BBB Issues Scam Alert: Cryptocurrency Scams Targeting Dating App Users

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scam-alert

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a scam alert warning individuals about a new trend in online scams targeting users of popular dating sites and apps, such as Tinder. This latest scheme involves cryptocurrency investments, adding a new layer of complexity to the already tricky world of online dating.

Here’s how the scam typically unfolds:

Victims “swipe right” on an appealing profile on a dating app, leading to an instant match. The conversation quickly transitions from the dating platform to a messaging app like WhatsApp or WeChat.

Once on the messaging app, the scammer begins discussing a family member who purportedly possesses inside information on cryptocurrency trading, promising lucrative returns. The victim is encouraged to seize this “exclusive opportunity” by depositing money into a cryptocurrency trading platform. However, once the deposit is made, the funds vanish, and the scammer disappears, cutting off all communication.

Recent reports filed with the BBB’s Scam Tracker highlight the devastating financial losses incurred by victims of this scam. In one instance, a consumer lost $84,000 after being lured into crypto investing by a scammer met on Hinge. Another victim, initially targeted on Tinder, reported losing $15,000 after attempting to recover funds through a supposed “Professional Hacker” found on Instagram.

In a particularly insidious variation of the scam, victims are persuaded to invest in a fake cryptocurrency trading platform. When attempts to withdraw funds are made, the platform automatically reverses the transactions, citing a fictitious “system security” measure. Victims are then told they must maintain a minimum balance, effectively trapping their money within the fraudulent scheme.

How To Avoid Scams

To avoid falling victim to similar scams, the BBB offers the following advice:

  • Never send money or personal information to individuals you’ve only met online.
  • Exercise caution if a potential love interest pressures you to invest in cryptocurrency.
  • Stay on the dating app for communication; moving to an insecure chat app may indicate suspicious behavior.
  • Ask specific questions to verify the details provided in a profile.
  • Conduct research on the dating profile, including performing reverse image searches to check for stolen photos.

By remaining vigilant and following these precautions, individuals can reduce their risk of falling prey to cryptocurrency scams on dating platforms. If you encounter suspicious activity, report it promptly to the dating app and relevant authorities.