Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means it’s time for romantic dinners, red boxes of chocolates, and, of course, flower deliveries. However, wannabe Romeos and Juliets should be on the lookout for a particularly nasty flower delivery scam that could put a damper on their romantic endeavors.
Numerous scams pop up every year around Valentine’s Day, and they usually revolve around flowers. Flower delivery service become overtaxed quickly in early February, due to the huge uptick in demand. This leads many people to scramble to find decent prices on flower delivery so they can impress that special someone.
However, this desperation also often leads to a lack of vigilance. People who would normally never fall for simple phishing tricks or blatant online scams might not realize they’re being ripped off when they’re trying to impress a date. If a site has prices that seem too good to be true, make sure you look them up with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they’re a legitimate operation, not some money-trapping pop-up that exists just to rake in some bucks and then vanish.
Other scams involving Valentine’s Day are often centered around phishing. This is the process by which a scammer attempts to pry your passwords and usernames from you. Sometimes this is done through emails meant to confirm payments for things like flowers or chocolate deliveries. Popular tactics include requiring bank information or logins to fix errors with the shipment.
These are scams, so you shouldn’t give them any information. No reputable business needs your passwords. Likewise, beware of the most common form of online fraud around this holiday: catfishing.
Catfishing is the practice of pretending to be someone you’re not on the internet. This scam tactic is often used on dating sites, and becomes much more prevalent around Valentine’s Day. Often, this form of fraud isn’t necessarily related to scams: sometimes it’s just a lonely or bored person trying to stir up some attention from people online.
However, some particularly savvy scammers use these kinds of dating site frauds to try to make a quick buck. Online beaus asking for money for plane tickets or login information to “leave you a surprise” are often just black-hat scammers looking to part you from your hard-earned cash. Be wary when you’re looking for a date online, and insist on meeting in neutral, public spaces to get to know one another.