Unfortunately, even the day of love can’t escape malicious scams. As February 14th approaches, be on the lookout for marketing pitches, suspicious flower deals or phishing e-cards. Here are the most common Valentine’s Day scams:
Fake E-card Tricks
This Valentine’s Day, expect e-cards to arrive in your email inbox. Hackers prey on any opportunity to trick hopeless romantics into exposing their personal and financial information. Be aware that the e-card you receive could actually be a phishing scam, spam or spyware. In the past, scammers have created fake email notifications stating that a “friend” or “family member” has sent an e-card, causing the unwary recipient to click on a malicious link. Unless you recognize the sender’s full name and email address, do not click on the link!
Be careful when ordering flowers online. Make sure you order from one of the most well-known and reputable sources. Some online offers will have inexpensive flowers that look like a good deal, but may add pricey delivery charges that you may not be aware of.
What’s worse, don’t get duped by con artists into giving up your personal information. For example, don’t fall for an email notification letting you know that there was a charge made to your credit card for flowers you did not order. In a rush to fix the problem, unsuspecting victims click on the conveniently provided link to fill out a form to revert the order. Little do they know that the link is really a fraudulent Website where their sensitive data is collected.
Online Dating Scams
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, many singles turn to online dating Websites to find love. If you are looking for someone special, be careful and pay attention. Scammers will create a fake profile to lure you in. When you contact that someone special, they will adapt themselves to anything you want. Once they earn your trust, they will slowly create ways to get money from you, perhaps for a plane ticket to come see you or to help their sick kid or nephew. Use common sense and check everything out before you commit your information or yourself.
Every holiday scammers try to get you to divulge your private information. To stay scam-free, remember never to respond to unsolicited emails; never to click on links you don’t recognize and never fill out forms in emails that ask for personal information. And of course, make sure you have a good security suite that includes anti-phishing, email and fraudulent Website protection, such as the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite.