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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

Anyone hear of a Kenneth Collins in upstate NY Wife died,
Raised three kids , has own business. Wanted to come see me at
Thanksgiving. I said no.
Then he went to India to purchase tools for his business.
I was guessing what would happen next and it did. Needs$2500
To get back, lost his walllet Oh sure. Anybody else with this one?

i met a guy online and he is in america and we did a video call on whatsapp and we said goodnight,since morning i have been calling him and he is not picking and he has not come online to read the message i dropped for him,i dont know what is happening,i dont know if he's real or fake.

Anyone involved with a Nathan Wall or Nathan Gibson. Supposedly working in Dubai?

Has anyone received a diamond engagement ring from these people? Obviously not real. Why would they do this?

Went by name Billy Carlson on Scrabble words with Friends 2 about 50 handsome gotee Oil rig Gulf of Mexico widow wife died leukemia from Boston now in phyladelpia wants to marry me after 4 weeks send $300 iTunes cards then needed $10000 tool's out of Customs to finish contact on rig I didn't have he stopped talking broke my heart

I opened an Instagram acct and was bit up by 2 different men. Jeff rice and sherriff Smith. Jeff was suppose to be in Afghanistan and wanted me to send his mom a Google Play card for his son for his birthday. He set up an email acct using the name Elizabeth porter satin it was his mom....? He was telling me he loved me and was call-in his son our son and him my husband. I told him it was to soon for that crap and he threatened to shoot himself and said he couldn't go out on patrol that night. I just shut him down and refused to send anything to his son. He stopped texting. Now this other guy Sherriff Smith is a lil harder to get rid of lol. He finally asked me for 100 dollar iTunes card. Told him no and he got all defensive. I think it's funny when they do that lol. What they are doing is wrong but I push back and get them pissed before I stop messaging them. Pretty sure it's the only way to get some satisfaction out of talking to them. Letting them think the can talk me into sending them something then shutting them down. Hope they rot in hell later on cause you know that's where they are going.

I’m praying mine is for real...but all these stories sound the same... anyone been approached by a Richard on Instagram on an oil rig in Australia?

I had spent a long time to type my personal experience and giving out the scammer details just to alert others. Why didn't allow my messages post up. It's so waste of my time and if there's anyone get scammed by the scammer - Eric Tem, YOU are the one to BLAME! Because you hid the scammer's information!

Hello people who are a victim of many fraud and scams to make a very long story short I met a woman on Instagram as well I see a Facebook account for her Her name is Jessica Mark with a picture of her in revealing clothes as well pictures of her and her daughter for months now I have talked with her and I believe she falls in the category of a scammer to she has asked way too much personal information from me as well I have done the iTunes cards for her as well now she tells me of her mom wants to come to the states and would want me to take out a loan to help her
Her description is very long black hair as well tattoos on her mid stomach area as well a tattoo on her arm she has many followers on Instagram as well people following her could really use some help in this matter my pockets are broke enough with all of what she is asking from me

Really hot chick by the name of Rose Burke be aware. She tried scamming me for amazon gift cards for groceries. Used a lot of the gimmicks and tricks y’all are talking about. I feel bad for these people... soulless trash

Has anyone had contact from thomasgreen16027878 or Thomas George? (Instagram)
They're the same guy. Typical story...widower...kid.....oil rig....needs $

I have a friend who has been talking with him for past few months (Thomas George). He is in Dubai, on an oil rig, son in Sweden living with his grandmother. Keeps having financial setbacks there. Promises he is coming for a visit but something happens every time. Wife died giving birth to a daughter who also died. Says he is from States. What started as a two week job has lead to him being there since September. Proposed to her very quickly.
Obviously this is a scam.

On pof saying she’s in military

Does anyone know a Marek Bron?

