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

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PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS SO CALLED OIL RIG ENGINEER IN THE GULF OF MEXICO!!!!

HE SAID HIS NAME IS....ALEX HUNGBRUNG AND HE PLAYS GAMES ON WORDS WITH FRIENDS. SUCH A LIAR

GULF OF MEXICO OIL RIG ENGINEER by the name of TIMOTHY CARROLL??? sound familiar to anyone. He gave me his license (photo of license) and sounded legit for so many days & weeks. then started in on how he needed money to pay the "offshore department" for his leave and that once they had the money it would be returned to me, within 72 hours as i was named his beneficiary...HERE is where it gets crazy--he paid my credit card bill! when the payment cleared he asked me to use that money to pay the offshore department for his leave. He then said he would pay that new debt off, and he was headed straight to me in the PNW. When i didn't answer him and do as he said "he" called me however the guy on the phone was not him, when "tim" and I spoke through google hangouts later he said it was his supervisor who called and was pretending to be him, cause he can't use his phone-which he broke about 3-4 weeks into our talking. I am leaving out a bunch of stuff but this is the high points. DOES ANYONE experienced this?? Any information will help me relax, I have not sent him any money or purchased Iphone, I-tunes or wired money. I want to make sure my gut and brain are on track!

Has anyone ever seen theses email address Robertquirk 2402@ gmail. com Collinsfrank 206 @ gmail. com I just need answers

Has anyone heard of Matthew Heidiman47?
Originally from California but stranded in Nigeria due to construction! Very good looking, dark hair, beard, very fit! Family died in car accident.

I habe contact with a man in Instagram 01andresherman. Maybe you can look at this pictures. Originally from Gernany, Liveshow in California and is on construction in Nigeria.
Fsther died in car accident, wife died. 13 year old daughter.

Hello has anybody been in contact with a David wright or a David yepes????

What's his story? Claim to be doing a job in the UK?

Hello I was wondering if people have had messages from someone on hangouts called Emmanuel he targets vulnerable elderly ladies claims he loves them builds up a relationship. He gets them to send him parcels via DHL to Ghana and Nigeria mostly jewellery gifts. He claims to be in the army also goes by the names mr Hickman. I work for DHL and have a lady who is completely in love with this guy I'm trying to make her realise that's it's a complete scam. He has been messaging her through another name of leon he lies and says her boyfriend Emmanuel is in trouble this poor lady has sent alot of money in bank checks to him. But via an address in Bristol under a womans name called Linda if any of this rings any bells can people please reply I'm so worried about this lady the police wont help unless she admits and helps them investigate thank you

Have you encountered a man on tinder whose name is Anderson Jesse, widower, has an 18 yo daughter in boarding school?? He said he is an orthopedic surgeon in UK and currently in Libya sent by UN?? He calls and messages me in viber and promises me a lot of money that is why I am very doubtful. I just met him a week ago and he said that he really trusts me with his money. It’s too good to be true right????

Hi by any chance did anybody encounter scam from samuel chang on coffee meets bagel? He sounds sincere but said his parents died in accident 15yrs ago and he’s running health equipment business!
Said he’s travelling to turkey next week to source renovation material for client, i got suspicious because how would health equipment relate to renovations?
He’s half American half Singaporean.
But look very chinese and pictures showed he decked out in all branded wear!

Got the same scam saying he's a captain offshore with a son in Houston sick, wife died giving birth, should fly to his son, can't get his check cashed so needs my assistance. On Instagram with name jimmywr9660

Watch out for MartinsMorgan

Been talking to guy from POF said he was 58 real age 46 IAM 64 says is name is James from Bosco,La. Knows all the right words. Said he is soldier in Afghanistan. Wants me to buy and send him a phone. I no IAM being scammed he his very muscular like body builder has sent me several pictures of him. He right away wanted to talk on Google Hangout .his email is goodmaadam1010 a Gmail .com if anyone else has had contact with him let me no

I'm really terrified for my elderly mother who has been taken in by someone on Instagram using the id patrickrobbins1122. His profile picture is actually an actor named Benjamin King. We cannot seem to get her to understand this man is a scam artist. Please post if anyone has any information about this person.

