Online Dating Turns Into Bitcoin Scam Or Catfishing In Germany
Cybercrime experts are warning about the rise of a new kind of scam threatening people who use online dating platforms like Tinder and Bumble, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported late last week.
Photo Insert: The new model of catfishing involves criminals posing as wealthy individuals - or financial experts – who have made a lot of money through investing – often in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
It typically happens like this: Someone you've met online and been chatting to for weeks or months is dropping hints that they've made lots of money investing in a certain cryptocurrency.
Things soon turn into Bitcoin investment advice, and the victim is left out in the cold after transferring their savings to a seemingly professional-looking crypto investment website.
More and more cybercrime experts are reporting cases of people being scammed into sending money to fake exchange platforms as part of catfishing scams - when criminals assume a false digital identity to stage a romantic interest online and swindle someone out of money.
Germany's cybercriminal investigation experts are now among the latest to warn against this online dating scam after a 26-year-old man from near the southern city of Augsburg was cheated out of about 100,000 euros ($113,000) while online dating.
According to the police, the man had been chatting to a woman from abroad since the start of 2021 using a dating app. After a while, she convinced him to invest in cryptocurrencies on a certain online trading platform.
When the cryptocurrency values increased, the man invested more and more money from his private savings, police in Germany said. When he finally wanted to have the profits paid out, he realized that he had been scammed and then filed a complaint at the end of November. But things work differently with the new cryptocurrency catfishing scams.
"In the new model the criminals are posing as wealthy individuals - or financial experts – who have made a lot of money through investing – often in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin," The Cyber Helpline writes on its advice page. Generally speaking, alarm bells should be ringing if someone you've never met in person is giving you Bitcoin investment advice.