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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

Very similar story... Robert Wilson, working in medical center in Damascas, Syria refugee camp. Wife died of cancer, 13 year old son Alvin in boarding school in Anaheim CA. No other family, all deceased. In the process of setting up a clinic in Jacksonville FL, transfer $45K to contractors to start work and Chase and locked his accounts for suspicious activity, they won't do anything until he appears at the branch. He is in Syria until November. His sons birthday was 06/25 he wanted me to send an $1800 wire transfer to a Gladys Pineda Loher, gave me all her bank details (routing & account number), Pinnacle Bank in TN. Said she will take care of boarding school fee's and his sons birthday gift (he needed a new laptop). I traced his IP address, he was in NJ!

Did this man have a German accent ? Very nice looking in his late 50’s early 60’s. Call you my Queen and wifey?

Does he show you s picture of a Dr with a stethoscope around his neck? Yes very good looking. Dalen Van. He says his DOB is May 21, 1958. A Dr in Yemen at this time. Born in Germany. Please let me know if this is the same one.

I am so hurt by this man ., I gad enough sense not you send him anything in stem cards or big money or anything. He showed me pictures of him and his two daughters, one is 12 and one is 10. He also said he was A Jehovah’s Witness. A complete lie. He found me on Instagram. A sweet talker, very polite. We only corresponded less than a month. I told him I would never send him money in any form and his begging did not become him. Within 24 hours his email dalenvan016 and his Instagram dalenvan0881 was gone.

Freelance, they are trained to trick you. I lost everything. $170,000. It IS an international crime ring. I was so caught up in this man. He was so good at making me believe him.
You need to turn the page and move on. Forgive yourself for making a mistake.

Hey does alex mills live in florida or griffth by chance

Yes! His name says is Mike Donovan form AL. He is muscular with tattoos claims he works at an oil rig in UK

Yes NANCY i have, been there for almost a year now..tattoos,muscular does he say he has a daughter back home?

I have not been told he has a daughter, is supposedly from Ireland originally, left SC to do business in Benin. Was robbed and needs to get home. Tattoos on entire upper body except for neck and face. Pierced ears. Great build and smile. Sexy. Asks every morning if I want coffee in bed. Says he went to Benin to ship equipment home for his construction company. Wants itunes, amazon, google play, Steam cards. Writes beautifully sometimes, other times bad grammar. Please confirm. Thank you!

Sorry for the late response..yes Benin that's where he got robed.can you tell me what name was he using? Please

Bruce Morrison from AnchorageKentucky same thing on a rig daughter at home with the nanny claims to of sent me a package but I have to pay duty fees of $1900 he has spiky gray hair

Does anyone know a Jeffery Martin's Gill from Keller, Virginia he says he needs money for airfare back 3000 he is stranded in Lagos, Nigeria for 13 years

I am dealing with the same scenario
I've been scammed. He sent me his passport which looks photo shopped can you send me a copy. He claims to be stuck in london needs to pay the country 5000.00 stam duty fee . he goes be dennis jensen.
I just want this man caught.

Sounds very much like something that was going on a few years ago. Guy was mostly using scandinavian names. Try to Google for "Greenland bank scam", you can check also images to see if it's him.

Mine works at Norway oil rig. With 15 yrs old son , wife pass away in auto accident. Can we swap photos of this Guy?

Does anyone of you manage to see the actual face of your guy? Or they have excuses not showing their faces and just send you photo which could be a stolen identity.

The guy I have been talking too says he is Italian. Can you send me a pic?

I'm talking to this guy and he said that he is Italian he is working in Africa. He wants me to let him have a package sent to me from Italy he said that it was his dad's that it has gold bars in it and also 12 million in cash and he wants me to hold it for him until his job ends next month

I want to send a pic of my guy. From Dublin Ireland Italian handsome 60's. Starting a gold business in the USA

I am chatting to an Italian now met him online said his wife died 5 years ago & has twin girls & is A director of marine engineering, he lives in Texas America & is sending all his possessions to me via a parcel company but I have to pay Tax & local fees. Can you send me a pic pls if you have one so I can see if it is the same guy who scammed you..Thank you

hello we have a same situation how can i send you the photo..

I am talking to someone who says he comes from Portugal, lives in the uk but is working in Cairo, till the end of june, then he will marry me , and we can travel the world. He asked me to move our chat from tinder to whatsapp, i have been chatting for 3 days now, he hasnt asked me for money yet but his spelling is not good

I, too, am dealing with a man claiming to be from Italy. He says he is on an oil rig located deep in the North Sea. Claims he has a son. His wife was also killed about5 or 6 years ago in a car accident in Italy. Says his mother was American and his dad from Italy. Claims to have been raised there. I could sure use some help here. Some pics would be nice. Thank you ladies.

I have pictures I'd like to compare

Can I see your pictures.

He sounds like a guy like I was scammed by.

What is his name?