I wish I would have read this blog months ago. Despite how smart I think I am, I fell hard for a new friend from Words with Friends. (I usually don’t converse, but there was something sweet and innocent about him and I truly thought he was legit). I even spoke with him on the phone, and looked up what a Norwegian accent should sound like. Thank goodness I started talking about my feelings to an adult child who is probably more aware of romance scams. She made me promise that I would never send cash to him sight unseen. And when the request came, I was devastated but prepared. Same old story. Oil rig engineer. No family. Darling and very convincing. At one point, I had to explain what a “Nigerian prince” was to him because he acted so innocent and oblivious. Definitely well scripted. Real men could learn a lot about how to woo women from following this script. Ask about her children daily. Tell her that you love to cook. Come up with a pet name for her like “sunshine.” Talk about dreams, likes, dislikes, and send her love songs that imply that you are “perfect” for each other. Cater your script to her age and place in life. Share a picture of you and your dog. Although no cash was exchanged, I still feel stupid for sharing photos of me and my children, as well as my real address, phone number, and email. I was called by “my number” the past 3 days claiming to be AT&T wanting personal information as there was suspicious activity on my line and I was about to be locked out of my phone. Reported that to AT&T and that was confirmed a scam. Oh boy. They are good. It’s time to learn from the experience, share the details, and never repeat it. My “Sam Rosenbauer” was “perfect” in my dreams. Mourned the dream and moving on.

Anybody heard of Adrian Christian Berg ?
Met him through Tinder, disappeared very quickly but wants to chat through email.
His email is a gmail account.
He is an oil rig worker and this is his last job before he retires. He will be home from SA in 3 weeks and wants to meet.
He has a property in the UK which he is returning to in a tiny little village half an hour drive from me where my best friend actually lives. This village is tiny and you couldn't make this up plus he gave me this information first. He is German and wife died 3 years ago blah blah, he has a son studying in Munich age 26.
I've searched for him on social media and all I can find is LinkedIn account with no pictures but it says he works for the company which he signs off his emails with. He has now w asked me to downloads ICQ or IQC messenger says he doesn't do WhatsApp because of security.....any thoughts anyone ?

Just got a guy called from Afghanistan, wanted me to take possession of gold he was given by a sultan, I also sent him iTunes cards. Thank god a friend told me of a friend of hers same idea, different story. His buddy was killed by roadside bomber

+447459624948 This is the number of a man I met on Tinder. I suspect that he uses a virtual number and his information cannot be found. He uses viber in pc. He is really suspicious because his spelling is so bad for his claim that he is a medical doctor

Man name Dave Johnson, Powerball winner wants to give people money. NY. Picture matches but ?? Hard to believe he would give random strangers money. Anyone heard of this?

Anybody been scammed by a Collins Jones. States he is Italian.

I am talking to a guy right now that says he is working for the UN in Baghdad as an orthopedic surgeon. His name is John makarios. He's 60 born in San Diego on Aug 23, 1958. Has anyone else heard from himself

I have been talking to this guy now for almost a year, when we first started talking he said he believed that God sent him to talk to me, he said he lives in Florida, and thats where he was when we first started talking, then a few weeks later he was shipped to Afghanistan and that is still where he is, he said his facebook got hacked and that his photos are being used to scam women, and he said he has been reporting them, the reason I say this is because I have been seeing post that have supposedly been put up by him and when I confront him he gets upset, and then we have a heated discussion about it, and he tells me again it is not him, he has sent me a gift, and I sent him a gift which he took a pic of when he received it, and its the only pic I have that was not taken from his Facebook account as it was taken after he got hacked, and I just don’t know if he is the deal or not

Last summer was approached on FB. Quickly, Mr. Scammer wanted to move to Google Hangouts. All of this is new to me. Had never heard of Google Hangouts. His FB page was suspicious to me. No friends listed. A few pics posted and all the comments were from Africans. My story is similar to so much of what has been written. I wish there was a place to post photos to see if this guy has been around for awhile. Frankly, I don't believe the picture is the guy. My guess, stolen pics. Claims to work on an oil rig. However, those I-Tune cards! I was clueless about the cards. O.K. , decided to help out a few times. It grew and grew. Right now it's over $3000. If course, dummy me had put a stop to it. You must know, this was a 'romance' scam. It actually grew over the months. I couldn't help myself, wanting the attention and kindness. And of course, it turned into other requests, specifically money. I have somewhat of a paper trail I am going to use against this guy. I will take it to the FBI site for Internet scams. Here it is March, 2019, and after all the red flags, I am just now going to report it. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that I fell for it. Here I was, the one always warning others about scams.

Your story sounds like mine, his name is "Jose Argueta", 10 years old daughter, a FB page with just few pictures but thumbs up from Nigerian people. I confronted him, he got upset but still wants to "work out" our "relationship" :))))

Hey all. I’m the newest one. I didn’t give this person any money. The catch for me is this. She claimed to live the next town over and her area code was the same as mine. But the third day we talked she was on a plane to Turkey for some job and sh’d be there two weeks. For the n cut 3 days all of her texts were word for word off other scammer sites that I read. So before it got to her asking for money she asked me to send her an email. So I did. I copied the entire page of the scammer website pasted it in the body of the email with the subject ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? Then blocked her email and phone number.

