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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

I tried to look to Hadiza Inyene claims a private guardian from Athens, Greece. If you know this person or woman please message me i had her photo I sent $300 from Western Union from last week. She was connected with Michael West.

Anyone knows the person i was chatting i bought $1,590 itunes card to sent it to him he is a ship engineer and supervisor in London Maritime and Netherland Maritime last two weeks he said the Bulk Cargo was stranded he was asking me to buy him an itunes so that he can contact his ship manager in Netherlands to send another ship to them. After a week of waiting this Michael West informed me the other ship came ro rescue them. After 4 days they almost reach London land he said again the engine pins fill out on the ship he needs $600 to pay for the supplier immediately but i don't have any more money told him why he cannot call the company he didn't owned the ship but he needs to fix it. He wrote me a very nasty letter saying i didnt see him yet but i saw his money. He promised to marry me as soon as he reach to the land and start a new life. It is soo good to be true what he promised me since i didn't see him cam to cam as.i request many times to sign up but he always had excuses saying they lost the connection. I am done with him this person is always taking advantage to me and i know he is one of the scammer here in WhatsApp, Instagram, Hangouts. If you would like to see his pictures please message me here.

Angelwing can send his pictures to me

I recently met a man named, Dominic Green, SAID is from San Francisco, works on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, so very handsome, , I got him to send me his email, tel #, and promises me the world, sure very romantic, and it feels good especially when you are lonelt, but I have played my game well and still communicating with him even when he calls, to listen to his voice for my research, he sounds nigerian but says is from Berlin germany, on his profile, I found people sending him birthday greetings this week, but he does not respond, he did send me a Amazon ring and gifts, but also has asked for money in small amt. But in a Amazon card.I really want to believe him but do not want to get scammed.So I'm still playing his game until I get more info on him. I told him I would go see him in S.F. In a couple of months when I'm there visiting, and is always in agreement. He knows I'm no fool, because of my questions and is maybe playing me along. I just wanted to throw his name out there to all of you to watch out for this person.He does want me to get on what app or Hangout, it's not going to happen.I really like this guy i hope he is not a scammer.I did block him when he first asked for money, but begged me to please unblock him, that he was not playing games with me, I did and started my research. Good Luck to us all, oh there he is again..

My friend has been talking to this guy and he is already professing love. Goes by name of Michael Collins hes a widow with 2 kids Annabelle and Nelson. He works on an oil rig in gulf of Mexico and planning to come see her within couple weeks. She is very naive and claims him as her boyfriend, but I don't believe him. He messages her on Instagram and cannot receive phone calls since he is in middle of the gulf. Hope she catches on before it's too late.

Has any men been scammed by mia mallory tony or faith ola?

Do you have a photo of this Michael Collins?

ive been scammed although no money was paid except this man wants to send gold for me to hold until he gets back to the us his name is david rosen has anyone else had this petson contact them .ive done animage reverse lookup with no luck help

DIANE, this is a PACKAGE SCAM. Someone will contact you and ask you to pay fees, taxes, or duties. The PACKAGE does not exist.

I'm looking for an us soldier named Anderson Lopez:. He said he is an E8 Sergeant, platoon sergeant in absence of the 1 SG First Sergeant MAJOR Leader of a Squad. I couldn't find something about him at the net.

reading these stories has made my blood run cold. I too have been scammed has any one talked to a James T Rossi ? claims to be Italian living in LA

I’ve been talking to a Jeffry Rossi. Has a Nevada phone number but has been in Nigeria building a hotel for the past year . Was suppose to come back to Las Vegas on 2/15/19. He’s Italian, with accent. Speaks 5 language and has 2 boys. He was suppose to give me flight information and copies of his tickets. Now he’s not responding or talking to me any longer

I was also scammed with the name ANTONIO ALBERT DIEGO!! believing he’s an expert ifx forex trader! Promising a 150% profit but before getting your profits they will keep asking money!! Stop investing with this man! Check out his ip’s..he came from nigeria!! I have a lot of evidence transactions with him..watch out his fb coz he’s doing live but he will never pick up calls to make a face to face conversation! Don’t bite his promises! It’s a warning..

