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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.

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit
Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

Comments

Has anyone on here been scammed by Luis Donahue or Daniel Sebastian Cristobal? It's the same guy, young about 45-46, wear glasses sometimes. Very handsome. Has a cute french bulldog supposedly currently in Turkey. He's a building engineer, divorced because his wife cheated with his best friend. Has one son in boarding school. The kid's name is Larry. Asked for bitcoins.

Have been scammed by a man called Glenn salmeron . I was just looking for a pen pal. I have lost the family money because I was so so scared ( using photos of s man in Facebook)
Then believing in people I have tried to find another pen pal
Another scammer named James Garth the rest of the family money .
Yes I’m really stupid and I can’t talk about the worse too ashamed
Today I try to heal myself
I don’t trust people
So be careful
And I can help if someone need some help

I Been where you are!! Remember you were a victim of a crime!! Scammers want your money and will say anything to get it. Don’t let them win! Hold your head high and live your life!! It was a crime, plain and simple!!! God bless

Has anyone had dealings with a Richardson Matthew. A Swedish guy working on an oil rig in Turkey. Wife died 4 years ago and has a 14 year old daughter called Micelle who is at boarding school?

I have met an online friend lately, said he works as a petroleum engineer in a huge oil and gas company in Texas. Now he said he's flying to Bolivia for an offshore contract there. He sent me some photos and even voice called me just yesterday. During our call, he told me he's sending me gifts thru vortex delivery express, and added that he was informed that I should pay a clearance tax before receiving the package, so he included a sum of money to cover my expenses. He seems to be so consistent, so gentlemanly. Now I am not sure whether he is real or fake. Can somebody give me advises.

I am suspicious of a man I met thru a dating site. Too good to be true, right? How long do scammers woo you before asking for personal or financial info? Thx in advance for your response.

Took my scammer about three weeks to come up with his sob story. It's coming!

Does anyone know engineer Christopher Clinton? I have read a lot of comments on this page and sounds like the man I am dating. He is a tall man 64 yrs gray/silver hair, brown eyes med/or so built, wears no rim glasses but also wear black/dark rim glasses. His wife died of breast cancer 14 years age and has a son who just turned 15 in boarding school. He is Canadian live in Toronto. Right now he is in Denmark working on oil rig contract up in Dec of this year. His stories match many of the post I am reading. Loves to flatter me with how much he loves me send flowers. Skype and face matches his pictures he sent me. We are to getting married in Dec when he is done with his contract and retires. I did some research on what he has been asking me to do and all is bogus. He says he is a Godly man and knows the Bible well. We talk for hours in the middle of the night and will do hello chats in the morning before work. I paid for his luggage/box of personal belongings to be delivered but of course there are problems with delivery (more money) I refused. I really need to know if this man is for real his pictures are but is he. I am usually a smart woman when it come to being scammed, but he won my heart. Christopher wants to buy big house with lots of land for just the two of us and promises to always loves me and will take good care of me. He likes as he put it "fat" women and wants to eat well and stay healthy for him, I am a little above average weight and he says he will love me even if I am not fat. We are supposed soulmates and meant for each other. I am wondering if anyone else may know him. Oh yes, his middle name is William and his late wife's name is Monica, found this out the other day and this is why I need your help ladies. Thanks

Ladies wake up this is a play with the same script.

I have been scammed twice. One requested me as a friend posing as Sylvester Stallon. He asked for a gift card. I blocked him. Another scammer Ray Luigi stated I was going to jail if i did not go get a gift card. I blocked him to and Sanz Calad Luera Luigi.

Becareful who you accept for a friend.

