Words-bait and love letters: how cheaters cheat Americans before Valentine’s Day

February is the time of year when the cyber fraudsters love to play Cupid, aiming their arrows at potential victims, writes USA Today.

Слова-приманки и любовные письма: как мошенники обманывают американцев перед Днем Валентина

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Security company Check Point Research says that in the last two years in February, the scammers often used the word “Valentine” as bait for unsuspecting romantics, which led people to malicious sites.

In 2018 and 2019 using the word “Valentine” on the malicious web sites jumped more than 200% compared to previous months in the same years, the largest increase during the year.

It turns out, cybercriminals also love the word “chocolate”. In 2018, they used this word almost 500% more often as bait in February, but their attachment to him had dropped in 2019, an increase of only 39%.

Why is Valentines Day so in love with cyber criminals?

It’s the perfect cover for fraudulent schemes. Criminal can disguise their tricks, for example, to trick you into downloading its malicious program, by hiding among the many legitimate web sites devoted to Valentine’s Day. According to Check Point Research, only the first week of February people all over the world visited more than 10 000 domains containing the word “Valentine”.

Last year, according to reports, was widely distributed email on the eve of Valentine’s Day users have received emails with headers in the spirit of “This is my letter of love to you.”

“This year we have already seen several examples of letters that can be part of a larger campaign, spread the end of the month — said in a blog post, Check Point Research. — This campaign uses the theme: “I go through your profile and I really like… But my best pictures…”

Protect yourself from fraud

Here’s how to avoid fraudulent baits before the holiday:

  • Make sure that you place the order on legitimate website. Search for retail sellers online and click on the search results instead of having to click on advertising links in emails.
  • Do your research before you go to the “special” offers that sound too good to be true. “80% discount on the new iPad is generally not reliable or credible,” noted in the Check Point Research.
  • Watch for attempts to fool you like domains.
  • In addition, fraudulent emails often there are spelling errors in emails or on websites and unknown email senders.



Valentine’s day