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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

It’s a scam. Usually they take you off the site to a private chat where they try to gain as much info about yourself to see how much money they can gain from you and possibly use your details to scam others. They usually tell you the most devistating lies so you feel sorry for them and make up fake documents and stuff to support their fake stories. My scammer kept saying he would commit suiside if I didn’t help him. I highly suggest you report it.

It’s a scammer. Sorry man I ask myself what is this world coming to.

please run dont look back

Jpatalano, sorry this happened to you it’s happened to me as well. There are good women and men out there. We just have not found them yet

Hi Jpatalano; I am currently talking to a woman now who claims she is a nurse at hospital and was told she and 5 others are being transferred to go to Vietnam to help out a hospital to take care of children with heart troubles. I know in my gut she is not telling the truth because you don't get transferred to another country to help out unless your in the military. I was wondering if you have a picture of her by any chance? The one I am with is tall, slim, blonde hair, blue eyes wear red frame glasses that covers her eyes. I also believe she is married and her husband may be a part of it. Some the pictures I have had to be from someone else taking the pictures. If it sounds familiar please let me know. As of right now I have not given any money. She is suppose to go to vietnam and I suspect that is where the trouble will begin. Another thing she claims she is from Texas, but, wears New York t-shirts and ball cap. Another red flag.

I just escaped from a Con artist.

She said that she owns a Ranch in Mississauga and her father had secretly bequeathed her with two chests of Gold Bars. She wanted me to come to Quebec to transport the Gold Bars.

She couldn't understand, why I don't want to be part of this treasure. She also forwarded me a photograph. Initially, I thought she is truly looking for love until she started talking about Gold Bars.

Please don't fall for these

My guy asked for money. I accused him of being scammer. He got mad. I asked for a picture of his
Us drivers licence. Of xouese he refused. Blocked and reported. Ask for selfie of him holding his us id or open passport id. Send money to embassy for them if they show proper id.

What is wrong with us to believe these guys? I for one was rolling my eyes at the stuff coming out of his mouth after only days of messaging! Oh and what is it with the iTunes cards? This guy even sent me his Military ID! Looks legit but I’m having it checked and know it’s just photoshopped because the guy is way too young for so many medals!

I have been scammed since October of 2018 his name is Davis his email is DaviskMontalvo @gmail. com; he worked with a courier company I have the site and the name of the delivery manager, Samuel Chris, plus even a red cross agent they ripped me off over 53 thousand dollars. Then I met another guy Alex Cole his email is Alexandercole7777 @gmail. com; who said he would help me how stupid am I ???? I feel so stupid and helpless I helped him because he told me he would help me with sending me money I lost!! such a fool I am. I am scared to report them but I have sent a yelp notification not to use one of the courier companies Alex used MNGCourier.com in Turkey. I lost almost 100k.
but they still sent me emails and Davis even asked for a 100$ i tunes card I told him to go to hell. I tried to stay friends with him but when I questioned him if he was a soldier that is trying to rip me off he said dont listen to them its not true and he loved me and I never heard from him again.
Omg!! now I am trying to get a second on my house to payoff all my loans. its been a terrible year! I wish I could meet with one of you ladies so I can cry and tell you how sorry I am for all of us!! I am a good person and just want to help people. Now i can never trust anyone omg!!! feeling devastated!!!, humiliated!!!

I think i get the same thing like u, i'm just a student and got being scam for this girl she said she working on the ship as a chef and then she lost all her money from someone stealing it, then she asking money to help her, but in the end the money keep going and going up, and she said she will pay me back, but after this every thing still continue until now, i'm so stress right now idk what to do or talk with someone else, if you still on this blog or this website, if you can message me your phone or your email then i can share or help you something...

I am sorry to hear that this all happened to you. I have been searching on the Internet myself and have run into many scammers professing love after a short time of correspondence. I’ve learned that to never send money to someone you have never met before in person. I have been on Internet dating websites for months and have never met someone who was actually real. You seem like a very nice and wonderful person. I hope you find what you’re looking for here on the Internet.

I also just happened to me this guy pretending to have a daughter sending me pics of him and his daughter so annoying. Just yesterday pretended to have send me this and money which I declined as I was quick to realise that it was a scam. Oh thank God

I think we all should post the photos of the poor victims they are claiming to be. Wish there was a way the victim could know there photos are being hacked!

i was just being scammed :(
now Im trying to find this guy with the photos that the scammer gave me.. How can I do that? Now I really want to get to know this guy that the scammer send me..

