G DATA warns lovers against scams on their special day and shares some security tips
On Valentine's Day, countless red roses, bottles of perfume and other gifts are exchanged between lovers as well as a host of virtual greeting cards. Cybercriminals take advantage of this and make them a target to steal their money or personal data. They approach their victims through mails with alleged bargain offers for popular Valentine's Day gifts and electronic declarations of love. Often, the messages contain links to websites containing malicious code or dangerous file attachments. G DATA sheds some light on the scams and shares a few tips so that lovers can enjoy their day safely.
"Cybercriminals deliberately use special occasions and celebrations for their campaigns," explains Tim Berghoff, G DATA Security Evangelist. "The perpetrators are especially after personal data, such as access data for user accounts or credit card information. Directly stealing money with the help of dubious offers is another string to the criminal’s bow.”
The IT security expert advises internet users to be cautious. Received messages should be checked carefully and deleted in case of doubt. Moreover, a comprehensive security solution should be in use on the PC and mobile device and the operating system and all installed programs refreshed using updates.
Many couples exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. Mailboxes are therefore often flooded with alleged unbeatable bargains, in which popular Valentine's Day gifts are advertised at very low prices. If users fall for it, they are likely to get fake or no goods in return, even after paying in full for their purchases.
Electronic greetings are still very popular. Criminals exploit this and send alleged declarations of love with a dangerous malicious code attachment on or around Valentine’s Day.
The perpetrators not only use e-cards but prowl the social networks in search of unsuspecting users. They send out Valentine's greetings to users using unreadable shortened URLs. These direct to a malicious code web page that infects the computer or mobile device.