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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

This guy pretended to be a oil engineer from Norway, Tall handsome guy and said is Widowed, name David, number +44 161 375 1663

I met him on Tinder, said he works on a rig oil field in Spain, can't call or video call, sent me some pics which were all suspicious (all photoshoot, no selfie or casual pic), his Facebook page was new etc. and also he acted so crazy "I think I love you!". So from the beginning I saw these red flags and told him absolutely no way! I won’t talk to you until I can see your face "live" on camera! I said all excuses are BS and you can take your phone to a coffee shop on the weekend and chat (out of the rig). I confronted him about being a scam, I shared the link about this page as well lol So he insisted and insisted to keep in touch and finally agreed to video call and asked me "please promise you won’t hate me" and guess what: a young African guy with a hoodie in front of laptop and told me he is from Africa.

I knew it and it was true. If it looks like a duck and sounds and walk like it, probably it’s a duck!

A good friend of mine was contacted on instagram saying he was michael keaton.. They spoke and then moved to the app hangouts... Talking now for three months... During the first month the person said they wanted her to receive a brief case with money and diamonds and important documents inside.. All she had to is provide her name address and email to receive this.. Which she did.. It then turned into he needed her to pay $700 to get the case shipped to her which she paid to a 3rd party company. And of course this person wont speak on the phone... Video chat only message in hangouts.. Please help... She is head over heals in love and i just know she is being scammed

Gee I was promised a silver case thru internal mail with diamonds. Lots of money and expensive gifts. I sent lots of money to third party site and they are anted 5,000 more. I never got case in mail and was out the money I sent

I have met a man named Corbin Belknap. We have actually not shared very much personal information at all. I have been scammed before and was not willing to walk right back into something, so anything he had to say, I’ve really taken with a grain of salt just waiting on him to ask me for bank details or whathaveyou. We both have developed feelings and I am in a really bad financial situation which I did share with him. He said he would send me some money. I thought he was full of it, but today he sent me a message giving me instructions on how to collect a transfer he is sending me. He is in Russia so the company he used is called uptquickpay.com (Russian/Turkish company)which can be then transferred to western Union. I logged in to follow instructions and am surprised that it seems to be a legit site/company and it did not ask me for personal info to collect. Other than my name and address, which can be found in any phone book, right? So no risk there I hope. He has even said, in his emails that he did not want me to send him certain information because he didn’t like having anyone’s private information on his phone and that wouldn’t be secure. Long story short... this all seems to be true. This man seems to have ACTUALLY sent me $5,000 and has not asked me to forward it anywhere on his behalf (which I have seen in other scam stories). What do you all think? Now, I don’t physically have this money in hand yet. But I can’t shake this feeling of “when it seems too good to be true,_________”

Corbin Belknap did the same thing to me. He wanted me to pay $500 fee. I didn’t do it!!

Avoid Viktor Fredy or Viktor Rodriguez. Scammers.....asked me to buy cards for him.

Elliot Williams is being used as a FB messenger scam to offer big payouts. They pretend to be FB contact and and send a friend request then ask if you have heard the good news... I have had 4 of these in the last month. They will give you a link and offer to talk you through it. Grrr

Has anyone had contact from a man supposedly named Charles James or Raymond Parker? My 80 years old friend has sent him close to $100,000 over the past several months. He says he's in the furniture business and is presently in London. Supposedly lives in Florida but has been in "London" several months. He has sent her pictures. In one he is holding a sign that says XXXX I love you. I have x'd out her name.

how do i know if i'm really speaking to a real James Williams? there's this guy who added me on instagram claiming the name of James Williams, and he just signed a contract to work in Syria but originally he's from California. He said that he is an Orthopedic Surgeon there, he lost his parents years ago but he has a brother living in Germany. he has sent me couple of pictures and confessing his love for me. can anyone help me find out if i get scammed or if i am really talking to a real James Williams?

Chances are. No. And it’s a scam

He is a scammer. James Belotti told me the same exact story.

