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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

Hello,
Sound like someone I’m talking too also. I met him on SPM and he also had me delet the account right away. We have been talking since February of this year. Just that he told me he was divorced and he also has a daughter. He is also lived in New York but accepted a ciontract for his work and is now in Nigeria of all places too.
He also calls me his wife as we got married he said after just a week of meeting him.
He used to text me all the time but has stopped because of the time change he says and he rarely calls too as the reception is bad.
I wished we could share pictures too to see if we are talking to the same guy.

Adding a name to the scammers list - Michael Kings on Instagram. Will DM you and says he is from Quebec, Canada. He claims to fix airplanes. He will give you his # and want to talk on WhatsApp. Within a few hours he was sending his conversations with kisses. Within a day I was Queen, honey, baby, etc. Heart emojis. He laid it on thick. All he really wanted to do was flatter me and not get to know each other. He talked a lot about his parents and God. Said he was divorced. Wife cheated on him with his best friend. Contacted me first ting in the morning and thoughout the day. Within a few days we were going to be together forever. I had a feeling he was buttering me up for something, but I did not give him a chance. Told him I suspected he was not real. He got very upset and said I ruined everything and that I had betrayed him. I do not want to see him scam anyone else. I blocked him, but Instagram does not let you report these guys.

Hi,
This also sounds like the guy I’m talking to also. He also told me that his ex wife cheated on him with his best friend. Does he have any kids because the guy I’m talking too has a daughter who the mother abandon and he has full custody of her too. Can you describe what he looks like? Do you have picture of him too?

Sounds like the same guy goin by Harris Williams got 1 daughter turing 13 on September 28..wanted be to be her mommy on 2nd day..want me to send daughter I phone or I pad..said she in africa while he in Afghanistan cause he didnt trust no one in the states to keep her met him on POF..I told him to get his own gift and say its from us both he went ghost..

Yours sounds like my guy, except mine was Michael Burleson. The story is almost identical though. It's only been about 5 days but he's laid it on VERY thick, it's almost comical. The difference is my guy says he grew up in foster care. As an avid watcher of Catfish, I did my due diligence and found the real guy. The scammer hasn't asked for money yet. I'm torn between immediately blocking him and seeing if he will ask...

Yes Michael Burleson contacted me. Super sweet guy hasn’t asked me for anything until recently he told me he had a mission to rescue and asked me if I can take care his son . He may not make it. He wanted is to be best friends. Two days haven’t heard anything since
He doesn’t know my real name but told me the same story wife died and has no family and in foster care as a child.
Point is I was like this guy seems to good to be true. I was like I will go along with it. Damn super sad story hot guy but damn it’s super hard to believe. Anyone would fall easily.

Im scared for my mom ..she is 65 and has been talking to someone .. Now talking about a 11 year old girl being sent to her cause this person is being deployed.. Told her noone send a 11year old randomly to anyone they have never met.. Im thinking its a scam to get address and money .. What u all think

I been talking to this man Lordek Buck has anyone has he toll he is a marine been 7 months of this and I’m pretty sure he is scammer he toll me has 2 kids Sean and rose divorce please let me know

I talk with someone called Justin Brandon in Kabul. 2 children in NY. Their mother is dead. He is an doctor in military.
He wants itunecard and money the to get out of there earlyer. He says he has this contract.

i was texting to a man that said he was a orthopedic doctor in badhdad. working there on contract. he went by the name doctor michael samual. said everyone calls him dr. mike. said his wife and child was killed in car accident. we texted for 2 months then he said he was coming home on leave. said he had a house in washington,dc. anyone had any contact with him.. please let me know.. thanks..

did you recieve my message ? please let me know... thanks.

Jordan Freer, Emmanual Bryan, Miller Kalfman, Justin Thacker..Adamson Watkins..Micheal Raymond, Smith Porter, Danny Hernandez, Stone Lee.. can you put the last names are still the same and most cases all these men have ended up asking me for money and some form whether it be me take a credit card out in their name fill out leave papers for them accept money for them so they can come home bank account information from me or the wire me money Army to buy them phones or send them iTune cards several of them be careful ladies and gentlemen as well everyone take care and remember if it seems like a scam it probably is if they're insisting on trust right off the bat run from them ...trust is earned not given ;)

Anyone dealing with a “Chris Rossi” out of Los Ángeles? Italian. Supposedly went to UCLA. No family except for very ill grandfather. Luxury car dealer but also works for “Shell” I believe he says. Stuck in Turkey trying to finish a mercedes deal. Has scammed my sister out of a lot of $.

