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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

Someone can help me if there is possible to track down someone where is really located (well this person claim was in Russia), I have pictures. I felt in love deeply, he contacted me through IG, is there a way through pictures to find out who he really is, and run a background check on him, I think when I could not lersued anymore his financial requirements, He said he was in a hospital due to an accident, and the doctor took over his Chat on IG saying that he passed away. I already sent him within 6 weeks iTunes cards, amazon cards, and btc’s. He also got my access to online account and was able to deposit through his friends supposdly checks that when I got a copy from the bank looks very fake, my heart is broken I still love him deeply, but would like to find out who he really is, he respond under the name of Carlos Bush from Russia. Any feedback will be very appreciated.

If you give someone your bank account number, they can deposit checks and transfer money through your account. They might be transfering stolen money.

If you help a scammer, your name is on the bank account and is connected to the money transfers. You could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

 

What if you have them your account information is there anyway to fix it?

Hello All, including Bidget Small from FTC, I have lost over 200 000 dollars by beeing scammed. I did lodge a complaint (I have the number) to FTC in January 2018 and no one contacted me. So.. Sorry: Bridget Small right spelling

Thank you for reporting your experience to the FTC. The information you provided was added to a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

If you gave your email address when you made your report, you should have received an automatic email response to say we received your report. FTC staff don't make personal phone calls to tell people that we received their reports. If the FTC staff need to talk to you, an investigator might contact you.

A friend of mine has been on & off chatting to a man that says his name is Abraham Ab. He is supposed to be from Oslo, she has already sent him money ( a supposed loan) but has not paid her anything back. I believe he is a scammer. His photo, I feel, does not fit his voice. I am worried for my friend as she is very vulnerable. She's loaned him thousands of pounds. His stories are ridiculous but she thinks he is genuine. What can we do for her?

You could show her the information in this blog and the comments other people have submitted about their experiences.

Read more about warning signs online dating scams.

Scott Randy, met on Tinder, Italian American global contractor working in Turkey. I was the love of his life and he was coming home in less than two weeks. Then there was a construction accident...worker killed. Exhausted all his money paying taxes and funeral expenses. Wanted me to send 1500 to help pay the workers or his passport home would be seized. Were texting via hangouts. Blocked him and deleted conversations.

Met someone on Tinder named Richard Williams.He was really sweet told me his parents died in a car accident and knew a lot about Houston. He said he was an independent contractor that had to go to Dubai to do work. I believed him. A couple weeks later he said someone robbed him and took all of his money could I send him 350. I told him that I never met him and didnt feel comfortable doing that.He got mad and told me he doesnt need to scam me, he give 350 to charities. We may be talking about the same guy, he's just changing up his professions and locations.He seemed so real though.

I believe I'm being scammed by someone named Kelvin Blas... I can't find him when I do image search, but stories are a bit similar.

Can you give details of this Kelvin’s story? A friend is also talking to a Kelvin and we believe she is being scammed.

I also have been in contact with someone names Kelvin I believe is scamming me. Do you have any more information?

Yes the same for me. I found him on Facebook .

Anyone has a Christian Madin supposed to live by himself, sick aunt, work in oil in Kuwait. Has not asked for any money or nothing. But acts in love. Sent me fake pictures of his supposed house. Asked me to chat on hangout immediately because he is in a ship in Kuwait and signal it’s bad.

Yes he contacted me. Did he tell you were he lives?

Has anyone heard of a guy named Evans Larson Johnson goes by evansjohnson123 says he is A Sergeant in the Marines stationed in African Country. Has asked me several times for $50 to $100 in I-Tunes cards. Has professed his love immediately and wants me to divorce my husband for him. He sends me pictures all the time and seems like they are really, he says he is 37 almost 38 this July but seriously looks 20?

This maybe the guy I was in contact with. He was going by David Johnson johnsond5681 on instagram. His facebook states his name is Evan. States he is a single dad of a 5yo son and is in the airforce. Stationed in CA but has duties in Texas. Does this sound like your guy justmejewels?

Does anyone know a Bryan Banks. He claims to deposit government payroll Funds into your account and you send him half. He needs banking info and.yourname to do a test deposit. He too is all over Facebook

If you tell someone your bank account number, they can take your money. They might say they will deposit money, but that doesn't mean they really will.

Also, some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They don't tell you the money is stolen - they tell a story to hide the purpose for the transaction. They meet people online, create a relationship, and ask you 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.

I have one too. He claims to be American but does not know what thanksgiving is or Independence Day. His wife died in a car crash 3 years ago, has a daughter who is 4. Hasn’t been able to find love since she died but was seeing someone and he caught her cheating with a fellow service man. He’s currently serving in Afghanistan.

