This particular scam has been around for ten years, but with the increased hacking of credit card information from major retailers such as Target, the scam has been increasing in frequency.The scam starts when your credit card number is compromised and falls into the hands of an identity thief.
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Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..
Although this can happen in a myriad of ways, one of the more common ways is that the people who hack large numbers of credit card numbers from companies such as Target, sell the numbers to identity thieves on black market websites.
Some identity thieves will buy thousands of credit card numbers and then set up phony online businesses from which they make monthly charges on the cards in small amounts, such as $9.84. Many people do not scrutinize their monthly credit card statement sufficiently, particularly when the charge is an innocuous, small amount that is less than ten dollars and appears to be made to a legitimate sounding company thus enabling the scam to continue for great periods of time before it is discovered.
It is important to review your credit card statements, bank statements and other account records carefully each month and even more often, online.