Romance and confidence fraud: Cybercrime’s $363 million secret


FBI expert tells the Avast Blog about fraud related to social media and dating sites, the second-costliest type of cybercrime

Crying out from near the top of the FBI’s cybercrime report last week was a heartbreaking statistic. The second-costliest category of crime, behind only compromised business email, was confidence and romance fraud, with a 2018 cost of $363 million.

What does romance fraud look like? The FBI cases read like the ultimate cautionary tales about not falling for smooth-talkers.

A Houston woman sent $2 million to “Charlie,” her apparent online boyfriend, whom she came to trust over months of correspondence. An Oregon man accepted money from his supposed online girlfriend and sent it to an account at her direction, not realizing he was laundering the money from other fraud victims.

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