I was scammend for man that he says is an engeenier. He said he is from texas. His father was italian and his mother from Huston Texas. He has a son, 14 year old. He asked me money because his son was in Nigeria. His mother has cancer...
He says he is working at as rig engeenier.
Someone knows this guy?

I have a man named Gray Cox Italian blue eyes 5’11 nice looking. Emailed , texted, phone me for weeks confessed he loves me and had PS... sent me pictures. Had a contract to sell vehicles in Mexico City stuck in port for demurrage fees. Needs $120k. Said he will pay me as soon as he sells vehicles and can come home to me. He said he sold his home and all his money is going into this contract which will pay $12m and it will be ours.

Hi brenda was his name Antonio s

I met someone name Lucas Antonio. I want to check his picture but I don't know how to upload it on google.

I have a similar story, only this guy is in Kuwait. Can we exchange pictures?

This sounds like a guy i am talking to now on hangouts, he calls himself Curry Grandi, said his parents died in a car crash in poland, he is an only child, he tried to get me to pay for his daughters nanny as he had to stay on the oil rig longer than expected, the story now is that he needs £4000 to fix a crane, says he lives in Detroit, his wife died, he has a 17 year old daughter who has actually emailed me to say how happy i make her daddy, he had a picture on facebook, grey thinning hair, goatee beard, looked polish, in his late fifties, does this sound like your guy?

I'm sure this is the same guy I'm speaking with please I'm speaking with him now and wants money he said his name was Mike please let's exchange pictures

My guy sounds and looks similar to yours. Mine has a 15 year old boy in boarding school in the UK. He is supposedly getting out the end of March

Have been talking to a guy on an oil rig, lost his wife in 2012, was raised in a orphanage after losing parents at a young age, and has a 15 yr. old son in boarding school in UK. Supposed to be retiring soon, and needs money to have his savings parcel sent to me to the tune of 3,800 pounds. Have only been communicating for 3 wks. Goes by Nathan. 61 yrs. old, beautiful blue eyes. Ring any bells??

I think I’m talking to same guy how can we share photos

I think I am talking to the same guy also. He has blue eyes, white/brown hair, a 16 year old daughter, born in Venezuela, adopted, works on an oil rig and is retiring soon. Says he from Austin Texas, Gorgeous person. But he asked me to marry him already. Interesting coincidence wouldn't you say.

Do you have photos?

This man sounds very similar to a man I have been speaking to for almost 3 weeks. Ready to retire, 61 one yrs old with beautiful blue eyes. He is now asking for $3,000 so he can leave the oil rig and come to meet me. Is there anyway I can get his picture to see if it is the same guy?? Thanks

This is the same guy for each one of us. I did a image search and he is using pictures of a Canadian Male Model. Same story, came on really strong wants to marry. But let me please beg you ladies: Keep you money in your bank account. This person who is calling you is not the same as in the pictures. The guy in the pictures is innocent and he is not the one who is talking to you. As far as I could figure out, they are a scamming group from Namibia. PLEASE KEEP YOUR MONEY.

Im talking to an engineer on a rig in the ukraine. Can i send you photo to compare?

I am talking to a fellow on an oil rig he has asked me to contact a fellow to send me his 10 million because the are changing management and it will be delivered by diplomat he made it sound legit

I met the guy from san antonio texas his 35 years old asian american guy ... his very love approach and ask for itunes card, he told his engineer oil & gas current reside at australia for contract and now his in bolivia ... this person seem scammer but pretend to be a real person as victim

Hi, I also talking to this guy working on oil pipes in Ukraine, early 50 yo, beared, 5"11, from TX.

He is a SCAMMER , his picture is on scammer sight nationally know and several pics. He told me same, didn't ask for money right away. But needed money to get off rig, then money for a replacement. He will get mad when you don't send money, cards then he will ask for iPhone , gets very mad then he will stop sending you love songs, flowers ovet the net... NO MONEY

This is a man that tried to get me to pay for copter to get him off a rig, said no then wanted me to pay for replacement$14,000. NO, THEN ask for iPhone 10 xs, NO he use to srnd love songs, very romantic sayings, kisses, called me queen, dearie and wanted to get married. Sent pic of ring said we said we are married now. I laughed and told him he was a SCAMMER of course he said he wasn't. I told him I turned him and his so called VO, vacation officer to the federal and govetment agent, guess what he stopped contacting me.
He goes by the name : Aubrey Graham and his VO: George Scott of which I think is the same person.
Brown, gray hair, blue eyes. He is using some one else's picture.
He get mad at you real eady and says: you don't love your man? Or is this the way you will treat me in person?
Beware!!!! You can pull him uphe is noted as National SCAMMER.

Is there a photo of this man?

Nathan Anlon?? Italian looking handsome 60's . Wish I could post a pic of him

This Nathan has about 10 different names, his names were George, James, Nathan, Michael etc ,met him on words, ask me to open bank account after talking to him for 9 months,itune cards. I told him he is a scammer and didn't send anything, funny how he fell in love in a week. Please be careful

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