Anyone have inter action with scott allen.hes as for me to send a little money to get him out of situation and to get put of isanbul turkey. Right now I think he's in a jail in Turkey needing bail money .I don't have money .I've told him to call the states ,talk to his bank and use his own money .he showed me his account 3million dollars .maybe just a screenshot of something. Buti feel the love hooks for him that now I have to get over .yell are right .these scammers really know how to sell them selves

Has anyone heard of a George Oliver or George weber or Aviti..says he's from Germany now in Turkey to hearing on his daughters inheritance money was put in my name but have to pay 1200 dollars to pay fees to customs..wife died in accident he was in coma a month daughters name is Kate is 6 years old..very handsome man with dreamy blue eyes..told me he loved me right away sent me poems asked for itune card one time..needs the money to come back from turkey to the states..

Has anyone met a man calling himself Craig MacGregor? In the pictures he sent to me, He is an older attractive man who is an engineer.He gave his age as 62. He appears to follow the same pattern as men described here. He first contacted me on face book, cancelled his fb account after we started texting. He is very persuasive and i fell hard. I am pulling myself back now. He said he is a widower with 2 older children. He says he lives in Syria and needed financial help getting his portfolio out of Syria. It is a long complicated story and i lost more money than i should have but not nearly as much as i could have. He moved fast and my feelings for him were intense. He hasnt contacted me in awhile, and i believe we are done. I was unable to come up with $5000 he wanted to supposedly pay off a bureaucrat. If anyone knows of him i would like a few pieces filled in. Meanwhile he is a good and effective talker. Be careful.

Does anyone heard about a Dr Stephen Allen. Apparently his wife passed away from cancer 5 years ago. He said he is with the peace mission in Syria and an orthopedic surgeon. His son is in boarding school in USA whilst he is on deployment. He went quickly to say he'd fallen in love with me. ..

A guy named Franco Callabero is in UK on oil rig needs money for lawyer. He Argentina but lives in US orlando any one recognize the name

Anyone talking to a handsome 57 year old names Eric George from Austin Texas?

My mom has this "African lover" that she is hiding but I know that shes talking to him on WhatsApp, and ik that she opened a new bank account that she uses to send him money or he may send her money I'm not sure.... he even removed his Facebook picture and uploaded my moms as his...I want to tell her but I dont know how

Does anyone know a Robertson Christ, he said he in Army, i believe he is scamming me, he message me on Instagram first and then he ask do i have hang out so we can chat, i told him no, he told me how to download and we started talking for a couple weeks and the he said he love me and that his late wife died of cancer and he has a son name Mike, i think he is 8 years old, and then a week after that he told me that they didn't receive they checks yet cause it been like 2 months with no check and then he ask me to send him money, and steam card for games, he said he were from Washington, but he is deployed in italy, do anyone know him, he says he Army military? But im no fool.

Daer all please advise. I received ane mail from this guy Roberts Vought he said he got my e mail adress from linkedin. as per his words: 2 years ago his wife and 2 kids died in a fire that took their house he is in the US marines. when everytime he send me e mails , he attachs his pictures. now he is planing to come to senegal and Mali for his military mission he said he will be providing for me he is asking me whatever I need so he can bring it as soon as he comes to africa he is really giving me an impression of being scammed. he does not use any other social media platform due to his profession( what he said to me).he hasn't yet asked me for anything like sending him money... what should I do?

Hello ladies, my experience was a Ray Kevin, dig engineer, who had to leave for a job when we were suppose to meet. He could not say where he is and could not use his mobile for calling. I was sending him this article and ever since he did not respond. Also, called me Dear from the beginning. I was so upset when I found out, but I did not loose any money.

Met a guy saying he a contractor in gulf of mexico been there for 15 mths can't leave till it finish seem like a something broken all the time. He alawys needs money for his son
He can access to his bank acct but his son doesn't have one.
58 urs old
Has nanny for his 16 yrs old
I even call him out that he a scramer he said he isn't
Tell me i don't have trust or i don't believe.
No one can out there that long
His name Gabriel Stones
He working underneath shell.

I have met this guy on scrabble go and he works in a gas field as a pilot. Yes, I have sent money and he has sent me pictures of him. I studied the pictures, it all seems so real. How do I verify his details without going to the company he works for? I dont want to say too much here but I would like to be contacted to supply more info.

