Romance scams, also known as love scams, are a lucrative scam for the perpetrators. They first initiate a romantic contact with their victim and then demand money from him or her. The Internet protects the scammers, who in many cases do not have to reveal any real information about themselves. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and increasingly Monero, give them another advantage because they receive their loot within a short period of time and do not have to disclose any bank data.
How to recognize the scammers? How to protect yourself from a scammer and how do victims get their money back?
Don't let the scammers get away with crypto and money
For many victims of a romance scam, the question arises how it could happen to them of all people and how they could fall for the scammer. This is often associated with a lot of shame, what others might think about it, and in the end the victims often blame themselves.
As a result, they do not report to authorities, lawyers and private investigators to report the love fraud. This is a critical mistake!
Blockchain analysis is an excellent way to track and document the perpetrators' traces, which is extremely helpful when the lawyer is formulating the complaint. Crypto-Tracing investigates on behalf of victims and forensically secures data and traces left by the perpetrators. These exploit the emotional connection to their victims and often persuade them to invest large sums in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies via fictitious online trading platforms. It is not uncommon for victims who have lost hundreds of thousands of euros in the crypto scam to contact us.
Fraud schemes are set up on social media
The perpetrators often establish contact via Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Telegram. In doing so, they initially involve their victims in a conversation that is harmless. Therefore, the initiation of contact by a fraudster is not recognizable at first glance. In fact, crypto scammers invest a lot of time to build trust with victims and maintain a real relationship with them. This builds up a high level of trust, which is ultimately to be exploited.
If the victim falls for the flattery, the frequency of messages exchanged increases. It is not uncommon for the scammers to contact the victim more than 60 times a day in order to make the relationship as close as possible and give it continuity. These methods fall under the umbrella term of social engineering, in which targeted manipulation is used to achieve a specific goal.
Part of the scam is also that the actual crypto fraud is addressed rather casually, when the relationship between perpetrator and victim is solidified. To this end, initial purchases are first encouraged on reputable crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance. This also takes advantage of the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies and slowly introduces victims to the topic. Again, the victims are first "fed" by the crypto scammer. It starts with small sums and ends with horrendous amounts
What can victims of a crypto romance scam do?
If you feel that you have become a victim of Romance Scams, then you should definitely pay attention to and follow the following steps:
- Cease payments immediately: If payments have not yet been made, please do not make any payments. If payments have already been made, stop all payments immediately. Likewise, you should not respond to offers made to you after the payment has been stopped. After the payments have been stopped, the perpetrators usually claim that they will get the money back for a fee. In some cases, a recovery service will even contact you without being asked. The scammers also like to present fake requests from authorities to encourage the victims to make further payments. Whatever happens, do not continue to pay under any circumstances! Also refrain from opening new accounts and do not disclose any other data about yourself.
- Preserve evidence: Evidence is essential in a love scam. Take screenshots of all trading platforms. Also, back up all text messages with the crypto scammer. The same goes for emails, phone numbers, social media profiles and any other information you can obtain and secure yourself. These are not only important for evidence, but also help to track transactions of the perpetrators on the blockchain. This is especially true for wallets, and transaction data, TX IDs, and send and receive addresses for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Hire an expert: We have broad experience with trading and crypto fraud. In addition to blockchain forensics for evidence, we work closely with specialist lawyers. Both facilitate criminal charges and further proceedings enormously. We are happy to accept your request via our contact form. Of course, we treat all information you share with us in this context as strictly confidential.
How do I get my money back?
The money that has gone into a crypto romance scam is not automatically lost. The scammers are usually located abroad, but their actions are also punishable there, so they are not immune from prosecution. However, it is not enough to simply file a report. Fake trading and crypto platforms are mostly taken offline and social media profiles are deleted when payments are stopped. However, the trail left by the use of cryptocurrencies can never be erased. This is because blockchain technology is based on the idea that all transactions remain transparent and verifiable. However, one must also be able to adequately evaluate the available data.
Crypto-Tracing has the necessary knowledge, equipment and skills in IT and blockchain forensics. We can compile information about the perpetrators that cannot be obtained through traditional means. Cryptocurrencies are by no means anonymous and transactions in Bitcoin or Ethereum can be traced across exchanges and wallets.
Rely on Crypto-Tracing's specialized knowledge in blockchain forensics.
By tracking activity on the blockchain, money flows can be made visible and ensure that they can be linked to the perpetrator by police investigations. This way, the perpetrators cannot hide behind the payment history with cryptocurrencies. In cooperation with a specialized lawyer, all efforts can be directed in the right direction. A professional blockchain forensics and the criminal complaint are important steps so that you can get the money back.
We analyze your situation, the data and available material and in a personal conversation we show you the necessary steps and possibilities to get the money back. In addition, we can help you with the preservation of evidence and also assist you in contacting the authorities (BaFin, police, public prosecutor's office) and arrange for help from a lawyer. He will examine claims for damages and the legal component of a possible recovery of funds. He is also the contact person for initiating criminal proceedings or assists you in these matters if charges have already been filed. In addition, we check for you whether there is a risk of identity theft, because it is not uncommon for the fraudsters to obtain sensitive data such as copies of ID cards. In this way, we can prevent further damage from being done, which might end up getting them into even greater trouble.
We have wide experience in the field of crypto scams, romance scams or love scams and represent the interests of victims of these and other scams. With our forensic measures, we have often managed to pick up the trail of the perpetrators.