FBI Reports $130 Million Lost to Romance Scams in 2021

The FBI has reported that over $130 million has been lost as a result of romance scams so far this year in the US.

According to the organisation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), over 1,800 complaints have been received throughout the first three-quarters of 2021, resulting in a total loss of $133.4 million.

While this number appears to be very high, it does indicate that there might be a full year drop compared to 2020. The federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported more than $300 million was lost during 2020, inflated by the number of people using dating services during lockdowns.

Romance scams are some of the most popular types of online fraud. Bad actors tend to pose as potential love interests to gain the trust of their victims. They then ask them to send money for a variety of different reasons, such as plane tickets, medical bills or cryptocurrency investments.

Last week, the FTC issued a fresh warning to the LGBTQ community to make sure they know who they’re speaking to on dating platforms.

They are seeing a rise in blackmail and extortion scams. This involves fraudsters holding explicit messages and images ransom and threatening to contact a victim’s loved ones if they don’t send payment.

Taimi’s co-founder and CEO Jake Vygnan recently penned a blog post to address the mental health issues that excessively affect the LGBTQ community. It was published in time for World Suicide Prevention Day as LGBTQ youth are 3.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual individuals.

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