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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.

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit
Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

Comments

Sorry to hear your story, it makes me feel sad. It is almost for sure a scam. Be glad you've not met him, he's heartless and could be a very bad person. Find someone in your town on a local dating site! Good luck.

i want to tell u his name but im afraid to. is there a way i can ask about him privately, to see if anyone else has been scammed by him

omg im so sorry for what u went through. im afraid my story is just beginning

The scanner Scott Berry Barron using berryscott26 and berryscott66 is in Nigeria even used military email w the names of Gener Dunford, and jeffrerydavis12 to convince me he's real. He's in pigbuster, romance scammers and Latin investigations. Still got $1500 from me in 15 months span. Used hangouts to call me, but never saw his face, never wanted to use Skype, and never gave me any military info. Always had excuses, wanted NetSpend, PayPal, Western Union, bank account numbers, computer and iPad. I'm glad I Googled his emails. This guy video called me tree times and then I heard multiple hangout messages sounds going off at once.
So, he's got a business going on. Kept saying he's in Ibadan area the larger with next to it called Osogbo where I sent 2 boxes. He's pretty good, kept me going by taking w me everyday and night before I'd go to bed. He added the name Gideon to his, and used the names of Lukeman Sakariyahu, Are ago Ismail Femi, Additional Abiodun. I don't know if each is the full name, but it's what I sent through Western Union. I do Know Gideon was used to send directly to him.

I have been talking to a man since the end of June. His story is mom died and now his dad has died and left a will that he has won as the beneficiary in TX courts. The attorney needs $5000 dollars to take care of the stocks/dividend and re-invest in a company that is going to give great returns of $500,000 a year. He needs help getting this money together.

First, wants to borrow with the attorney saying if I am going to help finance it he would advise he write me a deed of agreement. so if this man leaves me I will get my money back. REALLY. I don't know this man and only have been texting for a little over a month. I played along with love, and the promise of marriage. But I said sorry I can't get to my money it is locked up in investments.

Then the amount changed to only needing 2400. That he had sold a lot of his belonging to pay this attorney. Sorry I can't help you! Get's mad and then says it is ok, he shouldn't have involved me in his business. just this last week now all communication has stopped!! 1 hummmm??? oh also his picture on the dating site must of been when he was younger, because when he sent me a picture of his passport he was much older looking but still cute in my eyes. Another weird thing is I only talked to him a couple of times on the phone and his accent doesn't sound from Austraila which is what his passport says. And when I try to call him it says this google user can not answer the call at this time hummmm oh

His name is John A. Kewell I need to know from anyone if this guy has tried to scam you as well!! Things just don't add up, but would like to believe he is for real but who knows these days!! Right

I am not sure if this chick is a fraud/scammer but she is an US Army deployed in Bahrain. Her surname is Chisholm and be in the army for 5yrs. She has a kid (female 8yr old) lives in America with her close family friend while shes in the army. We have been chatting for about 3mths now and she did asked for a phone so that we can keep in contact while she is deployed to Djibouti base.

So she got the phone and called me briefly. She sound very deep southern accent (american). So I thought yeah she geniune. Her photos on FB are geniune with her army uniforms matches her surname and pictures of her friends and duaghter. Two nights ago she mentioned her kid had an accident hit by a van and the drive got away. Her close friend's insurance expired and she doesnt know what to do but requested me for 2000USD but I refused as one I dont have the money to give her that and she said she will have to sell the phone but that wont cover it well.

I dont know if she is telling the truth or not, it sounds so fishy to me. Before this kid got hurt, everything was ok and it was fine geniune conversation for the past 3mths. I am very cautious about scams etc and this is the first time she asked me for money. I said to her if she can afford a trip to spain and accommodation etc then why ask me for money to cover the insurance etc. she says my flight fares will be taking care of and before i Leave too, I will be taking care of my somewhat, but my daughters own is survival. If her friends insurance expired she should contact chisholm to to get insurance updated etc. I dont know its sounds something is not right? Please advise as I dont know if she is genuine or what. This is a lesbian relationship.