Anyone know Derek Myles just scammed me, was sending box I was threatened with 10.500 pounds he said don't worry, nothing came of it, then he needed money for flight army sent him to Syria then to turkey, I paid flight and luggage, turned up at airport, guess what, he wasn't there he's supposed to be 45, widower from Philadelphia, be aware

I have been talking to a guy and I totally sure he is a scammer reading all of your stories some sound so familiar to some of the things that's been said to me all he wants is iTune cards now it's on to Google Play cards but he hasn't asked me for money he has opened up a credit card in my name and wants me to buy Cards and then he'll pay for them I've been putting him off because I am skeptical and when I put him off he gets very angry and mean and calls me names and then I don't speak to him only through text is the only time I talk to him I never got a phone call video chat anything then in a few days he contacts me and apologizes and I play along with the game for a little bit I've reported it to my credit bureau and my credit card he says he wants to help me with my business because I am in need of money I have no money to send him he has asked me to send him money for his son that's being washed by his Nanny while he has off shore oil rigging but also is starting his own independent Business but anytime I ask him questions about it he avoids it and he avoids a lot of questions that I ask nor am I allowed to ask he sends me pictures of him and his son they do look similar I can tell they're not selfies but I will be glad to post a picture and reveal his name which I know is not true because I've looked it up or did some research oh and then he sends me cute little poems which I find if you search them on Google they're fake and he says he comes up with them out of his head he writes poems what does Ally and I confronted him about that too.

If someone uses your name and personal information to get a credit card, that is identity theft. They can create debts in your name. The debts will go onto your credit report. You might get calls from debt collectors.

Report identity theft at www.IdentityTheft.gov. Report what happened. Get letters to send to credit reporting agencies and credit card companies where the fraud happened. Make a list of steps to protect yourself.

A guy started talking to me playing words with friends name Mark Larry who is America and working as a doctor in Syria for injured military. His daughter Emily who is 9 is in boarding school. I am very septical now. He says he can’t video chat

I have a question. Has anyone encountered where the person give you a bank site and they give you their information to enter and check their account? Then find out later on that they are a scammer. What are my risks now?

A scammer might tell you he has a lot of money in the bank, and say you can check his bank account balance. He says he's rich because he's trying to persuade you to do him a favor.

But even if you see a page online that looks like a bank account statement, that doesn't prove there is really a bank account with a high balance. It doesn't prove that the person you're talking to has a lot of money.

I have had now for three weeks a Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, telling me he is an American Doctor posted in Aleppo Syria, seeet talking me on Pinterest and now on Skype.
Find it very odd that after telling him I am 74 years old and married he is still talking amourously. He has not asked for any money, he says he he just wants to talk to me. Love my smile.
Something smells fishy.

I have dealt with two scammers this year. Now I have a different scenario going on. This guy is in one of my groups on Facebook and one day he messaged me. He lives in Ghana and is 40 years old and I am 69. We talk every day on messenger. He had shown me around his house and a couple of his neighbors. He takes uses video has he talks to me so I can see everything. He claims he is so in love with and can't wait to be with me. I remind him of the age difference but he says it is just a number. He wants me to visit him in Africa next spring. He eventually wants to come and be with me in America. He has not asked me for money. He had even told me how the scammers work to get money out of people. Recently he asked me to take a blood oath so that we will be together forever. I researched this and refused to do this. It is s serious thing and scary. Any way I feel that he is just using me to get to America. The age difference really puts me off too. Is this a scam? He is very nice but I am skeptical.

My guy asked me to a blood oath too because he wanted us to trust each other and this was the only way. I hedged and he said "Now I only trust you 60%" I knew it was a scam. Like seriously, that's not gonna make me change my mind....

Did you ever find out anything about the blood oath thing? I have had a couple men ask me this recently and wonder if it is a scam

I chatted with a gentleman that was suppose to be a Brigadier General and Orthopedic Surgeon in the Maribes stationed in Yemen. Somehow he got in touch with me on Facebook. He asked me to chat with him on Hangouts which I had never heard of. We chatted for for months. He should have an academy award, he was a lonely woman’s answer to a perfect lover. I’m ashame and embarrassed to admit he scammed me out of my common sense and $14,000. Of course I can’t afford that kind of loss. I have no one to blame but my foolish self. He also used a supposed so in military school in UK. The name he used was Tony Smith. I hope this information helps someone else

