According to an analysis conducted by Bankless Times, cryptocurrencies have grabbed the attention of a significant chunk of America’s population. However, scammers have used this growing popularity to con people in various methods. Romance scams are among the most employed technique since US citizens have parted with $185 million due to such schemes between January 2021 and March 2022.
‘The Heart Is Not So Smart’
Fraudulent schemes involving digital assets have emerged as a concern in numerous countries across the globe. A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report estimated that such scams had affected 46,000 Americans between January 2021 and March 2022, while those victims parted with over $1 billion worth of crypto.
Bankless Times further observed that $185 million was lost due to romance schemes. Criminals often target lonely individuals by pretending they are interested in love affairs with them. They develop intimate online contacts with their victims and create trust before stealing some of their funds. Jonathan Merry – Bankless Times CEO – explained in detail how the scheme works:
“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.”
Bankless Times estimated that younger people are more inclined to be conned by such scammers. According to statistics, most victims are 20 to 40 years old, while individuals in their thirties suffer the most (35% of all losses).
earlier this year, Crypto Potato reported the story of a British man who lost $200,000 worth of bitcoin in a romance scam. The man started chatting with a woman called Jia from Hong Kong. The latter introduced herself as a successful cryptocurrency investor with “inside knowledge.” Once gaining his trust, she urged him to invest some of his savings into a dubious app, assuring that the profits would be great.
The British distributed around $200,000 when he found out that his balance “had been cleared.” The man admitted that right after he realized the scam, he wanted to commit suicide. Fortunately, his mother was there for him, and thanks to her support, he is still alive.
What Other Scams Do Americans Fall Victim to?
The aforementioned report revealed that Investment Related Fraud remains the top scam involving digital assets. Here, criminals portraying victims in a picture where their investment in particular projects could lead to huge profits in a short period of time. They even allow “test withdrawals” so that people could think the scheme is legit and riskless.
Needless to say, when the real “investment” begins, victims are unable to withdraw their funds and lose everything they have allocated. Due to such schemes, US residents have lost nearly $600 million between early 2021 and March 2022.
Business Imposters and Government Imposters are also common as they have accounted for over $130 million of the total losses.