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Romance Scams: Recover Your Lost Funds
The strategies romance scammers employ and how such scams operate have changed over the years, suffice to say they are all confidence schemes, and the scammer almost always impersonating someone else while trying to get the victim to send money either for sudden ‘emergency’ expenses, or getting the person to invest in a fake or fraudulent investment scheme or fake exchange.
The victims of romance frauds are often less well-adept at cryptocurrency (and sometimes brand new to it) than most cryptocurrency users, and may have been induced into acquiring it by the fraudster. Victims are more often middle aged, elderly, or somewhere in between.
In the past few years, Sha Zhu Pan Scams, also known as Pig Butchering Scams, have become incredibly common and are now the predominant way in which victims lose funds in romance-related frauds.
Statistically, Romance-type frauds are one of the most common types of frauds involving cryptocurrency, and a category which ranks among the highest amount of cryptocurrency fraudulently obtained; in 2021, the FBI indicated $1 Billion USD in losses were reported by victims of Romance scams. In reality, we know the amount lost to such frauds is much higher, likely well north of $10 Billion USD once non-reported losses, mis-reported submissions, and losses in countries (other than the US) are factored in. Simply put, Romance fraud is a massive ‘industry’ that we regularly tackle.
How Romance Scams Work
Scammers often join dating websites, social media, and other dating apps, and pretend to be someone who is interested in their prospective victim. They act on emotional triggers to get these victims to provide personal details, gifts, and even money.
Dating scams often happen through dating websites, though these scammers can sometimes use other means of communication such as email or social media sites. They usually create profiles that are fake so they can lure their victims in. They often use fictional names or they sometimes obtain information from other people, including professionals, aid workers, or military personnel.
Once you have been lured in, they will start expressing their strong emotions for their victims and will request for you to start moving the relationship away from the dating website. They can either ask for their victims to do instant messaging, email, or phone. A majority of the scammers are claiming to be from Australia or the United States, but there are others who are claiming to be from other western countries.
Once the scammer has gained your trust, they will directly or subtly ask for gifts, credit or banking card details, or money, which can lead to identity theft issues for you. They may even ask for photos or videos of an intimate nature of yourself to use as blackmail. They will also pretend that they need money for emergency purposes or they are having a hard time dealing with their finances.
People are losing a lot of money through online romance and dating scams. Estimates indicate that in the US alone, of all internet crimes, online romance scams accounted for up to $143 million in financial losses. And because many victims are usually too embarrassed to report being duped and conned of large sums of money, these estimates may be grossly under-reported.
Here at Foresight Refund we can help you recover your money back!
So, how do you avoid being scammed? The red flags to search out for
Usually, online dating involves individuals creating profiles (which are often fake) on a dating website or some social media sites. This is called catfishing. Some of the most common guises include medical professionals, aid workers, and military personnel because victims are more likely to trust individuals in these professions. In most cases, romance scammers will create several profiles on different sites using stolen images.
Scammers know how to start a conversation with you and spark a friendship. From your religion, hobbies, a line of work, etc., they will carefully pick information from your profile and use it to start a conversation with you. It does not take long before unsuspecting victims start divulging more information which the scammer uses to further the friendship or romantic relationship. In fact, some scammers will even adjust their profiles, so they are the perfect person you have been looking for.
Scamming is often a full-time job for most of these fraudsters. And because they are usually trying to scam multiple people at a time, they are always rushing things. They don’t waste time. They will, therefore, ramp up the relationship quickly so that they can get to where they are now actually able to profit. It is very common for scammers to shower their victims with affection and love. They will message and even call constantly. This is called love bombing. It is such a serious behavior that victims sometimes feel like they had been brainwashed.
This often starts very innocently. As noted earlier, romance scammers will start asking for small amounts of money to fix their car, buy an elderly relative some food, etc. It then quickly ramps up. A common way of asking for money involves the perpetrator asking to visit the victim. They will then say they need some money for the flight and other expenses