Fasten your seatbelt. Online dating and romance scams are on the rise everywhere.
With March being fraud prevention month in Canada, a recent story in the Washington Post explained that romance scams are proliferating thanks to social media and dating apps, with the wider acceptance of cryptocurrency opening a whole new audience to the potential for being scammed.
The pandemic has only made everything worse, both increasing people’s social isolation while giving scam artists the perfect excuse to avoid meeting in person.
And these fraudsters are bad people, some targeting mentally and physically handicapped individuals. Organized crime is involved.
Romance scams are tricky. Once the heart is engaged, the brain is often lost. Greed and fear are powerful motivators, but love trumps them both.
It’s easy to talk about personality types and try to pinpoint who is most vulnerable to romance scams, but again — cryptocurrency and the pandemic are changing all the rules.
Used to be that the typical mark was a lonely middle-aged woman with impulsivity issues…