Financial regulators in Belgium have identified the rise of a new kind of digital currency dating scam, warning individuals to exercise caution on platforms like Tinder.
The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) recently published a warning detailing the rise of cryptocurrency frauds on Tinder, which have seen victims lose out financially in their pursuit for love.
While cryptocurrency scams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are already commonplace, the move into dating apps like Tinder has seen the number and severity of attacks take a further step forward.
Like on other social media, fraudsters on Tinder are showing off seemingly rich lifestyles, often portraying themselves as financially independent, attractive women to lure unsuspecting male victims.
According to the FSMA warning, the fraudsters often target men who have activated paid membership features on dating apps, which they use as a filter for prospecting for victims of their investment fraud.
“Dating sites and apps such as Tinder are venues conducive to emotional scam attempts. These sites and apps have lately also been used to prospect for prey for investment fraud. Victims are mostly men. While looking for a date, they get in touch with women of allegedly Asian descent.”
The scammers quickly try to move conversation off Tinder to apps like WhatsApp, where the next step sees them bragging about their wealth and lifestyle, ostensibly achieved through digital currency investment.
When prompted by the victim, the scammer sends through a link to an ICO or other digital currency investment product, urging them to invest. In some cases, the fraudsters put the victim in touch with an “acquaintance who is a renowned trader or a financial adviser.”
In a stark concluding warning, the regulator urged those on dating apps to be wary of the risks of these frauds, stating, “Beware! Swindlers could well be hiding behind the features of the woman you see on the pictures. They have created a fake character with fake photos in order to manipulate you.”
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