This guy Chris Rossi was on eHarmony Feb 2019 in the UK. Has a bald head, goatee and moustache. Exactly as described in previous message. Is very romantic, loving and convincing in his messages. Started talking to him after 3 days, came across as really sincere, personable with a big heart. Kept talking about our future together and I was totally taken in. Then had to fly to Turkey suddenly to vie for a “car contract.” 3 days later was given the contract but had to pay £400k for the Mercedes cars (18 of them) but didn’t have money for shipping. Asked me to send £20k to pay for shipping and then we would be “together for ever”. Transferred £5k to Turkey to placate him and to provide him with proof, then I immediately cancelled the transfer (unknown to him) then used emotional blackmail. “If you loved and trusted me you’d send the money, you’re standing in the way of us being together, I’ve been left here all alone because of you.” Stay strong ladies, he’s a cruel and manipulative man. If you need any further info, let me know.

Update on my previous message. It would appear I was a tad quick to judge and have since realised that the Chris Rossi I’m conversing with is a genuine guy. I would like to retract the comments I made in my previous message and apologise to him if he ever sees these comments. Warning to others, be careful you have all the facts before casting aspersions.

I also started to converse with Chris Rossi on eharmony in February and I agree with previous comments regarding personal information and business trip to Turkey, but hasn't once asked me for any money. Met up for lunch on his return but there wasn't a spark there for either of us so I'll keep searching for my knight in shining armour. Forever the optimist, I'm afraid.

My mom has been talking to some guy on hangouts named Chris Aguilera. His grammar is terrible, he calls her "babe" in every sentence, he asks her for a ton of money for things that don't cost that much, he never gives her a straight answer, he belittles her and makes things seem like they're her fault, and he's also constantly professing his love to her. He says he's an independent contractor and has been stuck in China. So he's always asking her for money for food and things. Recently I got my mom to promise to stop sending him money. She went online and told Chris and he made up some bs about getting back to America so he could meet with her. But then he said he had to go to the doctor and he needed her to pay for that. And then after she did, he told her he got a ticket but abruptly stopped talking to her for a few days. When he finally came back on, he said he had been planning his itinerary when he previously said he'd already bought his ticket. He told my mom the flight was full so he had to catch a different one. Then he asked her for $100 for food for 24 hours. His new flight should be leaving today but after my mom sent him the $100, he stopped talking to her again. My mom won't listen to me because she believes I don't know anything because I'm too young. She has to raise three kids on her own and barely makes enough as it is without Chris taking all her money. I'm really scared and angry and I don't know what to do

Hi, have you see pictures of him? If so can you describe what he looks like? Also does he have any kids of his own? I have been talking to s guy I met online too, but goes by a different name also. He was also asking me for money to pay his hotel room and food but he wouldn’t disappear at all. He also got sick told me to send him money to go to the doctores.
I finally told him I couldn’t help him out anymore as I’m also a single mother and can barley make it too. He gets upset but he is always coming back. He also calls me babe for everything too.

I thought i was in love, met him on fb. as patrick murphy an michael murphy he is supposedly kidnapped at present, last month he was arrested an in hospital with malaria these people are found out.

Has anyone spoken to a Alex S. Medina? From Indiana has a 9 year old boy in the US army?

