list

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially if you’re an online scammer. That’s right, the holiday season is open season for scammers and hackers alike, and that means you’ve got to be on top of your game or you’re likely to fall victim to one of the many scams out there. But don’t worry, this isn’t a doom and gloom post. Instead, we’re here to help you identify and protect yourself from the holiday plans of scammers and hackers – because here at Fox Communities Credit Union, we’re all about helping you make holiday cheer happen.


Before exploring how to protect yourself from holiday scams, let’s take a look at what the most popular holiday scams are:

  1. Social media scams – a true playground for scammers, who will use everything from fake contests to fake deal offers (and more) to get your personal information
  2. Home delivery scams – if you get contacted that you have a package waiting that can’t be delivered, it’s probably a scam. Hang up and call the officially-listed number for whoever they say is calling (UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.) to double-check
  3. Holiday job recruitment scams – make sure you have all your paperwork filled out before doing any work and never pay for training, equipment, or other on-the-job tools
  4. Fake charity scams – as you open your hearts and wallets this holiday season, always do your research and make sure you are using official channels for your donations
  5. Tech support scams – if someone claiming to be tech support gets in touch with you asking for passwords, hang up on them or delete their messages
  6. Free gift card scams – they’re enticing, but never trade your personal information for the promise of free gift cards
  7. Coupon scams – similar to the free gift cards, don’t trade personal information for the promise of holiday coupons
  8. Vacation scams – with so many wanting to get away for the holidays, scammers are working overtime to trick you into paying for a trip you’ll never get to take or offering a deal too good to be true
  9. Phishing scams – phishing scams happen year-round, but there will be more than usual around the holidays, so delete anything that looks suspicious
  10. E-card scams – scammers have started putting malware in e-cards so make sure you verify any e-card you receive before clicking on anything
  11. Overpayment scams – with the high number of transactions being run during the holiday season, scammers will be looking to get you to share your personal info without thinking by sending you overpayment notices
  12. Sweepstake scams – if you’re told you’ve won something but that you need to provide your personal information in order to claim your prize, you really haven’t won anything except the chance to have your identity stolen


Now that we’ve identified some of the most popular holiday scams, let’s take a look at how you can protect yourself with our holiday scam naughty and nice list.


  • NEVER share the following information:
  • Username
  • Passwords
  • Personal identification numbers (PINs)
  • Personal identifiable information (PIIs)
  • Financial account information – account numbers, credit card numbers, debit card numbers, etc.
  • DON’T fall victim to holiday phishing scams
  • If you receive an unexpected or suspicious email, don’t click on anything other than the delete button
  • If you receive an unexpected or suspicious phone call, don’t say anything and just hang up
  • If you receive an unexpected or suspicious text message, don’t click on anything other than the delete button


  • Place a security freeze on your credit report with all credit bureaus
  • Sign up for free fraud alerts from credit bureaus
  • Secure your computers, tablets, and mobile devices with a firewall and antivirus software
  • Research any free app you want to download to ensure it’s offered by a trusted source
  • Monitor your accounts daily to catch unauthorized activity
  • Log out of and close online shopping sites when you’ve finished
  • Only use secured private networks when shopping or performing financial account activities online
  • Research the seller before purchasing anything online
  • Cover the keypad when entering your PIN, no matter where you are
  • Utilize card chip technology when able
  • Watch all merchants while they perform your transactions to ensure there’s no suspicious activity
  • Always take your receipt and shred it when you’re done with it
  • Let your financial institutions know when you’re planning to travel (if you’re a Fox member, this is easily done using our Card Controls)
  • Subscribe to fraud alerts and services that allow you to turn your card on and off (again, if you’re a Fox member, check out our Card Controls)
  • Utilize digital wallets when able

We know this is a lot to take in – and a lot to worry about during an already-stressful time of year. So, let us leave you with two final pieces of advice that you should remember above all else – think before you click and if something seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. If you have any questions or if you need help with any of the tips covered here, please contact our friendly Fox staff.