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Watch Out For Valentine's Day Scams

Are you looking to steal your valentine's heart on Friday maybe with a fancy dinner or flowers? While you spend your time and money wooing your loved ones, beware of those looking to steal your identity, your money, or your data.
Don't let the romance of Valentine's Day blind you - scammers target us specifically around this holiday because they know we are thinking more with our hearts than our heads.

They may be charming but romance scams target us on our computers, for our money, and in our online accounts.

AARP's blog put together a list of some of the biggest scams making the rounds this Valentine's Day.

Be extra careful of scammers trolling online dating sites. They may try to pull you into what's called "long-con" scams -- usually part of an organized crime ring. The criminals create fake identities, lure you in, and after a relationship is formed, they ask for money.

Lookout for e-cards. Scammers send these cute cards that can infect your computer with malware. They could gain remote access to your files and online accounts. Don't click on embedded links especially if it is not from someone you know.

Sales. Look out for spam that is related to sales that are valentine's themed. Links in those offers can also infect your computer with malware. The rule of thumb is to be cautious unless it's a company that you've purchased something from in the past. The safest option is to go to the website directly rather than through a link in your email.

Web searches. Scammers know you are likely to use a search engine, like google -- to look for gift ideas for your valentine. Scammers set up bogus websites selling counterfeit goods. Mainly to get your credit card information. Look for vendors you know or have purchased from in the past.

And lastly, be cautious of what your friends send you over your social media accounts. Some Valentine's Day apps and messages may lead you to survey websites that will try to collect your personal information.

And in case you are wondering how widespread this problem really is a report from the FBI that came out last year says that victims of romance scams lost at least $56 billion dollars in 2012.
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