The US Army warns people about scammers who pretend to be soldiers. Military members have an email address that end in ".mil." If the person you are speaking with cannot sent you at least one email that ends in ".mil" with no other letters after that, the person is probably not in the US military.

Someone you met online can tell you a name, rank, duty station or even show a military ID card, but that doesn’t mean that this is a real person. When you 'meet' someone online, you can't be sure who they really are.

It's common for scammers to ask for money for themselves or for their 'family,' and to say they need money to help someone who was in an accident. 

I asked the person for MOS and his military I'd but was told there was security and he was monitored by them so they would kill him if he would give me that...these guys need to be stopped. Does the USA investigate the reports and does the African government do anything to stop these people from doing this to USA citizens? Please let me know.....

I am still chatting to her Chisholm Vera, and I was sucked in and I think I have been scammed. She says she will pay me back. She even got me accessed to her account and shows how much she got in her account. it shows 2.3Million USD. It came from her salaries of Military in last 2yrs she said that she hasn't tempered with it .

The bank is Pan Access Pinnacle and she says it's a private bank. I told her all banks are private. I think she created the website. Because when she gave the link it shows under construction. and she says oh it needs your IP address cos I lived in Austraila and she deployed in Isreali till the end of this month before go back to Bahrain. So she gave the link whoer.net that is where the correct IP address where I am. So I gave her that and bingo I access to the bank page. She provided me her username and password and security code which sent to her email to give the security code to enter etc. Then bang comes the page of her account info, balance and it's in DORMANT. She told me few times that she can't access her account because it is in Dormant. She says she need go to States to reactivate in person. But I am sure you can do online or ring them or email them to reactivate the bank account. There's no way she can earn that kind of monthly wages for the last 2yrs to that balance.

Yeah, I agreed with you, she needs to be stopped and Bahrain Naval Base is not helping me out because of confidential policy they have in their personnel department. Its all bullshit with US Military is not doing anything about it. They all need to look up the name and photos matches in their databases etc to confirm it. Simple as that. At the moment I am playing a game with her as she still thinks I have not suspect anything like I know she is a scammer and I have kept a transcript of our messenger conversation, Western Union receipts, civilian people who helped on her behalf as she is not allowed to get out of the base, so she used civilians to do the work for her, so I have contact details, plus one in Wisconsin who is looking after her daughter. So I have her address details and name. Plus Vera Chisholm gave me her SAT phone numbers one in Bahrain and other in Isreali. The area code and number fit into the country and area. Regardless if they have Miltary email address, they won't give it to you, so they give a Gmail or other email address but not mil email address as they say it for military only and security reasons.

They take advantage of miltary policies to their gain, that's why they can manipulate and very clever to make us believed and sucked in. I have messaged to two of her friends on her FB list and asked them if they have met her in person and she is real to the photo and they said yes she is. Both of them are Bahrain Naval Base. Vera told me she is not a pervert or will not do a runner but promise me to pay it back. So, I am just playing the game and see what happens next. But we need strong authority to stop these scammers immediately while they are in deployed so that Military Police can arrested them and question them and investigate them.

I was nearly scammed by a woman on Facebook she said her name was Clara Jane from the us army after first day asked for my email address she wanted me to get £8000'000 out of Afghanistan I realised it was a scam straight away she keeps emailing me she is still on facebook

Donald Field from Dyn Corp contacted me through a dating site. (OK Cupid) His user was cupid_s. I have a few pictures of the ex-military guy he says he is and now works for Dyn Corp in Turkey. He uses the word "my love" and "my dear" and said he had an ID from India and many other lies about his family and from where he got his Technology Engineering degree. He's on Kik messenger Donald_ , also has an e-mail address donald_field2       . He made me send money twice through Western Union to Evelyn Webb in VA. This person showed her ID and picked up the money in two occassions.

You can help law enforcement by reporting these details to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can also report the scammer's name and contact information to the wire transfer company you used.

Sorry this happened to you. Please do as that FTC person suggested and report this. Otherwise these criminals will go on to harm other people.

