It’s not just young lovers who send Valentines greetings at this time of year. Many people send parents, spouses, children and grandchildren cards and gifts as a cute way of expressing affection. Crooks know that too, using Valentines as a way of conning money out of their victims and even hijacking their computers. Make sure you don’t get caught up in this by watching out for these common tricks:
Phony eCard Greetings
You get an email either from a mystery sender or someone you know with a link to a supposed Valentines eCard, or with an eCard actually attached. By clicking on either, you download a virus onto your computer. Two simple actions can prevent this– having an up-to-date anti-virus program installed and, if you know the supposed sender, contacting them to make sure they really did send the greeting.
Bogus Flower Gifts
You order flowers from a new online company advertising incredibly low prices. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is and you’ll lose your money. Plus, the scammers now have your credit card number and may use it to make purchases in your name. Best to use a reputable online florist or go to a local store.
Spoof emails arrive in our email boxes all the time but we might let our guard down when a message
arrives from a mystery admirer around Valentines. It’s often a prelude to an online “romance” in which the victim receives photos of the attractive admirer ( which are really just pictures stolen by the con artist). The crime ends up with the victim being asked to provide money to pay for the admirer to come visit. Just don’t fall for this trick – never give money to people you don’t know.
Now the bad stuff’s out of the way, it leaves us with the chance to wish you Happy Valentines!