With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, people are looking for love more and more online. Unfortunately, hackers and scammers are waiting to prey on online daters, hoping to steal their heart, along with their cash.
Given that the whole point for catfishers is to get money out of people, alarm bells should start going off the moment any potential romantic partner asks for even a little financial assistance. The first ask might be small — perhaps something to help take care of the emergency situation — but most catfishers will quickly accelerate their requests or demands for money as quickly as possible. If you don’t help, they might ask you to deposit a check or accept a wire transfer from a friend and tell you you can keep a portion of the money. But usually, the check is fake and you get stuck paying back the bank and covering additional fees. Don’t do it!
Remember, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love. (You can go here to find more scams to watch out for as Feb. 14 approaches.) It’s a day to share your heart and your good fortune with those you love, not your personally identifiable information and your money with a 400-pound hacker sitting on a mattress in his mother’s basement.