Has anyone ever heard of a "woman" named "Anastasiya" from Russia? She claims to be a 29 year old teacher who just lost her teaching job. She "LOVES" (after 3 weeks) a friend of mine who has decision making issues after two strokes. He is 58. Any help would be appreciated. thanks!

I met a man on a dating site in May. I'm not sure if he is a scammer or not. He hasn't asked me for ANYTHING but a few "red flags" went up and I'm suspicious. He said he's a widower with a 12 year old son. Said his wife died in a car crash 5 years ago. He said he lives in CA and I'm in AZ.

He gave me the name of the company he works for in LA but when I called there, they said no one with his name worked there. I asked him about it and he said he is a "contractor" for that company and they wouldn't have his name?? He also said he lived in Sun City, CA and then a few weeks later said he was tired because he had to "travel" to Sun City for a biz meeting. I questioned him about it and he gave me an address in Sun City saying that is where he lives. Still not sure about that...never really figured that out.

He told me he was coming to AZ to meet me about a month ago but the day he was to arrive he said his sister passed away and he had to go to London to be with his family. He also never calls me by my name. It's always baby, beautiful, etc. He told me he was originally from France but has been living in the states for 18 years. He doesn't tell me loves me but has sent one "love" email about a month ago. We talk on the phone/text every day and he does have a French accent, but I feel like he is putting off meeting me and I'm not sure why. He always seems to have an excuse whenever I ask him to set up a meeting with me. He isn't all "lovey dovey" with me and he never asked me for anything but I just feel like there a few "red flags" and I'm becoming suspicious. He wasn't on Facebook until about a week ago. We became friends but I can't see his "friends" list. It's blocked for some reason. Do you think he is going to scam me even though I called him out on it?? Not sure what to think. Any feedback is appreciated.

hi, you are right to be suspicious and careful. Have you skyped with him? At least you can see he is really the same person in the picture that way. If he makes some excuse about not being able to skype, pick a phrase such as "It's me!" and say you want him to take a picture holding up a paper with that clearly written on it. It's not too much to ask. Any real man would be happy to do that, and understand your concerns. He may be a scammer, he may just be a mean person who likes to play games with people, he might not even be just one person, it could even be, although unlikely, some crazy person. Be careful, be very very careful. That doesn't mean to be hysterical, but in this case fear is a gift that might save you. I wouldn't meet him alone, take someone with you, or even hire a body guard/security person for one hour to go with you. The smart scammers build trust over long periods and then hit you with an emergency request for money all of a sudden. Now I'm going to worry about you! lol be safe...

I met my scammer in Feb 2016. He goes by the name Andrea James Martins. He has various birthdays online.Claims to be an international Architect Said he lost his wallet while out of the country. Was 1st asked to send money and since i wouldn't he wanted me to open an account at Wells Fargo. I believe it's called an Easy Pass.
He grew very desperate and tried to guilt me into opening the account.When i researched him online it was scary.All his phones are through Google Voice.I am so happy I listened to my inner voice and didn't send this criminal any money

There is a man claiming to live in Miami Florida named Johann Kotze. He also has another profile under Hannes Vorster. He claims to have lost his wife with daughter of 11. He uses different telephone numbers like 604 335 6576 and others in British Columbia. Do anyone know this man. There is a few pics but no friends or any other on face book profiles. He talked to my wife for three months claiming to have been from Cape Town

Did he use 604-265-6577?

I received a message on Messanger from Hannes Vorster. He said his wife died with the birth of his son. Lives in Miami Florida, his morther was born in Cape Town. Nothing really funny, but never used my name. Always honey, my love. I was sceptic from the start and decided to see where this goes. At the end he loved me soooo much and wanted to move to South Africa. He made little mistakes with time differences and once send a message to me that was suppose to be for someone else. Then I got tired of the game and blocked him. I am not sure what his plans were for the future, but be careful of him.

He send me a message on messanger. Some of his stories does not add up so at the end I blocked him on my phone. I dont know what he wanted to achieve. He told me he and his son wants to move to South Africa and I must help them. He never used my name, only honey or love or darling. He told me he loves me even though we only chatted 2 weeks. Weird....

bitter experience when you fall victim of this, so be careful but i found my true love online so i don't really believe all this

Does anyone know a guy named Luke Edwards from Eharmony? He has not asked for money yet but by one week talking via email, he claimed he is missing me so much. He said he wanted to meet me on person but had to go to UK for a contract work for 3 weeks ( 3 days ago). I smell fishy.

