Swipe Right For Scams? Canadian Authorities Warn Of Rising Crypto Frauds On Dating Apps

As summer heats up, so does the activity of crypto scammers on Canadian dating apps and websites. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has reported a troubling rise in romance and investment scams, also known as ‘pig butchering’ targeting individuals on dating platforms, involving sophisticated schemes that leverage cryptocurrencies.

Dark Side of Digital Love: Combatting Crypto Scams on Dating Platforms

According to the announcement, the Scammers begin these deceptions by forming connections on popular dating sites, quickly shifting conversations to private messaging services to isolate their victims.

As relationships ostensibly deepen, these malicious actors introduce the idea of lucrative digital currency investments, exploiting trust built over time to encourage financial commitments.

Once the trap is set, victims are persuaded to invest in high-return digital currency schemes on platforms that are nothing more than sophisticated facades. These platforms often allow victims to withdraw initially, fostering a false sense of security and functionality.

However, when larger sums are invested, access to funds is suddenly restricted or entirely blocked, with the scammers vanishing or the platforms shutting down, leaving the investors with substantial losses.

Personal information handed over during the investment process further compounds the risk, leading to potential identity theft or additional fraudulent activities under the victim’s name.

Recognizing the severity of these crimes, the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) has joined forces with the CAFC to combat these fraudulent activities.

They have issued joint warnings to the public, emphasizing the importance of vigilance when approaching investment opportunities through new or unverified contacts, particularly those involving digital currency.

Both organizations encourage anyone who encounters or suspects such schemes to report them immediately to the authorities, helping to prevent further victimization and assist in tracking down those responsible for these exploitative practices.

Institutional Adoption Rises Amid Fraud Concerns

This surge in fraudulent activity occurs against a backdrop of growing cryptocurrency adoption in Canada, particularly among institutional investors.

A recent survey by KPMG in Canada and the Canadian Association of Alternative Assets and Strategies (CAASA) highlighted a notable increase in institutional engagement with cryptocurrencies.

From 2021 to 2023, the percentage of institutional investors with crypto assets rose from 31% to 39%. Notably, one-third of these institutions have allocated at least 10% of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies, reflecting a robust belief in the asset class’s long-term potential.

The interest in digital currency has spurred Canadian financial institutions to expand their crypto-related services. According to the survey, half of the financial organizations now offer at least one crypto service, up from 41% two years ago.

These services range from trading platforms and custody solutions to quantitative trading strategies designed for the digital currency market.

Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView