Hello and welcome back to The Scam Logs, where we take a look at common scams in the cryptocurrency space. Today, we’ll look at a scam that’s growing, insidious, and cruel.
It’s romance scamming. With the recent pandemic, people who would’ve otherwise gone to bars or clubs to find potential romantic partners used dating apps. And where a bunch of people are all gathered online, you’ll find scammers.
So, how does this scam usually go? Well, it starts with scammers making accounts on popular apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Match, and then targeting people who seem the most likely to fall for the trick. Like older people who might not understand scams well or people who might not get as many matches on these apps. Once there, they’ll be forward and complementing. They’ll build trust.
Here, though, is where you can spot some of the early signs. If they seem overly interested, incredibly flirtatious, or—and this is the big one—always have a reason to not meet in person, those are red flags.
If the victim doesn’t stop talking though, if they’re still enamored, then the scammer will attempt to lure them into sending cryptocurrency to them or some app. They might claim they need it for hardship, but they might also offer an investment opportunity. It’s this second one that can really close the jaw on someone.
Because they don’t always steal the money right away. They can make the investment, the first investment, make a “profit.” They make it seem trustworthy because, well, you made money, right? That’s also how Ponzi schemes work.
But at some point, after a big enough investment, they’ll take the cash and run. If they convinced you to install a fake app or some other dangerous piece of software, they can steal way more on top.
Unfortunately, this scam is proving popular and profitable. But, fortunately, it’s not that hard to prevent. The scammer cannot do anything if you don’t give them any banking details, account information, or logins. They can’t steal money if you don’t send any money or link to an account. If you flatly refuse to click on any links they send and not download anything, then they lose. The scam relies on feelings of infatuation and loneliness to overcome someone’s better decision-making skills. They’re being cruel. You must keep a cool head and just block and report them. You can even report them to certain government bodies.
Like a lot of things covered in The Scam Logs, romance scams are easily defeated by knowledge and caution. So, practice both in spades.