Met a guy on POF states he's a master sargeant in the military..We chatted a bit. Then he wanted me to sign up for hang out...messages ...then he loves me...then he needs steam cards...but the thing was he was sending money to my credit cards for me to get them for him...So I would buy then give him the codes.. But then paymnts he made started returning for all 3 credit cards so Im like pissed..telling him to send me money...but of course they got ambushed n his ID n wallet was lost in Turkey...So Um now waited on proof of who he is n to see if this was a scam..
I am down over $900 + return fees...

My father in law who’s 75 thinks he’s in a relationship with a young lady (like 30) who just inherited a large estate in Turkey. She wants him to become the administrator of this Estate... but the application would cost him 30k in legal fees & she promises him a portion of the estate when it’s finalized. He only talks to her online because she’s deaf. He won’t listen to us that this is an obvious scam. We don’t know how to get him to wake up!

It seems to me.that these guys simply.pick up where they left off or hop onto the next site n are still.very much A problem.
I spoke to name albert Dazzy on hangouts.claimed to be from Mass and widower with.son 13 MORGAN AND GOT STUCK AND IEXTREMLY INSULTING WHEN I DID NOT SEND HIM MONEY AND SENT HIM A LINK ABOUT military romance scams

Same story army sergeant. Wife died car accident 4 yrs ago. 9 yr old daughter. Frozen bank acct. Wanted me to open new acc. So he could put money in it. Part would go to supposed daughter he would give me a part as well. I didn't open acct. He was angry for a bit then got over it. Says he got artifacts stashed some where in Damascus where he's stationed. Works in office or on patrol. Always requesting I tune cards so he could relax and watch movies or listen to music. The last I tune card he requested is so he could down load something for his commander. Red flag.. Didn't send it. He's angry. Says he doesn't like liars. I told him same thing. Calls me his queen, his wife. Can't wait till he's home so we can be together he says. Caught him I think one time texting I think someone else and I got the the text because didn't have anything to do with what we were talking about. Lol these guys must be texting alot of women at the same time!!lol said he grew up in Australia.

I too have been scammed by Joseph Jones on Silver Singles site. He claims he is a self employed pipeline engineer. Lost his wife from cancer and said that he still owned home in ND which was a lie. Only emailed for 4 days and really poured on the sweet stuff. We were planning on meeting next week after he returns from a 2 week business trip from Houston. He did give me his tel # and I gave him mine. I got smart and checked him out before he called me the next morning. Told him I did this and asked him about his home in ND refused to answer me, and hung up on me! Ladies beware of this creature.

I met a guy on a dating app, I believe he is a love scammer, he is living in my hometown country, 1st he love me so quick and offer me to go back to live with him and he will take care of me. He didn’t ask me any money transfer until one day he told me his company giving foreign client to invest and he got the offer. So he said he want to send me money and I use his money to invest to his company as a foreign client. In the beginning, I do not want to do that and he keep saying he gave 100k deposit to hold the spot. If this doesn’t happen the 100k will be donated. After all the conversation, he said all he needs is the bank account that he can wire transfer money to me. The maximum invest is 70k. So end up I gave him my no money bank account, I wait and see he will be transfer. After a day or so, he asked is the transfer here yet? I said not yet and in USA usually it take 3-5 days to complete. He said I transfer as urgent that will be here very soon. So the money is not arrive and his company is rushing to open investment, until this time he still not asking me money to help yet. But in that moment my heart is rushing too that I offer I only have 10k, so he said let him deal with his boss just put 10k for now to hold the spot then his 100k deposit can be release. As I think, ok 10k is not that a lot, if he is scammer then I will accept it because that is my own fault. So 1st I sent $5000 western union to “his company account” as he said. And I am still curious, I told him I can’t send the 2nd $5000 because I don’t have money to pay my bills for this rush. And then he said doesn’t have much cash left too, all his money put down this this investment. But he will send me $2500 for his last cash by next day. But I need to send 2nd $5000 to company as long as hold the spot. So I trusted him again. I sent the 2nd $5000. After all, he did not send me $2500 but he still keep talking to me that the wire transfer 70k is bounce back, he will wire smaller amount again when he get back. I told him that is it, do not talk to me anymore, you got what you want already. But he still sending message to me. He told me the 10k investment is getting profit, company will call you verify soon. I did not reply. I do not know why he still message since he got money already. Any thought?

