Watch Out for These Valentine’s Day Scams
As Valentine’s Day approaches, so does the number of online scams. In this blog, we dive into the common scams that you should look out for during February. Stay informed to protect yourself from potential threats, such as phishing emails, romance scams, and fraudulent Valentine’s Day offers.
We often see a spike in phishing emails during the month of February. Scammers take advantage of common holiday purchases, such as flowers, chocolates, dinner reservations, and more to trick their victims. Xfinity gives a great example of a common Valentine’s Day phishing scam, where someone may get an email claiming there’s a delivery issue due to a credit card problem; the email will have a link leading to a fake website that asks the victim to enter their credit card information. In a matter of minutes, the scammer could drain your bank account.
Cybercriminals are also using e-cards and fake dinner reservations to deceive victims. If you receive an e-card and you’re unsure who it’s from, don’t click on it! Clicking on the e-card could download malware on your computer/smart device that steals your personal information. The same goes for unexpected links related to dinner reservations. We recommend calling the restaurant directly to confirm any reservation details. Stay vigilant this season by learning How to Spot a Phishing Scam.
The month of love often brings an uptick in romance scams. Whether on a dating website or social media, scammers will target individuals seeking companionship online. Online romance scammers will say exactly what you want to hear to bait you in. Once they get you to form an emotional connection with them, that’s when they know they’ve got you hooked. These scammers use the fake relationship and “trust” they established with you to exploit your emotions for financial gain. Many will request money to help pay their rent, medical bills, family emergencies, and much more. It may seem like you have a genuine connection with this person, but they’re just using you for money.
Watch out for these red flags when chatting with someone online:
- Love bombing- a tactic where scammers show an extreme amount of love and attention to you
- Making excuses for meeting you in person
- Elaborate stories on why they need money from you
- Pushes for your personal information
For more on romance scams, check out our blog Beware of Romance Scams.
Fraudulent Valentine’s Day Offers
Think twice before clicking an ad that shows unbelievable discounts for Valentine’s Day. Scammers will replicate advertisements from real companies to trick you into giving them your sensitive information. Check Point found a fraudulent email that appeared to be from the popular jewelry company Pandora. The fake email enticed victims to purchase jewelry by listing them at an unbelievable discount. They even created a Pandora website that looked just like the real one, making it even easier to trick people into purchasing from their fake website. Always be sure to verify the legitimacy of online stores and be weary of deals that seem too good to be true.