Conmen made $1.3 billion via romance scams in 5 years, crypto biggest lure
IANS 11 February 2022
As you watch Netflix's new documentary "The Tinder Swindler", which is about a notorious conman who used the dating app to defraud multiple women, reports of romance scams have hit record highs as people lost a staggering $1.3 billion to romance scams in the last five years.
 
According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, and 2021 was no exception as reported losses hit a record $547 million for the year.
 
"That's more than six times the reported losses in 2017 and a nearly 80 per cent increase compared to 2020. The median individual reported loss in 2021 was $2,400," the FTC said in a statement on Thursday.
 
A growing trend in 2021 was scammers using romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially cryptocurrency.
 
In fact, the largest reported losses to romance scams were paid in cryptocurrency: $139 million last year alone.
 
That's a remarkable growth in cryptocurrency payments to romance scammers: 2021 numbers are nearly five times those reported in 2020, and more than 25 times those reported in 2019. In 2021, the median individual reported loss using cryptocurrency was a staggering $9,770. While cryptocurrency losses were the most costly, it was not the most common payment method for romance scams.
 
"In 2021, more people reported paying romance scammers with gift cards than with any other payment method. In fact, about one in four people said they paid a romance scammer with a gift card, and they reported losing $36 million last year," said the FTC.
 
Many people who've experienced scams report being contacted on dating apps. But you don't have to be looking for love to be courted by a romance scammer. "Reports of unexpected private messages on social media platforms are common. More than a third of people who said they lost money to an online romance scam in 2021 said it began on Facebook or Instagram," the FTC informed.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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