A similar thing happened to one of my friends. This guy knows VERY well that he can milk more money from you..that is why he keeps writing to you. Block him or you will regret it

Anyone hear of John Daines, 51 y.o., wife died of kidney problems 3 years ago, has 15 y.o. son/Daniel, and is from Apex, NC?

A cursory search of several sources shows nobody with that name/age in North Carolina.

I have met this guy name Dennis from Hollywood Fl. He said that he has a contracting business. We talked for a week on tagged and then he asked me to get off tagged and go to whatapp. Then he had to go to Mexico for a job . He gets over there and tell me that his secretary left and went back to India to get marry and she did all of his finance for his business. He wanted me to take over his finance and pay diffrent people and his workers. He now need supplies to finish his project in Mexico and he keep asking me to open a IRA so he can send money so that he get paid to get supplies from the us. He said he will be sending 450,000 to put in the IRA account with me opening it. I need to know if anyone have had any contact with him. He call himself Dennis Walcott and his mother is from Pupua New Guinea and as soon as he get finish with his job is taking me there to see his family. I need to know if he is a scammer.

A man I have not met except online is in Dubai. He wants me to open a checking account for him so the bank can do a direct deposit of his money and then he will come to see me, take the money out and spend time with me. I don't like the sound of it, the way it feels and I don't like his persistense. He is putting major presure on me and the more he talks the less I like.

Newby can you please tell me more about this guy what is his name and does he have any children..I am talking to a man in Dubai he does push a lot on the money issue ...thank you..

Does anyone know Chris H. Wagner stationed in syria with the U.S. Army? What aboutRobert Anderson of NYC?

Ricky Hall of Winchester, TN?

Hi im gay and watch out for a man named james chris rowland says hes in Iraq and asked to send money to agbodan de de rogelia in france i soped the money from western union before she got it.i looked her up todAy she changed her last name and now in the Netherlands

Beware of Richard William and Laurent Geoffrey. If these are their real names. They are scammers. Also Tolu Adewale And Nwokenta. Marc Antony. These four are still burning from the money they scammed from me 6 years ago.

Have you had any men by the name of Pattrick Jones working in Malysia as a contract job for Sinohydro company? He claims to live in Jackson, Wyoming

Has anyone heard of Micheal David Lewis? Engineer from Houston, widowed..late wife's name was Michelle, daughter Karen in Canada whose engaged to David Maxwell. I met him on Plenty of fish. He suddenly had to go to Malaysia on business. I think he is a scammer.

So I decided to go on a dating site again against all better judgement lol Anyway this man Allen who claimed to be a military personnel me and him started chatting. First thing that was a red flag his pictures looked a little too perfect, but can't always judge a book by the cover started chatting, gave me this whole spiel about being divorced and single dad being in the military. So as we're chatting he tells me he can't send pictures and such on the WhatsApp app because he is in Syria on a mission and didn't want it to get out to the Press, and had to be careful of his location because of the enemy. I was like okay this is definitely not military personnel . I have never been in the military but if I was in a undercover Mission so to speak I would not tell a perfect stranger about it. So go with your gut instincts of course I blocked him and reported him. This literally just happened today. So ridiculous so what did I get taught I have common sense I have to start using it at the beginning and not wait. ...

Is anyone talking to a Rob Travels? Since I met him he has changed names in numerous occassions. Is from NYC, has a travel company and a podcast. Says he loves me and will marry me. It is too soon. Company names given so far: TravelandLifestyle podcast Passionquest12345 , Passionquest 97 , Influence Lifestyle. Something is off. When I search him this website comes up but the page is wrong. Claims he is a rich magnate that made his millions in the stock world and works for different hotels. Something is very off and with the name changes (?)

