On social media, cryptocurrency scams have been targeting the LGBTQ community via dating apps and other platforms. The government of Massachusetts issued an official warning about the situation.
In its mass consumer affairs blog, the government said that it was considering a previous warning by the FTC that scammers could take advantage of Pride Month and target this community.
In the blog, the government says that a victim may be contacted by a scammer posing as a partner, friend, or family member. They would then try to emotionally manipulate their prey into their scam. They may also develop a relationship with the victim (usually a romantic) to then receive gifts and cash.
“Alternatively, scammers will develop new relationships with their target, usually with romantic intentions to then receive monetary gifts and steal personal information.”
They advised us to not engage in such transactions or conversations online. The warning signs include social media friend requests from new profiles with no mutuals and the ones with minimal prior activity. Matches on dating apps that refuse to meet are also a ‘red flag.’
According to the FTC, consumers have lost over $1 billion in crypto-related frauds since January 2021. The top three most prevalent types of fraud included romantic frauds alongside business/government impersonation frauds and bogus investment schemes.