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  • Romance scams netted scammers $1.3 billion in 2022


    Investment rates and extortion are the main signs of empty promise scams.

    Romance scams cost victims $1.3 billion in 2022, according to the latest figures from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Nearly 70,000 people reported these crimes in 2022, with an average reported damage of $4,400.

    Of the more than 8,000 cases reviewed, in 24% of scams, fraudsters pretended to be a relative of the victim and, under various pretexts - illness, going to prison or hospital - asked her for money.

    18% of frauds are connected with the promises of the criminal to teach how to invest. Due to the active spread of investment fraud, government agencies in the US and Europe have even issued warnings as law enforcement crack down on so-called "pig butchering" schemes.


    One of the brightest and most common examples of scams is the Pig Butchering Scam, in which a scammer ingratiates the victims and then tricks them into transferring money to him. Usually in these cases, the perpetrator convinces his victims to invest in cryptocurrencies using phishing websites. As soon as the victim transfers the money, the scammer disappears. It is worth noting that in November, the cyber police of Ukraine and Europol arrested 5 leaders of the international fraudulent network, which earned more than € 200 million a year by cutting pigs.

    The FTC also highlighted a growing number of cases of sex fraud (sextortion), in which the perpetrator convinces the victim to send him intimate photos, and then threatens to send them to all the user's contacts on social networks if the victim does not pay the ransom. According to the FTC, most often the scammer contacts the victim on Instagram* and Snapchat (58% of cases).

    According to Mika Aalto, CEO of cybersecurity software provider Hoxhunt, recovering stolen funds from a romantic scam or phishing attack is unlikely, but scam victims not only lose money, but also suffer great emotional damage from the knowledge that they trusted a scammer. and he used them.

    Author DeepWeb
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