The International Day of love is just around the corner, inviting romantics from all over the world to display their love and…empty their wallets! When browsing for gift ideas for Valentine’s Day to surprise your loved one, stay alert: cyber-thieves are also preparing for the occasion, and will do just about anything to steal your financial details!
Here’s what you need to know to secure your finances & your heart from these 3 serious threats:
1. Jewelry scams:
Looking for an engagement ring for your sweetheart? Make sure it won’t leave you broke and... heart-broken on Valentine’s Day, too! Watch out for unauthentic and illegitimate jewelry websites and:
- Look for reputable jewelry stores that provide clear, detailed photographs, as well as comprehensive information about quality, style and karat weight.
- Verify that your seller has a secured payment gateway, and its services are verified and secured.
- When buying from an online auction, read the auction terms carefully, including return policies, shipping costs, and guarantees. Also, ask for photos of quality certificates, sales receipts, and interior inscriptions on the jewelry piece itself, to verify its authenticity.
2. Fake gift cards:
A 1000$ gift card? Definitely suspicious! Last year, almost 80.000 people received a text message stating that they won this card from Best Buy. They were prompted to visit a third-party site which mimicked the legit one and asked for their credentials. As a result, losses added up to $5 million! To stay safe, follow these simple recommendations:
- Never reply to redeem your prize.
- Contact the company mentioned in the text to let them know about this.
- Block unwanted email messages using BullGuard’s Spamfilter.
Here’s another example of a fake Valentine’s Day gift card, this one from Victoria’s Secret and on social media:
Speaking of…social media, can you spot a genuine promotion from a fake one on Facebook? Read on…
3. Facebook scams:
- If you get a Facebook message saying that you have won a contest, it’s probably a scam, especially if you have not entered any contest. Facebook guidelines prohibit companies from notifying winners by sending messages to their Facebook inboxes, or by posting messages to users’ profile pages.
- If a Facebook ad includes a price, discount, or “free” offer, the ad must link directly to a page explaining the offer.
- If you see friends posting that they just got a free $100 gift card, then their account has probably been compromised. Scammers can also post malicious links disguised as coupons on group walls of shopping-related Facebook groups. To avoid this type of scam, change your privacy settings to prevent someone from posting on your wall without your approval, and get BullGuard Internet Security 2013 for extra protection – its Facebook Link Scanner spots and flags out malicious links to prevent you from clicking on them.
If you spot a scam while shopping for your “Valentine”, tell us! Stay tuned for more Valentine-related scams and ways to avoid them.