Valentine’s Day may bring cyber heartbreak


(CNN) — While you’re looking to steal your Valentine’s heart this Friday, beware of those looking to steal your identity or your money.

The FBI says victims of romance scams lost at least $56 million in 2012. AARP’s blog put together a list of some of the biggest scams making the rounds this year.

  • They include “long cons” on dating websites. That’s where criminals create fake identities, form a relationship, and then ask for money.
  • Other scammers deliver malware that infects your computer via e-cards, so it’s best to not open one from someone you don’t know.
  • Make sure you look out for links to Valentine’s Day-themed sales.
  • If you click on a link you aren’t familiar with, your computer could get infected with malware.
  • Also, look out for Web searches. Scammers know people use search engines, like Google, for Valentine’s Day gift ideas, so they set up bogus websites selling counterfeit goods to get your credit card information.
  • And finally, be careful of what your friends send you over social media.

Some Valentine’s Day apps and messages may lead you to survey sites that will try to collect your personal information. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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