Feb 14, 2019

Love's multi-million dollar scam industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last year, people in search of true love were scammed out of $143 million — which means love is the new, most lucrative target for consumer fraud, according to FTC data.

The big picture: Just three years before, there were fewer than 9,000 romance scam reports with a total loss of $33 million. But as online dating has become common place and socially acceptable, the number of reports of romance scams more than doubled to 21,000 reports in 2018.

Older people who are now beginning to date online are the most susceptible to scammers who often create fake profiles on dating apps, sites or social media platforms.

  • 4069 year olds were twice as likely to fall prey to these scams than people in their 20s, according to the FTC.
  • The median loss for people over 70 years old was $10,000 in 2018.

Be smart: Don't send money to anyone you haven't met in person — no matter how in love with them you might be.

Go deeper with Axios' Future of Dating Deep Dive.

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China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.