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Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money

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Image of cupid and heartNot everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Why all of the tricks? They’re looking to steal your money.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, romance scammers are now involving their victims in online bank fraud. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims. After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account. The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country. Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.  

Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake. They ask you to:

  • chat off of the dating site immediately, using personal email, text, or phone
  • wire money using Western Union or Money Gram
  • set up a new bank account

Did you know you can do an image search of your love interest’s photo in your favorite search engine? If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer. And if the person’s online profile disappears a few days after they meet you, that’s another tip-off.

Here’s the real deal: Don’t send money to someone you met online — for any reason. If your online sweetheart asks for money, you can expect it’s a scam.

Unfortunately, online dating scams are all too common. There may be tens of thousands of victims, and only a small fraction report it to the FTC. If this happens to you, please report it at ftc.gov/complaint — click on Scams and Rip-Offs, then select Romance Scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Same guy, calls himself Justice Packer. Oil rig in Dublin. Same package dilivery request. Son in boarding in TX. Parents dead. Wife dead. He got mad at me cause I told him I sent his security problem to me detective nephew & Chgo cop brother. He blocked me on hang outs!

I hope you blocked him because all of it is lies. The Ghana police would tell you it is a scam even and not to send him anything. He is scamming you.

Dont do that. Im pissed off with this guy also from oil rigs. Were in hangouts for 4 months now. Lets talk.

If I send my email to you can you send me a picture of this guy?I think he is scamming me as well.

H says he is working on the Katia for China Petroluem company

pro

I have been chatting with a man that sounds so similar too this, I too would be intrested in finding out if these two guys were one of the same. I could send you my email and we can exchange photos please

I think we might meet the same man that he said he is a oil rig and worked at Saudi Arabia,He needed the money for pay shipping,and even sent me his fake travel itneary to come here for Christmas.I cut him off and he didn’t get any money ,But he used the name of Anatol Bobak .
If you can ,I would like to see the pictures that he used on you ,The pictures he used with me all faked Asian man pictures ,He said he grew up in Poland .
I would like see if he used the same email address or not .
Thank you .

ususally they go to another country, waiting for their shipment that they should pick up the next day, then next day they send you a text saying they are in panic, the shipment is costing them more than what they budgeted, and ask you that they need let say 50k, they are trying to call friends so asked you if you can send anything you can afford, and they say what would I do without you my queen, honey, etc.

Do you have a name for this guy?

Does anyone know a man by the name of Lucas Miguel? I think I'm being scammed! He claims to be from Italy but in U.S. for 15 years who us now working in Spain as a contractor/engineer? Has daughter in boarding school...please let me know it's been quite the ride!

if u can,i would like to see his picture.im dealing with mchanical engr.now frm US and currntly lving in syria he asked me to help him and he will send me the money by a parcel

Funny.. I am talking to an "oil rig Engineer" right now who wanted me to send him $3000 because supplies were held up at the coastguard. I wouldn't send it but I did send Itunes card..
and Chris is also part of his name..

Does he say he works in the engine room? How can we share photos?

Is this your Chris? He tells me that he works in the control room as well. From Denmark, is in Texas in oil rig. Says he lives in Nashville TN? Hasn’t asked me for any money or cards yet.

Do you have e snay photos please?

hey is his name chris becuasce chris lane is married the singer thats what happened to me.

I have just had a narrow escape thank the Lord for Google and this site. I have recently lost my husband and feeling very lonely when i got a Hello in IG and we were off!
His name is Ashley Scott, from Texas and working on an oil rig in Tblisi with six months on and three months off Very early in the conversation he said that he had a problem with his bank account which had unauthorised transactions on it and had been frozen (oh the irony).
Things got quite heavy and i was a silly old woman who told him all my life history and fell madly in love with him, the things he said just made me feel fabulous. And he was so Godly too, always quoting the Bible in earnest. He said he was studying for something or other to get promotion at work. apparently he'd worked with his company for 25 years and was 53, so I did swiftly think that was a little odd that he hadnt already been promoted lol!!

Then a few days ago he asked me to buy him some Itunes cards because he needed books to study and couldnt get any money from anywhere. I said no but couldnt bear the thought of losing my gorgeous Texan hunk so decided after a couple of days that I would get them but, I googled Itunes scams and it was like a script had been written. I told him in no uncertain words to clear off and blocked him on IG and FB but this morning he managed to contact me by messenger and it all started again. I was almost on the hook again when I found this page and to my horror and relief realised I wasnt the only silly woman in the World. You'd think they could come up with a different script by now but thank goodness they havent. Im so thankful that I found this article before rekindling my affair with the Texan hunk!

