Milwaukee, Wis., February 13, 2012 -- As Valentine's Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau warns you to expect more marketing pitches and eCards in your mailbox. Here are some scams you should look out for:
If you’ve ordered flowers….
One phishing scheme involves an e-mail that indicates the flowers you ordered for your sweetie won't be delivered unless you log in and re-enter your credit-card information. The scam e-mail is sent to a mass number of recipients; chances are a few of them had ordered flowers. If you click on the link and enter your credit-card number, you'll wind up with a hefty credit card statement. If you see a message like this, go directly to the florist's Web site or call the business.
If you receive a Valentine eCard…
In this scam, you receive a message that states "you received an eCard," and it directs you to click on a link. The link looks like an American Greetings or Hallmark Web site (but it isn't). Once there, you are told to click on a link to view your eCard, but you can't see it because "you don't have the latest Flash player." If you want to view the eCard, you'll have to install it. If you click on the link, you may be installing malicious software. Check the Web address carefully, consider whether you already have Flash installed, look at whether the e-mail came from someone you know and note whether your name was on the message.
If you want to add a Valentine's Day theme to your social media sites...
A popular Facebook scam is a status update that promises to add a Valentine’s Day theme to your profile. Unfortunately, users who install the application are actually installing a malware virus. On Twitter, users are seeing links to supposed online dating sites which are really a play to get users to put in their information leading to ID theft and financial loss.
If you hear from a secret admirer….
You receive a surprise e-mail from a secret admirer. It may be an exciting thought, but by opening the attachment, you may enable malicious software to be loaded onto your computer. Such software can allow a scam artist to spy on all of your computer activity. The BBB recommends that you delete suspicious e-mails no matter how flattering, and don't open any files attached to them. Also, install software that protects your computer from viruses and unwanted programs, and make sure it is kept up to date.
If you hope to find true love online….
Scam artists often create fake profiles designed to match the kind of person they think will fall for their ploy. Once they make contact, the scam begins. They have the same likes and dislikes as you, and seem perfect in every way. Then the criminals try to establish some trust. When it is time to meet, your true love won't have enough money for the trip and will need money for a plane ticket – money that you’ll never see again.
For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).