David Bron or David Bron Merch is a scammer. He took me for $2,300.00 from me. Please be aware of this name. He is very smooth makes you feel like he wants to spend the rest of his live with you

Hey,
I think i find a scammer too. I found im at jaumo. Im from germany. So his name is jean lopes and he is from Belgium, 33 years old. We switched to skype.
He told me that he is his own boss and has his own company. He had to got for a buisness meeting to benin, nigeria.
After one week he wanted to visit me directly. By the way, he talked about some problems with his credit card at the hotel.
The last day of buisness he told me he would book the flight ticket. Then some hours later he told me, he had a bad accident. He knocked a kid with his car. The kid was serious injured. The police take him" I had already taken the plane ticket. I was glad that I want to be able to go home. it was when I returned to the hotel that I had the accidnet. I knocked down a kid. I swear I did not see him coming.
I have pain in my left forearm but the kid has had serious injuries, he is in intensive care. until now he is unconscious. "
"
the police confiscated all my papers and said that before I get back I have to cover all the kid's hospitalization costs and compensate the family. "
My first thougths were, he is a buisness man why he has noch injurance ?
Then he told me will get money from his friend. But 900€ left. And on mysterious way he lost his mobile phone while the accident, he could only write from hotel.So he ask me
"honey, I do not know how to do it and I do not want to spend one more day here.
that is why I would like you to help me by any means please.
I do not know how much you trust me but I would like you to make me a loan, and I promise to pay you back as soon as I go back and this with interest if you wish"
But i dont pay this. Im not stupid. When he is a buisness man he could handle it. Also the problem with his credit card.
His look is. 1,74 m , brown hair, brown eyes . Got pic from a poolselfie, take lunch selfie. And buisness look.

Its sad, how people fool around with the feelings of other.
But thats life.

Hey anni, I feel like we are in the same situation, 33 yrs old, but 1.82m, writes novels in his free time. The guy who's trying to scam me claims he owns an import/export business with cars and computer parts. He msged me first in a dating app and came in too strong, didn't really take him seriously at first, but he knew all the right words and I ended up falling for him. It only took him less than a week to tell me he "loves" me.
When we started seriously talking to each other on whatsap he said he was on his way to Nigeria, and when he got there he says he's gotten himself into real trouble. His wallet and personal phone was stolen so he's only left with his spanish passport (cause he's from Spain living in the States) and his business cellphone.
I could tell at first he was hesitant to ask money, saying he's got a friend sending him $50,000 just to bribe the people there, but as the days pass by he was starting to hint he wants me to help out. In the beginning he was so sweet to me, msging me and calling me petnames, but when I told him I refused to send him money because of all the scams I've researched online he's gotten cold stopped calling me with petnames. When I reassured him the only thing he's getting from me are prayers for his well being and comforting words that he'll make it back in the States he started getting dismissive.
So glad I never sent any money cause now he's not answering my calls on whatsap nor replying to my msgs. P

Is anybody talking with Alexandre Sean Luca? Marine engineer, widowed with daughter Lily?

Below is an email from another dirt ball trying to scam
Hello Pretty woman..My name is Robert Wow..I am very new here...I do work for US Army and i am on peace keeping in Afghanistan now...I will be home in 1 month time to get retired and leave a simple life..I am very serious and honest man looking for my other half...I am willing to relocate provided that the relationship is moving in a long term/serious direction.. I am not interested in bopping around "trying women out" on a more serious side.So if you have no problem with the distance and you are interesting we can exchange email address and get to know more and see where it will lead is too...Mine is Hankharris003 @gmail. com and yours..?What is your email and number #..?
GentlemanJ

I think I’m being scammed too....where can I see a picture of this guy?

Beware of a Leo Roberts. He has similar stories that I read here. He is pretending to be a US army special force. Pic is a handsome man, he says he has $1.2M in the bank but has no access due to his current mission in Syria. He claims to have a 3 yr old daughter and his wife died during child birth. His daughter lives with a nanny while he's deployed. Such a sweet talker but you can tell that he's a scammer because his stories doesn't make sense.

Hi Can you please hp me. I want to know If I'm being scam. I've meet someone in dating apps last October 17 2018,He is from London. Team Manager of Mechanical enginering department. He is single 36yrs old. Have one brother, father died. Mother is 85 years old. We exchange messages from whatsapp. He is now in Bangalore India airport/immigration. His flight is supposed to be October 29 but something came up. When he is in Indian airport he needa to pay 1000US dollars for immigration but his card is not active. He only bring some cash. That's why he is ask Me to send him money, I send him through moneygram but not in his name, through the name of the immigration officer. I send him October 30,because October 29 I have work. But another problem came up. He missed his flight and need to book another one. People their ask for 120,000 Philippines pesos for booking of flight but soon it became 80000 Philippine pesos. And when he book his flight and boarding they saw the engagement ring that he baught for me. Diamond one. Cost 1million pesos. He said he keeps it inside the shoes. But they saw it. And the people their in the immigration is asking for 55000 phlippines pesos.They told me that he also needs to pay for the demmurage fee. I'm I bring scam? Or it's just a real situation happening in India airport. Please help me. Until now he is in India Airport. And the immigration call me that they will not released him if he will not pay the 55,000 Philippine pesos on Monday. But that is the last payment. It's because of the diamond ring.

This sounds like a scam. He will probably keep asking for money and telling stories, but not come to see you.

The person said he would come to see you, but suddenly he had an emergency and asked for money. You sent him money after the first emergency, then he had another emergency and asked for more money. You gave him money after the second emergency, so he asked for money again, and you helped him. Many scammers follow this pattern. They continue to tell stories and ask for money, but they never come to see the person. The scammer's friends make phone calls or send email to help with the scam. The friends pretend to be immigration workers or customs officials.

Has anyone talked to a guy by the name of jack Maxwell he says he from Scotland but lives in New York with his seven year old daughter and his nanny and has h ku s own business he asked for a iTunes card and once me send him 300 for his daughter birthday gift

Anyone encountered very good looking Norwegian Nicklas traveling in Lithuania for work, wife died of cancer 4 years ago, needs money for surgery on appendix and business bills to get back to US. Has 14 year old daughter

Has anyone spoken to a Michael Hall?

Met Jacob Anthony on Instagram. He was so sweet sending pictures of flowers and cute sayings. Soon he wanted to move to Hangouts, a site I’d never been on. He became more romantic. He said he was an engineer on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico with a 12 year old son in Atlanta being cared for by a nanny. He claimed cell reception was bad on the rig and his regular phone was broken. Consequently, he had another phone which required iTunes cards so he could buy more time. Then his “son, “who he had call me “mom,”’despite my asking him not to, needed money for his phone. All the while his texts were getting more amorous. At this point I realized I was being scammed. He started telling me about a major contract he was bidding on. Since I was supposedly going to be his future wife, I needed to send him thousands of dollars because he got the contract and needed to buy equipment. I unkindly bid him farewell, blocked him, and haven’ heard from him again. He seemed so real.

Anyone talk to a Sgt Bill Connor station in Syria? Claims wife died in chul birth and has 14yrs son back in CA with nanny. Both parents dead.

I am talking to a guy now. Stationed in Iraq and his name is Davies Anderson. He hasn't asked for money but tells me sweet nothings for about 3 weeks now. He said he's a SSgt and I couldn't jeopardize his standing in the army so he wouldn't catfish me. He acts like he is so in love. Anybody else having these issues? I only have a few pics of him and we only communicate on Kik.

I met this one he calls himself Thomas Johnson. A widowed dad who's wife wife died of LUPUS and now has to take care of his 7 year old daughter. He is an Australian working on a drilling contract in Malaysia with the Petronas company. Could feel that the dude was a fake from the beginning but i played along as i did my research. I asked for photos of course he sent a few. When i ask for his daughter he sent me two and i could tell that those photos was from the Internet. I still stayed quiet and played his game, He never phoned me throughout the one week we started chatting. Maybe it was too early but he never asked for money. Exactly today i asked if we can do a video chat he told me that his phone is broken so he will not be able to. And he even sent me photos of that phone. And right there i told him straight up what he was and i blocked him.

Alexander Alastair supposedly a widower and retired cardiologist from Maryland. Says he is a Christian volunteering his services on Mercy Ship. Wants to Western Union $80,000 to my sister in law to hold for him until he returns to U.S. Sound familiar, anyone?

Some scammers use people to help them hold and transfer stolen money. They don't reveal that the money is stolen - they tell a story to hide the purpose for the transaction. They meet people online, create a relationship, and ask the person to use her bank account to receive and transfer money.

