On the dating app Hinge, a woman looking for romance during the pandemic fell for a handsome architect in Maryland. Within a few weeks, according to the New York Times, he convinced her to invest more than $300,000 in a cryptocurrency exchange that only looked legit. The handsome architect turned out to be fake too.
There’s a new breed of scammer that appears to be going after “younger and more educated women on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge.”
Fraud is way up
Fraud was up almost 70% in 2021 over the year before, accounting for more than $5.8 billion in losses from 2.8 million complaints. Those numbers don’t even include losses and complaints from identity theft or debt collectors trying to collect bogus debts.
The average fraud loss is about $1,000, typically scammed by someone pretending to be someone to get personal or credit card data, according to the FTC.
But not everything is a romance scam. Most scammers pretend to be a government official or a rep from popular businesses. Amazon imposters alone account for $27 million a year in scammed losses.
More women are targeted
A reporter at Wired recently detailed the story of his mother getting scammed $11,000 by a caller reporting a data breach around Amazon. Fighting the fog of illness, she was easily misled, giving up passwords and identity details, before working frantically with her son and husband to get most of it back.
In Edina, Minnesota, a small business owner was recently scammed out of $2,000 by a woman pretending to work for Wells Fargo.
In Huntsville, Alabama, two women in two separate incidents were scammed out of thousands by a fake bank rep, one by phone, the other by text.
Seniors have long been a target for scammers, and while last year saw a 40% increase in scams targeting older Americans, 68% were women.
Younger Americans lose more
And while seniors over 80 lost $1,500 on average, younger Americans tended to be targeted more often, with consumers in their 20s losing a lot more – $4,500 on average.
Advocates insist more protective measures are needed, and reputable banks warn you should never share access codes or PINs via calls or texts from unknown persons. Most banks also won’t ask you to reach out to friends, family or anyone to send you money.
Bright Money is always safe
Bright Money uses bank-level encryption, so your transactions are always secure, and any deposits with Bright Money are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Bright Money also never shares or sells your data, using it only to enable credit card payments approved by you.
If you don’t have it yet, download the Bright Money app from the App Store or Google Play. Connect your checking account and your cards, set a few goals and let Bright get work, paying off your credit cards faster and building more savings, automatically.