FBI warns against rising crypto romance scams during Valentine’s week

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has warned against romance scams in San Francisco Bay Area. The latest trend involves cryptocurrencies.

The FBI San Francisco field office alerted people about the increase in romance scams based upon complaints to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. This was just a few days before Valentine’s Day. Romance scams involve creating fake accounts and convincing unsuspecting investors, both men and woman, to transfer funds under the pretense of being romantic. According to the FBI, the following information was shared:

“Victims in the FBI San Francisco division lost more than $64 Million to romance scams, compared to just $35 million in 2020.”

The intelligence and security services received 742 complaints in the Northern District of California alone in 2021, surpassing the 720 or 526 complaints filed back in 2020 and 2019.

Moreover, in 2020, the IC3 received over 23,000 complaints regarding confidence/romance frauds — with losses reported of more than $600 millions. The FBI warned:

“The FBI San Francisco has noticed a growing trend of romance scammers convincing individuals to send money in order to trade or invest in cryptocurrency.”

The typical romance scam begins with the victim being trusted and then being redirected to fraudulent platforms that offer investment opportunities. The scammers will allow investors to withdraw some profits from their initial trade to show credibility. However, victims are forced to invest more money or cryptocurrency.

The scammers will create excuses for the victim to withdraw again funds if they are ready. A victim is told that additional fees or taxes must be paid or that the minimum account balance is not sufficient to allow withdrawals.

The scammers will often stop responding to victims who refuse to pay more money. FBI recommends that victims of romance scams contact their banks immediately to report them.

The FBI recommends that you avoid investing advice obtained solely online, refrain from disclosing financial information, stay away from unrealistic profits, and be cautious of people who claim to have investment opportunities.

Similar: Scam alert! Scam alert! Binance CEO warns customers about massive SMS Phishing scam

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently warned the crypto community about a “massive SMS Phishing Scam” targeting Binance customers.

A massive Phishing scam is being sent via SMS. It includes a link to cancel withdrawals. This will take you to a website that harvests your credential, as shown in the screenshot. Never click on SMS links! Always go to https://t.co/9rMMAmtCxH via a bookmark or type it in. Stay #SAFU pic.twitter.com/erNwe90FN1
CZ Binance (@cz_binance), February 4, 2022

Cointelegraph reported that the scam involves sending users text messages with a link to cancel withdrawals. This will take them to a fake website to steal their login credentials. Zhao suggests manually entering the URL of the crypto exchange to stop ongoing scams.

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Eileen Wilson

Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy My Name is Eileen Wilson with more than 5 years of experience in the Stock market industry, I am energetic about Technology news, started my career as an author then, later climbing my way up towards success into senior positions. I can consider myself as the backbone behind the success and growth of topmagazinewire.com with a dream to expand the reach out of the industry on a global scale. I am also a contributor and an editor of the Technology and Energy category. I experienced a critical analysis of companies and extracted the most noteworthy information for our vibrant investor network.

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