CBI ID Theft Team Offers Valentine’s Day Scam Awareness Info

02/12/2020—The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Identity Theft/Fraud/Cybercrime Unit offers Valentine’s Day scam awareness information on two different scams prevalent during the season of love.

Romance Scams

It's that time of year when people's thoughts turn to romance and Valentine's Day celebrations. It is the ideal time for romance scammers to prey on people using online dating sites. Millions of people are online seeking romance every day. So how do you know if the person you are falling in love with is a sweetheart or a swindler?

  • Check out the potential match: use tools like Google Image to search their profile picture and see where else it might show up.
  • Copy and paste a few lines from the person's profile or one of the first messages they sent you. Search it on a site like Google as well. Does the exact same verbiage show up in many profiles or maybe as a quote from a famous movie or love poem? If so...watch out!
  • Stay on the dating site. Most scammers will try to get you off the dating site quickly saying personal emails or texts would be more intimate. They just want you off the site so that their chances of being discovered as a scammer are reduced.
  • Think unemotionally about their story. Does it make sense?
  • If your new love claims to be in the military, check out military romance scams online and see if that person's photo and story have been stolen by a scammer.
  • NEVER send money to your new love. NEVER!!!! No matter how compelling their story.
  • NEVER move money for your new love. Receiving money or goods and then sending it off to someone else is a clear indicator that your new love is using you for nefarious purposes.

Think about your profile before you post it. Did you give enough information about you to find a good match without giving out too much information? Oversharing right away gives the scammers a better chance of finding ways to convince you that they are your perfect match!

Valentine’s Day Flower Scam

What would be more welcome than flowers from your Valentine? Scammers know that flowers are a hot commodity on Valentine’s Day, so they are trying to get in on the action.

Don't let the Con Artist Cupids steal your money! Here are some tips to avoid the scams.

  • Fake Online Flower Shops pop up frequently this time of year. No matter how great the price, it is best to avoid shops that you do not know and instead go with the shops that are online year 'round. A well-known flower shop that has a brick and mortar store is a great option. Check out the business with the Better Business Bureau. Also, consider using Google to check the business out. Type in the business name and the word "scams". If anything suspicious pops up, go elsewhere.
  • If you plan to send flowers to someone in another city or state, ask the shop to text or email you a photo of the bouquet before it goes out. Have your loved one send you a photo of what actually arrived. Are they the same? If not, complain and ask for a refund.
  • Ask up front about hidden delivery fees. Some online shops will charge more than they disclose for delivery, handling and mileage.
  • Beware of emails and texts from the shop after you order that ask you to click on a link for any reason.

Take a few steps to stay safe, and your loved one will actually get to enjoy the flowers you purchased!