With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, scams related to this emerging technology have become increasingly common. One of the latest trends in this area is the rise of crypto romance scams, where fraudsters use false identities and fabricated romantic relationships to trick individuals into giving them access to their crypto assets.
These scams can cause significant financial losses and emotional distress to the victims, making it important for us to be aware of the red flags and take precautions to protect themselves.
How crypto romance scams work
Crypto romance scams typically begin with the scammer creating a fake online persona, often using stolen photos and information, to build a relationship with the victim. The scammer will then pretend to be romantically interested in the victim, and use various tactics to gain their trust. For example, they may send gifts or express their love and affection, in order to create a strong emotional bond.
Once the scammer has gained the victim’s trust, they will then make a request for cryptocurrency or other valuable assets, often claiming to be in a financial emergency or in need of funds to pay for travel expenses. The victim, believing they are helping their loved one, may then send the assets to the scammer, who will then disappear and never be heard from again.
Red flags to watch out for
There are several warning signs that can indicate a crypto romance scam. Some of these include:
- The person contacts you out of the blue, expressing strong romantic feelings despite never having met in person.
- The person is always online and available to talk, but is never available to meet in person.
- The person frequently asks for money or valuable assets, claiming to be in a financial emergency.
- The person refuses to provide personal information, such as a phone number or address, or provides inconsistent information.
- The person’s profile photos appear to be stolen or taken from another person’s social media account.
How to protect yourself
Some tips for staying safe include:
- Do not send cryptocurrency assets to someone you have not met in person.
- Verify the person’s identity by conducting an online search or using a reverse image search to determine if the profile photos are stolen.
- Be wary of individuals who express strong romantic feelings too quickly or who refuse to provide personal information.
Remember the goal of a cryptocurrency scammer is to make you fall in love with the aim of swindling your cryptocurrency assets. Unfortunately these crypto romance scams are a growing threat in the world of cryptocurrencies, with individuals falling victim to these scams every day.
Part of the reason these types of scams are growing is because the scammers have realized that they can easily combine love and cryptocurrency to get away with fraud. The rapid growth of the cryptocurrency craze means that many people are always receptive to individuals who talk to them about cryptocurrency stuff. So a scammer knows well that the victim will be happy to take them in as friends so that they can share stuff to do with cryptocurrency. Once the victim is hooked, the scammer then sweet talks them into transferring or sharing details about their cryptocurrency investments. With this information, the scammer will easily find a way to swindle the victim’s assets.