Millions of dollars in losses for those seeking love on the internet | Lifestyle

Lonely women looking for a moment of love, warmth and security, men who suddenly find themselves without a wife or children, a world of loneliness and isolation .. Old people are mostly old, as statistics show, and they are the lonely hearts that live the so-called golden years in life, and search for love At a time when they have missed the train of a lifetime or almost, and these are exactly the targets and often victims of romantic scams.

Research shows that romance cheating is at an everyday peak, and it is not only the elderly who are the most vulnerable, but even younger people who share much of their private affairs on dating sites and social media can become targets of love scams. and scams.

The FBI defines romance fraud as situations in which a criminal assumes a false online identity in order to gain the victim’s affection and trust, and then uses the illusion of a romantic relationship to manipulate or steal the victim what they have. Romance cheaters are experts at really appearing. They are honest and are able to show sympathy, love and concern for their victims.

The lonely people seeking love to break free from their isolation fill cyberspace, says the Association of American Retirees (Shutterstock)

Capture lonely hearts

These scams are found in most dating applications and social networking sites, and the number of dating applications in the world is more than 1,500 applications, according to the “top number” platform, which is constantly increasing, in addition to several social media platforms that have an excellent place to hunt lonely hearts.

The most popular dating apps used are Tinder, Badoo, Bumble, Happen and many more. The financial revenue generated by these applications amounted to $ 5.61 billion last year 2021, according to the “BusinessOfApps” platform in a recent report.

And the main target of the scammers who base these sites and applications are those only people who seek love to get rid of their isolation. And a great morale, says the association, especially for people older than 50 years.

Financial Infidelity: Another Way to Cheat Pixel Spouses
The total money Amy transferred to Dwayne – before she found out about the joke – was over $ 300,000, and yet he never met her (Pixels)

Amy loses $ 300,000

And the stories of romantic cheating are many and endless, and they happen all over the world, and every day, and some of these stories are very famous, like “Amy’s Tale” (Amy), a 57-year-old American woman, who ‘s husband died of cancer, and he passed away. Her children, after growing up and starting their own lives away from her, left Amy alone in her home in a small town in Virginia, USA.

A year after her husband’s death, Amy registered on one of the oldest dating sites in the world, match.com, and met Dwayne, who confirmed the site’s algorithms were 100% perfect for her.

Dwayne told her he was of British descent (this is a major weakness for Americans), was born in Manchester, and lives in North Hollywood, California, but is currently in Malaysia for work.

In fact, after a series of messages and conversations, Amy was completely fascinated by Bedouin, and found that he was the dream man for her, and they exchanged messages almost constantly, and also talked on the phone for a long time.Her house , with short, highly impactful messages such as “My life was nothing before I met you”, in addition to the emotional songs that express the extent of his need, love and longing for her. She felt she was living in a romantic dream which she had never thought of, and that God He finally answered her prayers.

After a few weeks of intense love, they agreed to meet, but he told her that he needed $ 8,000 to pay his employees, and that he would return the money to her when he gave her a week from now of met.

Amy sent the money, but a week later he told her that the immigration department in Malaysia had detained him and asked for $ 10,000 to bribe immigration officials because the visa had expired, and Amy sent the money to him. .

And not to be outdone by you, the total money Amy transferred to Dwayne within a few months – before she discovered the deception – amounted to more than $ 300,000, and yet he never met her, as she always talked to him a “disaster” before each meeting, And this disaster needed more money to solve.

Shutterstock Marriage Love 1362257744
The average individual loss due to romance fraud for older than 70 is $ 9,475, compared to $ 2,500 for other categories (Shutterstock)

elderly target

Dating apps and social media are the main hunting ground for romantic scammers, as fake matches increasingly connect with potential victims. Complaints about romance scams filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have risen from 11,235 cases in 2016 to 53,593 in 2020.

