A British senior recently fell victim of an online dating scam and lost the equivalent of 192 thousand euros. The 70-year-old woman had an online relationship with a man from Nigeria. However, the relationship was not what it seemed. The police managed to recover part of the loot.
A romantic bitcoin tragedy
The unfortunate victim had been in an online relationship since May 2020 with a man she had met on a dating website. The man pretended to be a doctor in the US army. The relationship soon took on romantic forms, but this all turned out to be illusory. The perpetrator made the woman believe he loved her. However, to be with her, he needed money to finish his contract in the army.
He persuaded the woman to transfer money via bitcoin (BTC) ATMs to his bitcoin address. However, when the victim found out that the relationship was not what it seemed, it was already too late. She had sent the con artist over £170,000.
The local authorities, in cooperation with the bank, managed to recover 135 thousand dollars. A spokesman for the police urges people in a similar situation to be very alert and not to hesitate to go to the police if they suspect fraud.
“We ask anyone who finds themselves in a similar scenario to contact the police. Don’t be ashamed to tell us what’s going on. We can help.”
Crypto scammers active on dating websites
The police also point out the risks of online dating, and call on people not to share personal information with strangers and not to send money. Scammers on dating websites seem to target ignorant and vulnerable individuals. A recent study shows that this type of romantic scam generated by far the highest sums for scammers in 2022, and was already popular before the advent of crypto.