Letitia James issues warning as New Yorkers increasingly fall for romance scams, with some victims losing up to $1M


New Yorkers need to stop mixing love with money.

Fraudsters are increasingly using dating apps, social media and unsolicited text messages to convince New Yorkers to make bogus investments, often in cryptocurrency.

Called “pig butchering,” perpetrators befriend their victims — fattening them up with elaborate stories — before going in for the kill and butchering them financially.

State Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning about the online romance scams due to the rising number of cases in New York.

“New Yorkers who fall victim to these frauds should know they are not alone,” James said.

A full two-thirds of the cryptocurrency-related complaints fielded by James’ office are related to these online crimes, a spokesman said, declining to provide specific numbers or cases.

The scammers typically spend time making victims believe that they are in a romantic or otherwise close personal relationship before pivoting to discuss trading or investment opportunities.

After a virtual meeting between the victim and the scammer, the conversation often transitions over to an encrypted chat platform such as WhatsApp or WeChat to shield the true identities of the perpetrators.

Victims have been duped out of sums ranging from tens of thousands to over $1 million, James said, typically after they deposit the funds into the scammer’s platform.

Fraudulent crypto investment schemes are a global billion-dollar industry, with scammers having swiped a shocking $75 billion from investors’ digital wallets, The Post reported in March. Often the perpetrators hail from overseas.

US authorities charged two Chinese nationals in a cryptocurrency scam that laundered at least $73 million from defrauded victims, the Justice Department said in May.

The post Letitia James issues warning as New Yorkers increasingly fall for romance scams, with some victims losing up to $1M appeared first on New York Post.

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