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Valentine Day Coming, Americans Already Lost $547 Million in Bitcoin And Ethereum To Online Dating Scammers

 Americans Losing millions in Bitcoin and Ethereum to Online Dating Scammers.

In a recent report published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans lost a whopping amount of cryptocurrency in online romance scams last year, the highest since 2017. 

2021 Losses Surpass Previous Years

The FTC stated that last year alone unsuspecting victims lost $547 million to online dating scammers, up from $307 million reported in 2020, as well as $202 million in 2019. 

The commission disclosed that of the $547 million recorded in 2021, $139 million were paid in cryptocurrency, representing nearly five times of 2020 report and over 25 times of those reported in 2019. 

Per the report, from 2017 to 2021, Americans have lost a combined $1.29 billion to online dating scammers. 

“A growing trend in 2021 was scammers using romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially cryptocurrency. People are led to believe their new online companion is a successful investor who, before long, casually offers investment advice,” excerpt from the report read. 

Traditional Payment Methods Mostly Used

Despite the growth in cryptocurrency payments in online dating scams, which accounted for 18% of the total losses, the report noted that gift or reload cards were the frequently used payment method by these scammers, which represents 28%. 

Similarly, bank transfer and wire fraud payments followed suit, representing 25% of the total $547 million losses. 

According to the FTC, the commission only collated data on scams reported to its Consumer Sentinel Network, as authorities believed that the total losses Americans suffered last year could be more than what was published.  

FTC said the median cryptocurrency loss is $9,770. Notably, since most scammers are aware of the pseudonymous nature of digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum, they trick their victims into investing in fake cryptocurrency investment schemes. 

Romance scams were reported for every age group, with the highest number of cases reported for Americans between the ages of 18 and 29. 

However, older people suffered huge losses, as their median loss for people at the age of 70 and above stood at $9,000. 

Increase in Cryptocurrency Scams

The rate of crypto-related scams is gradually on the rise, as scammers take advantage of the pseudonymous nature of cryptocurrencies. 

Scammers usually devise means to trick people into investing in bogus projects in a bid to get mouthwatering returns.

Aside from online dating, several reports have emerged of hackers luring people into different projects and subsequently pulling the rug on investors. 

Last week, a YouTube streamer ripped investors of $500,000 in a fake token and in less than a week developers behind the Baby Musk Coin (BABYMUSK) stole over $2 million from investors via a rug pull scam. 

While these trends have continued to be on the increase, it is advisable that people conduct adequate research before investing in any cryptocurrency scheme. 

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