Cheryl, This sounds very familiar to my story, which you can find on page 4 of this blog. I met my scammer on Chemistry and he would tell me he missed me and the week he was supposed to "Fly in to see me" he suddenly had to go to S Africa for 4 weeks for contract work.....don't be surprised if his luggage suddenly gets lost and needs you send him money to replace equipment

My mother has been scammed out of $4500 by a man who claims to be Vietnamese, is widowed, is a CEO of a Texas Company who can't speak English or Vietnamese properly. He said he is right now in Turkey securing a contract and needs money to pay tax for his contract since, to him, my mother is his "wife". She keeps this a secret from me and everyone, and borrowed money from a lot of people to help him. We don't have money to begin with, and now we lost $4,500 (she used MoneyGram to send money to him in Turkey). The worst thing is that my mother forbids me from telling the police because it might "hurt him," while he is clearly determined to scam her one last time of $2,500. She says that if I tell the police, she is going to severe all ties with me. Geez... I honestly don't know what to do.

You can report a scammer to Western Union consumer fraud hotline at 1-800-448-1492. Ask if they can block the scammer from getting money through Western Union. You can report fraud to MoneyGram at 1-800-926-9400.  I

if the scammer is using a dating website or social media site, you can report him to the companies that own the sites.

If your mother is making frequent withdrawals from a bank, you could ask the bank staff how they talk with people who are being scammed.

I was recently scammed. I met a man online who told me to send him some videos and he'll send me money. I did that and he send me screenshots of the 'money' he'd send to me through western union. I believed him and didn't check if the money was really there. I did that for almost a week and the last video I send he promised me a huge sum of money of which he send the screenshots to prove. so yesterday I go to the bank to withdraw the money and was told all the mtcn were fake, I almost fainted in the bank. I tried to reach the person and I found out I've been blocked on all sites. it really broke my heart and I only did all that coz I was trying to make the money to pay my fees. now am afraid the videos might leak out. I just wish someone could help me reach this person. he told me he's Colombian living in England. please help

You can report the person to the website where you found his profile, and explain what happened.  If you sent money with a wire transfer company, you can report him to the wire transfer company. If you told him your bank account number, contact your bank and ask how to protect your account. When you tell someone your bank account number, they can take your money.

My sista experienced similar thing recently from a dude I believe is behind yours. Pls what's his name and if possible want to see the pics of money he sent to you. Thanks

Has anyone been scammer by William (Willi) Hanks? From NYC stuck in Germany.

I met a guy from asiandating , he send me message and we start to exchange email and end up communicate via Whatsapp . His name is Mark P         (fake name), 42 years old and single. He email me few photos with his US ARMY uniform with P           name on it. This is his email address marp     @      and contact no +17738006231 He said that his father from USA and mother from Romania, his mother passed away when he was 2 years old and father passed away when he was 18 yo. He has nobody so join the army and been deploy to Afghanistan for 4 years now.

He ask me to marry him and I say yes to him but after we meet each other for real and I want a proper proposal. I ask him for skype, he said in the camp they not allow to do so, internet usage is very strict so he unable to talk on the phone nor video call. He said will submit retire from us army and come to my country to be with me and set a business for our future. 2 days after that he said his retirement was approved by US Army, he sent me all the retirement certificate and payment from government for his 4 years dedication in Afghanistan for $610k and give him a supply project of $900k, he needs to pay deposit 70% which $630k for first payment to get the profit from project and his money $610k before he leave the camp.

He ask me to open bank account, I said no. Few days after he said his money for deposit is not enough and ask me to send 10k to him. I told him that I dont have money on hand because I just paid my medical treatment and he try to convince me that he will pay me back with interest and my medical bill and sponsor the trip to see my parents. We are still in touch till now because I said I will try to get some money for him but actually I wanna know what he will do once he realize I will not send him even 1cent.

