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1 in 4 Valentine’s Day spam emails are scams, Bitdefender Antispam Lab warns


February 12, 2024

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1 in 4 Valentine’s Day spam emails are scams, Bitdefender Antispam Lab warns

Some people look for love, and others for a hefty paycheck during the Season of Love. Valentine’s Day is just a stick’s throw away and it gives scammers a perfect opportunity to get close to unwary victims to steal money and personal information.

We all know that Valentine’s Day is a key event in the e-commerce calendar, with consumer spending estimated at over $25 billion, according to the US National Retail Federation.

While Valentine’s Day is still a couple of days away, Bitdefender Antispam Lab researchers are sharing their insights into what you need to expect regarding unsolicited scam correspondence that may sneak into your inbox.

Our researchers have been monitoring the rate of unsolicited Valentine’s Day-themed correspondence in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s what we found:

  • 1 in 4 Valentine’s-themed spam emails scanned by Bitdefender Antispam filters between Jan. 17 and Feb. 8 were marked as scams.
  • Notable spikes of unsolicited correspondence related to the holiday were noticed on Jan. 23 and 24 and between Feb. 6 and 8. (see Figure 1)
  • Top destinations for unsolicited Valentine’s spam are the US and Ireland, with each receiving 39% of correspondence. Germany and the UK received 3% of the spam emails (see Figure 2)
  • Top IP sources for the Valentines-themed spam correspondence received include the US, the Netherlands and the UK (see Figure 3)
  • Once again, scammers continue to recycle old ruses, reusing email templates to lure recipients into purchasing gifts and even male enhancement pills and creams.

Here are some of the top subject lines for the 2024 Valentine’s Day spam agenda:

  • the perfect romantic rose bear gift is here to ensure your loved one feels truly loved
  • revitalize romance a  closer look at potency tablets
  • 50 off valentine s  day must haves in stores
  • valentine gift for men
  • the best valentine gift for your partner
  • shop sweet deals on valentine s  day candy
  • say happy valentine s  day with flowers

Cybercrooks are up to their nasty old behaviors, targeting consumers with messages that may seem harmless but include fake ads, promos, giveaways and offers and even dating platforms in the hopes of hooking potential victims.

Some of the Valentine's-themed scam emails we’ve analyzed lead recipients to bogus websites offering huge discounts on flowers, teddies, and chocolates, while others promise huge cash giveaways so you can pamper your beloved on Valentines.

“Would you like to give your loved one a special surprise for Valentine's Day? We have just the thing for you – the chance to win a €250 voucher of your choice!”, one of the scam messages reads.

Romance was also in the air, with scammers tempting recipients with lewd photos and requests to access dating platforms.

In one of the analyzed samples, the scammers promise free membership and no fake profiles or spam.

“Registration is free, chat is free, it's free to meet new girls near you, everything is free, just register and enjoy,“ the message reads.

Now, joining a dating platform may not sound dangerous, but romance scammers are highly skilled at luring unwary and lonely internet users into fake relationships that can cost victims more than just their life savings.

How to protect your identity, heart and wallet during Valentine’s Day week:

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your loved one or thinking about joining a dating platform to meet new people to spend Valentine’s Day with, we advise you to remain vigilant and  follow these security tips:

  • Scrutinize all unsolicited emails that promise huge discounts and too-good-to-be-true deals to help you impress your loved one.
  • Refrain from sharing PII and other sensitive info such as photos and financial data with strangers you meet online.
  • Don’t accept invites to join online dating platforms you receive via unsolicited correspondence.
  • If you’re still looking for a last-minute Valentine's gift, use websites and merchants you know and trust only.
  • While spelling errors and poor grammar are still tell-tell signs of phishing attempts, keep in mind that cybercrooks also make use of AI tools and chatbots that help create highly convincing messages. Trust your instincts and think before you click on any links and attachments in spam emails.
  • Use Bitdefender Scamio to help you spot and protect against scammers exploiting Valentine’s Day. Bitdefender Scamio is a free AI-powered chatbot you can use to immediately find out if any correspondence is a scam attempt.
  • Use a security solution to defend against phishing, fraudulent websites and malware.

Read more about romance scams and Scamio, here.

Want to add some extra security and enhance your privacy this Valentine’s Day?

Check out Bitdefender's all-in-one security plans to benefit from our award-winning security solutions packed with anti-phishing and advanced threat detection technologies to block and deter even the most awful internet threats.

On top of our unbeatable multi-layered protection for all of your devices, you also benefit from our latest E-mail Protection feature that helps you outsmart scammers who target you with e-mail scams and safeguard your digital assets.

Stay Safe!




Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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