I think he is a scammer

Really?

A guy by the name of west mane is i believe scamming my sister.he loves her wants to marry her in the military a cop he says he is all this..now in australia coming home july no show.went to canada in hospital with malaria???. She met him on hangouts! Wants more money she sent i tune cards more excuses why hes not coming home. His bank account hacked no paychecks? Seriously? I want to help my sis reveal this guy is a scammer!!! Any suggestions. He is in a hospital in canada but they have no phone number?hmmmm.shows her pics of himself military vest really. Probably photoshopped. I told my sis ill eat my words if this guy is real....

I forgot to mention he will reach out under a bogus name like Benjamin Cochran. This identity is a middle aged, 50, man who is a construction architect basically. He is orphaned never married and no kids based in LA and visits Switzerland his homeland. This identity is a handsome middle aged Jamaican man with a baldin head and grey goatee.

Tyler Scott.. a.beautiful guy, lost her wige on a car accident, has 2 children... He is on Instagram and I think is a bad man, a lyer..

what is his IG , I want to make sure its not the one i know

Met a guy on tinder - Mark Simon. Says he's security working a contract in Lebanon. Quotes the bible...gave me the name of a church in Beirut that he attends. Way to fast on the falling in love. Asked me for an itunes card. Very handsome. Sent me a few pictures. Said he was in the army for 10 years - got out - and went on contract. Divorced with an 8 year old girl living in California with his sister. I of course - am very suspicious...and am not buying the card. I asked him if $25 was enough...and he said yes. It's for his birthday 8/12. He has a gmail account. Has called "from a secure room". he said he has dual US/Greece citizenship. Anyone come across someone like this?

Hello to all this victims!

The same happened to me , too.
On October 2017, a man Holmes Lamb- Financial consultant and oil business from Texas wrote to me one email. I was so happy to find out a love email in my post.So I started to chat with this person, that pretended to be from Houston. He was the perfect person for me, I have ever met in my life. He has an answer at all my questions and he played so well, cause I fall immediately in love with him. After two months, in January 2018 he asked for money for his flight ticket, pretending to come to visit me in Germany. We shared pictures, addresses and he knew all about me, but I nothing about him.On givens day he said to me to buy him an apple card for 100 Euro, and to send him the code. I have sent him the money and never seen him. In all the time he found one excuse and after all this he asked for more money. Now I am threatened with the missing from my son. All his pictures were fake, profile from Facebook doesn’t exist, his number is not available, and his last words to me:you will end up crying!Now I have lost my money and I should protect me and my son! And this story has no end , but I want to prevent the other women, never sending money to a stranger!

yes ive had a scammer who stoled a drs pictures and Dr Mike) wanted me to send him a 500.00 iTunes GH and my response oh really? your a dr YOU buy me one. he didn't like this I knew he was a scammer. Anytime ANYONE you never met want you to send money or open a checking account. One guy name Paul on twitter was pretending to be from Michigan and he wanted my acct number so his fake general could dep his vacation check into MY account. he sent me photos of him and his daughter which im sure were stolen from someone else profile. he said he was in the middle east and as a diver and that 4 of his men were killed and he was injured and sent me pictures of him in the hospital and asked me to buy him a amazon or iTunes gc so he could talk to his daughter and I told him no I suspected he is a scammer he got mad at me and I reported them both to twitter and blocked them

I’ve been chatting with a woman I met on Facebook Michelle Gregory. It started slow talk of losing her sister and female partner to cancer. We talked on Facebook voice she sounded like an Italian woman ask me to send money for phone time. She supposedly was working for Lockheed Martin in a high security job. I sent her money off my credit card. She said I’ll pay you back she did pay my credit card off. About two weeks later the payments were denied by the card she used. I’m out about $1500. Then she vanished. Now she’s contacting me saying she’s trapped in turkey lost her passport and needs a plane ticket. Well I’m playing along contacting authorities These people don’t care about us they want to pad their pockets with our money.

Has anyone been scammed by a man named Douglas (no last name) on Coffee Meets Bagel? Claims he’s an Army General in Afghanistan, lost his wife and 2 daughters 7 years ago, and has a son in boarding school. He’s just now asking to go off the app to chat on google hangouts. No request for money yet but I’m sure that would be the next step. I was just curious if anyone else came across his profile.

I am mostly reading about guys scamming women.
I get contacted at least once a day by fakers. I keep them busy for days until they finally ask for an iTunes gift card.
That's when I block them.