Uh oh....we might have the same hunk. What's with the oil rig story? Can we privately chat??? I wanna see his pic. Mine asked me to send Google Play cards to his daughter. He calls me daily but his voice is very foreign. Flags everywhere.

Yes I was scammed, he claims to be an Exxon contractor working on a oil rig, professes love and marriage in less than a week, but needs iTunes cards to complete his paperwork, $150.00 , then comes back a week later with I need $500.00 more I ask for pictures of the oil rig he’s working on and low and behold they are the exact pictures from the internet, now it gets better his security company is closing and he wants me to be his beneficiary and accept a 1.6 million dollar paperwork and to hold it safely like the bank, so I ran for the hills not going to accept anything nor am I going to go to jail for this enormous lie, please be carful these people are so slick

I am dealing with a guy that is foi g this to me.. security company closing, beneficiary. The whole nine yards.. Can i ask what his name is??

I think I am talking to the same person, he has been talking to me since September of 2017, confesses his love for me and wants to marry me and is coming home to me. I have sent ta an address for his kids he says phones, ipads and money. But, I recently found out from my phone service that the phones where being used in Nigeria, they took the sim cards out and put in sim cards that have a Nigerian phone service. All phones have an IM number that can be tracked no mater if you switch the sim cards or not. Now he has asked me to pay $25,000 to this Security company that is closing and he wants me to be the beneficiary because he has no one but two children and they are off in boarding school. He assures me everything is legal and that he would never do anything to hurt me. He is a sweet talker..... But then I get a friend request from someone else who looks like him or is him with a different name. This guy says he was hacked by the other guy that I am chatting with and he said don't talk to him anymore he is trying to steal my identity. then the one I am chatting with I told him and he said that most me the guy that took my phone and all my pictures and he knows about you because of our chats and your pictures. I am so damn confused. I know that they are both the same person . Big fat liars...... I wish I could talk to you and compare pictures .

Eric Flint or Ryan Paul or Robert

I’m talking with a guy with the same story line. Needing money .. Has a daughter in boarding school in Italy . His security company is closing their doors. Wants me to be his beneficiary to accept his money of 1.2 million but it’s being helped in Germany at the airport. But if I send a large amount of money they will release the money to be forwarded to me.Working for BP in the Gulf if Mexico and can’t receive it . The company that is closing is called Safegold. His name is on the Hangout site is lovely man. He is a scammer.

Hi,
I think I have the same thing happening to me. He says his name is Anthony McCarthy and is from Washington USA but working on an oil rig near Scotland and it has been 3 weeks of chatting and him ringing me on Hangouts and telling me he loves me and wants to marry me, he also preaches about God and the bible. I know his photos are fake and he doesn't sound american more like African/French and his English is quite good but not that good and his text messages were never right, I was always saying they weren't correct or I didn't understand but I have been playing along with him to see how far he can get.
So last couple of days and nights he tells me he is worried and then explains this by telephone and text :
He has deposited money £1.2 million in a company called Safeway Contracts in Turkey and they are closing and need him to accept his money in person within 2 weeks or he loses it. He says he can't go as he hasn't finished his contract on the oil rig. Now he has asked me to be his beneficiary and wants me to email them and give them my full name, address, email address, telephone number and passport photo to prove who I am so that they can give it to me in person and look after it until he comes to see me at the end of October. I have already asked him so many questions and he tries to explain but I am not stupid and so I told him that this is not how you do things and I won't give my address or phone number out to just anyone.
He says he is going to ring me later to explain but I am not going to do this and not be fooled.
This is why I thought I would google about scams and fake men and I came across this forum and so glad I did and that is why I want to share my comments.

I also deal with a guy who is civil engineering. he told that has project at Turkey for 3 weeks. He did send photos about the project and he went around at Turkey. Suddenly, sent an email to tell me his has big problem because this equipments are seized by ministry of Turkey. He has not enough money to get back the equipment and want to lend money from me. Lucky I did not do that. Not sure whether we met the same person.

Dealing with a man who claims a veteranarian and was in Turkey to treat sick animals. Was a 3 week contract. Suddenly, email claims his equipment kept on ship and he doesn't have money to get it back. I sent money. He was working for the ministry of Turkey. The story goes on today. Name he gave is Michael Wong. Originally from Hong Kong, owns home in Scotland.

Me too!!!!!!!!!!! Did he send you photos? I got word that his laptops weren’t working in Turkey and he needed me to send them to Cyprus...?

Was his name Charles Luke??

I have been dealing with Charles Luke for a very long time. Gem stone dealer stuck in Turkey, wife died 3/4 years ago, cancer, has a daughter and grand daughter. French American, is that the story?

