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Valentine’s Day Scams – Malware is in the air !

Valentine’s Day is a special time of year for sending and receiving gifts and cards from loved ones, wherever there is money being spent, cyber criminals will be looking to maximise the opportunity.

In 2022, it is estimated that phishing e-mails on Valentine’s Day continued to increase double digits year-on-year.

Given that at this time of year messages are sometimes sent anonymously, it provides the perfect back drop for an unsuspecting recipient.

In this #TopTip we raise awareness around how cyber criminals maximise the opportunity that Valentine’s Day presents.

What types of phishing lures are sent around #ValentinesDay?

  • The fake goods order: Playing on the scenario where gifts are sent anonymously, threat actors will send fake goods orders which will install malware on unsuspecting victim’s computers

  • Valentine’s Day gifts: Receiving e-mails around the ‘perfect valentine’s day gift’ or the ‘get a personalised valentine’s day gift', may not turn out to be the gift the person is looking for, but instead malware installed on their computer

  • Romance scams: Dating spam campaigns look to lure targets into financially motivated attacks

What to look out for at other times of the year?

  • Fake dating profiles: Cybercriminals create fake profiles on real dating websites to extract information from people and use it against them

  • Rogue connection requests on socials: Be careful to check invites you receive from people you don’t know on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc.

  • Disinformation: Be aware that applications exist in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that allow fake dating profiles to be generated to spread dis-information

Check out the carousal to find out how to avoid Valentine’s Day scams this year?

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