Romance Scams: Beware of Online Love Interests Offering Crypto Investment Advice, FTC Warns

  • June 11, 2024
  • 8 Views

TLDR

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning about cryptocurrency romance scammers who offer investment advice.
Scammers establish an emotional connection with their victims to gain trust and convince them that they are experts in cryptocurrency investing.
These fraudsters promise high returns, claim there is no risk, and offer to teach investment strategies, but in reality, all investments carry inherent risks.
Scammers often request quick money transfers via gift cards, payment apps, or cryptocurrency, which are methods frequently used by fraudsters.
The FTC advises individuals to immediately cease communication with suspected scammers, report them to the social media platform, and file a report with the FTC.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sounded the alarm on a growing trend of cryptocurrency romance scams, urging the public to be vigilant when engaging with potential love interests online.

In these scams, fraudsters pose as romantic partners and exploit emotional connections to convince victims to invest in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes, often resulting in significant financial losses.

According to the FTC’s consumer alert, issued on Monday, June 10, 2024, scammers typically initiate contact through social media platforms, carefully studying their targets’ profiles to build trust and rapport.

Once a relationship is established, the conversation gradually shifts to investments, with the scammer claiming to prioritize the victim’s financial security and offering expert advice on cryptocurrency investing.

However, the FTC emphasizes that these so-called experts are, in fact, con artists whose sole objective is personal financial gain.

They employ a range of deceptive tactics to lure victims into their schemes, such as promising high returns, downplaying investment risks, and offering to teach specialized investment strategies. In reality, all investments carry inherent risks, and guarantees of profits are simply false promises designed to manipulate and deceive.

One of the most concerning aspects of these romance scams is the emotional manipulation employed by the scammers. By establishing a strong emotional connection with their victims, they create a false sense of trust and credibility, making it more likely for individuals to believe their claims of investment expertise.

This emotional bond also makes it harder for victims to recognize the red flags and walk away from the scam, even when faced with mounting financial losses.

The FTC’s warning comes amidst a growing trend of cryptocurrency-related fraud, with romance scams being a particularly insidious form of deception.

A recent study by the University of Texas revealed that between January 2020 and February 2024, over $75 billion was lost to these schemes, highlighting the scale and severity of the problem.

To protect themselves from falling victim to these scams, the FTC advises individuals to be extremely cautious when engaging with potential love interests online, especially if the conversation turns to investments. Legitimate investment professionals will never pressure clients or guarantee profits, and any such claims should be treated as a red flag.

Scammers often request quick money transfers through untraceable methods such as gift cards, payment apps, or cryptocurrency, which should be another warning sign. If an online love interest makes such requests, it is almost certainly a scam, and individuals should immediately cease all communication with the person in question.

The FTC also stresses the importance of reporting suspected scammers to the relevant social media platform and filing a report with the FTC itself.

By sharing warnings and experiences, individuals can help protect others from falling victim to these devastating scams.

The post Romance Scams: Beware of Online Love Interests Offering Crypto Investment Advice, FTC Warns appeared first on Blockonomi.