Hackers Hoping To Kill Your V-Day Love Buzz

February 10th, 2020 Paul Xu


It’s Almost Valentine’s Day…

Love is in the air. A lot of folks are feeling a little starry-eyed… and scammers are taking note.

So be on the lookout for some of these tried and true Valentine’s Day tricks. ​The most common are phony florists, online dating scams, phony electronic greeting cards, and delivery scams. So, here are the red flags you need to look out for:

Do Not Trust….

​​​Do not trust emails or advertising from online florists or other gift retailers until you are sure that they are valid.  Otherwise, you might be turning over your credit card information to a scammer or infect your computer with malicious software.

Do not trust an online greeting card, particularly if it does not indicate who sent it to you. Be very wary of a card sent by “a secret admirer.”  Even if you recognize the name, confirm that it was really sent from that person before you click on the link and open the card.

Do not trust special deliveries, there is no special charge for alcohol so if someone requires a credit card payment for such a delivery, just politely decline knowing you just dodged a bullet.

Do not trust anyone who indicates he or she is in love with you and then wants to communicate with you right away on an email account outside of the dating site. Claims to be working abroad, asking for your address and poor grammar are all signs of a foreign romance scammer.

If you find something in your inbox that seems to fit this fishy profile… just play it safe and delete it.


Paul Xu

VP of Information Security at 14 West

I am a huge proponent of perpetual self-improvement and learning. And I think this is one of the reasons I find working in Information Security to be so rewarding. The field is constantly and rapidly evolving, and so I’m faced with an endless challenge. But this translates to me as endless opportunity. In this field, if you are not eager to learn and face a challenge every day, then you’re putting it all on the line. So I try to build my team with people like myself – that are truly passionate about growing their expertise and protecting businesses and their employees. But I also like to surround myself with people that challenge me, and aren’t afraid to question my decisions or share different perspectives. Because we can’t afford to be one dimensional or get comfortable. We’ve got to stay on our toes.

What is something you do every day in the office?
This probably sounds cliché, but I really do start every morning by checking twitter and news feeds for any news in the security world. It’s either a habit or an obsession – I’m not sure which. Probably both.