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Romance scams 'cost Americans almost $350 million in 2021'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Impersonators found the pandemic to be a treat - they have a legitimate excuse as to why they can not meet up in person, at least for now. This allowed fraudsters to carry out romance scams on a larger scale than ever before.

Atlas VPN analysis reveals that heartbroken victims lost upwards of $343 million in the first three quarters of 2021.

As of yet, there is no data for Q4 2021. Based on the information that we do have, it is safe to assume that romance scams caused somewhere around $500 million in damages throughout the entire year.

The figures for the research were extracted from the official Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website. The FTC has a website where romance scam victims can submit their complaints and receive further help.

In 2020, impersonators swindled $268 million from victims of all age groups. In Q1/Q3 2021, monetary damages exceeded $342 million, representing a 27.7% growth.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that elders ages 60-69 lost significantly more money than all other groups in 2020 and 2021. This was the case in 2019, as well.

However, younger Americans are not immune to romantic impersonators, far from it.

Individuals ages 20-59 lost $130 million in 2020 and $187 million in Q1/Q3 2021, a growth of 44% even without the data on losses in Q4.

2021 is one of the loneliest years

For those who have been monitoring their emotional health, it might be obvious why there is a rise in romantic scams.

According to newly disclosed statistics from a recent government telephone survey of 11,000 Medicare members, 40% said they felt less socially connected to family and friends than they did in November 2020. Moreover, 28% of respondents said they were more stressed or anxious, and 22% said they felt lonely or depressed.

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