By Sarah Fichter
Love is in the air! Sadly, your bank account might not be feeling the love on this special day. We want to show our family and friends how much we love them but does that have to mean spending your month’s rent on chocolates and flowers?
Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for scams. Almost 20 billion dollars are spent on this holiday alone. The average consumer spends $146.84 to show those close to them that they are loved.
The top five most popular Valentine’s Gifts vary widely in cost.
The most popular gifts include:
- Valentine’s Day cards
- Date night
- Buy from reputable online retailers you are familiar with or buy your gifts at a local brick-and-mortar store. Scammers like to capitalize on holidays, especially on Valentine’s Day. The item you buy online from that unknown company might not be what you thought.
- Avoid clicking on emails or links from an unknown name or “secret admirer.” These can be scammers that can hack into your accounts. This is a good rule year-round, but the number of cases increases on gift-giving holidays.
- In addition to point #2, avoid Facebook and Instagram messages from unknown users on Valentine’s Day. These messages can come from hackers or predators. If a hacker can get access to your page and change your password, you may never get your page back!
- Using ATMs directly associated with your banking company is a good idea. During holidays, there are an increased number of scammers setting up fake ATMs or hacking them to steal your bank account information. Not only that – using your bank’s ATMs should save you money on fees. It’s already a pricey holiday – why waste money on transaction fees?
Celebrate this beautiful holiday, but don’t be so blinded by love that you fall for traps that individuals and companies set to scam the lovesick!