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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Atlantic Provinces
Valentine's Day Scams -Steal Not Only Your Heart but Your Money Too
April 19, 2013

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Unfortunately, it is a time that scam artists try to take advantage and steal your money right along with your heart.

Some Tips To Help Avoid A Scam:

On-Line Dating: Many people have great success in finding their perfect match through online dating sites. However, scam artists see these sites as a perfect place to take advantage of people. Scam artists will often create a fake profile, and will eventually persuade victims to send money in the name of love.

The BBB advises that one should be wary of anyone who is quick to develop a relationship, claim instant feelings of love and wants to leave the site immediately and use personal email, telephone or text. Never agree to wire money for travel expenses, emergencies, visas or other official documentation or to tide someone over after a financial setback. Never agree to make an online purchase or provide credit card or personal information to anyone. Always take the time to check out the online dating service before signing up.

Personal Matchmaking: Matchmaking services often promise to introduce people to other area singles that meet specific criteria. It is important to do your homework beforehand and gather information about the company’s history and reputation.

BBB advises to be skeptical of claims such as “an exclusive network of people”, or for “beautiful singles just like you”. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics such as this low price is only good for today so sign the contract immediately. Take the time to read over the contract carefully, determine cancellation and confidentiality policies. What happens if you are not satisfied with the service or matches do not meet specified criteria?

E-Cards and Phishing E-mails: As Valentine’s Day approaches, everyone expects the usual notes of love or e-cards. Scam artists are well aware of this and trick many of us into divulging personal and financial information through false alerts from fake greeting cards, problems with gift orders or credit card purchases.

BBB advises to only open emails, attachments and links from people you know. Make sure that your computer has up to date firewalls, anti-virus and, anti-spy wear software. Be suspicious of subject lines such as “someone just sent you an e-card” and “send your loved one a Valentine’s Day card today”. Be wary of emails that look like they are coming from a delivery firm and say they are unable to deliver a package and ask that you click on a link to provide information.