(The AEGIS Alliance) – Internet romance and amounts of money will likely lead to a miserable end.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was very blunt when it issued a warning to the general public to stay away from internet romance rip-offs. The FTC said this kind of scam achieved a record high in 2021, with people disclosing $547 million in lost money. That’s nothing in contrast to the volume of cash people were scammed out of over the past 5 years to love scams that are estimated to be about $1.3 billion, which is actually greater than every other FTC fraud classification.
“Romance scammers weave all sorts of believable stories to con people, but their old standby involves pleas for help while claiming one financial or health crisis after another,” the FTC noted. “People who lost money to a romance scammer often report sending money repeatedly: they believe they’re helping someone they care about. But it’s all a lie.”
On average, an individual reported about $2,400 in losses to internet love scams in 2021. The FTC noted it discovered the biggest volumes of reported money loss were paid to fraudsters with cryptocurrency, which accounts for a loss of $139 million in 2021. Gift cards had been most commonly used as a form of payment to fraudsters.
It comes as no surprise that the FTC reported that scammers prey on multitudes of people on internet dating apps, however, some individuals reported being contacted on social media platforms through direct private messages. In 2021, over a third of people who reported money losses from an internet romance scam stated it started on Facebook or Instagram.
Aside from the commonly used cries for help the FTC describes as above, a common scam method used by romance fraudsters involves asking their victims to assist them in transferring funds for varied shady reasons, including for their inheritance money or to close a business deal. While it can all seem innocent, the FTC noted that victims actually turn into money launderers during the process.
“Stories like this often set people up to become ‘money mules’–they may think they’re just helping, but they’re really laundering stolen funds,” the FTC said. “These stories are also used to trick people into sending their own money.”
In other instances, some victims pay for phony expenses to approve funds that fraudsters never truly sent out. Others deposit checks coming from their fraudster aficionados and afterward send them an amount of money, only to learn that the check was actually bogus.
A number of people are perhaps demoralized in their pursuit to find romance online. However, not every love interest is a scammer! If someone is still searching for love on the internet, there are factors to consider and measures people may need to ensure they as well as their cash are risk-free.
The FTC says people need to understand that no genuine love interest is going to ask to send them funds by means of cryptocurrency, gift cards, or even wire transactions. Keep in mind, they should not send funds or make financial investments with somebody they haven’t met in real life. They need to likewise make the most of their support networks, including family and friends, as well as inform them regarding their new on the internet love. Ask them what they think of this person and the circumstance.
Another really good guideline is to look for their new internet love’s profile page photo on the web. Fraudsters can easily produce phony accounts with pictures coming from others online, and a reverse-image search may assist them to discover if their new love interest is actually a fraudster.
Valentine’s Day has passed, but it’s perhaps an excellent suggestion to be on alert to any sort of unusual demand coming from their internet love interest. If the online romance asks them for funds to confirm their affection, they should do a hard pass and purchase themselves something nice instead. There is nothing better in this world than self-love. We can ensure them this will last for life.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.