Experts at Kaspersky Lab have detected a sharp increase in phishing activities from criminals offering users various romantic goods on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day.

In an email message released earlier today, the cybersecurity company disclosed that the total number of user attempts to visit fraudulent websites with a romantic theme that were detected and blocked during the first half of February more than doubled compared to the same time in 2018.

“This is a reminder that fraudsters are always looking for an excuse to steal users’ data and money,” Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise noted.

While warning lovers not to lose their money and same time lose their hearts, Kaspersky said romantic phishing is on the rise, as it is one of the most popular and easiest social engineering techniques to exploit online users.

It explained that it is a type of fraud where criminals use deception to acquire users’ credentials – from passwords to credit card numbers, bank account details and other financial important information. “Phishing emails and websites usually come disguised as legitimate ones that encourage a recipient, for one reason or another, to urgently enter their personal data. They are often fueled by the news agenda, be it a major sporting event or thematic holidays. St. Valentine’s Day is no exception,” it added.

The overall number of user attempts to visit fraudulent websites that were detected and blocked by Kaspersky Lab solutions in the first half of February 2019 – the days leading up to February 14th – dramatically peaked from over two million in 2018 to more than 4.3 million this year. According to statistics, the most affected countries were Brazil (a more than 6.4 percent share of detections), Portugal (more than 5.8 percent), and Venezuela (5.5 percent). They were followed by Greece (5.3 percent) and Spain (5.1 percent).

Deeper analysis into the sent emails has shown that fraudsters are particularly exploiting pre-order gift items and performance enhancing drugs as a trap to lure users into sharing their credentials in order to please their loved ones. This again proves the findings ( of Kaspersky Lab’s own survey, indicating that when it comes to love, users tend to lose their vigilance.

Kaspersky Lab advice for staying safe:

Phishers often exploit emotions – including those connected with relationships and love. Signs that there could be phishers aiming to exploit your romantic expectations include messages that demand immediate action, ask for vast amounts of very personal and seemingly irrelevant information, or which simply sound too good to be true.

Pay extra attention to emails promising ‘one time only’ offers or various goods for free. If emails come from people or organisations you don’t know or have suspicious or unusual addresses think twice before opening. Do not click on links until you are sure that they are legitimate and start with ‘https’, especially when any personal or financial information is asked for.

Have a separate bank card and account with a limited amount of money, specifically for buying flowers or making a table reservation. This will help to avoid serious financial losses if your bank details are stolen.

Use a reliable security solution with anti-phishing and secure payment capabilities, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud (


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

Leave A Reply