The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a warning regarding the upcoming Valentine’s Day, telling people to watch out for romance scams. If there’s money to be made, criminals will find a way to take advantage of any situation.
Since Valentine’s Day is one of the year’s biggest celebrations, scammers, fraudsters, and criminals of all kinds come out of the woodwork with new tools.
CISA’s warning is actually quite specific, indicating a situation in which con artists use the Valentine’s Day celebration to get close to their victims, with the singular purpose of getting their hands on finances.
“CISA reminds users to be wary of internet romance scams,” says the agency. “At first, cyber criminals promise the reward of romance after adopting an alias to appear as a potential partner. Once your heart is hooked on hope, they turn the tables.”
“The scammer with the illusive identity will ask for money, making promises of phony matrimony, as they finagle funds from you as a fake fiancée,” they explain. “If you don’t know who you are doting on when you are dating, be cautious with your cash and keep it.”
Many of these scams are made possible through social engineering perpetrated via social networks. As usual, we recommend caution about what you post online and to avoid sharing personal information. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the sharing settings and limit them to the friends’ circle.
Also, use strong and unique passwords for social networks and always be skeptical of any information from unknown sources. It’s safer to assume the worst and be wrong.