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Sheriff’s Office sees rise in romance scams on online platforms involving Lake County residents


By Sam Borcia, Lake & McHenry County Scanner:

The sheriff’s office is warning residents about ongoing cryptocurrency romance scams they say are on the rise involving Lake County residents.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said Wednesday that sheriff’s detectives have seen an increase in romance-based scams that come from dating apps, social media apps and other platforms. Communication.

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“These scams work when the scammer befriends the victims, usually on a dating app or other social media app,” Covelli said.

The scammer will then trick and “romance” the victim into believing they are in a legitimate relationship through regular and ongoing communication with the victim, he said.

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Once the victim is tricked into believing that they are in a relationship and can trust the other person, the scammer convinces the victim to buy popular cryptocurrencies from crypto exchanges. legitimate currencies, such as Coinbase or Binance.

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“The victim usually doesn’t suspect anything is wrong at this point because they can see the cryptocurrency in their account,” Covelli said.

The scammer then tricks the victim into believing that they can make more profit by exchanging these legitimately purchased cryptocurrencies to another cryptocurrency exchange.

These secondary exchanges are often fraudulent and have websites that appear legit.

“The scammer will then tell the victim to send their cryptocurrency to that other exchange and give them details of where to send it, which often includes a cryptocurrency ‘wallet’,” Covelli said. .

Once the victim sent their cryptocurrency to unknown cryptocurrency wallets, Covelli said it was extremely difficult to track their whereabouts or for law enforcement to develop a suspect.

Those unsure of the legitimacy of a cryptocurrency exchange should conduct research and seek reviews, the sheriff’s office said.

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“If you can’t find data on the exchange, it’s likely fraud. As always, everyone should be extremely careful with anyone you meet online,” Covelli said.

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