The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning over the weekend about crypto-associated romance scams. The FTC is an independent agency of the U.S. government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection.
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Scammers use romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially crypto, the federal agency explained. “2021 numbers are nearly five times those reported in 2020, and more than 25 times those reported in 2019,” said the FTC.
“New data from the Federal Trade Commission show that more consumers than ever report falling prey to romance scammers. Consumers reported losing $547 million in 2021 alone,” the FTC wrote, adding:
“A growing trend in 2021 was scammers using romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially cryptocurrency.”
“Consumers who paid romance scammers with cryptocurrency reported losing $139 million in total in 2021, more than any other payment amount,” the federal agency detailed. “2021 numbers are nearly five times those reported in 2020, and more than 25 times those reported in 2019.”
In addition, the FTC noted that the median loss for consumers who reported paying a romance scammer with cryptocurrency in 2021 was nearly $9,770.