According to a BanklessTimes analysis, Romance scams are the second most common type of crypto scam. These accounted for losses amounting to $185M between January 2021 and March 2022. Here scammers target 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.
BanklessTimes’ CEO Jonathan Merry has been analyzing the data. Here’s him sharing his thoughts: “Victims of romance scams learn that the heart is not so smart the hard way. Their search for love makes them easy pickings for conniving individuals that dupe them out of their money. They put on an elaborate con that has their victims swooning over them, and by the time the victim catches on, they’ll be several thousand dollars poor.”
Which Other Crypto Fraud Schemes Did Americans Fall For?
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. There are others, and the FTC reported that the most common type of crypto fraud was investment scams. Since 2021, the commission has received complaints of losses totaling $575M due to this kind of con. And the narratives follow the same script: 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 the other forms. These accounted for losses of $133M. These involve the fraudster impersonating someone in authority and then gaining the victim’s credentials. Full story and statistics can be found here: The Amount of Crypto Lost Through Romance Scams in the Us Stands at $185M in 2022