What’s worse than getting your heart broken? Getting your bank account broken into!
Some individuals will spend time and effort in tugging at your heartstrings until you reveal your personal information. Then, they will use this to break into your bank account and steal your money.
They know all too well how to manipulate and take advantage of human sentiments during Valentine’s Day. In the United States alone, the Federal Trade Commission reported about 21,000 incidents translating to financial losses worth $143 million in 2018, higher than the 8,500 or $33 million accounted for in 2015.
There are ways however, to protect yourself from these heartbreaking scams. Read up and learn what to do when you encounter them during love month.
Signed, sealed, delivered—to your inbox!
You may receive an SMS message from a delivery service provider informing you that a bouquet or a Valentine’s gift is on its way to you. The message will include your name, an order tracking number, and a link to a website.
When clicked on, the delivery service provider’s website will open and request for your information to verify your identity so you can receive your delivery. It may also offer you a special gift after you put in your credit card number.
Love Note #1: Don’t click on those fake websites.
You may be attacked by a scammer using a fake website. A fake website is an exact replica of a legitimate and trusted company’s website. It is used to gather personal information, which scammers use to access and steal from bank accounts. When in doubt, visit the company’s official website.
To combat this kind of technique, often known as phishing, many companies, including banks like BDO, have refrained from sending messages with website links. Remember that BDO will never send you emails or SMS messages asking you to verify or validate your account. When in doubt, report to ReportPhish@bdo.com.ph.
How sweet it is to match with you!
You may have matched with someone on a dating app. Your match will have an impressive profile and spend time getting to know more about you.
If he deems you a good target, he will work hard to impress you and earn your trust. He will tell you about his educational background and source of income, which may be through a gainful employment or successful business.
When trust is established, he will reveal a money problem. It could range from a business deal gone wrong to a fatally ill relative. He will spin a story based on his knowledge about you, whatever it takes to get your sympathy and compel you to offer financial help.
He may ask you to transfer money to a bank account or share your personal information. Don’t fall for it.
Love Note #2: Never share your personal information.
Anyone who is too trusting with people he or she meets online is a potential victim. Local police authorities say that there is no shortage of modus operandi in the country. Scammers will not spare anyone even during the season of hearts. They remind everyone to be more cautious and discerning, especially of requests that involve down payments or money transfers.
There is an urgent need to be wary of people, whether you meet them online or in person. While sharing your hangouts and hobbies is okay, sharing your personal information is not. Personal information includes bank account usernames, passwords, or One-Time Passwords (OTP).
Never share your personal information, no matter the nature and quality of your relationship with the person. This includes your family members, closest friends, or even someone who says is from BDO. Remember that the bank and its representatives will never ask for your personal information.
Love Note #3: Always be vigilant against scam.
Scammers are ruthless. They do not discriminate against their victims. They will prey on anyone whom they sense could be vulnerable to their attacks. They are cunning and they could strike anytime and anywhere.
You however are not powerless against them. You can outsmart scammers for as long as you stay vigilant and protective of your personal information.
I am Karina Ramos, a mom of three amazing kids. I am fascinated with almost every aspect of life, especially technology.