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It might not be you they’re after

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If you’re lookin’ for love (sometimes in all the wrong places), chances are you’ll wind up on an online dating site at some point. Those who use dating sites can attest: you’ll meet some nice people there – and you’ll probably meet some weird people, too. You’ll have good dates and bad (and great and awful). And, unfortunately, as some people can attest, you might just meet some scammers.

We hear these stories all the time, and they tend to go a little like this: “I met this really nice woman on [fill in the name of the dating site]. Her membership was about to expire, so we switched to email. She’s from the US, but she’s working in [fill in the name of another country]. We connected right away, and we’re planning to meet. But things are a little tight for her right now because of [fill in reason for no money]. So I wired her the money for the ticket….”

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It really is. You’re on a dating site to meet people, and it seems like you have. But let the warning bells ring if you see or hear:

  • an immediate request to leave the site. Many online dating sites have protections in place to help protect you from scammers.
  • love at first sight. Most of us are hopeful people, but wow – love based on a profile and a couple of emails?  Hmm. Sure, explore that, but watch out.
  • any request for money. ANY request. For any reason: plane tickets, visas, a child’s (mother’s, whoever’s) hospital bill, expenses until their ship comes in…. That is a sure sign of a scam. Block and delete them and move along.
  • any mention of wiring money. If you wire money, it’s gone. Buh-bye. You’ll never see it again. Good for scammers, bad for you.

So, in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, do us a favor: keep in mind that you want someone who’s after you, not your money – and that warning bells can sound like wedding bells if you’re not listening carefully.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Sounds like a perfect place to score, and not just a date or relationship. Very useful observation! Thanks.

I'd also add if you are using an online dating site, do NOT say you are a widow or widower. I've talked with several people who have lost a ton of money to this kind of scam and what they had in common was they mentioned they had lost their spouse. I think scammers look for this.

So what happens after you've wired the money? All bets are off? Is there anything that can be done if the scammer remains out of the country? Or if the scammer shows up at one's doorstep?

Even if you wire the money within the US, it is almost certainly GONE.

the most popular date site has alot of theses scammers. One contacted me, said he was from area but working for private firm in Nigeria, email #3 bad luck, was in a wreck and need help, fortunatly i caught on quick something was wrong when i told him to go to embassy for help. next day he was off the site with at least that name. warned a girl at work who encountered the same thing different name. They are out there big time and around valentines day when peope are at there weakest.

I was on a dating site advertised on tv thought it would be safe, we went from chatting there for awhile to more private on Facebook IM. Well after a week of chatting every day 5-8 times in a day, talking about ourselves and our lives. He wanted to come home he is in the military and had to pay for the leave, telling me I would get the money back from the Army 4 days after he was home. I got forms via my email. I wired the money to the government. Thinking I had finally found my prince charming. Well then he need to pay for some accident and then he needed a ticket from London, he talked my brother into sending him the money, saying he would be Valentine's day and return every penny. Then there was no military transport till November. I said he would have to wait, I have no more money. I borrowed, the stress put me in the hospital with multiple mini stokes. Now I'm stuck with loans and such and I'm disabled.

hello i read ur story and i think i have been scammed too i met someone on a dating site also and they told me they are in the military aswell after a week he told me to delete my account on the dating site so we could talk on yahoo .we added each other and he told me he is in the us military but lives in australia .i am from australia and found this strange and asked lots of questions and he answered them all which i have recently found to be a lie .we have been chatting for 4 months and the first 3 months we talked 4 5 times aday which i also found strange he was more than willing to give me information in regards to being on patrol and other info i know soldiers wldnt be allowed to give out the first time he asked me for money was for his ticket home he told me the military dont pay for the ticket home and cld i give him the money and he wld give it back when he got home the second time was theyre food truck got blown up and he needed money for food . luckily i didnt have any money to give him so none was sent but then he told me his captain cld transfer money into a bank account if i opened one and i just had to transfer it to the nato headquarters which i found out was sum place in africa he told me he was deployed in syria .stupidly i transferred the money and funny enough one week later he told me hed been given a special assignment and didnt know when he wld be home im still talkking to him as im tryin to get this investigated

Something like what you are saying rings true for a couple of military (suppose ) had tried to get me send money for their transfer papers and they would give it back plus more when they got home. I didn't have no money to give and told them this. One is still trying to talk tome

Did u get it solved
I hope u didn't send more I was scammed out of 100,000 and I found out that is was just a scam now this guy claims he needs money and bugging me and they are Nigerians trying to con woman into sending money

My mother managed to lose close to $200,000 in a scam exactly like this. She had listed she was a widow...of course he was a widower. He was working in Benin on a contract job, blah blah blah. Despite months of my sister and I telling her that he was scamming her, she refused to believe us and took this man's side above all else. It ultimately ended with her broke and threatening suicide.

