Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
- Romance scams have been on the rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and cost Americans more than US$1 billion in 2021 alone.
- Perpetrators mainly target women over 40 who are widowed, divorced, elderly or disabled.
- “The victim just wants connection and companionship.
- The bad guy generally wants cold hard cash,” the FBI warned.
- Phishing attacks and social engineering, like romance scams, remain two of the most common crimes on the web.
- With an elderly and often non-tech savvy population thrust into remote work, that type of crime has become all the more lucrative as many are reaching out for human connection online.