1. Romance, Confidence, and Grandparents scams
Fake love is not romantic, and it's hard to trust someone again once your confidence was undermined. That's why it feels even more inhumane to do it with elderly people, who might have been hoping to find a partner to spend their retirement with.
Let's dive into two schemes reported and highlighted in the IC3 report.
Scheme #1, Confidence or Romance Scams:
Over 7k people over 60 reported to IC3 that they fell victim to this type of scam. Their total losses were around $419M. Here, we're talking about the "experts" in what they do: the scammers establish a connection, pretend to care, and then start asking for money.
Scheme #2, Impersonation of a relative:
"Luckily", around 400 victims over 60 reported to IC3, and their total losses were approximately $3.8M. How? A scammer sends a message on behalf of the loved one (e.g., a niece or a grandchild) pretending to be in a state of emergency. Probably not able to get in touch with their families to confirm, a victim panics and transfers the money. How platforms can spot fake dating profiles:
- Profile overall impression: does it smell like catfishing?
- Message content: does it looks suspicious? Did multiple users receive the same message?
- Geolocation: a user is based in country X but your platform never had anyone from there?
- Poor grammar: does a US-based user make obvious mistakes?
“I am so much blessed to have you in my life, my dear.” These are the words WE should be telling our grandparents and not scammers.