Lovesick singletons are the biggest target for scam artists in America

By Kari Paul for MarketWatch

Love & Money is a MarketWatch series looking at how our relationship with money impacts our relationships with significant others, friends and family.

Roses are red, violets are blue — the gorgeous date you met online may be scamming you.

Romance-related scams are now the most costly form of online fraud, the Federal Trade Commission warned Tuesday.

Losses from dating-related fraud quadrupled in recent years, ballooning from $33 million lost in 2015 to $143 million lost in 2018. In many of these scenarios, people are convinced by strangers they meet online — often on dating apps — to fork over money.

‘These kinds of romance scams are very targeted social engineering attacks, effectively ‘hacking’ the victim’s emotions, rather than trying to perform a technical assault.’ —Nathan Wenzler, senior director of cybersecurity at Moss Adams

“These kinds of romance scams are very targeted social engineering attacks, effectively ‘hacking’ the victim’s emotions, rather than trying to perform a technical assault,” Nathan Wenzler, senior director of cybersecurity at Seattle-Wash. accounting, consulting, and wealth management firm Moss Adams, said.