Four Valentine's Day honey traps to avoid
The origins of Valentine's Day are unclear. Whether it started as a pagan fertility festival celebrated by the Romans called Lupercalia, or is in remembrance of a shadowy figure called Saint Valentine, who was martyred, Valentine's Day - seemingly sponsored by Clinton cards - is now very much a celebration of commercialisation.
We are told 14 February is the day to tell our other halves how much we love them, and the best way of doing so is apparently by spending a small fortune on meals out, holidays and oodles of confectionery - the more pink hearts, the better. So what are the biggest honey traps to avoid?
You planned the perfect meal out, only to discover the whole restaurant is filled with couples looking for an intimate evening for two.
The compulsory purchase of a single rose and pricey set menu all adds to the depressing nature of the evening. Floridita restaurant in London, for example, charges £49.50 a head for its Valentine's menu, plus a £6 live music charge will be added to the bill.
However, if you choose off the à la carte menu, not only do you get to pick what you eat but you could also reduce the bill to £34.20 a head. Alternatively, dine at home to avoid the crowds and expense.
For some, a meal simply isn't enough and while jetting off for a short break to a romantic destination such as Venice or Paris sounds idyllic, just as restaurants will be pushing up their prices, don't think that travel companies won't be making the most of Valentine's Day.
Travel to Paris on 14 February with Eurostar and it will cost £298 return for the both of you. Go just one day later and it will cost you £100 less, or travel a week later and it will be £138 return in total. EasyJet flights to Venice cost £600.26 for two, departing 11 February and returning 15 February. However, if you fly at the start of February you'll pay just £151.26 for two.
Valentine's Day is a point in the calendar when novelty gifts are deemed acceptable. The 'smitten' (priced £24.99) should surely be labelled this year's worst such item. A glove for two, the smitten allows you and your partner to hold hands.
What advantage it has over normal gloves - which allow wearers to simply drop each others' hands when inconvenient (when walking past a lamp post, for example) is unclear. Why not abandon present giving altogether or just give something more personal, such as a playlist of favourite songs, a framed picture or a photo album?
WATCH OUT FOR THE SCAMS
Scammers take advantage of any holiday or event they can use as a hook. Take online phishing, where perpetrators send out what looks like a Valentine's e-card.
When victims try to download it they put themselves at risk of identity fraud and might unwittingly give away important billing information. Never open e-cards if you don't recognise the sender's name or if it's a suspicious name such as Joe Bloggs, for example. Look out for spelling and URL errors and don't forget to delete these emails as well.
Phishing scams are typically fraudulent email messages from seemingly legitimate sources (your internet service provider, mobile phone provider, bank etc). These messages usually direct you to a counterfeit website or ask you to divulge private information (password, PIN, credit card numbers, or other account updates), which is then used to commit identity theft.