Romance swindlers con thousands of men and women each year. In fact, the FTC reports that in 2020 romance scams were up a whopping 50% from 2019, setting a record of $304 million in losses. The newest FTC report shows that in 2021 these scams were up 80% from 2020 and totaled $547 million in losses to online romance scammers.
As the pandemic and lockdowns continued, online dating escalated as many singles turned to online dating for social connection or distraction. It isn't the online dating apps that are at issue; it's the scammers taking advantage of people who are legitimately looking for love. These criminals aren't looking for a soulmate, they are looking for victims who are 'love blind'.
According to the FBI, romance scams, also known as 'confidence' or 'identity' scams, result in the highest amounts of financial losses when compared to other internet-facilitated crimes with an average loss of more than $100,000 per victim.
As with all catfishing schemes, your new paramour will say all the right things, promise love, and eventually... they will ask for money. Always. I will repeat that... eventually, a romance scammer will ALWAYS ask for money.
You may wonder how folks could fall for such a thing. Keep in mind, scammers have all the time in the world to develop seemingly meaningful relationships. After all, this is their full-time job. Watch the videos below to see just how these scammers work.
As always be safe and well,
Denver District Attorney