If someone you've never met is asking you for money, it's obviously a scam. Love don't cost a thing people.

There are thousands of men and women calling themselves or being CEO of hustling, there is a Facebook page HUSTLING, you will meet a lot of them on dating pages, saying they love you, you go out with them,then it's I need this, that, all kinds of hardships. If you want to even see them, they suck u dry.

I' have one now trying to claim his late fathers company will lend him money to get home from overseas. But he wants to wire the money to my account (to supposedly "help me" with my bills and send him the rest to pay for his flight, hotel, fix a machine(which the other day, he only needed $100 but suddenly wants to wire 100 times that into my account). Giant red flag there. and then I turn around and wire money to him so he asking me for access to my account. Sorry. No go dude. I m not stupid.

I have a friend who just gave some guy she met on a dating site several thousands of dollars, He told her he was contractor arrested in South Africa, He had been jailed due to them not liking him..I'm sure they don't they are trying to get him for fraud, he wanted to come to USA to see her,and then would stop over to see her on his way to Canada for another contractor job, I'm sure he's getting run out of town.. He delayed visits for the holidays to her and then now she has mortgage her home, she is now running behind on bills... Delays and excuses, but she still believes him.. The sad part the people she should trust she won't listen too, and the ones she does listen too rip her off..I wish there was a list of where we could find their names and their MO...She is now lost everything and is going to have to move in with her son...she had everything because the dating site would not do anything after we emailed them and told what happen they allowed it to take place..People are just stupid to think that they could find someone, but when they want large numbers in cash to save them.. it should be a Red Flag but some don't want to believe they have been lied too..

I was on a popular dating site for five months. I conversed with nine men during that time. Of those nine separate contacts, six turned out to be scams. We would visit every day for one-half to one hour a day. We would exchange semi-personal information. In the first situation, I was totally unaware of the scamming route. When he asked me for $100 I was tempted, but thought I have never met you face to face. How bold to ask for money from someone you've never met. In each of the next five scams, most were widowed, had one or no children, spouse had died, parents were dead, they were very lonely, blah, blah, blah. In each case, they ultimately gave me their sob stories and asked me to help them, using my sympathies to get what they want. In each case, once I figured it out, I discontinued any contact. They kept contacting me, but I never answered back. I am as strong as they are. I am sick and tired of being conned. It is too bad that they can continue to target people with absolutely no consequences. I thought going onto a dating website would expand my social network. The scam network is not what I had in mind. I have closed my account and will not go on a dating website again.

Said he was a widower with daughter overseas with her grammy. Said he was working in Scotland on offshore oil rig. Told me was sending me a pkg. of gift from Scotland and sent me tracking info on a fake website. But then, the pkg goes to United Arab and is confiscated and they need $1360.00 US dollars to release it! Said company was Central Freight Shipping Agency courier service. But then I see his picture on facebok (where he contacted me from) in several profiles listing his address in NY and another not listed, but said he was from Mexico now living in CA. Gave me a cell phone number from FL that no one answers. OUCH!

My son has been wiring money to russia, but it is from the supposed girls father.... I think they are having him move money. Of course he is in love... can't skype of course! Has only seen model looking Russian girl who wants to come see him. Its been 9 months. Has anyone heard or see this. Maybe they will ask him for money later? Help~

This sounds like an online dating scam. Sometimes, a scammer sends a check to you and asks you to wire money back -- or to someone else. It can take weeks for a bank to uncover a fake check. You'll owe the bank any money you withdrew.

(I know this is super duper old... it's more for those reading this now.) Actually it sounds more like a mule situation than an advance fee scam, especially if he's been receiving money for so long (likely a wire transfer from another victim) and re-routing it. After 9 months and so many transactions, I'd bet on that being the case... This is how they launder their money. It's BAD because he can go to prison for being involved, even if he was simply being naive. They'll keep using a mule until he either stops contact or gets arrested. It can easily ruin your entire life, and you'll be convicted of fraud crime. Even if you had no idea.

Bates, I'm wondering if that's what is happening with me. Asked for some money first, told him I was broke. Supposedly he's tight cash wise cause of starting a business and can't have funds from customers sent directly to him because of large investment loan on his he wants customer to wire me money & then wire money to someone else so he can complete his orders....might be legit, but I dunno...kinda sounds like this "mule" you know where I might find more info on "mule scams"?

