It looks like romance scammers who are into cryptocurrency had a good year in 2021.
As per the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), romance scammers were able to earn USD139 million (around Php7.1 billion) last year, 2021. In fact, that amount is the largest that was lost to scammers in 2021, which had a total of USD547 million.
It’s said that victims lost USD9,770 (around Php500,000) worth of crypto on average.
FTC explained that romance scammers, who can be also called catfishers, works by creating fake social media profiles by using pictures of other people then tricking victims into sending them money.
The scammers would ask for money claiming that they are having financial problems or saying that they are “financial experts” and will promise the victims that they will be investing the money in cryptocurrency or the stock market.
While romance scammers made the most money in crypto, the most common method of payment for such scams was easily-purchasable gift cards. That’s 28% of the total number with a total amount of USD36 million (around Php1.8 billion).
Gift cards are followed by bank transfers at USD121 million and wire transfers at USD93 million.
The FTC said that when a person you’ve only met online asks you for money, crypto, or gift card, it’s best to decline the request. If you’re suspicious, the agency advises that you run their profile picture through a reverse image search to check it’s been used somewhere else.
Via: The Verge