A report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that romance scams are soaring, with more than 21,000 people reporting them in 2018.
Based on 21,368 reports about romance scams submitted, the FTC found that Americans involved had lost a total of $143 million, which was “more than any other type of consumer fraud” identified by the FTC’s team, the report stated.
“These reports are rising steadily,” the report added. “In 2015, by comparison, people filed 8,500… reports with dollar losses of $33 million.” The Consumer Federation of America also noted several romance scams in their latest report.
People over 70 losing $10,000 to scammers
The median loss to an individual who was a victim of a romance scam was $2,600 in 2018. That was “about seven times higher than the median loss across all other fraud types,” the report stated.
The demographic of people aged 40 to 69 reported the highest losses. Additionally, people over 70 reported the highest individual median losses due to a romance scam — a staggering $10,000.
The report noted that romance scammers lured people with fake online profiles, “often lifting photos from the web to create attractive and convincing personas.”