You may be thinking with your heart this Valentine’s Day, but that makes you vulnerable to scammers trying to steal your money and identity!
The FBI says in a report that last year victims of romance scams lost at least $56 billion.
AARP has put together some of the top scams to be aware of as you get ready to celebrate the holiday.
1. Beware of scammers trolling online dating sites – criminals create fake identities, form a relationship with you online and then ask for money.
2. Lookout for e-cards – they could infect your computer with Malware, which allows criminals access to your profiles and online accounts.
3. Never click on embedded links – they could also infect your computer with Malware.
4. Look out for ‘sales’ from unknown online retailers – the emails advertising sales from suspicious websites could just be a trap for you to “buy” something and give up your credit card information.
5. Be cautious of social media – some Valentine’s Day apps and messages from friends could link to a survey that allows scammers to gather your personal information.
AARP says a good rule of thumb is to be cautious during the holiday. If you’re making online purchases, go to websites that you’ve shopped with before and type the URL into your browser directly, don’t click on embedded links.
And as soon as you’re done with online shopping, go back to thinking with your heart for a bit. After all, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!