If you’re looking for love on Valentine’s Day, make sure the gifts you receive don’t include identity theft.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has issued a warning urging residents not to get too personal in sharing information on social media and online dating services. Officials say scammers search for the lovelorn by sending out photos and profiles, while building trust with those who take the bait. Eventually, victims could be asked to cash checks for their so-called lovers — or wire them money for fake emergencies.
Division of Consumer Protection administrator Sandy Chalmers says any request for Social Security, credit card, and bank account numbers typically point to tried-and-true ways to spur identity theft.
Chalmers say some heart-seekers also get duped into check cashing schemes which amount to illegal money laundering. Some victims have reported losing up to $20,000 this way. If someone starts asking for money, she says you should break off contact with them immediately.