CHICAGO — When it comes to romance scams in the state of Illinois, a new study shows Illinoisians are falling hard.

According to Social Catfish, Illinois ranks No. 10 with 506 victims losing $17.8 million in 2022. The state finished 24th among states with the highest average loss per victim at $35,137. The reverse search technology company compiled a list using data from the FBI and Federal Trade Commission.

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The 10 states that lost the most money include:

  • 1.) California
  • 2.) Texas
  • 3.) Florida
  • 4.) New York
  • 5.) Arizona
  • 6.) Virginia
  • 7.) Washington
  • 8.) Ohio
  • 9.) North Carolina
  • 10.) Illinois

Nearby Michigan and Wisconsin ranked 11th and 13th, respectively.

Other key findings of the study suggest that crypto is the leading payment method for romance scams. As for how? The study found being “sick, hurt, or in jail” or “I can teach you how to invest” as the top reasons many get duped.

Americans lost a record $1.3 billion to romance scams in 2022, up 138% from $547 million in 2021, according to Social Carfish. It’s the third-largest single-year hike over the past five years.

Illinois was one of four new states who entered the top 10 in 2022 for total money lost, with Arizona, Ohio and North Carolina being the others.