The search for love has become a global phenomenon, and technology has made it easier than ever to find a match. However, the rise of online dating and romance scams poses a significant threat to both individuals and their finances. These scams have evolved over time, becoming more sophisticated and difficult to detect.
According to Santander analysis, romance scams have increased in recent years, especially during Valentine’s Day. In the United Kingdom, one-third of the population has fallen victim to these scams. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission reported an increase in fraud since the onset of the pandemic, with victims over 60 years old losing around $180 million.
Virtual criminals are adept at exploiting vulnerabilities in individuals looking for love online. They prey on loneliness and trustworthiness by creating fake profiles and targeting unaware victims. Romance scams can take many forms, including financial fraud, identity theft, and emotional manipulation. Eset estimates that the global online dating market will reach almost $3.6 billion by 2025