Ahead of Valentine’s Day, celebrated as Lovers’ Day all over the world, you might be looking for a gift to your significant other, or even trying to find your valentine online. Beware that falling to a scam is easier than you might think while doing this, it might happen to anyone. We prepared a list of some of the most common Valentine’s scams, so you can watch out for them.
Perhaps the most popular Valentine’s day scams are fake dating profiles, which scammers use to convince people into sending them money or personal information. Often the fake profiles claim to need money for health problems or for traveling to meet the victim in person. You should never send money to people you haven’t met, even if you’ve been talking to them for months, or give out credit card, banking, or passport information. Last year, money transfer company MoneyGram had to refund an average of $3000 per person to more than 30 people as a result of this. Note that scammers are lurking even on legitimate dating websites or grieving forums.
This scam is about malware, which is delivered when you end up visiting a malicious website through an innocuous eCard invitation that arrives in your mailbox. You should always check the WOT reputation of the links sent to your email before visiting them, even if you know the person who sent it.
Some scammers try to take advantage of Valentine’s day by promoting cheap products on fraudulent websites, either through spam or online ads. These sites may not only try to infect your computer, but could also try to cheat you out of your money. Check the reputation before buying from the web and be careful of sites you don’t know. Also make sure the page where you enter your personal information uses HTTPS.
Many people are planning to buy flowers to their significant others on Valentine’s day, so this variation of the Sales scam deserves a special mention. You should avoid buying flowers from sites that don’t have a reputation or have been rated poorly, or both of you could have an unhappy Valentine’s day.
Often found through social media, giveaway scams can promise you traveling, flowers, perfumes, or other gifts, but try to steal your personal information instead. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But just to be sure, read reviews from the WOT scorecard to see what kind of experiences other people have had with the site.
Unexpected chat boxes can appear on infected websites while you’re visiting them. A bot pretending to be a real person will try to lure you to another site that wants your credit card number to confirm you’re over 18 years old. Don’t fall for the scam and never give out your credit card information to a site you don’t know.
Some of you might be in the mood of changing your wallpaper into a more romantic theme. You should be careful with wallpaper sites that distribute malicious software. If you’re only interested in a picture, make sure you’re not tricked into installing unwanted programs too.
If you receive an email from your secret admirer, you should ignore it. These kinds of emails usually contain a link to a fraudulent website, which will try to deceive you and steal your identity or credit card details.
Heart healers pretend to be experts in the field of love and they promise to heal your broken heart after a break up or a loss. Sometimes they even promise to get your ex back. You can come across these experts through malicious ads or spam. Once more, check the reputation of the website to which you’re being lead and remember that there are no shortcuts in healing broken hearts.
Fake social media profiles
If someone who looks like a super model sends you a friend request around Valentine’s day, chances that the profile belongs to the love of your life is not very high. Be careful when opening links to third-party sites and don’t forget what we talked about dating earlier.
The WOT Team wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!