Btw, from the photos he sent me with "P         " name on it, I take my time to search on facebook and finally find the real photos owner. I manage to contact the real P           and his wife. He is happily married with 4 cute kids. I told him to put all his photos on private setting. He has a good look and definitely girls will fall for him. This real photos owner inform the dating site about his fake profile using his photos on it too.

For all the woman out there , please .... Never ever send money to the man that you not even see them in person. I understand this is emotionally involve, I fall for him because he sounds so caring and promising. But in real life everything need to be real too. Have a great day everyone :)

Hi.today i was talking to that man.he told me the same story.

Yes i am talking to him as well..

Good day! I had search this about a month ago, I just wanna know, when a chatmate asking phone number and address, is it a trick of scammer?and during video call, it was just seconds then disappear, and said due to signal, then heared only voice call until the end of the conversatio. Thank you, I am hoping for a favorable response.

I see a lot of information about men running this scam, but I'm pretty sure a woman I met on Plenty of Fish is also part of this ring. Claims her mom was American and dad was from a small country inbetween France and Spain. Her parents passed away and now she is running the family business that isn't registered in the US. We were supposed to meet face to face and conveniently she canceled our plans at the last minute because she got a contact and now had to go out of the country (Canada and then Africa) for the next three weeks. As she is supposedly boarding the plane to Canada, she texts that her daughter will not pick up her dog to watch it while she is gone unless mom pays her $400, but because she is boarding the plane, she doesn't have time to transfer the money so could I do it for her and she would pay me back. She had the time to send me the account info though.

Next I hear from her it is from a new number (from Canada). A day and after I didn't give her the $400 she sends me a text asking me to go online and purchase her a $100 iTunes gift card so she can pay for the temp Canadian phone or it will be shut off.

I didn't send her money either time and even stopped responding to her text for several days. Now she is supposedly in Africa and her bankcard was blocked and she has absolutely no money and has missed her meetings so she doesn't think she will be able to finish the job she was hired for. She hasn't yet asked me for money to help her, but she is supposedly going to a bank in the morning to see if they can help her with a transfer of funds, so I am patiently waiting for the request.

Other red flags include:
-She deleted her profile on the dating website
-Her FB page has the same two photos from her POF profile, but has had no activity since 11/2015
-The "about" on FB indicates she is very rooted in TX, but her POF and everything she tells me is Fullerton, CA
-She only texts. Supposedly her phone is not set up for her to place or receive calls. Called the number and it just rings.

Has anyone ever heard of a Kelly Stewart, widowed with a daughter, originally from Texas. an oil engineer who says he is being detained in London until he pays $90k in income taxes. Met my friend on FB, they talk on phone, she has even talked to his daughter but he wants money now

I am trying to contact P74 regarding a person I have been in contact with I had started an answer but had to close my phone and now can't find the comment.

A man introduced himself to me on Facebook! He said he was a Doctor deployed to Syria. We chatted for 6 weeks. I fell hard for him! He said he wanted to leave the war zone of Syria, and I could help him! He said he was entitled to $1.2 million refugee award, and could leave Syria, and come home to me! He even called me his wife! I filled the necessary paperwork for NATO, the funds were to be depositated into my BOA checking acct, but first I needed to wire $2850 to a bank in Germany. I said NO, he became very upset with me, called me an idiot and moron, no more enduring names like honey, sweetheart or baby! I blocked him from Facebook now I have to go to BOA and open a new checking acct, as they have my acct number! Devastated!!!

Hi, this sounds like what is happening to my mother. Give me more info please??? I'm so worried about her and its the same story. I guy from england living in Syria who is a doctor. He says his job can pay him out money but he need 40000 first before they pay out. He wants to pay it in her bank acc. Please help!!

It's not a good idea to accept money from a scammer.

Some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They meet people online, create a relationship, and ask their new sweetheart to use her bank account to receive and transfer money.

