Scam of the day – February 10, 2017 – Valentine’s day scams

Valentine’s day is rapidly approaching.  Valentine’s day is a very important day to many people including scammers and identity thieves who always manage to find an opportunity in whatever is going on to scam you out of your money.  There are many Valentine’s day scams, but the most prevalent are phony florists, online dating scams, phony Valentine’s day electronic greeting cards and delivery scams.

Scammers set up phony florist websites or send you an email purporting to be from a local florist with a great deal you merely have to click on in order to save a great deal of money on flowers.

Online dating scams are plentiful with most revolving around scammers quickly professing true love for you and then asking for money.

Electronic greeting cards are a great way to send a Valentine’s day card at the last minute when you forgot to get one ahead of time, but phony electronic greeting cards can be filled with malware and if you click on the link to open the card, you will infect your computer or other electronic device with malware that will steal your personal information and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.

A common delivery scam operating on Valentine’s day involves a delivery of a gift basket of wine and flowers to you, however the person delivering the gift basket requests a small payment, generally five dollars or less, as a delivery fee because alcohol is being delivered.  The person delivering the basket will only accept a credit card as payment.  When you turn over your credit card, the scammer then takes down the information and runs up charges on your credit card.


Never trust an online florist or other retailer until you have checked them out to make sure that they are valid.  Otherwise, you might be turning over your credit card information to a scammer.  It is also important to remember, as I constantly warn you, that you can never be confident when you receive an email, particularly one with a link in it or an attachment to download, if the person sending you the email is who they claim to be.  Clicking on links sent by scammers can download keystroke logging malware on to your computer or other electronic device that will, in turn, enable the identity thief to steal personal information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  Always confirm the legitimacy of an email or text message before clicking on links contained in the message.

As for online dating scams, of course you should be wary of anyone who immediately indicates he or she is in love with you and then asks for money.  Some other telltale signs of an online romance scam include wanting to communicate with you right away on an email account outside of the dating site, claiming to be working abroad, asking for your address and poor grammar which is often a sign of a foreign romance scammer.  Many romance scams originate in Eastern Europe.

Never trust an online greeting card, particularly if it does not indicate from whom it is being sent.  Be very wary of a card sent by “an admirer.”  Even if you recognize the name, confirm that it was really sent from that person before you click on the link and open the card.

In regard to the delivery scam, there is no special delivery charge for alcohol so if someone requires a payment for such a delivery and on top of that won’t accept cash, merely decline the gift.

Scam of the day – February 14, 2013 – Online dating scams

Valentine’s Day is a very happy day for couples in relationships, however, it can be a particularly lonely time for people who are not, but are seeking one.  Many people seek romantic partners online and there are many legitimate online dating services, however, there also are many online dating services that are just scams and, unfortunately, even on legitimate online dating services, it has been estimated that 10% of the online dating profiles are scams.  Most online dating scams follow a similar pattern.  The person you meet online falls deeply in love with you quite quickly, but they live far from you and getting together in person is quite difficult.  In addition, there is always an excuse for their not using a webcam while conversing online.  In fact, one reason for this is that sometimes, the person may be representing themselves as being one sex, when they are actually the other; a man may be representing that he is a woman to a heterosexual man seeking a romantic partner.  Quite early in the relationship an emergency arises or perhaps they just want you to send money so that they can come visit you.  In either situation, they need you to wire money to them.  If you do, you will lose this money.  The relationship is a scam.


Only deal with well established online dating services on the Internet.   Although it is not a guarantee that you will not be scammed, it increases the odds in your favor.  Be wary of someone who falls in love with you quickly.  Be particularly skeptical if this person suddenly needs you to send money for any reason and never send money by wire upon request by your romantic partner.  This is good indication that the relationship is a scam because scammers prefer funds to be wired because they are more difficult to trace, retrieve or stop payment.  Be wary of telltale signs such as emails that are from people who represent to you that he or she is an American abroad, but his or her English grammar and spelling is bad.  One final warning.  Never send nude or suggestive photos because those photos can be used to blackmail you later.