ESET Ireland warns of Valentine’s Day online threats


Cybercriminals are constantly looking for opportunities to take advantage of us and ESET Ireland has already encountered some love-related attempts this year.

Valentine’s Day is nearly here, romance is in the air and the Internet is flooded with hearts. But online dating sites, social media or just shopping for a gift for your loved one all also have a dark side to them,

We’ve already seen “romantic” spam emails doing the rounds this year, with subjects like “a thousand kisses for you”, that pretends to be an invitation from a lady interested in meeting a future husband to her social media profile, but instead leads to a malicious link which either tries to infect the user with malware or extract sensitive private information from him. Not clicking any links or opening any attachments in such emails is the safest thing to do in such cases.

Online dating sites are full of fraudsters, “working” several victims at once, telling them all they want to hear to gain their trust, then trying to extract money from them with various excuses, such as buying an airline ticket to come see them or having no money to buy a new dress to look pretty for them. In many cases, the victims pay thousands of euros, before realising, they are being scammed. See ESET’s six signs that might reveal you’re falling for a dating scam.

The Internet offers many opportunities to show affection and romantic e-greeting cards and gift cards are a popular choice. But there are many fake websites among them, requiring the user to log in with their social media accounts or their emails, which can then attempt to steal login credentials, spam their social media with messages or abuse credit card details entrusted to them. Users should stick to known, trusted and recommended sites and e-shops, rather than clicking on any link that presents itself, to best avoid the lurking bad ones.

ESET Ireland wishes everyone much love and a happy Valentine’s Day!

by Urban Schrott, ESET Ireland

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