NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Love hurts — and sometimes it hits the pocketbook the most.
Connecticut residents are losing a lot to fake love, according to a study from Social Catfish, which estimates that the average victim in the Constitution State lost 44,851 to a romance scam in 2022. That places Connecticut in eighth place for the most the average victim lost to a scam.
Romance scammers create fake dating profiles, develop relationships with their victims and then convince their victims to send them money. The top lie a scammer gives is that they need money because they, or someone they know, is sick, hurt or in jail, according to Social Catfish. They’ll also encourage victims to invest their money, lie about being in the military or say that they need help with a delivery. Of the scammers, 12% talk about getting married — even though they’ve never met.
Social Catfish said there has also been a rise in scammers who pretend to be celebrities, or who claim they got rich investing in cryptocurrency.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 70,000 Americans were the victims of romance scams last year, losing a collective $1.3 billion. That has skyrocketed from $145 million in 2018.
In Connecticut, 159 victims lost a collective $7.1 million to romance scams last year — a 12.5% in scams from the previous year.