Long-term crypto criminals target individuals searching for love through online dating

Some cryptocurrency fraudsters are establishing online connections with their victims using dating applications like Tinder to steal their money. As per an article published early last month by The San Francisco Examiner, crypto scammers have targeted Silicon Valley techies aggressively. Cy, a Bay Area property investment specialist who lost $1.2 million in a cryptocurrency fraudulent activity, is highlighted in the report. According to Cy, the offender moved above and beyond to conclude their two-month contact with the words “Now you’ll have to go kill yourself.”

According to the study, Cy became the target of a pattern of web crypto scams termed “pig slaughtering” or “pig butchering” — “sha zhu pan” () in Chinese– in which the victim is “fattened up” during the period while the attacker establishes a web connection with the victim. The user is then misled into surrendering their cryptocurrency or money.

As per the research, the FBI estimates that a dating scam would cost 24,000 Americans over $1 billion in 2021. An inspector with the San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm Sift discovered a similar pattern, with one out of every 20 communications on a dating application becoming a fraud.

“Crypto love fraudsters don’t simply attack individuals who are proactively trying to hook up via applications like Tinder, Match, and Hinge,” writes CoinDesk.

According to the research, “cryptocurrency dating frauds are sometimes not visible” because “crypto dating fraudsters devote a considerable effort to unsuspecting targets, establishing a connection until they believe that faith has been developed, and the target is poised to be victimized.” It further stated that the fraudsters “constantly praise and make their target feel amazing before tricking them, much as a butcher fattens a pig before actual slaughtering.”

Furthermore, according to the CoinDesk study, “victims of crypto dating frauds report significantly that their web partner refuses to negotiate to meet them in person or video call them because they’re nervous, as well as they ‘re not mentally prepared yet,” but that this is because “fraudsters use pictures of other people to produce realistic dating accounts.”

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