This shows signs of a scam. Please read the FTC article, Using Money Transfer Services.

Has anyone else encountered a person whom has a realy popular last name.So,when checking on this person and learning that there 3-5 other people in town with the same name.It leaves me to wonder.Is he scamming and hiding in a crowd/

This scammer seems to be well educated.his name is so common,every town that I have tried to find out about him,there are 3-4 people with the same name.A pipeline engineer with a lawyer whom demands his money,now.When the said scammer is supposed to be stuck on a rig in the middle of the ocean.Confusing because the pipeline blowing up did indeed happen and wasn't televised right away.So,leaving me wondering what is the he a scammer.being that well educated,just doesn't formulate.

You must realize that scammers are indeed intelligent. Maybe not ALL of them, but I'd not be surprised to learn the greater majority ARE! Hey, one individual scammer is not in control of it all. They are signing on with the "powers that be" and THOSE folks have the knowledge maybe.

Don't assume ANYthing with these folks. And since the names are so common, it's not surprising what you find or do NOT find.

The blown up pipeline wasn't televised right away WHERE? Here in the US? ............. mhmmmm - question EVERYthing and don't ACT on anything without 100% proof of ZERO risk to you!

Don't think, "well, there's no way this person could be scamming me; i don't have any $ in my account - i'm poor." HMMMMMMMMMM there is an article somewhere in the FTC categories here that explains how you don't NEED to have money to be scammed. There are ways they can be "giving you money" and you end up with NOTHING and even less than that.

Read as much as you can here and keep your self safe.

I dont have any mortage under name or ss or dob

I met someone online. He told me he was single with a Child. He was a widow. And he was a self employed architect. He never asked for money.he told me he wanted to come visit.he said he didn't want my money. He told me where. He was located and I checked the phone number. It comes from where he say he is ,I'm hearing so many stories about scams I'm not sure what to believe. Can Someone give me advice.

Lilacs, what is his name? I was talking to someone with a similar background - widowed, architect, number is from where he says it is. But he went overseas and claims to be purchasing a building, and is trying to gather money. He hasn't flat out asked for money, but is hinting around that i would be his "last option." HA! I would be fascinated to know if this is the same person you spoke with.

Daisy, What was your guy's name? I have one currently, was formerly a 'structural engineer' (aka architect... LOL), widowed, went overseas to do business... blah blah blah...
do you have a photo of him?

Honestly, the more I read the more ill I feel. I keep wanting to believe he's not scamming me. He admitted early on when I called him on it. But then profusely apologized and set out to win me back. ugh

I can't even type this anymore; I'm devastated as I have major trust issues to begin with and have tried so hard to be wise and alert and guard my heart. I have failed miserably.

SOMEwhere in TX and a cell # that matches up? Trust me, the cell phone is one of many that he has and he is NOT in this country but conned someone ELSE into sending him a phone.

One of the guys I was falling for is allegedly a single father working as an events planner in OH. And I might add, that for MY taste, he is very handsome. At least the PIC of him is. The disappearance games are BS tho and I'm too old for that garbage. He's done so a FEW times now. It just seems pretty obvious THIS one is a scam.

The other is seriously my soulmate - I don't understand how he could NOT be, but I can promise you: until I have ZERO reasons to be careful, I will be keeping my MIND in charge of my heart. We can't be too careful now-a-days Hon. --- plain and simple. Do NOT err on the side of your heart if your mind is fighting it. And it SHOULD be with all the stories here. You think about the specific wording the same romantic offers shared in these links, and you just be WISE !!!!! oxo




I'd like to tell you a couple experiences i've had with scammers if you don't mind.

I have some guy on facebook. He is supposed to be engineer on oil rig out in Stockton CA. Widower with daughter in boarding school in Africa. Now daughter sick. Says needs money. Has money but can't send from oil rig. Told him I can't.

I have been talking to a guy "in Connecticut" who tells me he is italian but I know an italian accent and its not what hes got. he says all those flowery things to make me feel good. I did image search on his picture so I know he is not who he says he is. But he has not asked one thing of me so I am enjoying our daily conversations. He tells me he has one more project and he is retiring but its almost done etc... I wont send money, Im not stupid but he is filling my time right now.

Waterlilly - I am in the same situation, how did it turn out? If you give them nothing - no details - nada, can talking with them hurt?