If you do this for a scammer, your name is on the bank account and on the money transfer forms. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

 

Other scammers send a fake check, or deposit stolen money into your account, and ask you to transfer money to them right away. If you send money immediately, before the bank confirms that the check has cleared, or the deposit is legitimate, you will lose money. It can take weeks to discover a forgery. If you send money immediately, and the bank later finds out the deposit was not good, you are responsible for the funds you withdrew. That means you really sent the scammer your money. 

OK I have a scammer be aware of David Judge Ladies he is a piece of work. He has a son named James who is in boarding school in Canada. He is working for the UN as a ortho Dr. He lives in North Carolina and he will send pics and he will tell you he loves you in a week. He never asked me for money but come on a Dr. cant find a wife in North Carolina Im sure I defriended him before he could ask. Anyone knoe David with a big nose

hello, I know someone who is a friend of the family. we all suspect that she is being scammed. I found out about one. but then she has another one. she wont listen to anything we say. we looked up his name and hes supposed to be dead... which obviously gives us signs point to he isn't who he says. He sends her boxes from "brazil" and has her to send them to other people in our country. I'm just trying to figure out some more and try to help her so she doesn't cont. to get involved into this bs. if you have anymore info. that might help please let me know!!

Your friend might be helping a criminal, and putting herself at risk. Please tell her that if she's involved with a scam, she could lose money and personal information, and get into legal trouble.

Some criminal search for victims on online dating websites or  work-at-home sites. They might pretend to have a romantic relationships, and they ask the victims to do things like receive and ship merchandise that was purchased with stolen credit cards or bank information. Or, they ask the victim to open a bank account, and they transfer stolen money or checks through that account.

This US Department of Justice press release lists some of the names and aliases of several criminals who were charged with these crimes. It explains how the criminals find and connect with victims.

Reading every one's story makes me feel alittle better but I just got scammed. I met Richard L Calvert on Ourtime.com his name was FunRichyca... gorgeous guy who told me he was an Architect/ Builder/Designer. It just happens that the first week we talked he won a big project and had to leave town ASAP to Bangkok to do the project. I was very Leary because he right away started calling me "baby" and "sweetheart" and he wasn't a big talker (well we text not talked) but he was very genuine and would answer my questions etc... Oh he was also a millionaire, so he said. I prayed every night he wasn't scamming me and I grew very fond of him and I would also hint about him being "real" or "deceiving me" etc... He always had a very warming response that just melts the heart. Yesterday he sends me a text stating he was in a big mess and I literally stopped exercising and my heart melted! So I played along and asked him what was wrong. He stated his bank card was compromised and the banks there couldn't help him so he was flying back to Houston for a couple of days to straighten it out and if I could pick him up at the airport. Now mind you, we've never met in person at all... So I said yes, but it depended on what time. He said he was on his way to airport and would tell me once he got a flight. Couple of hours later I sent him a text that I wasn't going to pick him up and preferred we meet in a neutral place. This morning he text me that he was fine with that and couldn't wait to meet me finally. Then he said the magic words... "can you do me a favor" I played along with him and said sure, anything... so he states he's stuck at airport and has to pay airline fees, guesthouse fee and car rental and his friend was wiring him money but didn't have enough. The amount was 2732.75. I told him off, called him a scammer and have been anywhere I can on websites warning people of him. Again, he said his name was Richard L Calvert, born in Rome, grew up in London. Married for 20 years, divorced for 5 and she cheated on him with his close friend. Again, not sure if the pic's he posted and sent me as well are him or not. I would imagine they aren't him because he has many posted on the website. Oh and I did a phone look up in the beginning and it turned up being an app

I met this Lady on skype, Her father is From Ghana, her mother is White American, we have video chatted a lot, Suddenly, she asks for money for food, I say 5$ OK? ( 5$ =$22 Ghana money. She said No She needs 100 for food and Medicine. She told me she goes to nursing school there, and showed me the schools link, She was from Texas, her parents sent her to Africa to live with her paternal Grandmother,,what caught me, was she keeps calling me baby, dear, and says she wants to marry me and raise kids, No woman in my life has ever been so desperate.I feel Honored, BUT I'm not doing it.I told her to contact the US embassy In Ghana. she said she tried they don't listen. HA they do. But that's her loss, not mine. I deleted her once, and she came back with another account.

