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.

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:45 p.m. ET: 5,763,122 — Total deaths: 358,235 — Total recoveries — 2,389,735Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:45 p.m. ET: 1,715,811 — Total deaths: 101,337 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Education: Science fairs are going virtual, and some online elements may become permanent.
  6. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  7. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."