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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Online dating sites are home to some cryptocurrency scams

As if dating wasn’t difficult enough already!
Cryptocurrency scams target people on popular dating sites and apps, such as Tinder. The Better Business Bureau says: “Don’t let your quest for love blind you to red flags.”
How the scam works
You “swipe right” on someone attractive on a dating app and the app instantly matches you with them.
After starting up a conversation, the alleged mate quickly takes the conversation off of the platform and to a texting app, such as WhatsApp or WeChat.
Once on the texting app, the scammer starts talking about how they have a family member who is a successful cryptocurrency investor. This person has inside trading information that could make you rich!
Your new love interest encourages you to take advantage of this “exclusive opportunity.” All you need to do is deposit money in a cryptocurrency trading platform.
But once you make a deposit, the money is gone forever. Your new “love” blocks you on all platforms and stops replying to your messages.
One victim reported to BBB Scam Tracker that after talking to a woman on Tinder, she persuaded him to invest on a fake trading cryptocurrency platform. When he tried to withdraw his money, the funds were automatically reversed back into his account.
The feature was allegedly a “system security” to help prevent money laundering. The victim was then told the account needed to have a minimum balance of $3,000 before he could withdraw funds.
After trying several times, the victim was unable to recoup his money.
A few tips
BBB recommends following these tips to protect yourself from this scam
• Never send money or personal information to someone you’ve never met in person. If they continue to pressure you to invest on a crypto trading platform, research the investment platform first.
• Communicate on the dating app. If a love interest appears to be in a hurry to get off the dating app to a non-secure chat app, that is a red flag.
• Ask specific questions about details given in a profile. A scammer may stumble over remembering details or making a story fit.
• Research the dating profile. Many scammers steal photos from the web to use in their profiles. Conduct a reverse image lookup using a website like tineye.com or images.google.com to see if the photos on a profile are stolen from somewhere else. Search online for a profile name, email, or phone number to see what adds up and what doesn’t. Report what you find to the dating app.
Share your scam story
Local law enforcement is concerned about the impact of scams on area residents, particularly the elderly.
Consequently, this newspaper works with local police and sheriff’s departments to keep residents updated on common schemes. Scam Alerts will appear in future editions as often as possible in the coming weeks.
Readers can also find online scam updates Thursdays at windomnews.com.
If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential).
Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing, you could prevent someone from being scammed.

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