As the world is battling the third wave of COVID-19, another wave of a kind is usurping unsuspecting victims in its wake. This is the romance scam wave that rears its head now and then to claim unsuspecting victims along the way. 

According to the FTC, a total of 7,000 people reported losses to the tune of $80 million to cryptocurrency scams since October 2020, and the reported median loss was $1,900. The same report states that romance scams contributed to around 20% of the money lost through cryptocurrency transactions.

The good news is that there are expert recovery services agencies like that can help and assist you through the money recovery process, should you ever fall prey. Using their experience and expertise, these companies help recover the funds lost through unscrupulous means such as romance cryptocurrency scams.

The thing with romance scams is that the victim doesn’t realize it before it’s too late. To help recovery agencies help you, you must understand what a romance scam is and signs that you’re a victim of one such scam.

What Is Romance Scam and How It Works?

A romance scam is pretty old school when it comes to its modus operandi. The scammer targets the victim through phony dating profiles or social media pages. If you know dating apps or social media platforms, you would know how easy it is to create a fake but credible identity on the site.

The next step for the scammer is to zero in on the target(s) and initiate a conversation. Once the conversation gets rolling, it’s not long before the scammer starts empathizing, showering compliments, and doing everything they can to win your trust and admiration. 

The thing to note here is such romance scammers will go out of their way to ensure that direct contact or face-to-face meeting are avoided. This is to ensure that their identity is secret and prevent the risk of getting caught. A scammer’s most common tactic is to pretend to have a job that requires them to travel for long durations.

Once they are sure that the relationship is going steady, they would then ask for money through direct wire transfer or cryptocurrency. The reason could vary from anything like an emergency to help you double the amount by investing.

The more emotionally involved the victim, the more willing they are to provide the money. This is a type of psychological scam played out by patient and persistent scammers. Thus it’s not surprising that several victims have admitted to sending money — either online or through binary options — several times over the years for several reasons.

Why Do Scammers Prefer Cryptocurrency?

You must be wondering why scammers prefer cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency, by definition, means a digital currency that does not require a bank to transfer from one person to another. The main reason why scammers prefer crypto is because of its anonymity and since it’s unregulated.

Purchasing bitcoin and transferring it to someone does not even require the legal name or address of either sender or receiver. Therefore, when it comes to untraceable funds, cryptocurrency is like a gold mine for scammers. 

What Are the Signs That Indicate You’re a Victim of a Romance Scam?

According to the FTC, romance scams claimed $304 million in 2020, double what it was in 2019. Therefore, if you find yourself to be a victim, you’re not alone. There are several red flags that should tell you that you are being scammed. The most common sign is somebody being way too enamored, way too quickly. 

Additionally, the scammer will dissuade you from discussing the relationship with your friends and family. They will also be highly opposed to the idea of meeting in person or sharing contact details and addresses. While these red flags are very easy to spot, some scammers are good at what they do and find easy targets to manipulate. Therefore, you should not only educate yourself about such scams but be on the lookout for your beard and dear ones as well.

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Scammed?

The first and foremost step to take in case you have been scammed is to save the record of every single transaction that you have done to the scammer. This will help recovery agencies or law enforcement to find the culprit. Additionally, save or print out all your conversations with them, the profile used to perform the scam, and any other detail that would make it easier for agencies to track the scammer.

Once you are armed with all evidence, you can hire the services of a recovery agency. They will review the case, gather further evidence, confront the entities and get your money back.