By CultureBanx Team
- Scammers preying on love and the lonely cost Americans $1.3B over the past five years
- The largest reported losses to romance scams were paid in cryptocurrency with $139M
Keep your hearts three stacks because fraudsters carried out romance scams on the largest scale ever. These people preying on love and the lonely had nearly 70,000 people report a romance scam to the FTC, with losses rising from $78 million in 2017 to $547 million in 2021. The median individual reporting a loss of $4,400 in 2022. Some common targets are vulnerable people over 50, often women, this leaves many wondering how much does love actually cost.
Why This Matters: Be sure to protect your heart and your bank account during this season of love. Romance scams are truly a terrible breakup and occur when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust, according to the FBI. In the past five years, people have reported losing a staggering $1.3 billion to romance scams, more than any other FTC fraud category.
You don’t have to be looking for love to be courted by a romance scammer. Reports of unexpected private messages on social media platforms are common. More than a third of people who said they lost money to an online romance scam in 2021, and stated it began on Facebook (FB -3.74%) or Instagram.
Situational Awareness: A growing trend in 2021 was scammers using romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially cryptocurrency. The largest reported losses to romance scams were paid in cryptocurrency with $139 million last year alone, and the median individual reported a crypto loss of $9,770. Perhaps having a single core principle of not sending money to anyone you have not met in person will keep most of the troubles away.
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