Hello everyone.
I have read every single one of these post and my heart is broken for everyone and including myself. After reading these post, I feel completely and utterly stupid. I was afraid that I might have been one to have fallen victim as well, but now I know I have been suckered. Three-months ago I signed on Match.com and met someone almost instantly. Her name is Esther Stella Peters. She claims to be a Licensed Nurse who lives close to me, but she is currently working in Lagos Nigeria as a Nurse in an orphanage as a missionary volunteer for a church group called "Growing Faith". And she will be coming back home soon. I am a widower and have been through a lot being a single father with three kids and she comforted me and said all the right things. It made me feel real good and wanted. But then I noticed within about three weeks she was telling me that she was falling in love with me And she feels that I'm the one she's been looking for. I felt stange about it but she made me feel alive and loved. I believe that love has no time and no limits, but Then she said how much she wants to marry me, have kids, and a real family since she never had one before. Her father abandoned her and her mom when she was two and her mom died when she was eleven. I felt her her. I told her ok and I'm all for that, but let's get to know each other better and make this work. But the she kept making excuses on coming home I thought something was weird about that. Then she told me she has great news... They just have her a gratuity check for 40,000+ and She said "I'm coming home to you sweetie" "I'm coming to you so we can start our life together"... But then she said there was a problem. Since The check is a U.S. check, The amount was to large for the banks of Nigeria to cash. She needs my help with $2,400 for the plain ticket and she'll cash it here. Then she'll give it back to me. I told her no I can't do that and the amount is too much. She asked it I can raise the money for Her and she promises to pay it back. Of course I never gave her the money, but I have fallen victim to sending her money for groceries before. She has asked for my bank account info to deposit some money that her so-called friends (when she claim had no one to help her) were going to help her, because she said that her man wouldn't do it. I told her no and she got all mad and upset saying that I don't love her and I'm not serious about being together and blah, blah, blah. Three-months later she's still over there, we've still haven't met and I still haven't heard her voice. I resently cut all ties with her about three weeks ago. And she's sent me several email saying she's sorry and she misses me and want to be with me. All she needs is for me to help her to come home to me....
I must say. She really had me convinced and fooled. She had Perfect grammer, funny jokes, knew about music and movies. But after reading all these experiences. I know she wasn't real. She did everthing you all said. It really hurt me. She was beautiful and became real and now.... All I am is Embarrassed, Saddened, and Used...But my user name discibes me well. Heart of seal....

On August 23rd, 2016, I was contacted via email by a man that I met online through a dating site. He asked me for my phone number, but I felt more comfortable giving him my email address. He immediately began emailing me and we began corresponding. By the first weeks of September we had been corresponding for a couple of weeks and had exchanged phone numbers. He had began writing that he wanted to meet me and stated he was going to fly in to meet me on a specified date. This person claimed to be a self-employed contractor in Topeka, KS and that he was a widower with a young daughter. He stated he would be flying in with his daughter to meet me. On the Monday of the week he was supposed to be flying, he informed me that he had just closed a huge contract in South Africa and would be leaving immediately, which would mess up our meeting for the following weekend. He profusely apologized and begged for forgiveness, stated he would only be gone for 4 weeks and then he would return and we could meet. He stated that while he was in S Africa, we could continue to correspond via email and call every day. He called me the day he "arrived" in S Africa and claimed that his luggage with his laptop, cellphone and iPad had been lost in customs. He stated that he needed all this equipment to complete the contract in Africa and that the Customs officers were looking for his luggage. By the following Monday, his luggage had still not been found and he pled with me to purchase new equipment for him, send it to him and when he returned to the states in 4 weeks he would repay me for all the equipment using his business account.

I believed all of it and sent him a laptop, an ipad and cell phone to the address he provided. When I questioned the name of whom I was sending the equipment to, he stated this was his construction manager and that I could not send it to him because his passport and ID had been stolen along with his luggage. He stated that he would not be allowed to accept any packages because he had no ID to prove who he was. Despite my instincts that something was wrong with this whole situation, I sent the equipment. He confirmed that he had received all the equipment and that the job could be done correctly now. Over the next week we corresponded via email and phone, he ensured me the job was going well and he would be returning to the states in a matter of weeks.

