As Valentine’s Day approaches, AARP have issued warnings about the themed scams being used to target singles.
The fraud watch arm of non-government organisation American Association of Retired Persons has identified three main types of frauds being used to entrap Illinois singles in the run up to Valentine’s Day.
These are bogus e-cards, fake flower scams and real life cash-on-delivery cons.
The first type sees fraudsters sending fake electronic greeting cards, which when opened allow scammers to infect a victim’s computer with malware, giving them remote access to their files, banking accounts and passwords.
Another reported scam is criminals posing as local florists offering deals for Valentine’s Day, who then charge hidden or inflated fees.
This could also come in the form of an email with dodgy links, that could open up your computer to an attack from hackers, like the e-card scam.
Bob Gallo, the State Director for AARP Illinois said: “Whether you’re head over heels in love and looking for the perfect gift or searching for a love connection, scammers are breaking Illinoisans hearts and their bank accounts.
“AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is helping people spot and avoid heartless scams. And if you or a loved one has been victimized, call our helpline for advice and guidance.”
The other fraud takes place offline, with con artists delivering Valentine’s Day baskets of flowers and wine to someone’s house.
They then say a small charge must be paid as alcohol is being delivered, and while the fee is usually under $5, they don’t accept cash – only card.
These resourceful criminals then take the account information and can run up thousands in fraudulent credit card charges.
Visit AARP here.