Was Contacted By a Rachel Linda she has been asking for gift Cards to sell to a Vendor so she can pay bills and money for School she only sends old pictures because her phone is broken, When I confronted her about me not feeling safe about sending money her friend Rose Bella started to contact me to tell me that Rachel really likes me and she just wants to finish school to go back to work but I haven't found any information on spokeo or background check sites and the Address she has given me belongs to an Earnest Berrier. If this sounds familiar to anyone I would like to know. She also claims to Live in Houston with grandmother

Same story with me... name is Randy D Peter. Says he's on contract in Afghanistan, but from CA. Also widowed with 3 boys. Wants me to buy itune card for his kids. Says he loves me and wants to marry me...

I think I’ve been scammed beware general Jackson 500 is about sent me loveing message and emoji wanted to marry me after 2 weeks is in yeomen on peace he didn’t sound like American when I phoned him so red flags he talked about coming over but I wasn’t aloud to tell anyone about him he then asking me to send £100 to iTunes card so I have blocked him can he still get my details

I have been scammed by Robert Green. Aged 50. Says he is wealthy from.California but born in Puerto Rico. Has a 19 year old daughter Alondra. Claims he is stuck in Australia. Has a scammer assistant Tom Daniels. Robert is always ill needing hospital treatment, injections etc. Have spent a lot of money on him as I thought I was saving his life. Softly spoken but has an accent. Has Nigerian receivers who pick up the money from Moneygram etc. They never use their names on any documents. They never have any money supposedly. Always a crises. Never again will I fall for these evil people. As an intelligent lady I am appalled I fell for this scam. I won't give up trying to get my money back or exposing him.

Do you have some details about him

Yes lots. Has he been talking to you. Don't send any money.

Has anyone heard of someone named Harvey Rome born and raised in Italy, parents passed, no siblings, a widow with an 11 year old son named Mark. Very nice looking an engineer on an oil rig on the ocean for past 3 months. Constantly asking for money for iTunes for his son and for his portfolio to be shipped to me with millions of dollars in it from Dubia due to the United Nations Security Service is about to be attacked by terrorists. He is a smooth talker and has a very romantic accent. Please let me know if this sounds familiar.

It sounds like a Package Scam. Please research Package Scam

Please be careful of anyone on Tinder online dating or FB Messenger named Anton. He is pretending to be a doctor is using his pictures but it is not him. He will try romancing for a few weeks. And then ask for money. And supposedly he got paid millions of dollars on contract for job he had done. It made no sense. He doesn't speak English well. DO NOT FALL FOR HIS CHARMS. Phone #202-922-1852 Plasticity Brain Centers

Does anyone know a Dr Robert Heinrich here? Working in Aleppo, Syria as a orthopedic surgeon? Can we compare photos??

I have been talking to someone for 4 or 5 months who says they are a rig engineer on their way to Turkey. His name is Mike Campbell has anyone come across someone by this name? He has not asked for any money but did ask me to open a new bank account to date nothing has happened he does tell me that he loves me that he wants to get married and he did send an engagement ring. The only odd thing is that a package got held up in customs and because there was money involved there was a fee that he paid to have it released. Does this sound like I'm being scammed? Please help me I'm a single mom and don't know what to do.

It could be a scam. If he asks you to deposit money, or wire money for him, that means it is more likely a scam.

Some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They don't say the money is stolen - they tell a story to hide the purpose for the transaction. They meet people online and ask ask their new friend to use their own bank account, or they open a new account. Then the scammer asks the victim 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 fake checks to their new friends. They ask the friend to deposit the check, and then quickly transfer funds overseas. It can take days for the bank to find out a check is fake. If you transfer money before the bank has fully cleared the check, you can lose money. If the bank finds out the check was fake after you sent the money, you must repay the bank all the money you sent.

Also, the story about sending a package that gets stopped in customs is part of a lot of scam stories. After a while, a scammer might ask you to pay taxes or a fee to get the package. That's part of the scam. He could send you emails or texts that look like they're from a government agency or shipping company, but they're fake.

This sounds like a Package Scam. The victims pays for fee, taxes on a package that dose not exist.

How big was the engagement ring? Was it in a red box from Amazon?

