Valentine’s Day Poems

February 13, 2012 by staff 

Valentine’s Day Poems, Valentine’s Day presents another prime opportunity for scammers and identity thieves to steal bank account info, private info and hack into your computer.

Hope Marie Sneed of the Denver Boulder Better Business Bureau was with us on 9NEWS 7 a.m. to talk about so-called “sweetheart scams.”

She said scammers use social media and dating websites to con those looking for love into sending them money. “Of all the unethical things we see at the Better Business Bureau, sweetheart scams are amongst the most shameful.” Sneed explained.

She said because this isn’t a typical quick, easy rip-off. Instead, these criminals take the time and effort to manipulate their victims emotionally and pretend to care about them.

Sneed offered up these signs that someone you’re dealing with online is trying to sweetheart scam you:

• Only communicate through email, instant message and cell phone.
• Never able to physically meet you in person.
• Charming, understanding, flattering, sensitive, caring.
• Has a career or life circumstances that takes him or her overseas (i.e. military).
• Is quick to develop the relationship and talk of love.
• Has a young child, typically a boy or girl between the ages of 5 and 12.
• Has a sudden emergency, often involving the child’s health.
• Has a reason they cannot get their money and needs your help.
• If you help them once, they need more money of a greater amount.
• If you have no money, they find a “client” who can send you money orders, with instructions to wire the money to them. (The checks are counterfeit.)

Surprise deliveries of Valentine’s Day flowers and cards can also be problematic.

• Beware of emails that might appear to be from a company you ordered flowers from asking you to re-enter all of your payment info. If you get any such emails, call the florist directly.

• Beware of unexpected e-cards; they may contain links that can upload viruses. Before clicking on links, check with loved ones first to make sure they really sent you the e-card.

Dating Service scams also proliferate this time of year. According to Sneed, more than 65 consumers filed complaints about dating services with the BBB Serving Denver/Boulder in 2011.

• Complaints concerned many problems including billing issues, lack of promised services, trouble cancelling memberships and other customer service issues.

• Some complainants allege that their credit or debit cards are continuously charged even though they cancelled services…other complainants allege that they paid to go to events put on by the dating company but that the events are always cancelled at the last minute and they can’t get their money back.

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