Valentines Day: Don’t Get Scammed in Love or Money!
The stage is all set, you're excited-it's Valentines Day, but don't get scammed!
Let's make sure that Cupids arrow heads straight to your heart and doesn't leave a crater in your wallet. Unfortunately our most vulnerable moments in life are the greatest tools against us.
If you are an internet love seeker be aware of who you're talking to, don't get so mushy with smiles and relief that you may have finally found someone that you forget what you already know... don't give out your personal information, even if this new Romeo says he's a top notch financial adviser-your SS# is yours and should never be given out over the phone, not in the name of love or potential riches.
- Valentine’s Day offers Internet con artists a great cover for their illegal activities. It may be wise to view all Valentine’s Day social media posts with a bit of skepticism, particularly those eye-catching messages with special offers and exclusive gifts.
- Many of us use search engines such as Google or Bing for Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Internet thieves create bogus websites they hope you’ll click on. You know how this story ends: They steal your credit information and never deliver the goods.
- Here’s a common scenario: You receive an email alerting you to an e-card waiting to be viewed and directing you to a fake website that closely resembles a popular site like Hallmark or American Greetings. A prompt tells you to download the latest version of Flash Player in order to view your e-card. Click that link and a virus is quickly downloaded and attacks your computer. Instead of having your loved one steal your heart, a scammer has stolen your identity.
WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
- Before clicking — take a good look at the offer. Pay attention to grammar: Many scams originate offshore, and a careful reading will show that the writer is not familiar with English. Also, if an email or advertised offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Seek out legitimate sources for e-cards and gifts. If you use a search engine to look for Valentine’s Day items, make your search entry as specific as you can — include brand names and trusted manufacturers.
At the end of the day it's about common sense and protecting yourself. Be happy this Valentines Day and keep your money in your pocket, along with your credit and identity-losing everything is as easy as burning toast if you don't keep both eyes open at all times.