Protect Yourself from Holiday Scams

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Protect Yourself from Holiday Scams

Protect Yourself from Holiday Scams

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but unfortunately ‘tis also the season for scammers to try and take your hard-earned money. With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s important to keep a look out for potential scams waiting to steal your holiday joy. Between shopping for the perfect gifts and traveling to see family far and wide, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and unknowingly let your guard down as you work to cross things off your list. Keep yourself and your money safe this season by keeping an eye out for these common holiday scams:


Gift Card Scams

Gift cards are a great gift to give for the holidays. They are easy, convenient, and often allow the receiver to buy multiple items from their own wish lists. Scammers will often try to take advantage of shoppers by selling expired or empty gift cars, hoping to make a profit off of a car that isn’t worth more than the plastic used to make it. Don’t be afraid to ask to inspect any gift card you purchase before you finalize the sale. Check to make sure the activation code is not exposed, and if it is, the gift card has most likely already been used or has had the information copied by a potential scammer.


Fake a Seasonal Jobs

Let’s be honest, holiday shopping can get expensive, so sometimes you may be interested in picking up extra work to earn more money for your shopping needs. The great news is that lots of businesses are hiring extra hands to get them through the busy holiday season. However, the bad news is that scammers take advantage of this and create bogus application sites intended to steal your information. Many of these scammers will pose as employees of recognized businesses and post help-wanted ads on social media or other popular websites. You will then follow the link in the ad to a website that seems legit, enter your personal information, and submit your application. The scammer will then make off with this information and the promised job will never follow through. If you’re interested in picking up extra work, it may be better to apply in-person or directly on a business’s website.


Fake Charity Scams

Like many others, you may be someone who enjoys giving back during the holidays by donating to charities. It’s important to make sure your donations are going where you intent. Scammers will create a fraudulent website posing as a legitimate charity or organization, even copying logos and names to make their website appear legitimate. You’ll want to confirm the validity of an organization before making your donation, and never share your financial account or credit card information with anyone, especially via solicited phone call, email, text, or social media message. Like with applying for a job as discussed before, it’s best to go directly to an organization’s website rather than following links from ads, emails, or social media posts – even posts shared by people you know. Before donating to charity, verify whether the organization is legitimate as well as the organization’s policy on sharing donor information so you can ensure your information remains protected. You can review an organization’s donor privacy policy by checking the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. Other resources available to you include Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar.


Delivery Scams

As technology continues to advance, many companies are making online holiday shopping available to make your shopping more convenient, which means packages are crisscrossing all over the country. Scammers will send out phishing emails, emails aimed to acquire valuable personal and financial data, disguised as UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service notifications of incoming or missed deliveries. These emails will contain a link that will lead you to phony sign-in pages asking for personal information, or sites infested with malware. When you place an order online, the company will provide you with an order number that can be used on their website for order updates. Don’t click any links, especially if sent to you from an unknown sender. If it seems suspicious, reach out to the delivery company directly.


The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and festivities, but scammers are looking to steal your holiday joy and your information. The safety and security of our members is a top priority. Protecting your information works best when we have your help. Let’s work together to keep your accounts safe. To learn more about how we protect our members every day and how you can protect yourself, review our Security and Fraud information online, and watch our Scams and Fraud playlist on YouTube.




At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.


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