Anyone know of a Elloit Reece Stefan...relocated to Scotland from Holland? Wife died of breast cancer & has a daughter..about 12 years old?

Wow im Sorry to hear this from all you. Gotta be careful on the internet they can do anything from trick you to hack you. Only send money if you know them in real life rather well. I thought this thing only happend to males , I’ve never fell for it but it is rather sickening to think they try it on you to. If you haven’t got a meet after a couple days / weeks of talking I would just assume it’s a troll and move on

Nigerian scammer peter davolee he takes false profile pictures changes his name very nice looking guy beware ask for i tune cards only got 200 from me second time he ask for cards i knew he was a scammer beware they tell you anything if they ever say dear, angel, darling, and sunshine you got a scammer

Does anyone have similar encounter? A guy added me on Instagram, claimed to be some engineer based in Houston, portrayed himself as American Chinese. Single, dad passed away, mum staying closed by but not together. Got a contract to work in Istanbul, some work site accident happened, need some money for new machine. Tried googled him online but nothing found.

What’s his name? Any pictures?

This sounds very familiar, but he doesn't live in Houston, by any chance do you have a photo, or name? Ty

Hi everyone, Just been chatting to a guy on POF but wanted to move quickly onto email and then Hangout! He calls himself Gabriel Jeff Weber aged 55 yrs old and a widower! States his parents are deceased and he is German but been living in NJ, USA although oddly states he was living in Hereford, UK for 2 years. States he is a Colonel with US army currently deployed on a peace-keeping mission to Syria...... I'd already got warning signs at the "move off POF" but I like to play them at their own game! This guy thinks I'm sending him an Apple iPhone , an Apple I watch , some cornflakes, coffee and cookies LOL!!!!!! I mind just send the cornflakes for a laugh........ of course they have to go through a third party - someone called John Vaa who apparently works as a diplomat for the UN and can get stuff to military bases all over the place from his office in West Africa!!!!! He is very charming and has a good command of the English language ........ I used TinFox?? to check his 3 photos he sent - he's a very good looking middle aged man - one is with another military guy in an aeroplane which someone else mentioned here - all 3 photos come back as fake scam info ......... so BEWARE!!!! He keeps mentioning his visits to Syrian orphanages and talks about the children a lot. It's all part of an elaborate plot to get me to part with my money although he hasn't directly asked for any actual cash or iTune cards etc etc. It he is desperately keen to know when his iPhone will arrive, allegedly "so he can talk to me" - no doubt to declare his undying love for me as I'm his Princess and his Queen and we will soon be married....... blah! Blah! Blah! I've already reported his profile to POF but wanted to alert others on here!

Ok

has anyone had any contact with someone named david martins . claims to be an engineer lives in Seattle but command of English language is lacking and he says he got a contract in
Africa for 2 months?

I’m talking to a Martin D Camden he is working on a contract( oil rig) and his machine caught fire so he needs me to send him money so he can get it fixed and come home. I’m not sending him money.

I've been talking to a Sgt. that's stationed in Nigeria. His name is Sgt. James Blakely. Sent me over 100 pics of himself. Won't do a video chat cuz his phone can't...and right now is in a hospital over there after being shot by terrorists. Suppose to b on a drift deal ???? and needs $$ to get out of the hospital and get back to Texas. Funny though...when we chat on the phone he definitely doesn't sound Texan...his English is VERY bad . Got in touch with me threw FB but now I c his page is gone. Needs $$ ASAP to come home. Has anyone else dealt with Sgt. James Blakely???? If so we can xchange pics . also expressed love after a few weeks...and we've been talking for over 2 years....always promises he's coming home but then something always comes up ! I feel soooo bad for the real Sgt. Blakely. I wish he knew what this ass was doing...I just wonder where this imposter got all these photos ....

Hi everyone! I been reading these threads with heavy heart. A close friend of mine met a man from Nigeria,claiming to be a owner operator of an oil rig in Cyprus. The man is real though, good looking, lives in same town as her. Went on dates. He paid for everything. And he seems to be REALLY well off. Drives an expensive car ( like 145K car). Lives in a good townhouse. Seems extremely well educated. It all seems amazing. He is like the guy who everyone dreams off. Does everything right.

But he has no social media profile, like.. nothing. All there is, is a website with his picture, representing his company. Investigating that made me found that all of the phonenumbers and fax numbers are fake. The address of " head quarters " is fake. Even the address that his domain is registerred on is fake. So all of sudden things dont add up. He doesnt ask her for money ( its 2 months now ) or does anything out of the ordinary. So I am hoping that all this has a good explanation and he is victim of stereotypes and we are looking to much into it. But these stories frighten me. Does anyone has good advise on what to do?

