How the scam works
You “swipe right” on an attractive man or woman 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 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.
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 an unsecure 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.
For more information
Learn about money mule scams on the Federal Bureau of Investigations website. Also, read about a new romance scam that involves tricking victims into sending CARES Act money.
In Canada, people are asked to report crypto fraud to their provincial securities commission, which is governed by the Canadian Securities Administrators. Crypto scams can also be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
If you’ve been the victim of scam, please report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others to stay alert and avoid similar scams.