It’s that time of year again when love is in the air. As Valentine’s Day gets closer, scammers spring into action with a chocolate box full of different schemes.
Among the most common are romance scams. This is when a lonely person is approached on social media and an online relationship quickly blooms. In all honesty, those contacts probably began in early January, with the trap set to spring by Feb. 14, or soon thereafter.
In most cases, the scammer will advance the relationship very quickly and, at some point ask for money. It might be a small amount at first but the requests will continue until the heartbroken victim realizes it’s a scam.
In a related “romance” scam, Trend Micro reports a scammer pretends to be a girl who would like to have a fun conversation with someone. However, if the victim clicks the button in the email body, it will redirect them to a sex/dating site. The Trend Micro research team found 253 logs from Jan 17-24.
The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert has also picked up on a growing number of Valentine’s Day shopping scams. This year, scammers are using a 50% discount for jewelry as bait to lure victims into purchasing it as a Valentine’s Day present on a fake shopping one-page website. The Trend Micro research team detected 32,203 logs from Jan 24-31.
“Valentine’s Day is a big holiday for scammers as many consumers look to buy items for their loved ones,” said Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro.
“Trend Micro has already seen over 32,000 instances of a scam offering 50% discount on jewelry and using a fake shopping site to steal victims’ personal information and credit card information. Consumers should be extra vigilant during this holiday and be cautious of unsolicited emails or texts with great deals on shopping items.”
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