1. Use Tin Eye to reverse lookup pictures. I find they use models, porn stars, Instagram models, etc..
Not all of the time though....they are getting wise.

2. English...lol.
They say like..."I am Jessica by name"...Who talks like that?
Most are bad at English and grammar. Some are quite good though...look out.

3. Ask about their favorite football team. I usually get names of soccer teams...lol. (European rules football).

4. Important! Get them to do a videoconference with you. I get a lot of excuses like my phone is bad that way. I need a new phone, can you help me? Then I can video chat.

5. Never send money, buy gift cards, set up new bank accounts, etc.
Two scammers wanted my to write their name and happy birthday with something else. I don't remember what...They we're pissed by the 4th time I did it wrong...lol.

I am on Instagram with this user name if I can help or network.
I wish I could work for the feds or a website that busts these scammers. If anything I am getting good at wasting their time. Time they would use scamming someone else.

Let me know...

I believe my sister is being scammed by Bob Johnson (BJ) says he’s a retired airline pilot, lives in New York. Currently in France purchasing an airplane he’s going to fix. He’s been widowed for 2 years, has a son in a coma in California and a daughter there too. Anyone else familiar with this story?

Has anyone heard of a Davis Carter? Working as a Marine Engineer in Turkey.. but from San Fran.. also has a house in Sunderland. 1 daughter named kim.. whose in a boarding school.. and her mother died in a car crash too?

Be careful. Within 14 days, over 30 men contacted me on facekook. Everybody wanted to be friends.
I accepted 10 contacts, everything was the same! I knew from the beginning that it was a scam, and it just went off in a few days. Male, 1-2 children, single parent, parents died, he is from US, UK or France. Currently, in Afghanistan, Yemen, Africa. Oil Company, US Army, Naval Engineer, Journalist. No one can send a selfie. The questions about children answers just name and age. I reviewed the photos of their profile over myye, all of them already registered scammers. I'm sorry for the real people who are in those pictures. But the world is big, so the scammers know. They always start by looking for a friend from my youth and finding my profile to have a nice smile. They immediately wonder whether I am married, where I live, whether I have a family. Philip Scott, David Dupont, Ryan Chaun, Peterson Chris William, James David Mario, Gerome Monier, David T Tuttle, David Nathaniel, Jean Michel Grenier, Charlie Malcolm, Jusco Frazier Asare, William Smart, Ryan Fuller and Thompson Garrett. I said no. I blocked everything.

Has any one came across a guy claiming to be Casper Walker, currently in Germany?

has anyone heard of jared derson

Sarah Jenkinson on Instagram falls in love with you so you can send her gift cards. What beautiful female now a days has only 6 pics on her page?? Try to confront her "she" never answers back. Beware.

Has anyone been gotten by this girl from Nigeria goes by the name amber and is looking for money to get paperwork and plane ticket outta their was believing her at first I would like to know if she is trying to pull this scam on anyone else???

Has anyone ever hear of Jason Konilikas? Pretty sure my friend is being scammed.

I was introduced to a man on fb messenger about a month ago looked really handsome we chat and chat everyday his name was Neal Baxter a US military form the Army deployed in Afghanistan all he told was his mother was sick and he was sick. Where he was deployed caught the mellaría I felt so bad for him we got to know each other started sending him pictures of me and my grandkids he also send pictures of him and his mother and ex wife saying he was divorced cuz his ex wife was a drug addict well then he started asking me to send him money through Red Cross or buy iTunes I spend some money on this man well a month went by I started to think this was not right I’ve deleted him and blocked when I did all that then I got a text on fb from so call John Weber his bff stating that how much he misses me and loves me so much I’m like oh no I was just trying to help him out well a few weeks later I got anoth text on fb looked up Request ppl onessenger therebhe was again Neal Baxter with a threat that he was going to send all these pictures of me half nude he did a good job on those with my face on them I’ve never posed nude for no one not my body that he was going to send them all to my family and friends demanding Money ASAP or else o got on fb and blocked him reall fast but I was so stupid not to see it good I got myself in so much trouble he had the names of all my family and friends he will forward those to them I was really upset and scared I was so depressed I cried for days and days why do I get myself into this trouble I do hope he gets caught and never does this to no one else

Anyone have experience with an Alex or Alan Connor? He appears to good to be true but has lots of pics abs all the right answers.

However he claims to be from San Diego Diego. Leaving for Malaysia for an engineering contract. Im waiting for the "lost my wallet" or "sick child" text.

Thomas Wareen. Anyone hear of him?

Yes! Stay away from him. He is smooth. Not the widower story. Divorced, wife has the kids. Photographer.

