Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for you to show loved ones how much they’re adored. It’s also an opportune time for scammers to trick you into providing personal information or install viruses on your computer. Your Better Business Bureau advises you to avoid Valentine’s Day scams.
If you’re among the millions of Americans using online dating sites to look for that perfect match, beware of scammers looking for perfect victims. Scammers create fake profiles, scour singles’ ads and persuade people to meet them or to send money.
Be cautious if your match asks you to pay for travel expenses, to send monetary gifts or to meet sooner than you’re comfortable with. Also, be familiar with online dating sites’ terms and conditions and review credit card or bank account statements as some sites may continue automatic renewal charges after you’ve canceled.
Scammers may send phishing e-cards, directing you to fake greeting card websites. You’re prompted to download flash players to view cards and, once clicked, viruses are downloaded, exposing you and your contacts to identity theft. Other phishing scams may instruct you to provide credit card and other personal information to read e-cards.
Only open e-mails, attachments and links from familiar people. And be sure your computer is updated with the latest antivirus and firewall software.
If you’re ordering flowers for your sweetheart, be cautious with the florist you select. Shady florists may deliver the wrong flowers or none at all. In other cases, scammers posing as florists may send e-mails informing you the flowers ordered won’t be delivered unless you log in and re-enter your credit card information. If you follow the directions, you could be sending your credit card information to an identity thief. If you receive an e-mail from a florist about an order placed, contact it directly to verify your order and to request an e-mail or written confirmation.
Valentine’s Day is a day of romance and love. Don’t get your heart broken by scammers. Check dating services, florists and other companies out with your BBB before doing business.