Been talking to Clark Dawson (55 year old widower with a daughter in boarding school) He was in California but when to Cape Town for business. Hasn't asked for money yet, but I recognized the scam from day one. Yesterday there was a problem with a shipment and today his bank account is frozen. He has to fly home for a biometric scan to unlock the account. "Damn those Russian hackers". The pictures he uses are wonderful. His words are overly kind. I told him that if possible we could clone him and create a team of Clarks that I could talk to all day long. :) The team they have assigned to me has two decent chatters but at least one cold personality and one that is not so smart. He pastes the same messages multiple times and today posted a link to the page he took the message from. Finding humor in this, but really want to find a way to at least get enough evidence to stop this group. Stay strong ladies!!!! What's too good to be true usually is.

the persont that used me was named gabriel johnson yepes a soldier supposly in africa claiming to be gay

i need urgent to post comments on how i receive my lost husband back in america on march 16/ 2019

I just got friended by someone and they were using a picture I saw on a scammer beware site as a common one used. I told him I knew he was a scammer. That it was not his picture and he said what scam? I said romantic scam to get money. He said he was a man of honor and I should apologize. I then blocked him. After telling him to get a. Honest job! It felt good to call him out. I will keep doing this it's fun to get them in their game!

I was talking to a guy who said him and his daughter were stuck in Nigeria , lagos. Said he needed money to come back to l a . That he was getting paid when he got back to the states. Told me he list his wife due to his wife giving birth to their daughter.

i'm gay and we follow together on IG. That guy name is Alex Martinez and he told me that he's an US army deployed to IRAQ for serving Military. About his stories is he've been serving in iraq since 2015 and will leave camp in this April 2019, His parents had died and he doesnt have any brother or sister so that he wants me to be his love. Hahaha. Closely to the end of the conversation he said he will visti me for 2 weeks and back to Texas - where his homestay located. I do feel he was a scammer and i ask him to make the video call for me but theres no answer.Haha.
Anyone here who met this guy? Tell me.
Sorry for my bad English cause I'm Vietnamese :)

My dad has been talking with someone for about a year now. We all know it’s a scammer but he won’t believe us. The name is linda Smith. From Springfield Illinois. Claims she originally from Texas. She is black and the age 26. She has asked for money and has said she will come see him when he said he’d buy the ticket she was quick to ask for his card information and do it her self. All signs are there that this isn’t who they say they are. He has sent her iTunes gift cards. Everything she has sent him looks fake but my dad Is in complete denial is unreal. Has anyone dealt with this person? Or can help me shed light to help my dad see what this really is before he loses a lot of money. Thanks so much!

I have been online dating for a while.. its fun.. but i will block guys who start asking me for money, itunes cards or talking he had a millons (trust me they are lying) in his account.. its a lie.. Falling in love don't come in a day , week and months.. better broke your heart than be lie by those men online..

I just started online relationship with Thomas Echrich, German-American. professed love almost immediately. parents dead. son with aunt in Germany. work in the oil and gas industry. subsea engineer. now in Dubai needing funds to ship machine from China so he can finish his work. Anyone else with the same story?

I just received a scam e-mail, but I'm playing along. Google marked it as possible phishing. Should I do anything beside mark it as spam. Can I do anything to help catch him?

I just started online relationship with Thomas Echrich, German-American. professed love almost immediately. parents dead. son with aunt in Germany. work in the oil and gas industry. subsea engineer. now in Dubai needing funds to ship machine from China so he can finish his work. Anyone else with the same story?

Do you know Kelvin Brown.?..he says he is part of the U.S ARMY..

Instagram is the worst. Woman posing as retired porn star Avy Scott claims she’s now in Dallas finishing her nursing degree. Says she’s falling in love with me and can’t get me out of her mind. Three weeks of messaging and she wants $400 on an iTunes card because she needs a new washing machine. I’m suspicious so I do some research on Avy Scott and start asking specific questions that she fails to answer. Kept hoping my suspicions were wrong - the heart can cause stupid thinking. Every pic she would send me was professionally shot so I asked for a selfie with her tongue sticking out. I asked her to call me so we could talk and I might verify her claims. Her protests were that her phone’s camera didn’t work (sent me a fake screen shot) and she was too nervous to talk directly to me (porn star too nervous? Lol). Finally sent her an iTunes card for $75 and a specific Best Buy phone/plan to pick up at her local store, told her to take the pic and no more $ until she verified her identity. She never did and the under intense questioning admitted she had been lying. Then she gave me what she claimed was her real name, age and location. Asked her to send me a selfie as I had originally requested and she blew up and walked away. I commented all over her Instagram page to warn others and she took it down today. Lesson - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The heart can cause us to do things that are not rational. Beware of those who say they love you and followup with an urgent request for $$.

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