Feb 13, 2024 - Business

Charted: Love can hurt

Data: U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Chart: Axios Visuals

This Valentine's Day, keep an eye out for romance scams, Nathan writes.

  • More than 64,000 cases were reported to the FTC in 2023, with losses totaling $1.14 billion.

Threat level: While frequency has fallen, their median loss of $2,000 per victim makes them the costliest of any form of imposter scam, including business or government, the FTC notes.

How it works: The typical romance scammer contacts their target through social media, feigning love and deceiving people into sending money — often in the form of cryptocurrency or gift cards.

The bottom line: "A good rule of thumb: sad stories are usually scam stories," the FTC says.

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This story was an excerpt from Axios Closer, a recap on the day's biggest business stories.

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