But he's really a nigerian scammer. Took me for more than i care to admit.
Had all the right answers.

I contacted other women on his profile. He has been telling several that he loves them. What a fool I am.
I tried to tell one that he wasn't who he said. She says he truly loves her. I told her he was taken money and account information from others, including me.

He doesn't know I am onto him. I contacted the authorities.

He got me too. Wanted to marry me. Said he was having money trouble. Didn't have the widow story so i believed him. After I had no more money to give, he disappeared.

Hello Bridget, Sure I did receive a mail from FTC on 04 january 2018. I have the number 915xxx.. But nothing is moving on. I'm desperate.

Hey guys im now talking on wechat with a girl who claims to be a medical doctor at an army base in afganisthan. Lost her parents when she was 12. She says she wants to visit me in Malaysia. Needs to apply leave and the commander for the camp is asking for $550 to find a replacement for her. Lucky thing I am educated enough not to be fooled. So i am just fooling her around. This world is a dangerous place.

Ok so I have not been on any dating sites. Just Instagram. I am married and have told the guys who contact me that I am married. One in particular has told me he is in love with me and wants me to leave my husband to be with him. I have told him no and stopped talking to him. He always comes back. He asked for money two times and I told him no. He got upset but still wanted to talk to me.
My question is what could anyone possibly get from me leaving my husband? Why would they keep asking me to leave and be with them?

I met this guy from FB, he friend requested me. I accepted to just chat with someone new and about basic stuff. We’ve been talking for 3 months. We had gone back and forth about him being a “scammer”. All of our fights have been about money. He says he works on an oil rig ( I forget where). He said he is from New Zealand, has a 14 yo son named “Jeffery” who is wait for it....in a boarding school in the UK. He sent me “pictures” of supposedly
who he is. The pictures he has sent all look mostly the same and there is even a picture of his “son”. I have called him out on so many things. His “son” has an account on Hangouts, I think and feel very strongly (and it’s hard to see what’s in front of you)especially when you have put so much time into him and the relationship you think you have. The reason I am writing this is because he is supposed to come to the US in 2.5 weeks.
I wrote down the things that you ladies have heard them say to you.
He says he is going to buy a house for him, me and his son to live
in. I live in the state of Massachusetts where there is this beautiful place to visit and live called Cape Cod. He is wanting to buy a house on the beach. You and I both know how much those go for. I have looked at the ones where he wanted 5br and 3 baths. If there
is only the 3 of us why the need for such an expensive and big house which are in the 3,000,000- 6,000.000 range. He said I could pick out ANY house I want.
It hit me but am in denial and hoping he is not a scammer but it’s not looking too good. 1 month ago, he needed money for his “son”
something to do with paying for exams. I don’t know about any of you but when did anyone have to “pay” for exams, I never did. The guy told me the UK and the boarding school his son was going to
they do things different there. So in a nutshell regarding that I am disabled which he knows. So I am on a fixed income, he talked me into giving my WHOLE pay to this guy in Ghana. I Money Grammys it 1,150.00 I had no money to pay bills. Because of that my husband left me and I couldn’t pay rent and any bills. He said he was going to pay off my 2 credit cards, but instead the payments did not go through (there’s a shocker). I had worked so hard to keep those 2 cards up to current standing, because the payments were never replaced with another payment to cover it they put my
account as suspended then delinquent and finally the company closed both accounts all because of him. I never got the 1,150.00
back. What was I thinking that I ever would. He also said he is buying me any “high end” car that I want. I have been told all the names that all of you have been called. He wants to treat me like the queen that I am, honey (overkill on that)in the beginning. Baby, princess, I love and miss you so much, that I am everything to him,
his life and he can’t live without me in it. Most of the time he seems
so genuine I know that’s where the conning, sweet talking and saying what he thinks I want to hear! When I ask him to take a selfie he will have an excuse about his phone and any questions most of the time I ask he will dance around them so I push the question until I get an answer I am satisfied with. It’s ironic how he says “I promise” kind of a lot but last night I boldly said to him to not make promises he’s not sure he can keep!!! If I don’t do something
mostly pertaining to money he gets sooo PO. But he has put extreme pressure on me to get money even if I have to ask ppl I would never normally ask. He makes me feel so guilty and throws out the “ You don’t care, you don’t love me and don’t care about Jeffery. I really want to ride this out until July 28th. That’s when his supposed “contract” on the rig is up. I don’t back down to him and refuse to. So with all that I have read in here You know the saying, If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck...
Btw, this man I have fallen in love with goes by the name Steven Douglas. Please get in touch with me if you have been scammed
by him... Thanks

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