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.
Based on the findings, it is safe to assume that romance scams caused somewhere around $500 million in damages throughout the entire 2021. The figures for the research were extracted from the official Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website.
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 (those aged 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 also are not immune to romantic impersonators.
Individuals aged 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.