Valentine’s Day is almost here, and fraudsters are preying on those looking for the perfect match, police say.
In 2015, Surrey RCMP saw a 36 per cent jump in frauds. A common one in Surrey is the “fake flowers” scam.
An express delivery company shows up at the victim’s door with a gift basket of flowers, chocolates and wine. The “delivery person” notes that a card is being sent separately and explains to the victim that a small surcharge is required to prove that the basket wasn’t delivered to a minor.
The victim hands over their credit card (cash is not permitted) to the “delivery man,” who then swipes the victim’s personal info using his modified card reader.
Police say another scam people should be aware of this Valentine’s Day is “catphishing.”
Catphishing involves fraudsters who troll online dating websites and build fake online romantic relationships with people in order to obtain personal information and/or money from their victims.
Apps that advocate romantic meet-ups are risky ventures from a financial perspective, but could also endanger your personal safety and put you at further risk of victimization, police warn.
“We ask residents to go over some of these frauds, and the risks involved, with family members who may be more vulnerable at this time of year,” says Cpl. Schumann. “In order to ensure that Valentine’s Day is a pleasant experience, remember to question anything that seems too good to be true and be cautious of those who attempt to earn your trust too quickly.”
For more information on fraud prevention please visit the Scams & Fraud page on the RCMP website. If you are the victim of a fraud, please contact your local police and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.