Hello Ladies! Just want to chime in here. Received a message from an "Orthopedic Surgeon" on the Supertova Dating Site. RedFlags from the onset ! One- He said he was an Orthopedic Surgeon - and went onto to give me the Baron's dictionary meaning of it. Isn't saying you're an OP enough? Two--He rambled on for at least a paragraph about TRUST! Three-- He said he was from Massachusetts but spoke and wrote and botched up the English language like a foreigner might. Four-- He came on WAY too strong for the initial email … and 5. When I googled him --and this is a must in this day and age, there were a few Dr. Benjamin Jackson in the US -- none of which had photos to match the one that this Dr. Jackson sent me. Anyway, Here is a bit of how his scam begins. Good luck ladies. Be sharp!
Hello. my name is Benjamin Jackson a mixed race,mother from MA while my father is from Haifa Israel " Haifa is a northern Israeli port city. I'm an orthopedic surgeon. I specialize in the treating problems of the bones, joints,ligaments and tendons with surgery.. I have been working with the United Nation for the past 15yearsbut i was transferred to Syria not quiet long ago.my contract will be running out soon .I lost my wife and son in a fatal car accident back in the States few years back and i have been single since then with a daughter who is schooling in a Marin Montessori School,hoping to start up a new life with someone special whom i will love and call my queen . I wish on going into a relationship again and it will be nice to know more about you. I believe destiny has brought us together as we have met at this point in time. Yes, another RED FLAG Ladies! Maudlin and oozes BS!

I have been talking to this guy Tyler Bandon. He won my heart over in a matter of minutes talk to moving in with him starting businesses and sent me a dozen roses. He talked of gold that he had trapped over there that someone gave him and he wanted to send it to me along with some personal items until he come home he gave me the email address of some man to contact and in order to get the gold here it cost over $11,000 and I would have to color that charge so I'm still in contact with him he still telling me all these things about loving me and want to live with me but he often bring up the gold trying to get it home if anyone have a picture of this guy could you please email it to me

Did anybody deal with Jonathan Penn from the UK

How do I exactly do I do an image search?

I've been told you right click on the image paste it in Google and do an image search just press search and then in the searxh you can see" image" as a sub search I found mine come up that way. For the real person it's hard you have to do some digging but you'll find the real guy or girl good luck

40 year old guy on contract in Ukraine. Says he is a drone specialist. His name is Jeffery Smith. Met on Tinder and started talking on Viber. I’ve done reverse image on all his pics and come up with nothing. He gave me his email and have also talked that way. He is unable to video chat due to security reasons. He did send me a video of himself and looked like his pictures. He also showed me his passport and work ID. We have been talking for a month or so. Proclaims love, long term relationship, that he’s returning to US in January. Asked for money for his internet bill claiming he doesn’t get paid until contract is done. Anyone know of him?

Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe all is available on net?

Oh wow... such a surprise seeing many people gathering here and share such a shocking experince. I'll share mine also, even it still early n I have no idea why these people are doing this scam for living...
I got 4-5 people chat me through instagram and they said from the US Army n I was wondering what the hell is wrong with them. They just say hi n we started to chat and I don't even care what their motivation at all until I feel weird, why they had the same background. Losing wife, has a child who stay in the boarding school.
"I have a daughter her name is sarah and my wife died when she was giving birth to My child sarah I am still very single, that is single father ever since she left me. he is 9 years plus now schooling in united kingdom in boarding school., I stay alone in my house in Rose Dhu Island Dr Savannah, GA 31419 USA"
See??? That's one of their chat.

OMG... i started speaking a man on the facebook. Lucas Roland. He said let's go over on hangouts. That's ok. He's name Lucas joel on hangouts. He wrote me many nice and kind poems. I was suspicious. He's live in Chicago,America. Has a 11 years daughter. Has wife is died 2 years ago. He has a contract in Scotland a offshore engineer.... He's delet him facebook...(because the company rule). After he need help.... he wrote me - My bank won't release any penny until I am presently in person and we are not allowed to make unnecessary calls here because some engineers do run away without completing their contract. Help me take care of her school fees, I will pay you back when I return.

Im calld him a scammer. He was really angry and he wanted video call with me.
I was confused because he is real. I saw him.

