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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky
BBB Warns: Beware of Valentine's Scams
February 05, 2014

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Scam artists take advantage of every major event or holiday to launch scams, and Valentine’s Day is no exception! BBB warns, look out for these scams:

 

Social Media Scams

Beware of any “free” love giveaways, like flowers, perfumes, or vacations. These “free” giveaways take you to a third-party site, where your personal information can be compromised.

 

Phishing

You receive an email warning that the gift or flowers you ordered cannot be delivered because of a problem with your credit card. The email has a link that directs you to a spoof site where you have to re-enter your credit card information.

 

Ecards

An email from “a friend,” links to an online greeting card, but when you attempt to download the card, malware goes onto your PC and your personal information is compromised. If you get a Valentine’s Day email from someone, unless you confirm that they sent it, don’t follow the link!

 

Instant Messages

If you receive an instant message inviting you to become involved in a romantic online chat, think again. The infamous “Flirt-bot” is a great example of an automated chat program that works with instant messaging sites, trying to get victims to share information about themselves, then it takes the victim to a website that requests a credit card number supposedly for proof that the person is over 18. This is a phishing attempt!

 

Catfishing

Scammers use online dating sites to target singles. This is known as catfishing. The scammer creates a fake profile, reals the victim in, and then asks for personal information or money. If your “match” asks for money to cover travel expenses or has a sudden emergency requiring a lot of money, there is a high probability it is a scam.

 

Valentine Apps or Games for your Mobile Device

Get them only from trusted application markets, and read the fine print! Do they really need all of your personal information? And, remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

 

For more tips, go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.