Need help and advice. My aunty is being scammed by who she knows as Ted Luke Allen, befriended him on facebook, and it his profile quickly was deleted. I beleive they talk on Google hangouts. I have been hearing stories through about it, it started in August 2018. She believes he has a daughter, he is on a secret mission, wants to move to Australia after deployment and marry her an build ger a house. At christmas time she sent him i tunes cards believing he needed it for a gift for his daughter. This Allen has multiple accounts on facebook but uses the same photos for each profile. Recently 600 dollars of itunes cards was found in my auntys room, and they had already been used, this was happening by her sending photos of the barcode and sending it to him.
on avaerage she send hom 200/300 dollars a week and has her believing that he wants too come to marry her and build her a house. Even that bad she has him as her screensaver on her phone. There is no getting through to her, she is always out of money always ringing my grandmother needing money for apparent rent, petrol, groceries. she has a job and her job would cover these expenses if she wasnt sending this scammer money.
My poor granmother is 85 and cant bring her self to say no to my aunty. In a scope of 9 months my grandmother has sent my aunty 12 000 dollars. Believe me we ahve said many times to her do not send her money. But its the excuses that comes from my aunty that my grandma believes she needs the money , Like rent, her daughter stealing it etc. Is there any way to report this allen scammer , by reading all these articles, many people have fallen a victim, very cunning by the sounds how this scammer works their words.

I got contacted from LinkedIn from a man name Roberto. Supposedly he’s in the army. Wife died . 14 year old daughter. Talking a lot about how fate brought us together… On LinkedIn! He says he’s in Afghanistan. He is apparently quite smitten with me he says! I can’t wait for his punchline to send him money. Girlfriends, be careful out there!

Hi has anyone been contacted by a sandra king in Pennsylvania she asked me for a iPhone 7 plus claims she has 7 year old son shes waiting for an inheritance calls me but I cant call her I know it's a scam something isn't right claims shell come see me but wants money for new clothes for her and son

Is anyone talking to a sargent meyer robin in Kabul ?

I met him on Facebook. Now we talk on Viber every day &I have fallen in love with him I have a military picture of him

RUN!!! If he is truly the "one" tell him you will pick up where you left off when he gets home. I don't know him but I am telling you its a scam.

My former guy- I knew 22 years ago and that made him- fine- by my definition. However this guy lied to me for years about the fact that he was homeless before I met him. He was successful in the past doing things for as he said doing herbs distillery like echinacea etc. ( he said he had bonds.. but they never appeared- he lived with me for 8 years often writing and doing tech stuff. He had only one job that paid anything for a year but didn’t get renewed I think from through vetting. He left me with over 15000 in debt and never heard from him again. He is a grifter and is not safe to be around. He goes by Liam or Will.

Thanks for yr cumment guys. I MET SOME GIRL NAMED AMANDA WEBER ON KIK. SHE TOLD SHE IS IN MISSION IN NIGERIA. SHE BECAME FRIEND WITH ME. TOLD ME SHE HAS NO MONEY. ASKED MONEY THROUGH MONEYGRAM AND WESTERN UNION. I CHECKED NOT POSSIBLE. INFORMED HER . I ASKED TO DOWNLOAD GOOGLE PAY. SHE WAS UNABLE TO INSTALL. SHE ASKED ME TO PURCHASE ITUNE GIFT CARD. I SAW ONE WEBSITE FOR OFFER. IT WAS ASKING ITUNES ACCOUNT WITH US ADDRESS FOR PURCHASE. I ASKED ITUNES ACCOUNT. SHE TOLD ME TO PURCHASE GOOGLE PAY CARD ELSE. I ASKED ACCOUNT NO. AGAIN. SHE HAVE NO REPLY.

Have anyone ever been asked for money or for bank account info to transfer money to your account from Nigeria.. Guy's name is Alex Ekubo nollywood actor

Be aware of POF and several men. One is from Denmark so he says, he says he is 60 and lives in Colo. He is not in Colo, his photo's are all over the internet, he likes young boys and the beach, He goes by several names David, Lucas, Spencer. He uses a VOIP line so he thinks he cannot be detected. He is on POF and the user name is davespa. Be aware of this man. He speaks a broken language, and says he is an architect. Look out, he also says things like most scammers,, wanting marriage before meeting. All the typical scams of meeting online.

