Watch out, lovebirds: There’s a Valentine’s Day scam on the rise as we speak, and this one aims to steal your credit card instead of your heart. Government officials are warning people to keep an eye out for these anti-Cupid scammers delivering fake “surprise” Valentine’s Day gifts to people in order to steal their credit card information.
As ABC7 reports, here’s how the scam works: It starts with a bogus phone call from a fake shipping company to schedule a delivery, convincing the person who received the call that he or she has been sent a surprise holiday gift. Then, the scammer actually shows up to said person’s home with the so-called Valentine’s Day gift — like flowers or a bottle of wine — and informs the person that there will be a small “delivery fee” due. While the person is caught off guard by the “surprise,” the scammers trick him or her into handing over a credit card to pay the fee in order to receive the gift. Then, the scammers use the victim’s credit card to go on a shopping spree. How cruel is that?
Unfortunately, as Consumer Reports warns, this is not the only Valentine’s Day scam out there. Another trick popular with many scam artists is to create phony delivery emails related to gifts or flowers that were actually ordered by true customers. That’s why it’s always important to verify a delivery with an official shipping company on the phone — using its verified phone number.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office just released the following new tips to avoid a Valentine’s Day package delivery scam:
Never accept a package if you don’t know who the sender is.
Do not give out credit or debit card information unless you have initiated the transaction.
Be suspicious of packages from unrecognized delivery services.
Let’s spread the word to keep our loved ones safe — especially on a day that’s supposed to be about love!