Indiana and Kentucky Residents Lost Millions to Romance Scams in 2022
Romance scams are rampant online, and in 2022 Hoosiers and Kentuckians lost a lot of money to scammers. Here is how to protect yourself from online scams.
Have you ever heard of a romance scam? Well if not, it's basically a scam where someone pretends to be someone else online (a catfish), and they use emotions to manipulate the victim to send them money. In many of these romance scams, the victim actually develops feelings for the scammer and believes they are dealing with someone who also has feelings for them. In reality, they are just being manipulated by a scammer who just wants money and will say whatever they can to get it.
A report from the FTC in 2022 says that the amount of romance scams online is growing at quite a staggering rate. Here is what the FTC has to say about romance scams:
Romance scammers draw people in using pictures stolen from around the internet, building false personas that seem just real enough to be true, but always having a reason never to meet in person. Eventually, the supposed suitor will ask for money from the unwitting consumer. The impact can be major, with a median loss of $2,400 reported to the FTC.
While many people report the romance scam started on a dating site or app, reports of romance scams originating from contact through social media were also common.
The FTC also went on to say that scammers are also luring people into scams using cryptocurrency, and the median amount lost by victims to scammers using cryptocurrency is over $10,000.
Hoosiers Falling Victim to Romance Scams in 2022
According to a report from Comparitech, in 2022 1,379 Hoosiers fell victim to romance scammers. In total, these 1300+ Hoosiers lost over 12 million dollars to romance scams alone. The exact number is $12,243,989. It's important to note, that these are just the scams that were reported. Many go unreported.
Kentuckians Falling Victim to Romance Scams in 2022
According to the report on romance scams in 2022 from Comparitech, in Kentucky 905 people fell victim to romance scams. Those 905 Kentuckians lost over 11 million dollars to scammers. $11,087,848 to be exact.
How To Avoid Becoming a Victim
SocialCatfish.com is a website that hosts all kinds of resources to help people make sure they aren't being scammed. They run a series on YouTube called ScamFish that highlights victims' stories of being scammed online. It's truly sad how these people are manipulated and lied to.
Social Catfish says you should be aware of these red flags:
- Photos that are too good to be true: If the person in the photo is overly attractive or seems to lead an extraordinary lifestyle, it could be a red flag that the photo is not genuine.
- Photos that are not recent: A catfish may use old or outdated photos in order to conceal their true appearance.
- Photos that are vague or blurry: A catfish may use photos that are not clear or are taken from a distance in order to make it more difficult to identify them.
- Photos that are stolen or copied from other sources: Some catfish use photos that belong to someone else, such as a celebrity or a model, in order to create their fake identity.
They also say you need to make sure you verify someone's identity before ever sending money to them. To read more about romance scams, and to see the top 100 images that are stolen online and used for romance scams, check out Social Catfish's full article, here.