Move over Tinder Swindler, cryptocurrency scams are leaving victims both out-of-pocket and broken-hearted, with new analysis indicating that romance-based scams are on the rise.
Romance scams are the second most common type of crypto scam, with a recorded $185million in losses between January 2021 and March 2022; according to the Bankless Times.
These types of scams see scammers targetting individuals by pretending to be interested in a romantic relationship. As a result, they build up trust and confidence with their victims before swindling them.
Reflecting on the data, the company’s CEO Jonathan Merry explains how a longing for love leaves victims open and vulnerable to scammers.
“They put on an elaborate con that has their victims swooning over them,” he adds, “and by the time the victim catches on, they’ll be several thousand dollars poor.”
Merry concludes that, on average, victims of romance crypto scams lose about $10,000.
Again what makes pulling off such scams easy is that they have an investment twist to them. After hooking the victim, the fraudsters will offer ‘advice’ on how to invest in crypto. By now, the victims are so trusting that they’re willing to follow their advice to their detriment.
But romance scams aren’t the only ones that Americans fall for.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), investment scams have cost US citizens around $575million since 2021.
These types of scmas follow a similar narrative with the promise of making quick money coupled with the victim’s poor grasp and experience of cryptos.
Investment scammers paint investors a picture of huge returns quickly, only for them to divert the fund to their wallets.
Others set up fake sites and apps that supposedly enable investors to track their crypto portfolios. They even enable ‘test withdrawals’ to persuade them that their products are legit and their investments are safe. But should they fall for that ploy, they find it difficult to withdraw their cash.
Business and government impersonation scams are equally as prevalent, accounting for losses of $133million during the same time.
Impersonation scams involve the fraudster impersonating someone in authority and then gaining the victim’s credentials.
According to Atlas VPN, PayPal and Mastercard were the biggest targets for financial phishing schemes last year.
PayPal was the most used payment system brand, making up 37.8 per cent in 2021. Cybercriminals set up a page that looks nearly identical to PayPal’s login page and spread the malicious website through emails.
Mastercard ranked second in the attacked payment system, ranking at 12.2 per cent. Threat actors launch phishing attacks related to Mastercard with the intent to obtain your credit card information.
Likewise, American Express accounted for 10 per cent of phishing attacks related to payment system brands in 2021, while Apple and Amazon were the most abused e-shop brands for phishing attack campaigns.