Facebook on Valentine's Day scam list
The Better Business Bureau is warning people to watch out for who — or in this case, what — they fall for this Valentine’s Day.
“Before you spend your paycheque in the name of love and romance, do your homework to avoid being scammed,” said Lynda Pasacreta, president and CEO of the BBB.
RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore said online scams are popular everywhere.
“We get different ones weekly and people forward them to our office,” she said. “The old saying, ‘If it sounds too good to be true...’”
The police don’t notice an increase on Valentine’s Day, as scams stay consistent throughout the year.
“Usually if a bank or loans company contacts you for personal information, it’s a scam,” she added. “They wait until you contact them.”
Among the three popular scams noted by the bureau include a dating site scam, where a dishonest person convinces someone that they are in love and in need of money. Others arrange a date and then steal valuables from the person.
“Don’t fall for a person who claims to be in love with you at first sight,” stated Mark Fernandes, communications officer with the BBB. “If your match asks you to pay for the travel expenses, there is a high probability that it is a scam.”
E-Cards and social media scams are also popular. Some scammers direct their victim to a website that appears to be a greeting card. The site then asks the person to download the newest version of Flash Player to view the card. A virus is then downloaded and contaminates the victim’s computer. The virus steals personal information from the computer, such as information contained in the email.
A Facebook scam offers people to download a Valentine’s theme to their profile. When downloaded, the person is actually adding a malware virus to the computer.
“Make sure you only open emails, attachements and links from people you know,” Fernandes pointed out. “Watch out for unsolicited emails with subject lines like ‘Someone just sent you an e-card,’ or ‘Send your loved one a Valentine’s Day card today.’”
People also fall for fake online florists. Bloomex Inc., receive 273 complaints in the last three years about ripping people off. The company has an F-rating in the BBB system. People complained that the flowers were not delivered, or that the wrong flowers or arrangements were delivered. The company was also accused of charging $10 for a processing fee when the order was cancelled.
A company’s BBB rating can be found at www.mbc.bbb.org.