I have the slightest clue on how so many men and women have contacted me wanting to ship me money they have found over sea's at no cost to me ! And I don't get on any website's of any kind for dating prepares just to look up important things I need to find .And believe me they know my first and last name as well .Plus theses are very large sums of money I'm talking about that will make a grown horse choke ! Despite of my constant refusal the OFFERS for my profits keep going up and up . And I keep telling them that I will not Launder their money into the U.S. at any price but they are So insistant . And before I know it there are more people with the same offer they all tell they got my information from the DOD overseas whatever that is .Frankly I'm at my wit's end I don't know how to put an end to these DEMANDS ? Plus some of them know my home town and I don't desclose my information on the phone or internet for any reason . That's why I'm confused on how they have so much info on me and what am I to do next ?

Do you have a Facebook account? Hackers hack; scammers surely must know some of that too. Can you have numbers blocked or SOMEthing? I would most definitely share with this site AND report everything you can to the site FTC keeps sharing with folks.

The latest scam is someone writing on behalf of their cousin, uncle etc. The say the relative saw your picture and you were the only woman he wants to talk to. Scam. Ive had 3 of these in 3 days. Also, beware of friend requests from men you don't know on Facebook. Every one I've had is a scammer!

Has anyone had contacted with a scammer name Steven Lee knight from tx. I lost money to him.

Ok, so this fairly attractive girl (nothing out of the ordinary) messages me on facebook (I will admit she looked familiar) we've been talking for about a week and have skyped a few times. I asked her to make random hand gestures to prove she was real and she reacts to stuff real time so everything seems normal but here's when my red flags started popping up. She said shes a recent graduate with no money (understandable) and lives with her uncle in Colorado so she wants me to send her money via moneygram to buy a bus ticket to come see me. I feel like its a scam because I offered to buy the ticket and setup a password for her to pick it up at the bus station but she said she had to buy it with her uncle because he does not trust her(partying in the past) and she has to follow his rules if she wants to come out to see me. On one side I'm thinking, what's the point of wasting a week of your time to try to scam some guy out of $150 but on the other side since I offered to buy the ticket and she said no raises more red flags! thoughts?

Nowadays, how do you know who is real and who is not??? I only see the red flags after all that I've read here seem to be tallying up on these 2 guys I'm talking to. I'm not even sure if i want to believe them or not... How can you tell? They have not asked me for money of course but that would definitely be an obvious sign. Help!

Ever met someone named Walter Zkanova? Met on Tagged, went to texting right away. Not American, but Polish. Lived in Phoenix but was architectural engineer working in Turkey. Raised a daughter who lived in London. Her mother died of drug overdose. Had millions in the bank, but couldn't access it. Had problem with his charge card. Said he loved me and we would be together always after a week or two! In the space of six months, asked me for money three times. I never gave him any. After third refusal, he said I should never contact him again!!!! What a scammer.

Has anyone come across someone named Joshua with a daughter in boarding school, and needs to send her money because he is working on an oil rig in Kuwait.

My case is so similar to some I’ve read about. Says His name
Is Dwayne collins, engineer from montenegro, rio grande do sul in brasil, lived in LA for past 20 yrs, has an 11 yr okd daughter in boarding school in
Austria, says he’s working on an offshore drill off thecoast of s. Ca, has no access to his bank acct & needs me to send $$ to daughter ..??

Has anyone come across a Paul Perillingo? Says he is an architect, widower lives in TX. Needs money to finish project in TX. Promises love forever seen him on Skype, did google image same person.

Cant figure him out..been 2 yrs sent $300 total..face is the same.(when he sends the excuse.with scammers stealing pbotos bis command recommends not sending any..Uniform is spot on..Story is never changes but excuses do..doenst need money for anything but food as the food tbey serve is crappy(lmao i know mres are nasty) mind..does not give any details about his job(good because military really dont have time for that..says hello and cbecks and off. But usually too busy to have kong.conversations..So...Its frustrating because some days I thi.k he is a scammer and some days I dont.Cant find him anywhere on the next..not.even on the scsmmer photo page.although i have seen several others I sen5 packing

Hi... where is there a scammer's photo page? I have reason to think I have been scammed, and anything would help me.
Thanks! Susan

Greek accent on

I reported him to they confirmed he is not whohr says he is, removed from website 11/17 hope this helps. Nancy

Anyone talking to Paradiseflguy he is a scammer. Greek has accent. Match has removed him from website. He is good looking bald but that is not him he hacked someone else’s profile. Block him and stop talking to him. Nancy

If someone took your money and you've never met them face to face, youve been scammed. Don't send money to people you don't truly know.

The online dating site anyone dealt with a David Stewart, who says he is satellite engineer, supposedly born in San Francisco but has house in Houston??


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