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Valentine’s Day Scams Can Leave You with Broken Heart and Empty Wallet

Valentine’s Day Scams Can Leave You with Broken Heart and Empty Wallet

Valentine’s Day Scams Can Leave You with Broken Heart and Empty Wallet

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎02-14-2012 11:31 AM

VDay scam.jpgGuest post from Cliff Lee, PR manager for Verizon handling security issues.



While you run a business, your email inbox is most likely filled with some personal matters too.  As you look to sway your sweetheart via the world-wide web, you should also be aware that online scammers are looking to romance your bank account and personal information at your expense.


Verizon’s security software partner McAfee is predicting that the lovers’ holiday themed email spam will quadruple worldwide by Feb. 14th.  McAfee cautions, that clicking on messages promising great deals on gifts for the loved one or clicking on links in those messages could result in malware being downloaded on your computer.  These dangerous links and malware are designed to compromise personal and financial information of those falling victim to them.


Scammers are using a technique called “snowshoe spamming,” in which they spread spam across multiple Internet addresses to evade consumers’ spam filters installed on computers.  In many cases, these scammers are using suspicious email marketing companies to send out the bulk messages.


So as you check your inbox be cautious of opening so-called holiday e-cards from people you may not know.  Clicking on an innocent looking link in the phony card may lead to an instant download of malware to your personal computer.


Other McAfee warnings include:


  • Online dating scams in which the bad guys post phony profiles at online dating sites in hopes of tricking victims into disclosing personal information or giving them money;
  • Love-themed malware such as Valentine’s Day videos, wallpaper or love songs which, once downloaded onto personal computers, also infect those computers with information-stealing malware;
  • Phony gift websites that may show up when people do online searches for Valentine’s Day gifts.  The scammers try to trick you into giving them credit card numbers or other personal information they can then use to steal your money or your identify.


So how do you avoid ending up forlorn this Valentine’s Day?  McAfee offers these common sense tips:


  • Don’t open links in spam emails;
  • Don’t click on a link in an e-card from someone you don’t know;
  • Make sure an e-card is from a legitimate e-card provider by doing an online search for their website;
  • Stay away from suspicious online dating sites and beware of people you meet at legitimate sites who ask for financial or personal information;
  • Use safe search tools when browsing for gifts online.  For example, Verizon’s Internet Security Suite (VISS) software provides users with warnings about unsafe sites that come up on search results;
  • Use a comprehensive security software, such as Verizon Internet Security Suite;
  • And, of course, if an online Valentine’s Day special seems too good to be true, if probably is.


As you work your way around not getting scammed today (and other holidays), let us know if your business gets busy on Valentine's Day.



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