Anyone looking for love on the Internet can quickly become the focus of criminals. In Bavaria, Germany, alone, at least €20 million has been scammed via single exchanges and social networks, according to the Zentralstelle Cybercrime. Investigators call the rapidly spreading fraud method “Tinder Trading Scams.” Scammers try to contact potential victims via dating portals such as Tinder or social networks such as LinkedIn.
“The total damage reported to the Zentralstelle Cybercrime Bayern (ZCB) so far alone amounts to about €20 million,” Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich told the German Press Agency in Munich. He added that the fraudsters used “perfidious methods” to obtain the money.
Romance scammers try to build proximity and trust via flirt messages. They then convince the victims to invest in cryptocurrencies. According to the Ministry of Justice, the perpetrators speak contemptuously of “pig butchering.”
Many victims did not dare to go to the police after the acts because of shame. The damage caused is, therefore, likely to be much higher. Even though the scam is named after the portal Tinder, it also occurs on many other sites. In the end, everything is gone – the money and the love.