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Sending money out of love, or sending a scammer money?

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Love is a powerful thing. So when a loved one calls or emails, saying they’re in trouble, you’d want to help, right? If they ask you to send cash immediately — should you follow your heart?

The short answer is: no. Unfortunately, scammers pretend to be someone you know to trick you into sending money. They might pressure you to wire money quickly to help with an emergency — to get out of jail, pay a hospital bill, or leave a foreign country. 

In the rush to help, you might not stop and think: does this make sense? But even if the story sounds legitimate, take a minute and run through these steps:

  • Stop. Don’t act immediately, no matter what they say the crisis is.
  • Check with the person who seems to be in trouble. Use a number or email address that you know is right. Check out the story. If you don’t reach the person immediately, check with someone who might know his or her situation. If the caller says not to tell any other family members or friends, that’s a sign of a scam.
  • Don’t wire money to anyone who asks you to. Wiring money is like sending cash — once you send it gone, it’s gone. The same goes for prepaid debit cards. Nobody ever needs to be paid in prepaid debit cards.

If you think you’ve responded to a scam, report it immediately to the FTC or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I am a single mum of 4 kids and I met a soldier on line he is now asking me to pay £800 to get his bank unlock so that he can get his money back he has sent me a picture of his bank and how much is in there . I can’t afford to send that sort of money. I have blocked him but he keeps sending me emails now instead. What can I do please help me

If you send money to someone you don't really know, you probably won't get it back. It's ok to block someone online, and block texts and emails if you don't want to communicate.

My husband & I were scamed out of over $2000.00 from Daniel Allen & Amy Love of BIRKSHIRE FINANCIAL SERVICES.Daniel told us to wire $720.00 to Anthony Thomas in Canada for collatral for $8000.00 dollar loan we did that, we were then told because of credit rating we needed to wire another $720.00 we unfortunately did that also, then told another $1200.00 for insurance but that the company BIRKSHIRE FINANCIAL SERVICES would pay $600.00 of the insurance cost, after we wired the $600.00 we were told lender wouldn't except companies $600.00. Thank god we did not send any more.Daniel Allen then told us that he could not refund money until 25 to 30 days. I just called & ask were are refund was he now says November 4th which is way over 30 days.This company is a scam I sure hope no one else falls prey to this. There phone number is 1-888-428-4779.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

My sister in law is being scammed from a woman she met on Zoosk She has many aliases and in the name of Love she has scammed thousands of dollars from my very lonely sis in law.It went from sending cash in different ppls names n addys to now sending iTunes cards n taking pictures of scratched off numbers n sending to a different persons name every month.She is known as Hilda Alaxandrious or Sandra Greek or Angel. Says she's from Greece n Miami,FL. Too many stories she's told my sister in law to get her to keep sending her money to mention here. BEWARE OF DATING APPS scammers lurk there to take advantage of the desperately lonely ppl searching for Love in the Wrong Places.

I wonder if complaining helps . I have been scam Badly and for sure is due to the social media . I try to get my money back but I feel like I never will

I send money to a scammer to india. Can I get back my money?

You can file a report with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog do not go into the law enforcement database.

Has anyone heard of a Robert McNell?

Has anyone heard of a Giovanni Ferrari from the U.S. and now trapped in Ghana?

I am recently a victim of a scam I sent money to a man saying he is in Canada and is coming home with the money I sent bit I don't know what to do I don't want to go to jail I'm scared what do i do...

I fell for 2 men ! One says he's in Johannesburg Africa and needs $1500 for a passport and plane ticket ticketed an amwrican?

I was talking to this guy he claimed to have a package and needed me to receive for him because he was working on seas well I started sending him money one time after another told me to send it because the package got detained in a airport custom sand he has all my info what can I do

Hi! I just found out my elderly aunt has been doing the same thing. He's working on a oil rig somewhere needed 20 thousand to get his money that got caught in customs. He actually convinced my aunt to send him 20 thousand dollars. What was everything she had and now has nothing left. And there weeks later no place to stay because she had sent him everything. I have been having a difficult time getting her to understand that this is a scam and his excuses are not true. Was just curious how your situation turned out? Thank you so much!

