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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

Did anybody deal with Jonathan Penn from the UK

How do I exactly do I do an image search?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does any know of a Frank Eddy or James Oconnor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve been talking to a Lucas from California who said he’s divorced with a 13 year old daughter. Then after not having time for me to fly there he took a job in Poland with his own company. Supposed to take 12 weeks and it’s going on 30 weeks. He says he loves me and texts me several times a day for 10 months. He says when he finishes he will come back and get married. He sends me songs and writes romantic poems every morning. I’m so torn as to believe him or block him heartbroken.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got to Becarefull everyone, these far out urkrain gangsters are dangerous, they keep texting me and í just play with them, it's crazy how they think that América is a joke to them. Don't fall for the amazon trick, one guy sent me his card he was arrab, but his voice was clearly Nigerian.

So I had a man friend me through Words with friends. Name James Miller. He is an orthopedic surgeon in syria. His wife died a few years ago from breast cancer. His son who is 15 is in boarding school in England. Anyway, he told me that his son had a trip to West Africa and he was short of about £3000 that he needed by October 1. His account was frozen because it was hacked and he would pay me when he got back to the states. I called him on this and told him I knew he was scamming me.

I have been scammed by a guy that goes by the name Mark Portal. He is on hangout and ask is me for amazon gift cards. He even FaceTimed me. WTH

Iam concerned about an elderly friend who i think is being scammed by a Don FRANK POSING as a general in Afghanistan. Has 14 yr old son in Georgia being kept by nanny. Wife. Died in car crash. He has ask her to set up new acct. Should i tell her daughters? Worried!!

Some scammers ask people to open new accounts. 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 purpose for the transaction. They meet people online, and ask them to open an account. Then they ask them to receive and transfer stolen money. If you help a scammer your name will be on the account and on the money transfer forms.

Yes tell them now!!!!!

I was talking to a guy whose name was johnson Anderson he was from nigeria but he said that he was originally from florida. He kept wanting me to wire him money and gift cards and he wanted me to send him cell phones. And he wanted itunes cards and amazon cards which i did not send because i assumed that he was a scammer

I met a "John Anderson" on Tagged pretending to be THE John Anderson county music star..alot added up to the REAL man but then i get this i want to buy a house so let my account mng send the money for it to you're bank account...I got rid of him FAST....Be careful out there ladies and gentleman they are EVERYWHERE as EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

My niece is being frauded by a guy Stephen Randy or might be Stephan Randy--on Facebook..She won a competition and the parcel is at the couriers (in the parcel is also 25000 Euros) The courier customs needs quite a lot of money to release it..They represent Union Express or something like that. He apparently own shoe shops in America and Also do have a shoe factory.. Any experience?

In December of 2017 I was friended by a person on Facebook who used the name Sarah Lucas. At first everything seemed legit. Then this person began asking for money and I was instructed to purchase i tune and amazon cards. After I did a Google search of the scammer's Facebook pictures I realized I was duped. The pictures were actually that of Philippine actress Liza Soberano. The person chatted often with me on Google hangouts. Their email address is sarlucas652 @gmail. com

Does anybody heard of Ashley Johnson? Says he is from san diego California is a military engineer is a captain on a cruise ship and is on the Bangladesh ocean and will be gone for a month. Days his wife died 9 years ago, his son is 17. Wants to marry me

Anyone heard of a person claiming to be from Virginia Beach named Jimmy Douglas Brown. Divorced, raising a son, wants to get married right away..

Has anyone come across a 'Jason' working in Afghanistan as an engineer? I have numerous photos and he has told me a lot about himself (allegedly), but I just have this niggling doubt as much of our contact seems to have followed the classic scam pattern.

I have "met" several hundred of these guys on Words with Friends. They are all exactly the same, using the exact same story with different twists. I don't know how anyone can take them seriously,, because there are so many red flags--their stories are usually pretty unbelievable and don't make any sense at all. I just have fun with them and pretend I'm falling in love with them after two days, but never give them my personal email or phone or never go on Hangouts. They usually give up after a while but they are always very persistent and some will go on for weeks and weeks.

I have been chatting to Gilbert Jack aged 35. Lost his wife but hasn't said how. Deployed in West Africa. Started off lovely then asked fro $200 dollas to be sent to an address in Colorado. Clearly from Nigeria as stated that he is deployed to help protect there as its independence day on 1st Oct. I've changed all passwords etc and made sure i'm secure. Im sure it's a scam and whose ever picture he has used is very good looking hehe. We need to put a stop to this scammer vulnerable people.

Scam them back! Play along. That’s what I did. They are criminals! What are they going to do? Call the police? They are not as sophisticated and smart as the media makes them out to be. They are idiots. I told “her” that I was walking down a sidewalk and a Tyrannosaurus Rex came out of the woods and bit me and then ran back into the woods and “she” believed me!!! I strung “her” along. I promised her that I would send “her” money on a specific date and got “her” hopes up high and then when it came time I
revealed that I had scammed “her” and gave “her” nothing. DO NOT give them any personal info, your true location, photos or money. “She” goes by the name of Esther Williams.

Hi has anyone come across a guy by the name of simon walter claims he's a civil engineer from Brooklyn new York? Met on match.com uk site then talked off site for another three weeks - Skype message, calls and video - also sent photos - claims working for 2 weeks in Nigeria when a big accident happened using dynamite and he has to pay compensation to the police etc - asked me for money to help him get out of Nigeria

I need a help

One guy tried to do the same to me, he asked me for $40000 to clear off some debt, but I blocked him right away

Is anyone else out there being spoke to by David Agboado he has been talking to me for one month now he is from Ghana and from reading all of what else has said I feel like he is one of these people he has been saying I love you since day two he sent me flowers a teddy bear and chocolates he calls me every day and night and just two days ago asked me for money for a visa to come c me I know it’s all not true now and I makes me ill I feel like a fool to believe some people I guess that’s what happenes to good people at least I have not and will not send him a dime we will see how long it takes for him not to talk to me any more once he figures out he is not making no money from me just wondering if anyone else has heard of or from him

Hi, I think my dad is being emotionally scammed. He easily falls for "needy" people, by this I mean, anyone in distress, or through hard times. He's on "WhatsApp" a LOT!
There's no way to prove it because he's in CA and I'm in TX. The reason I'm concerned is because he asked my son for money. He owns his own business and makes decent money. But he NEVER asks for money, ever. If anything, he's the one always offering top pay for things.
This new behavior is completely out of character for him. Things like emotionally distant from my mom, spike in use of cell phone, extremely private about things, hiding expenses front mom, and now asking my 24yo son for money.
My question is, how soon report THAT?! A really close friend of mine just moved to an apartment after her husband sold their home to "help a woman in Nigeria get her $2million from an inheritance"
I'm truly concerned that this might be happening to my parents if this might be what's going on with my dad!

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