Long Con Crypto Scammers Preying On Those Seeking Love Via Dating Apps

Some crypto scammers would establish online relationships – through dating apps such as Tinder – with their victims so that they can then part with their money.

According to a report published by The San Francisco Examiner earlier this month, techies in Silicon Valley have been hit hard by crypto scammers. The report profiles Cy, a Bay Area real estate analyst, who lost $1.2 million in a crypto fraud scam. Cy told the outlet that the criminal went so far as to end the two-month-long correspondence with the words “Now you have to go kill yourself.”

Cy, who signed up for a local psychiatric ward, said of the scam,

I lost more than money. I lost confidence in myself. I ruined my family’s life.

The report claims that Cy was the victim of a type of online crypto scam known as “pig slaughter” or “pork butcher– “sha zhu pan” (杀猪盘) in Chinese – where the victim is “fattened up” for an extended period of time as the criminal builds an online relationship with the target. The victim is then tricked into giving away their crypto-assets or money.

An FBI spokesperson told The Examiner:

The San Francisco FBI Division has seen a growing trend in which romance scammers persuade individuals to send money to invest or trade cryptocurrencies.


According to the report, the FBI estimated that 24,000 Americans collectively lost more than $1 billion to romance fraud in 2021. An investigator from San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm Sift found a similar trend, with one in 20 messages on a dating app linked to a scam.

Although Cy’s online relationship was not romantic in nature, he still fell victim to the extended engagements employed by romance scammers. Grace Yuen of the Global Anti-Scam Organization, a Singapore-based nonprofit, called this type of fraud “psychologically dark” but not uncommon. She said her organization has helped more than 1,400 victims, many from the Bay Area.

According to a article per CoinDesk, “Crypto romance scammers don’t just target those actively seeking to appointment via apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge.

The report went on to say that “crypto dating scams are not obvious at first” since “crypto dating scammers invest a lot of time in their victims, nurturing a relationship until they feel the trust has established and that the victim is ready to be exploited.” He also mentioned that scammers “continually flatter and make their victim feel good before scamming them, just like a farmer fattens a pig before slaughter” .

Additionally, the CoinDesk report stated that “victims of crypto dating scams systematically report that their online partner refuses to meet them in person or video call them because they are shy and not ready yet”, and that the reason is that “scammers use photos of other people to create realistic online profiles. ”

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