On Monday September 26, I received another email from him, asking me to call him. The email stated the following: "...I was told i was suppose to register with them as a foreign contractor before doing any job. All blame to the site engineer because he did not tell me anything like that i would have made provision for it. I don't have all that they are demanding from me. $17,000. (Seventeen Thousand Dollars)... I have channeled all my cash to every department of the job by paying down for everything because i do not want to keep any cash with me, rather than money to pay workers daily. I was told not to go back to the site until i have registered with them. They have given me just a short notice to settle everything to avoid permanent closure of the site. I have invested so much in this project...i do not want anything like that to happen. I am so confuse right now and don't know what to do. I really need to go back to work to be able to meet the set target as i do not want to disappoint you and the contractors. The contract award committee will be coming for first inspection on Friday. I do not want to disappoint them by not meeting up to their expectation with the delay this closure will cost me over this job."

I called him and asked him what was going on with the job. He repeated the above information and stated that he had $8000 and pled with me to send him the additional $9000 to pay the municipalities. Alarm bells were going off! When I informed him I did not have this kind of money and that I had maxed out my credit card sending him the equipment, he became upset and said he was sorry for bothering me with his problems. I attempted to talk to him and tell him that if I had the money I would send it to him, but I just don't have that kind of money lying around.

I tried to give him some alternate solutions to his problems (go to the municipalities and offer to give them the $8000 that he has and pay the rest on Friday when he receives 40% of the contract pay for completing 1/2 of the job, call his bank here in the states and ask for an extension on the loan, call his credit card company and ask for cash advance, etc.) He had an answer for every situation as to why he couldn't do that and again pled for me to send him the cash. I again told him I did not have the cash and he would have to go to the municipalities and ask for an extension on the fees. He stated he would try that and keep me updated about the situation. I received a text message a couple of hours later that stated he had gone to the municipality office and they would not accept anything less than $10000. He stated he still needs $2000 and asked me to send him that.

I again told him I have absolutely no cash, anywhere. Again I told him to call his credit card company, his bank, etc. and again he had an excuse as to why they would not give him any money. He eventually hung up on me. I began doing research online about scams and came across this website. Every story I have read is very similar to my experience. I have filed a complaint with IC3 as suggested. I know I will not get any of my money that I have already invested in this man back and know now that I have been scammed.

I should have listened to my gut instincts in the first place. I have kept every email this man has ever sent me, I have pictures that he has sent me that is supposedly "him and his daughter", I have his cell phone number, his email address. I feel like a complete fool, I am not a stupid person, I am educated, I am very well aware of the scams in this world, but was completely duped by this man. He is charming, knows exactly what to say in his emails. I have run his "pictures" through google images and other image websites to no avail. But I know this is a scam, particularly after he hung up on me when I refused to send him cash.

THIS MAN IS GOING BY THE NAME HANS WOLFBURG FROM TOPEKA KANSAS. HE SAYS HIS DAUGHTER'S NAME IS JORDAN. HE IS CLAIMING THAT HIS WIFE DIED IN CHILDBIRTH AND THAT HE MARRIED A WOMAN APPROXIMATELY 6 YEARS AGO THAT CHEATED ON HIM WITH HIS BEST FRIEND. HE CONSISTENTLY TALKS ABOUT HIS BROKEN HEART AND LOOKING FOR "THE ONE".

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I have reported this incident to the Internet Crime complaint Center and also to the FTC as you suggested. Thanks for the tip.

After reporting this guy to the FTC and IC3 website, he continued to call me for a day or two and I played along like I didn't know anything. He asked me to go get a payday loan or a small personal loan for $2500 and send to him. I told him I would go the next day and apply for the loan. (OF COURSE, I DIDN'T GO AND APPLY FOR ANY LOAN) At the end of the next day, I emailed him and told him that I had been out all day trying to get the loan for him and that everyone had turned me down for a loan and that I was unable to obtain any money for him. That was 2 days ago. I haven't heard from him since.

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