Bitcoin is great, and a romantic relationship with someone can be quite rewarding, but as we've learned in recent days, the two don't always go together. One woman who uses the dating app Hinge now has an empty wallet after someone posing as a potential boyfriend scammed her out of over $300,000 in bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a goal, not a romantic relationship

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous – she was 33 at the time of writing – says she was attracted to a man living in Maryland who identified himself as a Chinese architect. They spoke at the hinge after matching each other, and the conversation lasted about four months. Fearing exposure to the new coronavirus, the couple decided to keep their relationship far away until things calmed down.

Eventually, at the man's request, the conversation turned to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The woman mentioned that she had always been interested in the world of digital assets, and he eventually convinced her that the space was worth investing in – especially considering that prices were soaring so fast, so these assets could help fund their honeymoon and start their lives together.

Keeping that in mind, the woman soon found herself sending about $300,000 in bitcoin to a wallet address that she said appeared to be legitimate because it was backed by the Hong Kong digital exchange OSL. Sadly, she had no idea that the person she had been talking to for the past four months was a cryptocurrency scammer waiting to take action.

It turned out that the wallet that received the money was entirely in his hands. After getting the money, the man disappeared and the two never spoke again. The lady was completely heartbroken and now admits the whole situation was a huge lie.

Cryptocurrency-based dating scams like this one have been on a sharp rise over the past few years. According to a recent report released by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, such situations became prominent in 2021, growing by more than 80 percent over the previous 12 months.

In addition, the Oregon division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning to all cryptocurrency traders, explaining that approximately 1,800 people have fallen victim to these online scams, losing more than $130 million at press time.

Cases like this are on the rise

The warning states that scammers often disguise themselves as real people and often do everything they can to convince their victims that they are trustworthy. The organization explains the following.

Once the victim invests, the scammer allows the victim to withdraw a small amount of profit from the alleged account. After a successful withdrawal, the scammer instructs the victim to invest a larger amount of money and often urges the victim to “act fast”.

Tags: bitcoin, cryptocurrency scam, romance