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Scammers Love Valentine’s Day

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Sonora, CA – While millions will be spent on Valentine’s Day this year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns against getting your heart and wallet stolen.

The National Retail Federation predicts that consumer spending will reach nearly $24 billion this Valentine’s Day. The BBB wants to make sure the public is prepared to celebrate without heartbreak. They offer three common scams that are regularly reported to the bureau and what reg flags to watch out for:

Impostor Websites:

From fake jewelry sellers to online dating sites, consumers should always be on the alert for impostor websites. Scammers can easily lift official photos, sale promotions and logos directly from the website for a popular jewelry brand. With professional graphics and unbeatable prices, scammers build an attractive website that looks eerily similar to the real thing.

Red Flags:

  • Products are available at extreme discounts.
  • The seller requests customers pay with cash transfer apps or cryptocurrency.
  • Customer service is unreachable.

Romance Scams:

Falling victim to a romance scam can be particularly devastating. Victims can lose thousands of dollars, and they’re often left feeling heartbroken and betrayed because they really believed they’d found a good partner.

Red Flags:

  • The relationship moves very fast.
  • You never meet in person.
  • They ask for money.

Fake Florist Scam:

Ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day? Don’t procrastinate or you may end up falling for a scam. BBB has received many reports of shoppers who thought they were ordering flowers from an online florist… but either got nothing at all or a disappointing arrangement.

Red Flags:

  • The business has no reviews or bad reviews (always check!)
  • You can’t find a return policy or satisfaction guarantee.
  • The deal is “too good to be true.”

If you encounter any of these scams call the police and also report it to the BBB’s “ScamTracker,” click here. In the case of a suspected romance scam, the BBB also directs that you cut off all contact with the perpetrator by blocking their accounts and phone number.