FTC issues urgent warning over rising crypto romance scams

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a consumer warning about romance scams involving cryptocurrencies. 

The FTC urged consumers to “cut off contact” with online love interests who may be trying to steal their funds by using crypto investing as bait.

These scammers employ long-term tactics, taking the time to get to know their victims and build relationships before executing their schemes.

What are romance scams?

The FTC stated that, although people generally don’t suspect a love interest of scamming them, romance scammers create emotional connections with their victims, making it easier for the victims to believe the scammers’ claims of being cryptocurrency experts.

The government agency noted that these scammers are “good at what they do.”

However, the FTC warned investors that these scammers have already taken millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. The FTC wrote:

“They want to help you invest your money in the crypto markets, or they say they can teach you how to do it. You might think they have your financial well-being in mind, but they don’t. They only care about their own financial well-being.”

Additionally, the FTC highlighted several warning signs that someone’s love interest might be a scammer. These signs include promising large profits, guaranteeing no risk, claiming they will teach investment secrets, and persuading them to send money.

The FTC reminded consumers that no one can guarantee profits in any investment. In addition, the agency said that all investments have risks, and this includes the crypto markets.

The government agency asked consumers to report potential crypto romance scammers to the FTC and the social platform the scammer used. Furthermore, the FTC also urged those who encounter scammers to warn their friends and family about the scam.

Related: Valentine’s nightmare? Romance scams remain a $1B honeypot for criminals

Crypto romance scams surge in Canada

In Canada, crypto scammers lurk on dating apps, hoping to hit it off with Canadians in the summer. On May 29, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) noticed a surge in romance and investment scams on social media, dating apps and text messages.

The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) and the CAFC issued a joint warning about the scams involving extended online communications. The authorities warned Canadians to beware of people who discuss crypto trading and investments.

“Over time, the scammer will suggest investing in an opportunity, often involving crypto assets,” the government warned.

Magazine: Crypto voters are already disrupting the 2024 election — and it’s set to continue

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