Wallace is back lying again hes called jake this time hes had over 100 names and same photos this time reckons hes not the scammer but the real soldier he wants £110 for leave fishy leave is free hes in nigeria but ive seen the real sgt wallace in afghanistan with other soldiers he claims its an old photo

Raymond Martins met him on facebook while he work on rig in ghana as a head engineer.job pay him 700,000 he cliamed he ask me to open a account in tbe U S to tranfere the money he was coming home to me he hept asking for lawyers fee court fee and transfer fee he cliam he living at hotel in ghana manager let him stay showing document of getting money he lso,sent me documents from court to transfere money to my bank and his payment amount.he got me out 2,800 been waiting 5 months now

My mother was scammed from 5 different people I personally know and then was murderd I have all the money wire recipes over $30.000 what can I do to how do I get a arrest on everyone involved

You could contact your local police, sheriff or law enforcement agency.

Ask me to send money to settel payment airway cargo...the goods shipped had arrived .... if the thing came to me I had to pay BRUNEI MONEY ... to the company

I was victimized by a former A US GENERAL PUBLIC ARMY MR C H

My brother (45 yo) met someone on pof.com and she is supposedly studying to be a nurse in ghana or guyana, she said she is from Texas studying nursing abroad. Her name is Katherine (sp?) Shapiro, she's 28. He sends her money faithfully every payday due to they are in "love", which leaves him broke and asking my parents for money which they do not have extra and are on a fixed income. He told us he sends her money so that she can buy groceries and live while attending nursing school. My family thinks this is a total scam, but there is no talking sense to him as he truly believes everything she says and not us. I tried to show him proof about other love scams and he just gets angry and won't talk to us. He pretty much has turned on us, his family, and only waits for the day they meet in person. Which is to be in a month, once she arrives back in the US, he is leaving with her to go live in Texas. How do you get someone to see the truth that these scams exist and that he may be apart of one!??

My mother got a call, the woman said I have hospital debt worth $1500! HA....

if someone sends you money and you didnt ask them. to do it is there anything they can do do to you

This Carl Bruce contacted me through messenger and finally we became friends through viber. For the first two months, our conversation is about family and work. But he got interested in me and start showing his love interest. He told me that he got awarded a construction project in Thailand from the Ministry of Work. He showed me copies through viber the contract agreement and a cross check payable to him.
He told me that before the gaining of the contract, he should post money as bond, hire a lawyer who will stand for him in case the project will not be meet on time, needs an amount to pay taxes ahead of time and make an initial deposit to the bank so he can cashed the check.
All of these, he asked help from me and not suspecting anything, I willingly help him except for the last one which is an initial deposit of $40k.
He promised that as soon as the check cleared, he will pay me triple of what was owed totaled of $50k. I was sending the money through remittance center and found out that he has an accomplish that receives my money.
After suspecting of the scam, I immediately block him and deactivate my viber account, change passwords on Facebook, instagram and delete my phone numbers in social media.
I flew to Thailand to investigate and the Ministry of Labor told me that there was no project awarded to foreigners. Overall I got scammed for 50k and it was lesson learned from me for trusting someone who I haven't met personally and sweet talked me about his feelings.

I suggest we be very mindful & cautious when someone ask for personal information. I do and if the number or business is not RECOGNIZED that I have done business with in the past. I do not hold conversations, hang up, & block the number and report the number to FTC on Do Not Call List. They will not call again. I have been on the Do Not Call List for Years. I wrote all 3 Credit Bureaus and placed my name SS# on Do Not Sell My Personal Information. If I received any mail that I do not recognize or sent for. I will write in RED on the envelope received and these are my words: "If I have not contacted your company for ANY information. I suggest you REMOVED ME from your mailing list & Data Base, for if not I will report you to an entity that will be calling or writing your company. They listen very well. Do Not Answer any emails, phone calls, or mailings that you have not asked for in any manner.

Husband being scammed by a Mari Donna Cunanan Maturan for thousands a month and wont stop. Met on WWF, says from Philippines working as teacher in Thailand and she needs money. Says she will pay back after she gets to US green card.
Not waiting Im they are madly in love, works as a teacher and needs the money. Will pay back after she gets green card & job in the US.. He is clueless I have to protect my interests.

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