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

 

Andrew Davies, 47 years old. Claims to be from Ukraine but now is in US Army. Says he has a daughter in boarding school in Tennessee. Claims to be an orphan and a widower. He is trying the romance angle and has asked for iTunes gift cards. He said he was stationed in Aleppo, Syria but has just been transferred to Nigeria. He sends pics of a handsome military man and even has a military ID card. I am pretty sure he has stolen this man’s identity. He asked me to pick up money from western union and send it to a bank in Nigeria. What a jerk! Ladies, watch out. There are horrible men in this world that will tug at your heartstrings and then ask you for favors. This is it how life is supposed to work. If they want to withdraw their affection because you will not give them money or transfer money or anything like that, then you are better off.

My mom is being scammed by David D Jones
this is some stuff I found in her emails. Image search on his picture on Facebook and he's attached to three other names Roy Pieterson, Walter Lugo. This the email I found Beware of him he has manipulated my mom after just losing my dad. Honey i am scared right now writing you this message. I do not want you to b scared honey because i know all will be okay cos we have called for rescue from the security agents on water patrol. Our boat was attacked by sea pirates honey and they have held every one hostage.

I am hiding inside the engine room tight now and sending you this message using the boats internet. i want you to know that i love you and will always do honey. I will get in touch with you the moment we are safe and rescued from their hold.

I love you baby and will never stop loving you. you are my world and my everything. i will never leave you and never stop loving you honey. You made me know what love is and will forever remain grateful to you for that, I love you so much honey.

I had a girl, Karen Donaldson, send me an email after talking with her on a dating app, she sent me pictures of what she supposedly looked like. So I downloaded the images and did a cross-check on images.google.com, surprised I got a hit and surprised(not really) it wasn't the person she said it was. Trust your instincts, if it sounds too good to be true, try to find hints in the conversations.

She stated she was in West Africa, working with an organization called CSF, I looked it up, I couldn't find anything. Currently, been emailing back and forth, but now I know better now.

About 3 months ago I met a man on Tinder who goes by the name William Antonio. He is 56, works as a drilling engineer for KBR...currently finishing a contract in Turkey. Fell in love with me immediately. I feel like an idiot because he convinced me to trust him. I'm very recently separated and my heart is bruised. He first asked me to buy a $100 Wal-Mart gift card...so he could send me money to help me with bills. I tried telling him I couldn't receive cash on a gift card and we argued. Now, he has convinced me to open a bank acct.so he can send me a lot of money and wants me to pay a company to fix his drilling machines. Then tonight, he insisted he must have my user name and password to the acct. I jokingly asked if he was trying to use me to hide money and he got angry. He says he was raised in ITALY and has a beautiful accent. I've spoken twice on phone with him. His 9 yr old son is named Kelvin and stays with a nanny. His wife cheated with his best friend and so ex and 17 year old daughter live in Cali. PLEASE HELP ME. HAS ANYONE ELSE HEARD THIS STORY? I'm 60 and lonely, mow feel so foolish. No idea of his reaction tomorrow when I refuse him access to bank.

This sounds like a scam.

Some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They don't reveal that the money is stolen - they tell a story to hide the reason for the transaction. They meet someone online, create a relationship, and ask their new sweetheart to use her bank account or open a new account to receive and transfer money.

If you do this for a scammer, your name is on the bank account and on the money transfer forms. If you get involved with this scheme, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble. The bank may close your account.

If you tell him your account username and password, he can take your money.

please even if you are lonely , STOP and BLOCK him immediately .. it is a SCAMMER .. they use the same stories each time .. please read other commends on these pages . I had a very similar Scam , by a different name , those people use different names , are very well organised and the pictures they use are stolen ..everything they tell you are lies. Pleeeease STOP with that guy , thats my very good advise .

I forgot to mention when I asked this 'William Antonio' to either video chat OR send me a video of himself talking to me...he said that wasn't allowed over there (Turkey). ??? I know there is a real man with this name and he works for a large drilling company out of Houston. But, am I talking to that man? An imposter? Or is this guy really himself trying to use me for a bank acct. to hide money??

