The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has sent out a warning to gullible singles looking for love, to be on the lookout for romance scams making use of cryptocurrencies.
In a recent press release, the FBI San Francisco, states that there has been a steady increase in the amount of romance scams occurring across the Bay Area. The warning comes just several days before Valentine’s Day.
Romance scams have been steadily increasing in the area, as reported by the FBI. According to the most recent data, 2021 saw over $64 million lost to romance scams within the FBI San Francisco division’s territory. That number was nearly double the figure of 2020, which saw an estimated $35 million lost.
Rise of the Romance Scam
Romance scams appear to be a popular growing trend for scammers. The age group related to the highest victim reports appears to be the 60 years old and over age group. This could be related to loneliness, loss of a loved one, and lack of security checks when dealing with fake lovers.
Romance scammers have recently taken to the crypto industry. The new modus-operandi sees the scammers persuade individuals to send money for investment schemes.
These schemes then generate a profit that the victims can withdraw. The scammers then lure the victim into depositing a larger sum of money into the scheme, which generates more profits. However, when it comes time to withdraw the funds, there is generally a withdrawal fee or taxation that is required to be paid first, in order to access the funds. Once this is paid by the victim, the scammers disappear with the funds.
The elaborate con works off the premise of finding true love and connecting with someone across the globe. With the day of love just around the corner, it could make for easy pickings for romance scammers.
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