I apologise from he.
He wrote me:- The money the school authority wants for my daughter's school fees is $3,000
Belive me, im not liar

I became friend with someone say he in the army, we had been message each other over months now,he ask me to receive his ATM card so he can come home which I had sent money sever time to help him am starting to believe I have been scam, and not it to point the security diplomat suppose to deliver this parcel to my door step but unfortunately since we are not married and I want get it now also at Jacksonville airport if we unable to show proof we are married the custom officer and security agent will scan the parcel. And if they any money on the card he will lose everything. But he now ask me to help come up with more money so we can get a married certificate, which I said no because i don't have any more money. But I don't know would i get into trouble because my name is on the package to deliver to me. How can I tell if i been scam or get in trouble for been stupid and kind heart. Not knowing

This sounds like a scam. It sounds like someone is making up a story so you will send him money. Some scammers say you will get in trouble if you don't send money, because they want more money. Its OK to stop texting or talking to a scammer, and stop sending him money.

Has any one ever.come across..a guy named..Frank Eddy..or James Oconnor

Does any know of a Frank Eddy or James Oconnor

Same story. Deployed in Syrai, in a mission, falling in love too fast, fb account disappear, asked me to start a KIK account right before it did. All of his lines were too good. HIS name did matched his uniform.. I'm afraid he got some good pictures of me, He has my address, email and phone number! So i am scared what he might do with my info. He gave me sad story that his account was mess up and he would just borrow the money from his commander, but also asking me. Why would he need so much money if you are on a mission in Syria. My brother was deployed, and all of my uncle's have retired from the military. Things were not adding up. I told him to prove who he was to me. He couldn't do that. To make a long story short, he almost got away with it scamming me but I caught it just in time.. These thiefs are taking peoples money and manipulating good peoples hearts. NEEDS to be stop

I've been talking to a soldier claiming to be on a Peace Keeping Michigan in West Africa goes by the name Dave White uses the pictures of kable_official. Claims to be a high-ranking army Sergeant on a two-year tour. Claims to need gift cards and wire for things like assignments medicine visits home religious offerings.

Have anyone heard of this girl claims she is from Massachusetts her name Alexander Annie, saying both her parents have died and she lives with her grandpa
She is asking money for rent and iTunes card

I met a scammer called Anthony Yang on meetup. he's too good in acting and conspiring with a fake courier company. I have unfortunately lost a big sum of money. NEVER trust this guy. he claimed to be an ABC working for the U.S. Army at high rank. his pic is still at the website but it is all fake. The courier company names itself as "A&B Courier" which i finally realised is a 100% scammer. i did check its name in the beginning but unfortunately mixed it up with another Canadian courier company whose name and website address are almost the same.

Alice please can you explain to us how he tricked you?

Does any one. Know of a Phillip Lehman from Austin please write to me if you do

How bout Harry Williams say he 52 turning 53 Oct 2..got a daughter Matilda stayin in Africa till he get back from peace keepin in Afghanistan, he got 2 months left..6 bedroom house in Indianapolis..daughter birthday in a few days.mom dad killed in accident

New scammers alert on all dating sites as soon you get know them they began ask for itune cards,amazon,ebay cards,ebay cards,apple cards they even want prepaid card..if you dont give it to them they get mad..dont wanna chat with you.they lie they rich they not they dont have webcam or can call you.they dont have facebook-twitter and they they talk on like they can access there bank need money for gas and food ?? i got jiffed out like 250us on these scammers. Many on zoosk-Others Doing This plus zoosk wrong charge folks high fees and for coins you hardly get many replies on match neither...if you look in your own city its no one on there or folks dont reply back..the ftc and government need get involved make them have real folks on there sites that are verified by phone number and address to be certifield..coins should not be ran out so fast they should last whole month for 150 coins so you get replies..scammers need be reported and kicked off all sites...also watch facebook they going be getting dating site soon watch folks con folks out of billions on cards-scams...watch nigerians some are good folks will never ask you for money...getting to know someone its alright if you met the person they need gas money to come see you or go on date its ok or if they real you know them few dollars ok like 20 -40 bucks....but online scams dont fall for them.

