Hearts Beware: Unearthing Valentine's Day Scams in 2024

Author: Adam Collins

February 7, 2024

In life, you can count on a few things: death, taxes, and scammers crashing every major event like uninvited guests at a party. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love isn't the only thing in the air—scams are catching the breeze too, riding Valentine’s wave. Remember, not everyone is aiming for your heart; some are just targeting your wallet, hoping to make it a not-so-sweet deal.

Here are some of the potential Valentine’s Day Scams of 2024 you can avoid.

The “Sugar Momma” or “Sugar Daddy” Scam

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting an emerging romance scam with a twist. 

Imagine this, a stranger approaches you online, whether on dating apps or social media platforms. They claim that they are swept by your beauty and if you like, they want to send you a “weekly allowance.” In fact, some send an “allowance” of a few thousand bucks.

All this sounds real and exciting as you will be the benefactor, what could go wrong?

The stranger then proceeds to send you a check or pretends to transfer money to your bank or Cash App or Paypal. 

However, the scammer then reaches out to you claiming that his friend is in dire need and you should transfer some of the funds to them. Other common excuses include donating to a charity (which doesn’t exist), buying a gift card or even paying an outstanding bill. 

Some take it a notch higher and claim you need to repay them the processing fee, but this time, you pay through Bitcoin. One victim, according to BBB Scam Tracker, GASA'S Best Scam Fighting Tool of the year, ended up losing over $19,000 of their personal finances to these scammers. 

One of the best ways you can avoid this scam is by refusing any advanced monies. But even if they send you a check, avoid spending the money before it's actually transferred into your account. Banks will make funds available from a check almost immediately, and if the check bounces, and you have spent the money, they will have to recover the money from you. 

Fake Florist Scam

On Valentine's Day, love usually blossoms with flowers, but beware of scammers running faux-florist schemes – their idea of a bouquet is more trickery than tulips. These online floral shops quickly fill up your timeline, even on social media but end up messing up your day of love. 

One of the best things you can do is do your due diligence as being able to recognize scam websites can help save your day and money. Some of the telltale signs to look out for include;

  • A relatively new website with little or no track record
  • Lack of reviews or overly positive reviews
  • Too good to be true offers

Dubious Online Stores

Valentine's Day isn't just about flowers; other cherished items also express love. Scammers are well aware of this and will set up snares to dupe unsuspecting romantics. Items such as jewelry, gift items, and clothes require extra attention this time of the year as scammers are lurking in every corner. 

Just like the fake florist scams, can beat the scammers by avoiding too-good-to-be-true deals, webshops with a lot of negative reviews, unverifiable contact details, and locations. Additionally, any website that claims to be owned by a different company, let’s say a tech company, and is selling jewelry is a no-go.

Bottom Line: Keep Your Wits this Valentine’s Day

Overall, scammers will come to you with all manner of stories to dupe you into giving them money. Some may not outrightly tell you to give them money but will come up with clever ways, such as the  “sugar momma” (or “sugar daddy") scam. Anyone who claims they want to send you money and later demands you send them a small amount is likely a scammer. 

Be sure to do your due diligence before making any online purchase and be sure to check out for any red flags on online websites.

Valentine’s Day should be a day to celebrate love and not one to worry about losing money. Guard your heart, keep your wits, and let love win! Happy Valentine's Day!

Image source: Unsplash.com

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