I‘ve been dealing with a gem stone dealer who is in Cyprus for a job. He is really convincing. Sent me a copy of the ‘contract‘ and his itinerary for his return trip home to Florida. Both look good, but almost too good. He was mugged and even sent a photo of the ‘police’ report, that wasn’t really anything other than a letter. He was desperate for me to send him 2 MacBook pros and an iPad to run the software for the gem mining equipment. I made him send me a picture saying that he loved me. The photo was obviously photo shopped. He says that he’s from Denmark, lived in Canada where he was married to an American woman, now divorced. He had a daughter that died in an accident. Lived in Tennessee and now Florida. Goes by name of Daniel Giel. Needless to say, I didn’t send the laptops or iPad.

Hey Samatha,
This sounds like the same guy I was just Dealing with that gave me the same story. Can you please let me know what name did he use? Did he have a son or Deceased Wife?

Did anyone else have a Christopher Wood s who was a engineer and his wife is dead has a son? I have a picture!

I have a feeling I may have the same guy talking to me. Only he said it was his ex wife but she is dead and has a son. I have a picture too. Please respond. Engineer working on oil rig

I think we my be talking about the same guy but he goes by a different name

Many use alternate names. Say ex wife or wife died from cancer. Then his only son died in an accident. Spent almost 2years talking to him. AlwYs an excuse why he wasn’t able to come home yet... asked for Steam cards, google play & iTunes cards. Needed money to pay for equipment ; his rig hAd a fire the day before he was done contract;yet I can’t find any news to back it up. Uses: Jason brian cares@

I am talking to a guy who claims to be a supervisor on an oil rig. I got the we had a fire story too which pushed back his coming home for 2 weeks. Then he needed money for medicine to be flown out to the rig. He couldn't get it bc his wallet was lost in the fire. He asked for 3000 and I was stupid enough to send 200. I just reverse imaged his photos he sent me and came up with 9 other aliases. When confronted with this he claimed his account was hacked and I didn't trust him. I know now he is a fraud but I am going to let it play out until the end of the month when he is supposed to be home and see what excuses he has. I won't be stupid enough to fall for it twice.

I am just encountered creep and have all pictures. Same story! Hes on IG just goes by William Churchill.

Me too.... Quick romance and surety that I'm the one for him. Said his wife died 4 years ago and has a son and a granddaughter here locally. From Belium but lives here...supposedly.
He won a contract in Netherands so he left for his trip and has been in various ports (supposedly) delivering oil on his ship, as he is supposed to be the captain. Continuous talk about can't wait to get home to meet me. Then last night word that the ship folk down and the middle of the ocean and was worried that their contents were not safe because a pirates. Contacted the engineer to come fix it ... Even provided a video of this suppose that person leaving via helicopter from the ship. Of course, he has to come up with $8000 for the new part but because of their location on the 'middle of the ocean', he can't access his funds. Said he has raised most of the money now but is still very short and wanted to know if I could help. I told him no - he knew I was unemployed and had no income...but then he proceeded to see if any of my friends can help and I said if they can't even help me with my rent, why would they help someone they don't know?
Very suspicious at this point. He says his name is Maurice Charlie... Which is suspicious enough. When I have asked various questions he has avoided answering them. We were going to meet in a week and I am suspecting that this is all a Scam. Not surprised

Does the guy in the pics have a hard hat on with "Captain Thomas" on it? If so, that man's name is Thomas Madsen. He is a gay man happily married to a man. Google his name.

I’ve been talking to a guy who says he’s Capt. Thomas William. Works on ship for Shell . Have pictures.

I might have the same guy. 55 yo, tall, gray hair, good looking, half Portuguese, nicly speaking. Wife dead, son 8 yo. He is works on Tenessee oil rig. Offten has no conection. I have his picture too. Please help me to find out if he is saying true or not.

He has 4 spots on twitter captain Mark Mark Thomas

I have very similar story, have pics of the guy, the same age

I have the same guy is wife died of ovarian cancer 2 months ago and have a son. He claims he's a out of boarder doctor working in Italy, Milan. I have picture.

I think I am talking to the same guy. Has he ever called you? Is he asking you to get in a contract with him as support? I have a picture too.

Yes he has called me several times. Always has an excuse not to meet

Hi Samantha,
Your story sounds very similar to mine, would like to know more and share more details.

Hey, I've been dealing with someone who says his wife is dead and has a son. He says he's an engineer living in Denver. Would like to see your photo.

Hey! So I think I may be dealing with the same guy but his name is David. Wondering if you could share a picture of him?

Hi i think we are talking at the same guy hes name is David Wong .still talking to him now first he ask me for steam cards didnt give it to him now he is asking for money to replace a machine . Rig engineer from london he said hes picture are hot thou!

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