I started talking to a man named Lawrence Peter Martin. He says hes a soccer scout for Celtic F.C. He too has a daughter but she is older and has a heart condition. Of course his one and only love, his wife passed away during child birth.
This man has convinced me to send him over 8000.00. These people lie, cheat, and steal to get what ever they need. They dont care where you get the money. They suck the life out of the women they are scamming.

I have been talking to a man too he's a soccer scout please i need to know if he's the same man you have been talking too

I have pictures and I've saved all his messages. If I can help you, I will.

Similar situation: I was scammed by a guy calling himself Lawrence Martin Lewis. Claimed to be a railroad engineer, a widower whose wife passed in childbirth. I lost $391,000. Did you ever find out anything about this guy?

Has any one been contacted by a female named Patricia Long who said she was working in Bagram Afghanistan in the US Army as First Class Sergeant ?

Anyone talk to someone on match.com? Tattoo guy cute with daughter Lilly and from South Africa and is a geologist that buys oil rigs and has broken equipment.

I also talked to a tattoo guy on match.com said he’s in military and has twin daughter and is a widow. Says his name is Donald buell. And deployed in Israel

This is all disturbing for me.
I met a man on POF back about 6 months ago. Italian. Interior Designer. His team went to Dubai for a contract job and was supposed to be back now. We still talk everyday and while other people have sent him money that owes him, he is trying to redo the finishing result so he can get paid and come home to USA he says.

He said he has a house in Texas and has a son
I really want to believe him but a part of me wonders if he will ever get here.

Good looking man in the photos I was given.

People have weird him money which did not touch my acct
But just doing research to try and get to bottom of it.

Omg do you have a pic of this guy?
I somewhat have the same story
He says that he Is German lives in Texas with his 6 year old son name John
He also is overseas in Malaysia working as a private contractor building condominiums
I’m a single mother of two and I believe I have fallen into a scam with this guy

I was contacted by a guy named Franklin Andrew McGuire on OkCupid. Good looking, says he’s a civil engineer, widowed and lives alone in Austin Texas. He profess to love me in less than a month. Sends a few pics with his dog Max. When we started chatting on WhatsApp I realized his number is from SanDiego, California. Anyway, he ssys he travels a lot for work. So he’s supposedly in Kenya and Nigeria. He says his dad is ill and can’t get in touch with him and that he’s very worried. Says he has connectivity problems. I offered to help. Supposedly message his dad who went to Turkey for vacation and is in the hospital because he’s now diagnosed with coronary disease. I chat with his dad via hangouts. He says he’s very ill and worried about his son, that he misses him. Anyway, Franklin now asks me to get in touch with their attorney. I do and he asked for Id before he can give information about his client. I was very hesitant but sent just the front of an id with no particulars but my and pic. I regret it off course but it’s already done. The attorney then sends banking information for Franklin to wire money to an account in Turkey. I relay the message to Franklin. He then tells me he needs me to do it because his account was hacked into in Kenya and that he can’t use his email either because it’s linked to the account. He sends me information about his bank account in the UK to transfer the money. I told him no, that I don’t do any financial transactions for anyone especially since we haven’t even met. He said things to make me feel like it’s my fault that his dad would not have his surgery and die. I told him it was very unfair of him to ask that of me. Nevertheless, I just said I was very sorry and he should have his close friend do it for him and he he should go straight to Turkey. He said I was throwing away our love just because he asked me to do a financial transaction to save his dad life. Again I said sorry and wished him all the best and hope one day he can understand for position. Please be careful all

Anyone ever been scammed by a gaming site? Man texted and sent pictures and was immediately in love with me. Lived in Minnesota and was currently in Gulf of Mexico on a oil rig. Wife passed away and has daughter in boarding school. Originally from UK. Full of compliments. 67 years old, name is Jeffrey Jones. Such nice texts every day. Also has a home in Florida near where I live. His contract is up in two weeks and was flying to Florida to sell his home here and we would meet. Today oil rig broke and needs money! I am broken-hearted to say the least!!! Of course I didn’t give him money so am now not important. Why do men do this to single women???? Has anyone had anything similar happen? The gaming site was word with friends

Has anyone heard of a Derrick Geraldo? Meet on words with friends. Says he is an only child, has a 7 year old son, and is retiring but needs funds sent to his agent to retire. Says he's coming home to me because he loves me so much. Is bald, with mustach and accent. Wants I tune cards.

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