Every holiday and major event is viewed by scammers an another opportunity to prey upon their victims and Valentine’s Day is no exception.  There are many scams of which you should be aware today.  E greeting cards are a convenient way to send a card at the last minute, but still get it there on time.  Unfortunately scammers send phony e-cards on Valentine’s Day that come loaded with malware that when you click on the link to download the card will infect your computer with keystroke logging malware that enables the scammer to steal your personal information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  Online dating services can be legitimate, however, they cannot  investigate everyone who appears on their website.  Scammers will create phony profiles, often using photographs of attractive people from modeling websites.  These online dating scammers will quickly profess their love and just as quickly start asking for money for various purposes, which may sound legitimate, but certainly are not.  Other times they may prompt you to send revealing photographs only to end up threatening to put the pictures up on the internet unless you pay them blackmail.  Phony online dating is dangerous.  Recently Jette Jacobs, a 67 year old Australian grandmother not only gave $90,000 to a scammer who professed love for her on the Internet, but when she went to visit him in South Africa, she ended up murdered.


Never open an e card from a secret admirer and even if the card appears to come from someone you know and trust, contact them first in order to confirm that they actually sent the card and not someone who may have hacked their email account.  When doing online dating be careful about sharing personal information.  Also be wary when the person you meet on the website wants you to use personal emails rather than use the dating site for communicating.  Use a different user name and special email account when doing online dating to protect your privacy.  Never wire money to someone you have not met  It is like sending cash.    Be particularly wary of people who say they are Americans working in a foreign country, but don’t know American jargon.  Finally never send compromising photographs you would not want to be made public to anyone whom you have not met in person.