Reported losses exceeded $ 300 million, almost four times over the same period. It turns out that the older the romantic target, the greater the financial losses.According to the Federal Trade Commission, the average individual loss due to romantic fraud for people over the age of 70 was $ 9,475, compared to $ 2,500 for all other age groups.

Another danger in romance scams is that it can also lead the victim to potential criminal acts, as international criminal gangs use dating sites to accidentally recruit so-called “money mules” to extort money illegally obtained through their bank accounts or other means. wash.

Romance scams cost Americans nearly $ 350 million in 2021 last year, according to cybersecurity researcher Edvardas Garbeñes. The radical social changes introduced since the epidemic could be a major reason for the increase in these operations, according to the “TechNewsWorld” platform in a recent report.

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The isolation of the Corona pandemic has allowed fraudsters to carry out large-scale romance scams (Shutterstock)

Impact of COVID-19

For many people, the past two years have been lonely, and for those who are lonely and need love and sympathy, Garbines said, it should come as no surprise that romantic deception is on the rise during this period. He pointed out that people were not used to being alone during 2020, and the situation did not improve in the following year, as many people confirmed that 2021 was worse than the previous one.

A recent telephone survey of the US government among 11,000 Medicare members revealed that 40% of respondents were less socially connected to family and friends than they were in November 2020, and these results laid the foundation for ‘ an increase in alarming in romantic fraud, this state of isolation has allowed fraudsters to carry out romance fraud on a large scale, as the previous report mentioned.

Million dollar losses

Garbinis leads the task of exploring the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest online threats, which led him to publish his own blog on AtlasVPN to alert clients and alert them to the significant risks involved. it contains. Online dating platforms.

Garbanis analyzed the Federal Trade Commission’s data and published his own summary of the growing threat to those seeking love online, as he said victims lost more than $ 343 million in the first three quarters of 2021, according to Garbis. that there has been so far there. no data is available for the fourth quarter of last year.

“Based on the information we have, it is safe to assume that the romance scams caused an estimated $ 500 million in damage over the past year,” Garbinis said.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that people between the ages of 60 and 69 have lost significantly more money in the past two years than any other group. About $ 139 million by 2020.

This does not mean that younger age groups were immune to romantic fraud, as people between the ages of 20 and 59 lost about $ 130 million in 2020, and they lost $ 187 million in the first three quarters of last year 2021, which is which This represents a growth rate of 44% over the previous year, even without recording losses for the fourth quarter of that year.

In short, all age groups suffer from romance scams on dating apps and social media sites.

Women were more vulnerable to romantic cheating in several countries of the world and not just in Australia, as the report showed (Pixels)

Women are more likely to be deceived than men

A report compiled by ScamWatch on romantic fraud in Australia in 2021 and recently published by CompariTech found that women are more likely than men to be subjected to romantic fraud, as the report found that 54.9% of those exposed to this fraud They were women, and 43.3% were men.

There was greater inequality in terms of financial loss, with women losing $ 21.5 million (about 75% of the total), while men losing about $ 7 million. In fact, women were more vulnerable to romantic cheating in different countries of the world and not just in Australia, the report showed.

Important tips to avoid fraud

The FBI offers a set of important tips to avoid deception by fraudsters who use the illusion of emotion and confidence to manipulate or steal their victims, the most important of which are:

  • Scammers use the details you share on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you, so be careful about the information you provide about yourself in these media.
  • If someone likes you, do not get carried away or get excited, just go slow and ask lots of questions.
  • Use an online search to verify a person’s photo, and to see if their photo and profile have been used elsewhere.
  • Beware if a person quickly asks you to leave an appointment service or social networking site to communicate directly via your phone or personal WhatsApp.
  • Beware of sending inappropriate photos or engaging with that person in inappropriate video chats, and beware of providing any financial information about you, or personal information that may later be used to blackmail you.
  • Be skeptical about promises to meet in person that are always canceled with multiple excuses.
  • Whatever the reasons and arguments, never send money to anyone you have communicated with online.

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