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Why romance scam thrives in bull & bear markets



Crypto scam has become a thriving “market” for cybercriminals. This explosion has driven the creation of several kinds of scams resulting in the loss of billions of dollars yearly. One such scheme is called romance scam.

Romance scams involve the attacker starting a romantic relationship with the mark or victim and taking as much money as possible from the victim.

These scams, which are popular on dating sites, involve the use of promises of getting married, building a family, and optional blackmail to lure victims into releasing vital information about their crypto assets or outrightly sending cryptocurrencies to the attacker. 

In 2021 alone, $139 million worth of cryptocurrencies was taken away from victims by romance scammers. By the end of 2022, data showed that an average of $16,000 from each victim was taken away.

Faulty reporting by victims and correlation with the price of bitcoin

Further analysis of romance scams revealed that incoherent and irregular reporting by victims makes it hard for security agencies to follow through on the culprits. This situation is due to the emotional attachment between the persons involved which also means that the on-chain data of stolen funds is likely less than the total stolen funds.

Another trend observed by Chainalysis is that while the revenue of several types of scams increases or decreases concurrently with the price of bitcoin, that of romance scams goes in the opposite direction. Investment scams also go in the same direction as romance scams.

According to the report, the goal of most victims of romance scams is ‘to help someone they believe to be a potential romantic partner”. Therefore, market forces don’t have much effect on romance scams as the victim is not always trying to be rich, similar to situations in other scam types.

Throughout 2022, and despite the negative market sentiment, the report showed that romance scammers reaped more from their victims due to the “sustainability” of the scheme in both good and bad economic situations.

Read also;

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