Watch for the Valentine's Day scam that'll empty your wallet
We all know Valentine’s Day is a nonsense holiday, a venture in commercialism more egregious than even what Christmas has become by 2012.
As if Valentine’s Day wasn’t rough enough, now the lonely have to watch out for scams designed to tug on both their heartstrings and purse strings.
And if you’re not careful, the prospect of romance might just leave you swindled this year.
Indeed, scammers – not a dumb group, it’s worth noting – know just what stretches of the calendar consumers are easiest to dupe; the winter holidays, when donations are the soup of the day, being the biggest time of the year for charity fraud.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a particularly ruthless con is going around in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.
According to the Los Angeles Times, this year’s scam du jour is called the “romance scam,” whereby criminals pose as would-be lovers through social media or on dating sites.
The fraudsters disguise themselves as willing partners looking for some Valentine’s Day love, and surely will have no problem catching a few lonely consumers in their web.
But then the con artists, after days or weeks of courting, ask for money so they can travel to meet their targets. Some fall for the trick, send cash and never see it again.
Of course, falling for a scam like this is dumb, but it’s entirely possible many will, which is why any security expert worth his salt advises you don’t send money over the web, under any circumstances, to anyone you don’t know.
(And keep an eye out for fishy links in your inbox, too. Those e-cards and online dating requests from people you don’t know? Those links might not be safe, you oughtta know.)
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money