Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Scam Romance scammers collected $139 million in crypto final yr – The Verge

Romance scammers collected $139 million in crypto final yr – The Verge

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Romance scammers made off with a complete of $139 million in cryptocurrency final yr, 5 instances greater than the quantity stolen in 2020, in accordance with a new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Cryptocurrency funds made up the biggest fraction of the $547 million misplaced to scammers in 2021, with victims dropping $9,770 in crypto on common.

Romance scammers (whom we might in all probability additionally name catfishers) usually create faux social profiles utilizing photos taken from the web, after which trick victims into sending them cash, the FTC explains. They might declare to wish cash for some form of monetary disaster, however much more apparently, some scammers fake to be “monetary consultants” who promise to speculate their victims’ cash in cryptocurrency or the inventory market.

Exterior of crypto, present playing cards have been romance scammers’ mostly requested type of fee — 28 p.c of victims paid their “lover” with one, amounting to a complete of $36 million misplaced, the FTC stated. Victims additionally paid a complete of $121 million by financial institution transfers and different types of funds, and paid $93 million by wire transfers.

Because the FTC notes, there are some pink flags to be careful for that will point out you’re being scammed; when anybody you’ve met on-line asks for fee in present playing cards, crypto, or by wire switch, it’s finest to say no their request. And for those who’re suspicious that somebody could also be catfishing you, simply run their profile image by a reverse picture search to see if it’s been used elsewhere.

And keep in mind that romance scams aren’t the one approach fraudsters idiot folks into sending cryptocurrency. Final yr, the FBI warned the public a few rip-off the place unhealthy actors satisfied victims to place their money into cryptocurrency ATMs after which despatched newly bought cash to the scammer by way of a QR code. In that situation, scammers used guarantees of wealth or love, or impersonated monetary establishments to reel of their victims.

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