#onlinedating | Why ‘romance fraud’ became big money in 2020 | #bumble | #tinder | #pof

As the global pandemic sent office workers home, forced businesses to close and imposed a general lockdown on practically everyone, it looked like romance was gone in 2020.

Given that people were no longer eating at restaurants, watching baseball games in-person or going out on the town to meet people, the only avenue left to find someone special was online. It’s also where fraudsters quickly congregated to take advantage of lovelorn consumers.

Further, in this online-only dating environment, fraudsters had an opportunity to hone their skills. Since romance frauds generate more than 10 times the money for scammers per event than other types of fraud, it’s no wonder 2020 saw a boost in the use of this tactic.

“The pandemic forced everyone into going online for everything and anything they wanted to do or buy,” said Neil Gilbert, vice president of risk at Netspend, a unit of Global Payments. ”This changed the dynamic in how we discern fraud in this new heavy digital environment. Also moving money from your bank account to your friend’s bank account has gotten easier. It’s great for consumers, but it’s also made it more convenient for fraudsters.”

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