With Valentine’s day around the corner, some people are looking to spread something other than love with the world. Scammers are at agile at this time of the year as most people are looking to buy presents or searching for great offers to save some money. However, the hunt for saving a few hundred might lead you to lose a lot more than you bargained for, if you’re not careful. While the desire to get good deals and discounts is understandable, it’s better to pay full price now than lose more later.
Online fraudsters wait all year for mass gift-buying events like Valentine’s Day. Many people have reportedly received multiple calls and messages as well as emails from dubious addresses with exciting offers and gifts.
While Jamtara (Netflix show) type of phone and card scams are well known, it is important to note that with changing popular culture, the scammers are also evolving their fraudulent ways. As most companies now have a social media presence, scammers are also using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to post their fake offers and bait innocent people.
According to DNA, one particular Valentine’s Day scammer that has come under the radar is a company called Pondra. It is evidently a fake international jewellery brand with multiple lucrative offers on the web. From coupons to real-looking jewellery on their website listings -- they have everything to attract potential victims. They have a fake US-based address on the page as well as the prices have been listed in US dollars. They have also sent out multiple emails to various people with subject lines like “Valentine’s Day Give The Gift They Really Want.”
DNA suggests that such phishing emails are generally littered with grammatical errors, even in the subject line.
Here are some ways to save yourself from such scam attempts:
- Spam emails are sent in bulk. There will be many grammar errors as the fraudsters are not interested in excelling at a spelling test. Websites and emails with improper language are the biggest giveaway of scam attempts.
- Even if the email looks clean, do not click on any link it might contain. Good practice is to not open any promotional email with headings that promise a huge profit/discount. Unless it’s from a company you are registered (Titan/Tanishq etc send out newsletters with offers). delete it as soon as it arrives.
- Choose real life shops or trusted websites even if the discount is less than what promised in dubious SMS and emails.
- If a website looks legit but is new, ask friends if they have purchased anything from there.
- Never save card details on new/mysterious promotional sites.