Ever had a dating match open with many compliments and want to chat more privately off the dating app but “delay” meeting in-person? He’s a pro at giving you lots of attention, jumps online when you do, and is super interested in whatever it is you are doing or feeling. But, on your mention of filing taxes, changing jobs, or anything with a financial connection, he will pivot the conversation to how he’s figured out how to game crypto trading and can teach you to do the same. Consolations, you’ve met Mr. Crypto Suitor, a cyber criminal who uses dating apps as his hunting ground for victims. He’s so on point with his attention because just one crypto victim can net him hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars according to the US Secret Service.

The BS Detector Lights up

Here’s the thing. If he really is making tens of thousands of dollars crypto trading his own money, why hasn’t he borrowed more money to super-size his profit? If he’s so sure of his research, why isn’t he selling his methodology or algorithm to a business and be set for life?

And the biggest red flag: if he’s smitten enough with your online interactions to share his crypto knowledge, why doesn’t he find a way to meet you in-person? The purpose of using a dating app is to meet in-person. Anyone who wants to build a thorough virtual rapport before meeting has an agenda.

The Wrong Red Light Special

Mr. Crypto Suitor puts a crypto bend on the age-old get rich scheme. The twist is that he’s the one who’ll get rich from a few weeks’ work – off your money if you trust him. Remember that pivot he makes to crypto off whatever financial opening he finds? Ok, there’s a slim chance he’s a true crypto savant. But even if he is, remember, the purpose of communicating on the app is to meet someone to date. Some red lights to RUN from:

Can’t emphasize this enough: if he rather spend time with you virtually than in-person. This red line is true for physical relationships too. Someone who is romantically into you will want to be in-person with you.

If he suggests helping you set up a crypto trading account – especially if it’s an exchange you’ve not heard of.

If he tries to build your confidence by mentioning he’s helped teach relatives who are new to crypto profit from following his instructions.

If he offers to transfer money into your Coinbase or Crypto account (he has to start with a legitimate exchange to build your trust). Why would a stranger gift you money?

If he agrees to drop the crypto talk but brings it back up repeatedly. He’s pitching you investments instead of trying to take you out? That’s a drastic switch-up.

Correlation with Another Scammer 

Word from a cyber expert is, Mr. Crypto Suitor is the shorter time horizon version of Mr. Penpal. Both use dating apps to find their victims and both cite busy work or travel as “delays” for meeting, but really they can’t meet because they’re outside the US making themselves millionaires in their local currency from stealing hard earned US dollars.

Where these crypto scammers differ is that the former does a smash and grab while the latter builds an emotional bond over a longer period. The former knows the basics about you before pivoting to his scam. The latter tries to get you. Likely, the longer game’s result of a closer bond gives the criminal more “trust” leverage to manipulate you into bigger investments in his scam.