Valentine's Day
Internet Scams

This month, you might see a few sweet Valentine's Day messages in your inbox or a couple of postings on your Facebook wall. The good news is that you might have a secret or not-so-secret admirer. The bad news is that you might be getting scammed.

By now, most people acquainted with the Internet know that scammers and cybercriminals tend to treat holidays as a special opportunity for mischief. But the scammers' methods of attack change over time. Here's what they've been up to lately.

1. Facebook spam. You get a lovely Valentine's Day message on your Wall, and when you click on the link, it takes you to a page for some Valentine's Day app. When you download the app, it asks you for permission to post on your Wall, access your basic information (including your list of friends), and access your data. If you say yes, then you've just allowed this application to spam your Wall and the Walls of all your friends. Even worse, you might then get tricked into filling out a survey that makes money for the scammer. And because they have access to your list of friends, they might fall prey to the same scheme.

2. Fake romances. If you meet somebody online who allegedly lives overseas, or who never seems to be able to meet with you in person, be suspicious. If they happen to have a small child or relative who falls suddenly ill, or if they experience some other crisis that calls for a massive infusion of cash, be very suspicious. True love seldom, if ever, comes in the form of a faceless stranger asking you for money.

3. Delivery scams. A new trick involves getting an email from a "delivery service" letting you know that the flowers you wanted sent to your special someone won't be making it there unless you provide a new credit card number for your order. Most people won't fall for this, because even on Valentine's Day, the percentage of people who have ordered flowers on the Internet pales in comparison to the number of people who haven't. But a crook only needs one sucker in order to go on a shopping spree.

You can help protect yourself from these and other threats by making sure your security software is up to date. Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security can identify phishing attempts, prevent you from visiting dangerous sites, and block malware. Or give it to that special someone as a romantic Valentine's Day gift!

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