POF Scammer, user name explictsmile, He is all over the internet and is shown, photo as a dating or more scammer! He contacted me once and I saw him on the registry. He is still active on POF,, He says he lives in Denver and is 59 yr. Look him up on the internet under scammers

Can we post photos?

I'm not sure, but I wish we could.

I have a friend who has been in contact with an Andrew .. From the UK but lives in Las Vegas and makes clocks .. Has had her in tears when he had asked for money and she has said no ( I hope this is still the case). Has sent him a iTunes card ( well photo of the details of it) as he was unwell and wanted some new music to listen too
Has sent her a photo of a plane ticket that shows he is coming over to Australia next Saturday.. but we all know how easy it is to make a fake ticket online !!
Has anyone come across this guy ?
When her daughter spoke to him one night he didn’t sound English and he only chats on What’s app

Ladies... these men may not be the same ones even though their story matches. They are trained in scamming, they all use similar stories. Military, widowed, singlefather and so on.

Hello I have been scammed twice, must have mug written on my profiles the first one being in the name of Dean Ohm widow daughter Ellie at boarding school and just told me know how his wife died and his name he contacted me through Instagram then hangout then went to a different chat program, when I first heard his voice I thought it was a little weirded as he sound American. I have been onto the bank that are trying to get it back. Then a week later another guy called Walter Christopher French said it wife and 2 daughters died then all of a sudden when I questioned him about the picture as I did my homework and checked his photo out which is someone else. He say the daughter he sent of was actually another daughter from a different woman, wow story change. So blew him away as I told him he was a scammer and he laughed in my face so you won't getting me in this one. Anyone else heard of these name and can share any images to see if we have the same

I've met 2 of these guys through FB and chats on Hangouts. Fit all the criteria I have read on here. One claims to be a Doctor in Syria for the military. Claims he is from Ohio. Widower and has a daughter in boarding school. Another is in Afghanistan on a peacekeeping mission. Also has a daughter and is cared for by a nanny in the states. Neither has asked for money and they won't ever get any from me. They both speak English well, but every now and then they say something that isn't quite right from someone raised in America. One said he wished he could lick me. WTH ! Who talks like that. I will not be scammed, but I have to admit I do play along.

I have meet Three on Instagram. Greg Underwood i know now he real namne is David and he is not on Instagram some one stolen his face. Taylor Jackson lost his wife and his doughter in a carcrash and now his only son is in coma in Turky. he asked for 10 000dollar. i blocked him and a general i cant find anywere he has 4 stars and officers with 4 stars is in a list in Wiki.

I have just deleted the Google Hangouts app as I was talking to a Turkish guy who worked on a rig for three months, wife deceased, young son, no friends, loved me after two weeks, wanted to get married because I was his world, working so hard to get home to be with me etc etc. Have had a gut feeling from the off that this was a scam as a good looking guy (probably stolen photos) too good to be true. He then asked me to go into his account yes gave me his bank details to check his balance loads of money in there and then wanted me to buy materials for the rig as he couldn't get connection on rig. Well of course I didn't and that's when he turned nasty when he realised I wasn't gonna do it - definitely fake account then would have asked me to buy whatever and he would see me right as he has loads of money when I refused and said no way was I going to do anything with his account he turned verbally nasty swearing badly - yes because he had been rumbled. His name is Josh Elvan Moore ( not Turkish I know) first dodgy gut feeling !!!! I hope that this helps someone else don't get involved he is a scammer.

I think this is the guy I'm having trouble with now. I called him a scammer and he got very upset. He inboxes me on IG had a pic of him and his son. He has no family, wife passed, son in boarding school. Works on Oil Rig in Turkey. Now he's on another oil rig. The Turks have his luggage with his money. Wanted me to pay $950 for shipping and handling. Goes by the name "James Raphel". I didn't send any money to said Co.

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