Scammers Break Hearts, Bank Accounts During Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 12th 2015, 10:50 pm
By: News On 6

Scammers are breaking Oklahomans' hearts, and bank accounts, this Valentine's Day. Several different Valentine's Day scams are happening across the country and right here in Oklahoma.

Con artists know people are looking for love this time of year, and are taking advantage of that to prey on your pocketbook, and steal your identity.

The first scam targeting lovers this Valentine's Day involves flowers.

AARP Oklahoma Fraud Fighter Wayne Blackmon said a florist will call to confirm your address for a flower delivery.

"They then say, 'Well, there's going to be a charge because, along with the flowers, is a bottle of wine and in Oklahoma you have to pay $5 to have wine delivered,” Blackmon said.

That's not true, but Blackmon said, scammers won't accept cash, only credit card.

“And when you hand that credit card number over, you are going to lose money," he said.

Some scammers, posing as florists, charge hidden or inflated fees.

AARP suggests getting referrals and checking for complaints before ordering flowers, and ask for a detailed receipt.

There are also online dating scams, when someone's online sweetheart turns out to be a scammer.

"They'll say, 'Well, we have this gift that is being sent to you, but I need the money to pay for the shipping. So, could you send me or wire-transfer me $69 for delivery charges," Blackmon explained.

AARP says never give financial information through a dating service.

"They'll get angry and they'll say, 'Oh, I thought we were friends. I thought we were falling in love and why would you treat me this way,'" said Blackmon.

Lastly, e-cards can be bogus, and a way for scammers to infect a computer with malware.

"The viruses do get into our programming on our computers and they can steal a lot of our information," Blackmon said.

AARP said never open an e-card from someone you don't know.

Romance scams are estimated to defraud people of upwards of $10,000, so keep these scams in mind, especially during Valentine's Day.