I had a guy named George Marshall request to follow me on Instagram. Said that he was from Australia and in the army in the US on a peace keeping mission. He went on to say he was new to Instagram and that his wife was killed in car accident. He’s a single dad. He asked me if I had a google hangout and I said no. After that no more messages and his account disappeared the next day.

Scammer...Adams Moreno, he's says... these guys are deplorable

Same thing happened to me, he messaged me on FB, request for friend. He claimed he was a Building Agent, in LA California, but from Sabah, Malaysia. Then he sent a pic of himself, with a video of himself working out at the gym. Based on the photo, he is good looking & handsome man. He seems so sincere and loving, with the photos of him, with financial stability.

He laid the some sad story about his ex cheating on him. After a months chatting, he told me his dad was died, and need to pay Stamp duty tax, Processing remmitance certificate, Sworn affidavit, Court approval & next of kin affidavit, for claiming of inheritance about RM35K.

I got all the undying love crap. Im lost but thanks that I have God with me. I feel like such an idiot. But I am eternally grateful that I'm aware about the scammers. I wish there was some way we could warn others about these schmucks. Thanks again for sharing all the story. When he sent the first message on whataspp I saw he used an NY phone no, not LA. Please beware gurls with this phone no & FB ID. Phone no ;+1 (929) 267-7634‬ Facebook User ID ; @ Umar Adrian

Met this man Richard Smith lives in Houston wants me to buy goggle play cards..professing his love for me right away he is on an oil rig daughter in boarding school wife died for a any one know him

Anyone heard of an Army Soldier who has dual citizenship in German and American. He is based out of Brussels. I have met him on Coffee meets Bagels. I have talked to him almost every day for 1.5 months on the phone. I can't tell from is accent exactly where he is from. He told me that their devices were going to be taken away because of a security breach and he needed me to send him a phone, so we could continue to talk. I needed to send it to Beaumont, Texas for shipment to Brussels. I did like an idiot. He is taking a leave and needs to money to get home (airfare) and he will refund it to me later after the army reimburses for his travel. I told him I don't have access to those kinds’ funds (4,300). Now he wants me to open a checking account because he is selling some property in Germany and so he can get the cash to buy the ticket to return. I feel dumb even typing this. Please tell me someone has the same story.

Has anyone ever talked to this man. William. Paul. Dieter

Why would they want you to receive a package for them?

Has anyone encounter a Hillary Tommy on FB. He is a single/widow from the UK. He has a son and his wife passed away 3 yrs ago along with his parents. He claims that he lost his card and has no means to sent money to his son in the state. He had a job offer in the UK engraving glass pictures and had a personal business buying and selling antiques. He couldn't wait to get back to the State, so we could start a new life with our family and live with him in his house which was to big for him and his son Jeff. He was sweet, loving and caring. He text me every morning and night and always told me he missed and loved me so much. He called me Honey, Hun, Babe, My Queen and his wife. Then after a month of text/messaging and short talks and voice message. Then it's started he wanted me to open an account and wanted me.to buy the stem cards, iTunes, Goggle or E Bay cards. Which unfortunately I did buy a couple but it didn't feel right. After a while he still kept persistent and wanted me to buy more because he needed for his antiques and to get back to the States. He has a home in NY and Chicago. He is about 45yr. old. When I asked if he was scamming he had a excuse. Why would that do that Babe. I love you and miss you so much , you are my wife. I continued to ask questions and told him some one was trying to get into my account he said that was not me. With in seconds he blocked me from messenger and Facebook, disconnected his phone and delete his email. Before he blocked me from messenger. He sent a final message. Apologizing and saying he wish he could take it all back that I meant the world to him and that I will always forever be in his heart and to always take care. I fell for someone who wasnt real. I fell in love with the person in the pictures and the way he talked. A good lesson to be learned. Don't trust anyone.

Anybody know Scotty Wings?
Captain RayFrederick Schumacher?
David Newman? Or
Lieberman Douglass

I know a guy that sounds the same as this guy. Currently going be Scott McGregor from California.ortho surgeon went overseas now

Anyone heard from a man named Nick from Australia? Says he owns a small courier company in Perth. His emails are from Clutter Pandy?He ask for photos of me constantly. Has not asked for money, but why all the photos? I have sent 3 head shots, now he wants full length photos Anyone heard from him?

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