I was talking with a guy under the name of Lucas on Instagram. He come across so sweet he knew just what to say an sent me pictures of himself. I knew deep down he had to be fake. But kept hanging on as I was gonna play him at his own game. As the weeks were passing he started to ask for money from me for different things. I had said many times I don't have money. I do but it gets me by. I wasn't handing money out to him. But I went online looked him up over the weeks. To see what I could find an with the help of my good friend we found this guy out. The funny thing is, this guy is the real person in his photos but under a different name an job. He is a bodybuilder who is good looking so he knows what he is doing with his photos to get the woman into him. He works for the NAVY. I did say many times over the phone to him I will find you out on something. An his wife also was trying to add me on Instagram as well a few days back, which is kinda funny she also works in the NAVY with so called Lucas. There has been a tv programme about this guy an how he scams woman. I saw the last 20 minutes of it an remembered were I saw him. I did say this to him. But with the sweet talk he has he thought he got one over on me. So people be very careful if you are feeling very lonely that you just don't take on any woman or man as you may have just took on his guy or his wife. They are in this together.

What does Lucas look like? What's his full name on Instagram? I think I'm being scammed by Lucas.

Wayne Milly, 43 y.o. from Florida, widower, 13 y.o. daughter. Scammer! His English is poor, so he's quite easy to recognise.

Scammers usually use hangouts. I wouldn't chat with anyone via it.

Oliver Hoffman,i think he is not. As pictured,looks american but soundsvery different, maybe Malaysia

I was approached by a man on Instagram pretending to be eric church, got me to start chatting on hangouts. Keeps wanting me to buy iTunes cards, giving me a sad story so i will give him all my bank info and ssn. Says he loves me and wants to marry me after a week of talking. I was confused with all it but reading all your comments makes me believe he is the same guy too so be aware of this scam too.

There was a request for a follow in my Instagram from a Dewayne Howell. Seemed nice, but said he was from New Zealand, moved to NY with his uncle after his parents were killed in a car crash. Also said he divorced when his wife cheated 8 years ago. He has a daughter supposedly, but she only looks to be about 5 from the pics on Instagram. Very quickly he began saying (within hours), that he wants mevto be a mother for his daughter. The way he spesks (writes) does not sound like someone from New Zealand or New York, kind of broken, or grammatically incorrect. I think he thinks he is quite the romancer.
He suggested we switch to hangouts to chat.

I got a feeling of dread when I went to bed, thinking if I gave him information I shouldn't have. We talked about age, children, favorite foods, colors, regular stuff, but something is just off. I'm going to block him because a good looking guy with a good career doesn't do this!

So how many have heard from guys on instagram who are in Yemen for construction with his workers and equipment has not arrived as scheduled.....They ask for the itunes card. did not give any to them. blocked them..Then another guy on instagram just today says he has two girls and is from Kentucky and is in Yemen for United Nations, just like the military guy with a son in U.S. who he pays patron to take care of and is very disrespectful to women, blocked him..and now this one who is on a rig in Dublin, Ireland, with Tullow Oil and Gas, name is Rich Morgan. Great looking guy and so sweet. Sent pics of him and wife's wedding and he and his son doing lots of outdoor activities. I emailed Tullow with pics and asked if this man is indeed an employee. They emailed back that he is and since Rich wants a vacation to see me I should fill out the request with all my info and send in 3800.00 thru money gram and Rich can leave the rig and go to U.S. I had sent many emails to the company with questions and chance of scam. they said they understood my concerns but Rich is an employee who looks like the man in the pics. I talked to Rich on phone thru hangouts but he sounds more African than German accent. Now he says he got his friend to pay half of 3800.00 . just need 1900.00 to get off rig. I told him I did not have the money but he keeps insisting I find a way so he can come see me and marry and have a life with his son. His wife died in childbirth and brother and parents died in fire accident. So he has no one to ask to help him. Sad these scams happen. said he would give me email to talk to his son but has not given it yet . So I think he is waiting till a payment is made???? no payment. Company Tullow oil and gas has sent all the info for bank account to send payment...anyone else talking to this guy. he says he is not talking to anyone else..but he uses a lot of the same lingo many of your 'men' are...says his late wife paid for him last time for vacation...?????? He is stationed in Dublin, Ireland. sure wish we could find out about the and get the truth..

Bright Cryster....fake orthopedic doctor working in Afghanistan. Stolen photos and everyone dead sob story.

Yes, Bright Cryster is now chatting me. He contacted me in Linkedin. He has a LinkedIn profile now, and a dramatic story of course......

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