On Valentine’s Day, some steal hearts, some steal money, and some steal both. A recent and timely U.S. Federal Trade Commission report found that the number of romance related scams have been on the rise over the past four years.
In 2015, about $33 million worth of romance scams were filed with the FTC and by 2018, that number rose to $143 million. The number of people reporting romantic scams has also increased; 8,500 people reported that type of fraud to the FTC in 2015, while in 2018 about 21,000 individuals reported romantic scams.
According to the FTC, generally romantic scams start online, luring people in with “lifting photos from the web to create attractive and convincing personas.” The scammer makes up a name or pretends to be an actual person, often pursuing people on social media platforms, like Facebook or on dating apps.
After they have lured people into their fake persona, they begin asking for money, often citing medical emergencies or travel. The median loss reported from romance scams in 2018 was $2,600. For people over the age of 70, the median loss for romantic scams was $10,000. Most people wired money or gave reusable gift cards, some people even handed over their PIN, all largely irreversible money transfers.
This chart shows the total loss in romance related scams in the U.S. between 2015 and 2018
The Statista "Chart of the Day", made available
under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0, may be used
and displayed without charge by all commercial and
non-commercial websites. Use is, however, only permitted with
proper attribution to Statista. When publishing one of these graphics,
please include a backlink to the respective infographic URL.
The Statista "Chart of the Day" currently focuses
on two sectors: "Media and Technology", updated
daily and featuring the latest statistics from the media,
internet, telecommunications and consumer electronics
industries; and "Economy and Society", which
current data from the United States and around the
world relating to economic and political issues as well as
sports and entertainment.
For individual content and infographics in your Corporate Design,
please visit our agency website
Any more questions?
Get in touch with us quickly and easily. We are happy to help!