Did you receive lots of messages from Valentine last Tuesday? Well i did …but unfortunately none of them very romantic.
The so-called Romance scams hit record highs in 2021 according to a report of the US Federal Trade Registry (FTC), with a reported loss of around $550 million dollar in total. And you might think this only happens to the oldies amongst us … but it’s actually not. Romance scams increased for every age group in 2021 as compared to the years before, but for people aged between 18 to 29 the growth was most strikingly, probably also due to Covid lockups (a good reason to drink a coffee together in the office again).
Anyway you probably know how it works, isn’t it? Great stories, lots of promises and stories to good to be true and before all the promises come through, you have to give something first.
Although romance scams are well-known in the personal domain, they are also appearing more and more in the business domain. Companies looking for business partnerships and requesting upfront investments before even meeting and discussing, but also fake recruitment sites with high promises and demanding a lot of personal information which later on will be used in scams and so on and so on … same techniques different audience.
These ever-increasing scams feed a continuous feeling of suspicion which is very sad. Sincere interactions should spark spontaneity and opportunism and contribute to the intrinsic motivation of collaborating to create beautiful new things together.
Long story short, when received at the right moment, scams might address direct needs or urgent fears and one might get the feeling of missing the prince(ss) on the white horse. So better think twice sharing your assets.