Swiping Right On Dating Apps Is Landing Canadians In Major Crypto Scams

Canadian dating apps and websites have become the new playground for cryptocurrency scammers, as authorities urged citizens to exercise caution when engaging in conversations about cryptocurrency investments with online matches.

What Happened: The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization have jointly issued a warning about the increasing threat of scams involving “extended online communication,” according to a report by Cointelegraph on Wednesday. These scams, known as pig butchering or romance scams, often originate on dating platforms.

Scammers initiate interactions with potential victims on these platforms and try to shift the conversation to a private messaging service. They then introduce topics related to cryptocurrency trading or investments, which authorities flagged as a warning sign.

Victims are often enticed by unrealistic cryptocurrency investment schemes and manipulated into signing up on fraudulent investment platforms.

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Once the victim’s identity is compromised, their invested funds become inaccessible. However, to maintain a semblance of legitimacy, the scammers initially allow victims to withdraw small amounts from their investments.

In 2023, Canadians were defrauded of $309.4 million through known investment frauds, with $172 million originating from social media-related frauds alone. The authorities are encouraging Canadians to report such fraud incidents to the CIRO, CAFC, and local police.

Why It Matters: The rise in cryptocurrency scams on dating apps in Canada is part of a broader trend.

A new study estimated losses worth $75 billion since Jan. 2020 due to pig-butchering scams, as reported by Bloomberg.

In March, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a forfeiture action to recover cryptocurrency traced back to a pig butchering romance scam.

Read Next: ‘Cathie Wood Of Ark Invest Believes Ethereum ETF Approval Linked To US Politics, Sees Likelihood Of A Solana ETF As Well

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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