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Prepare for Valentine’s Day

Guys, you know what day is coming up. No, not the start of the college baseball season, although it does happen to begin this weekend for the Ole Miss Rebels.

It’s Valentine’s weekend and I’m hoping all of you remembered to get your someone special something to express your devotion to them. If not, you could be in quite a bit of trouble.

According to a recent report released this week from WalletHub, 53 percent of women say they would break up with their significant other if they got nothing for Valentine’s Day.

In that same report, an estimated $19.7 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day this year, the third largest consumer holiday in the United States, just behind the $21.2 billion spent on Mother’s Day and well behind the whopping $650.5 billion consumers devote to the winter holidays. On average, revelers will spend $146.84 for Valentine’s Day.

Some other numbers according to the report:

• 45.2 percent of adults do not plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

• 90.8 percent plan to buy a gift for their significant other.

• 24 percent of singles will buy themselves a present for Valentine’s Day.

• 1 in 5 people will buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets.

• 59.5 percent of women are more likely to shop at discount stores than men.

• $4.5 billion is the collective amount expected to be spent this year by the 38.3 percent of couples planning a night out.

• $87.25 is the average amount to be spent by the 38.3 percent of couples planning an evening out.

• $286 is the average amount to be spent by the 18 percent of Americans planning a Valentine’s weekend getaway

• $4.45 billion to be spent by the 19.9 percent who will buy jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

• $1.76 billion is the amount to be spent by the 50 percent of celebrators  buying candy this year.

• $1.99 billion will be spent by the 36.4 percent who will buy flowers.

• 20 percent of all annual flower sales happen around Valentine’s Day.

• 250 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day.

• $1.15 billion will be spent on greeting cards

• 1,300 types of Valentine’s Day greeting cards are being offered by Hallmark this year.

• $1.68 billion will be spent on gift cards for Valentine’s Day.

• 1.9 million Facebook users change their relationship status within a week of Valentine’s Day.

• 5 percent of marriages and committed relationships begin online.

• To top it off, about 14 million proposals will be made on Valentine’s Day. I’m just wondering how many of those proposals were turned down?

So you don’t have a significant lover and you’ve thought about trying out one of the nearly 400 online dating sites out there on the web. According to this report, you are not alone. Apparently there is a 20 percent increase in new Match.com profiles the week after Valentine’s Day.

But you better be careful who you make contact with online.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s office this week issued a scam alert. Attorney General Jim Hood issued a warning to consumers to learn how to spot “sweetheart scams.” He urged consumers to be cautious about online relationships with anyone who:

• Immediately professes love

• Quickly wants to communicate through personal email or instant messaging services instead of through the dating site.

• Claims to be an American who is living or working overseas.

• Seeks money to supposedly cover expenses for various items like trips or medical emergencies, or because they claim themselves to have been victims of crime.

• Cancels plans to meet or visit their supposed love interest because of unforeseen events.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that victims of online dating scams lose an average of $100,000 to their fake suitors, and that, in the last six months of 2014 alone, Americans lost a total of $82 million to the scam. Of the victims, approximately 82 percent are female.

So have a great Valentine’s Day, but don’t go looking for love in all the wrong places.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.