Looking for Love – Beware of Scammers!

  
     
February 09, 2017

Scammers never take a break!  They use every opportunity to capitalize on their evil deeds, even what should be joyful and fun holidays!  Valentine’s Day is no exception.  Scammers are well aware of the emotions and expectations and target the lovelorn and couples for theft.  Please be aware of the following:

Catfishing:  These are scammers that are looking on dating sites to ply you with attention and compliments in order to gain your personal and banking information. If you are involved in online dating, watch out for these signs:

  • Relationships that move too fast.
  • Poor grammar.
  • Claims of being abroad traveling, but will be home soon.
  • Readily gives out email and cell numbers so you will provide yours as well.
  • Contacts you even though they have not viewed your profile.
  • You never get to meet them in person; plans are made but always fall through.

Bogus e-cards:  These are fake electronic greeting cards.  Scammers count on you not paying attention and simply clicking on the links in the card.  You can help avoid pitfalls by:

  • Calling the sender to make sure the card is from them.
  • Not opening any cards if you don’t know who the sender is.
  • Not clicking links or follow instructions in cards – may open your computer to malicious downloads.
  • Watching for poor grammar.
  • Being wary of subject lines like “Someone you know just sent you an e-card.”

Fake flowers: Many will want to send their loved ones flowers, candy and other sweet gifts for Valentine’s Day.  Beware of fake websites and online stores that exist only to steal your information and will deliver nothing but heartaches.    Be aware of the following:

  • Make sure the shop has a bricks and mortar location.
  • Pay by credit card so if there is a problem it is more easily traceable.
  • Check BBB.org for a business review.
  • If you receive unsolicited offers for great deals on flowers or other gifts, OR an email stating a problem with a delivery, do not open the email or click on any links.  If you feel there may be a problem, call the company directly.

Flirt Bots: Pesky instant messaging pop-ups that invite the user to a romantic online chat.  They will try to get the user to reveal information about themselves and then are directed to a different website.  In order to prove you are 18, you are asked to enter a credit card number.  To keep these pop-ups from happening, heed the following:

  • Make sure your firewall is on.
  • Install good security software and make sure you keep it updated.
  • Turn on the pop-up blocker in your computer’s browser settings.
  • Ad a pop-up blocker extension to your browser.  Popular extensions include: Adblocker Plus, Popper Blocker (Chrome), Flashblock, and NoScript.
  • Do not click on these pop-ups, just close them.

The BBB wishes everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day and hopes it is filled with Chocolate and Love!

For more information contact the BBB at 812-473-0202 or contact@evansville.bbb.org.