Hi i was scammed also and the same with you i also want to know who was the man in the picture. Hope someone can help us know who is that man in the picture.

Watch out for Philip Richard In IG , his accent is Asian like Chinese , and pretending to be a German Guy with daughter and mom. He is not asking money but asking to use your “big account” in your bank , he said he will put money to your bank then you will just withdraw for him if he need it... he said he is a civil engineer , send a big German, handsome looking guy on his 50’s picture. Even send his daughter’s picture. Maybe he took those pics and pretend he is the one.. i suspected him when i tried sending him German /dutch language or messages but he did not react and did not explain . He called me on the Phone via Whatsapp and he does not want to use video call. He said he is in Cambodia now.

This sounds very familiar to what I'm experiencing at this moment . This guy says he's 53 named Damien from Canada sn engineer and needs me to get his check for him put it in my bank account . His pics showed him in Paris he had grey hair with a beard

I have someone who lives in Florida but is in Paris right now cause that’s where his dad lived. He lost his wallet and asked for a few hundred dollars for to add to some money for his plane ticket back to Florida. I told him I didn’t have it. He asked me Wednesday if he could transfer some funds to my bank account and have me purchase his ticket and then transfer what’s left to him when he gets home. He was supposed to be coming to visit me when his dad got sick and died in Paris. He is African with a French accent but says he’s a Black man who grew up in Paris. He shows pictures of his mom and daughter in SC. Says he’s an agent for State Farm but can’t locate him in the directory. Says he’s 56, 6’1 and has a pic of a Black brown skinned, bald headed slim man with a silver and black beard. Has a pic of a small dog called K9. Each time I say something about scam he becomes offended.

Where in Paris. What is he wearing?

Do you have pic still ? Does the daughter look 8

Hi Jolly, did he say his daughter is 8 years old? And that he is a widow . Age 53. Says he is Russian but he has a Nigerian accent.

California Girl, I'm with you , I too am a highly educated professional women. This guys was the best I've ever seen. He was local, just 180 mile north of me and supposedly an architect. I checked out his office and website, it all seemed legit. It went on for six months before he asked for money, twice daily phone calls, texts and emails and the he left the country for work and yes that's when it got interesting. I wont bother with the story but i lost 24,000 and i could not afford to lose that much. I thought i checked him out pretty well, asked for pictures from where he was at the moment either his home, cab, hotel and he always sent them, even asked if i would meet his Mom and gave me her contact info...that i didn't check out i wish i had but doesn't matter now , haven't heard from him in two months and can't find him anywhere, website no longer exists and and phone number rejects calls, last call i got was from Cyprus.

i have come to realize that special time are better when share with good hearted people

Does he go by the name of Charles Luke??

There are woman on there doing the same thing, wanting amazon cards for their phones. Had 3 try to scam me last week alone. Telling me they love me, can't live without. Blah blah blah...we all need to be vigilant.

I just came across your message some how but can you explain the ITunes thing better to me? I had some ITunes come out of my account and my wife said she didn’t know anything about it. When I questioned her about it , they quit coming out of my account. Please help , Michigan Boy!

Hi
I am a 62 year old male and I have been looking for someone to share my life with. Through a dating site I received a lot of likes from people with gmail addresses and they asked me to contact them on 'hangout', which I did.
I have seen them on video calls but can never seem to hear a voice..which concerns me. I have recently been asked to send cash via Western Union to Anaheim in the States, which I did. I then received a message to say that there was a technical error and that I should go and collect my cash from Western Union as it had not been collected and then send it on to Ghana. That is where I am right now.
I seriously want to believe what the lady says..you all know what it's like...but deep down I know its a scam! when I call to talk to her, the phone is never answered. Another thing is that all these people somehow keep coming up with Ghana! I guess that must say a lot, but it's hard to accept especially when they ask you if you don't trust them...and even though you want to, you still know you should not.
Is there any way that you can avoid all this and know that you are speaking to a genuine person. I have been scammed before and it makes you into a hard person...which I don't like.
Dating sites can be very expensive..I am talking about from the male side. I don't know about the female costs..and it actually puts you off and with that finding your true love. Don't we all deserve that.
Anyway, thank you for your website. Guess I will just have to be hard and until I meet someone face to face I will never again trust them. So sad!

