Crypto Romance Scams Are A Possibility During Valentine, FBI Warns
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in its latest announcement a few days before Valentine’s Day, has cautioned against romance scams during this period in the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to the FBI, cryptocurrency-related romance scams are rising following complaints it received that bordered on internet crime at its district office in San Francisco. The agency has also reported previous romance scams that happened last year where victims in the same division lost over $64 million to romance scams, more than the $35 million lost in 2020. More and more people are falling victim to such scams, despite previous recorded happenings and experiences of victims.
The investigative agency logged a total of 742 complaints in 2021 within its division covering the northern part of California, eclipsing the 720 and 526 complaints filed with the FBI in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Furthermore, in 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is reported to have received 23,000 or more complaints from victims about romance scams, with a combined loss of a whopping $600 million from the activities of such action.
What Is A Romance Scam?
A romance scam uses fake accounts to persuade and convince unsuspecting men or women to wire some specific amount of money under the guise of being romantically attached to the culprits.
Romance scams begin after gaining the victims’ trust and informing them about a particular platform by convincing them to join and telling them about mouth-watering investment opportunities. Scammers usually allow investors to withdraw a certain percentage of the so-called profits to give some semblance of genuineness to the activities. Afterward, the victims are then compelled to invest more.
Should the victims be reluctant to increase their investment, the scammers will, in their typical fashion, stop communication between them and the victims. The sudden lack of communication often leads the victim to realize that they have been scammed. As such, the FBI recommends the immediate reporting of the activities by victims, and victims should contact their banks for further action.
The FBI rolls out some tips on stopping one from falling victim to scammers, including avoiding any investment advice on online interaction, safeguarding one’s financial information, and avoiding being greedy by keeping off any promise of high profits.
Binance CEO Raises Alarm
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, recently raised the alarm to the crypto community about a large-scale phishing scam specifically targeted at Binance users. According to Zhao, the phishing scam comes in SMS messages telling victims to click on a link, which would then take them to a site where their details are recorded for scam purposes.
As reported by Cointelegraph, such scams involve using SMS to convince users to click on a link where they are told to cancel withdrawals, taking them to a malicious website where all their login details are harvested for use. To counter this, Zhao recommends manual typing of the crypto exchange’s address to limit the ongoing scam on people’s crypto wallets.