ALERT: Family First has recently been made aware of a scam spoofing both our 585.586.8225 and 1.800.356.1101 phone numbers. Please exercise caution if you receive a phone call claiming to be from our Fraud Department. Learn more here.

All Family First branches and the call center will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 for Juneteenth. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The Penfield branch parking lot will have limited access due to sealing beginning Saturday, June 1 at 1:00 pm. It will be fully reopened the morning of Monday, June 3.

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Scams

Last Updated

December 18, 2023

Written By

Sarah Kearney

The holiday season is a time of joy, festivities, and giving, but unfortunately, it’s also a peak time for scammers looking to take advantage of the holiday spirit. As we become immersed in the whirlwind of shopping, gifting, and online spending, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and protect ourselves from potential scams.

One common scam to watch out for is phishing emails and messages disguised as irresistible holiday deals or shipping notifications. Exercise caution with unexpected emails asking for personal information or urging you to click on suspicious links. And ALWAYS double-check the sender’s email address. When in doubt, contact the company directly using verified contact information.

Online shopping has become a staple during the holidays, offering convenience and fast turnaround times without the hassle of making a trip to the store. However, it also opens the door to various scam opportunities. To safeguard your financial information, stick to reputable websites with secure payment options. Avoid making purchases from unfamiliar or suspicious looking sites and be cautious when presented with deals that seem too good to be true. Consider using credit cards instead of debit cards for online transactions, as credit cards often offer better fraud protection. Additionally, you should regularly monitor your bank statements for any unauthorized charges and report them immediately if detected.

When it comes to charitable giving during the holidays, it’s essential to verify the legitimacy of the organizations seeking donations. Scammers often exploit the season of generosity to set up fake charities, preying on the goodwill of individuals. Before making any contributions, research the charity’s background, check for reviews, and ensure it is a registered and reputable organization. Avoid making donations through unconventional payment methods, such as gift cards or wire transfers. Instead, use secure and recognized platforms to contribute to causes you believe in.

In Summary:

  • Be cautious of unexpected emails or messages with holiday deals or urgent requests
  • Stick to well-known and reputable websites with secure payment options
  • Exercise caution with deals that seem too good to be true, especially on unfamiliar websites
  • Use credit cards for online transactions, as they often provide better fraud protection
  • Avoid making charitable donations through unconventional methods like gift cards or wire transfers
  • Be cautious of fake websites: Double-check website URLs for authenticity, looking out for misspellings or slight variations

By taking these precautions, you can navigate the holiday season with confidence, ensuring that your festive spirit is not dampened by the threat of scams. If you fear that you have fallen victim to a scam, please call us at 585.586.8225 so we can help you investigate and take action right away. Scammers work quickly, so it’s best to act fast.

We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season! 


Sarah graduated with her BFA in Graphic Design from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2018 before beginning her career at Family First. Sarah is a designer, content creator, and community outreach coordinator, and is an active volunteer within the Rochester community. 

You are now leaving

By accessing this link you will be leaving the Family First Federal Credit Union’s website and entering a website hosted by another party. Family First Federal Credit Union is not responsible for its products, services, or overall website content. We encourage you to read and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site you are entering, which may be different than those of Family First Federal Credit Union. If you choose to conduct business there, you will be conducting business with another party’s website.