I had a man try to scam me. Said he was a widow and father of twin daughters age 17. Said he is an engineer who does contract work. I told him, repeatedly, that I wasn’t interested, wasn’t looking, have a full life. He convinced me to email with him, then phone calls and pictures for two months. Then came the request for money. I accused him and he said I am paranoid. It was very heartbreaking but luckily I sent nothing! Story over but my heart was broken.

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. I too am so unhappy. It is just as expensive for women as men. I’m not out a lot of money yet but I do still have my scammer reaching out asking for money everyday. He speaks lovely to me and it is hard to say no, I’m sure you know what I mean. I’m glad l can come here and read stories of people who are experiencing love with the wrong partners. I hope it get better for you soon and I can let go of my scammer. Thank you for sharing

Got Scammed. youre not alone. Mine was huge money taken away from me. Im lost but thanks that I have God with me. HE is more than enough to start all over again .God bless

I gave up all my savings and retirement - communication had been going on for 1 year. I am bankrupt, devastated and ashamed

I did the exact thing as you, all lost, he provide me fake bank accounts and so charming,I wish I had asked others, I am angry now, still cannot tell my family, these guys make this a living, and we are sincere and honest, I know Karma will be their fate.

I understand you completely I have one with me I try to believe him because he confessed 1 year ago. It sounds good. But I don't know if it is real
Go ahead and be happy.

I have been with one for more than 4 years was 1/1/2 years wen he confessed he was one.I was close to find out .by then only 7,000:I had lost I no the family,and soon next month to go.he promissed to stop as that was my condition to help him.but now I read from others has Charles really stopped or have I been duped again .before he was more attendive ,from 4 calls drooped to one call.from 7/9 messages to two per day .my instenct is telling me im right.

Shy girl, I was on a dating site about two weeks ago, n this nice looking man named Charles Andrew asked me to go to hangouts. so I did we started talking, he told me all this mussy stuff everyday, can't live without me. then one day he told me that his internet connection was going to be disrubted and asked me to send him 200.00. he says he's in Syria right now, n will be home in august. I never sent him anything, I called him out bout scamming me. n he magically diapeared.

Curious to know if you have picture I got contacted by Charles Andrew on Tindr

Anyone know Charles Luke?

He doesn’t by chance go by Chally does he?

Hey brother I just got scammed for $2200
Went on for 5 months
I love your attitude...
Im taking that on now because I've been angry about it all.
God bless, and thank you for saying it right

This man about three months ago try he seems so sincere and loving he called me every day and night and text constantly until he wants me to send my ring size and shoe size then he send me pics of stuff and tell me I have to pay custom fee of$400-420 when it delivered to me, I told him not to send me any because I didn't ask for it, he was so mad and stop calling.

It sounds familiar to me. Asked ring size. Shie size. iTunes started off. He saied he loves me and I am his wife and treasure. I told him he was a scammer. He said he was not .sounds like it to me. I'm still talking with him on video chat and calls and texts does scammers use video chats. His pic and all marches his video looks. He plays keyboard and talks about God alot. How do I know. This guy is real. He knows I have no money. I love this man it really hurts this man is 39 will be 40 in October I am 60 does that even sound right. Read this and give me some advice. Should u believe him, especially talked about God , or is this man the devil himself

Honey, he is scamming you. Run far, far away. They will say anything to play on your emotions and to get sympathy. Just because he talks about God does not mean he is legit. He only wants your money. Then he will disappear and you won’t be able to get ahold of him or find him. Also, he is probably scamming multiple women at once.

This souds so familiar, the guy I talk to I can video chat and they all seam to be the same, can you send me pic of him

I have pictures

Scammer for sure .. they tell you want you want to hear because your missing it in your life they are so good that they make you feel your the only one .. it’s so sad that these people hurt other people

They are more than SAD dear, they are working for the DEVIL in hell, satan himself I think. They are disgusting and the low life scum of the earth. But remember, WHAT DOES AROUND WILL COME AROUND EVENTUALLY. These CROOKS will get their due and the sooner they do the better. They'll get it, and if not in this life, in the next... KITTEN

Hi...same thinghappened to me as well ...I want to send you picture of him so you can verify

Hi...same thinghappened to me as well ...I want to send you picture of him so you can verify

Is his last name Gonzalez? Is he a US Marine? Does he call you his queen?

My guy calls me his queen. Sounds Hispanic but says he’s Irish and Italian.

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