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Online Scam Alert!!! How A Phony Online Relationship Cost A Man Over $300,000

Romance scammers are skilled at what they do, and they will appear sincere, compassionate, and believable. Con artists may be found on nearly every dating and social media site. The scammer’s goal is to swiftly create a relationship with the victim, endear himself to them, and acquire their trust.
May 27, 2022
Romance Scam

Romance scams occur when a criminal creates a false online identity in order to earn the trust and affection of a victim. The scammer then manipulates and/or steals from the victim by creating the illusion of a loving or close relationship. 

Romance scammers are skilled at what they do, and they will appear sincere, compassionate, and believable. Con artists may be found on nearly every dating and social media site. The scammer’s goal is to swiftly create a relationship with the victim, endear himself to them, and acquire their trust. Scammers may offer marriage proposals and make plans to meet in person, but this will never happen. They’ll eventually ask for money.

Scammers frequently claim to be in the construction industry and working on projects outside the United States. This makes it easier to avoid meeting in person—and more credible when they seek money for a medical emergency or an unforeseen legal bill. If someone you meet online asks for your bank account information to deposit money, they’re most likely utilizing it for other types of theft and fraud.

Tinder did not side with Mike…

tinder

Mike was looking for local companionship when he downloaded the dating app, namely, Tinder. However, in July, he matched with a Malaysian woman named “Jenny” and began chatting with her on the dating platform and subsequently on WhatsApp, a messaging program. Jenny switched the subject to Bitcoin after a month or two of discussing their lives and traveling together. 

“She began telling me about her uncle who worked for a bank J.P. Morgan… he was the world authority in Bitcoin options,” Mike, who requested that his last name not be used to preserve his privacy, told NBC News. “I had no intention of investing in cryptocurrency. ‘Let’s go hiking, let’s go have dinner,’ I was seeking someone to have some fun with.” Jenny encouraged him to invest $3,000 with crypto.com, a respectable cryptocurrency exchange website, despite the fact that they had never met. Mike, who is retired and unmarried, said she then persuaded him to transfer the money to a separate site. “‘Mike, you need to send more money,’ she’d remark, getting me thrilled. You may make more the more you have in here.'”

When his cryptocurrency portfolio hit $1 million in value, he was assigned his own "teacher analyst" named Devon

After Jenny and Devon advised him to shift his tax bills to the Homeland security Department rather than the IRS after four months, Mike got anxious. He tried but failed to withdraw money from his account. Except for his massive losses, he recognized none of it was real — his gains or his lover “Jenny.” 

“I spent roughly $277,000,” responded Mike. Due to the rise in online dating and the use of bitcoin, cryptocurrency romance scams like the one Mike fell for have become more popular — and the extent of his losses is not unusual.

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Scammers utilize dating apps and websites to entice victims into making fake bitcoin investments

A broken heart and an empty wallet /bank account are the results of an internet love hunt.  “You’ll see your earnings, and, at some point, you’ll be able to withdraw funds. But it’s when you want to draw your entire balance that you realize you’ve been a victim because they say there’s usually a penalty or fee, and it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you realize you’ve been a victim “The American Association of Retired Persons Fraud Watch Network’s director of fraud victim support, Amy Nofziger, said. 

Nofziger said her team now receives two to three crypto romance scam reports every day, up from one to two per week last year, and the losses are astronomical. “The victims of these frauds lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars,” Nofziger added. “You are mistaken if you believe it will never happen to you. It can and will happen, and I promise someone in your inner circle is being duped right now.” 

WhatsApp told NBC News that someone can get a “suspicious message on any service, including e-mail and SMS,” and that “whenever that happens, we strongly recommend everyone to use caution before responding or interacting.” “Unlike SMS and other messaging platforms, WhatsApp users can “mail us a report, report a contact, or block a contact using the options we give within the app,” according to the messaging service. Scammers have taken advantage of the cryptocurrency frenzy as more people become interested, adding a new twist to old scams. While some con artists trick victims into investing in phony cryptocurrencies, others persuade them to part with real money.

More scams such as this are on the rise, so watch your back!

scam

According to Ricky Patel, an acting special agent who is in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the preferred payment method for traditional scams like phishing, in which someone sends a text message, e-mail, or phone call demanding payment for anything from taxes to insurance.

Swindlers target a “wide range of age groups and people,” Patel warned, “and [scammers] are continually reaching out to them and hitting them, whether it’s e-mails, phone calls, text messages, anything, whatever outlet they’re genuinely trying to abuse.” People reported losing $294 million in cryptocurrency payments to scammers in 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission, compared to $44 million in credit card payments.

“Money is sent to exchanges once it is sent. It’s quite hard to get it back once they have it, hold it, and release it, especially if you don’t know who the other side is, “Patel explained. Mike, for one, believes he will not be able to recoup the hundreds of thousands of dollars he lost due to sham investments, but he claims he has reported his case to the AARP, the FTC, the FBI, and HSI and wants to see anyone held accountable. “I want them to be locked up for the rest of their life. I don’t want them to start attacking other people, “Mike remarked.

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Keep an eye out for red signals; you never know how well scammers will set up traps for you. In situations like these, no phone calls, fake images, and a price that seems too good to be true may be beneficial. As a result, while there is no definite strategy for eliminating payment frauds, there are always certain strategies to ensure that the negative repercussions they produce are mitigated.

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Our news section focuses on reporting scam related news and alerts. We aggregate information from the web, as well as, reach out to our contacts so that we can get the latest scoop on scam operations.

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