Bitcoin is great and having a romantic relationship with someone can also be rather rewarding, but as we’re learning in recent days, the two don’t always go together. A woman that used the dating app Hinge now has an empty wallet after someone posing as potential boyfriend material scammed her out of more than $300,000 in bitcoin.
Bitcoin Was the Target, Not a Romantic Relationship
The unnamed woman – who is 33 years of age at the time of writing – says that she became attracted to a man claiming to be a Chinese architect living in Maryland. They spoke on Hinge after matching with each other and the conversation went on for roughly four months. Fearing COVID exposure, the pair decided to keep their relationship long distance until things calmed down.
Eventually, the conversation turned to bitcoin and crypto at the man’s request. The woman mentioned that she had always been interested in the world of digital assets, and he eventually convinced her that the space was worth investing in – especially considering prices were spiking so fast and thus the assets could potentially help fund their honeymoon and start their lives together.
The woman took this to heart, and soon found herself sending roughly $300,000 in bitcoin to a wallet address that she says looked legitimate as it was backed by OSL, a digital exchange in Hong Kong. Sadly, what she didn’t know was that the man she had been speaking to for the past four months was a crypto scammer waiting to make his move.
It turns out the wallet that the money was sent to was completely in his hands. Upon garnering the funds, the man disappeared and the two have never spoken again. The woman, completely heartbroken, now acknowledges that the entire situation was a big, fat lie.
Crypto-based dating scams like these have been rising heavily over the past few years. According to a recent report issued by Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, situations like these became heavily prominent in the year 2021, rising more than 80 percent from the previous 12 months.
In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Oregon division has put out a warning to all crypto traders, explaining that approximately 1,800 people have fallen victim to these online scams and have lost more than $130 million at press time.
Cases Like These Are Rising
The warning states that scammers often pose as real people, and typically go through great lengths to convince their victims that they are trustworthy. The organization explained the following:
Once the victim invests, the scammer allows the victim to withdraw a small amount of profit from the alleged account. After the successful withdrawal, the scammer instructs the victim to invest larger amounts of money, and he often pushes the victim to ‘act fast.’