Has any heard from someone named marvin Gordon out of
portland Or . Wife died in childbirth?

Can you tell me more? It sounds familiar...

All this sounds very familiär to me. I met a Guy on Instagram. Name David. He sayed he is an US soldier in Iraq. Widowed, the wife died because of a heart desease. One 14yo son in the US. All was normal for about 5 month. Then he asked me for 4000 $ to buy a new heart for his Son. The son whould die if he dont get this money by End of the month. It was hard for me to believe and accept that I met a scammer.

Jacob Jackson continues to scam women for his either fake company or one that is failing. Or one that really does not exist. He goes by various alias.,Currently he wants $8000. for goods being delivered that he doesn’t have because he supposedly had a accident. He will promise you the moon. He loves you and will never leave you . The usual script that scammers say. He already got $400 for Walmart cards that he has failed to repay.! Careful ladies. This one is slick. Last night he tried to get $2000. I wanted him to call me to hear his voice. He would not. The argument of you give me the money and I will call. I knew it wasn’t going to happen .. And it did not but he didn’t get any money either! Anybody needs to know more because he is scamming you too, get ahold of me.

Same guy Simmon Fasey LinkedIn???
Or RyanLeister68 Instagram??
This guy various alias en all social media.
This guy uses English, Spanish, Turkey and russian.
Bab English, acent from Russia, Turkey...
He continúes scam women . His profile is in Ripandscam like scammer, but what is your identity??
Simmon Fasey scammer. He uses face of american desígner Dustin Van Fleet.

Any one talk to someone named Scott Allen. I've been talking to him for 5 months .he asks for money .to get him back home to the states .he is in isanbul turkey in police custody saying he needs $365.00 for bail money .if someone could .pay tmthat he could get on next flight. I've told him I have no money like that .he claims he is so in love with me .and really says things to make you feel like you are loved.im not sending money because I don't have any please help

Has anyone had experience with Elite Singles?
Does the name Ashley Leigh, supposed Petroleum Engineer, living now in Hawaii?

I went thru 3 different guysthis ladt year. All were engineers. They all had a daughter. I have all of their pics. The last one , I ask him if they all went to the same school? I actually drove them crazy. Asked too many and they wont contact you for a few days. I wanted to ask if your would have times they would be gone? .

Hi guys, do you know how to photo search the person I am chatting with?

There are several programs that you can search pictures from, Google Chrome and Tineye.com are the two I use. Just click copy on the picture and then paste it to the program and click search.

Hi. I've been chatting to a guy who says his name is Danny Futter, he is currently in South Africa on contract but actually from the States. He video called me but his voice on video call and on a normal call are so different. He hasn't asked me for anything, but has proclaimed his love for me. The other day I asked him to send me photos of himself, which he did, but the photos were labeled under the name of Fredrick Rogers....so obviously I confronted him about it and he apologized and said he labeled it under a different name when he was still in Myspace.com, but I have tried to google this name and get nothing as well as I tried to do a google image search, but nothing came up. Today he did a video call again with me, but I just got the feeling it was not him...his mouth movements were not what he was saying to me....I'm trying to meet up with him as I live in South Africa but yeah, you guessed it...he can't leave the site where he works as he is a foreign contractor bla bla bla....I really fell for this guy and finding it very difficult to walk away....HELP!!!!

Has anyone been contacted by a Dr Jeffrey George from Houston and stationed in Baghdad? Please contact me - possible scam

A guy that I don't even know, but we have mutuals. Just hit me up and texted me this morning and already sent me a red heart. Hes nice to me and sent what he looked like and he asked if we could hang out. Is he playing me?

This American handsome guy from oil rig in Aberdeen namely Richard met my sister via internet. 6 weeks later he said he bought her an engagement ring worth $47,500.00. Then said the ring stopped at custom duty in qatar and need $4500.00 to be released. Then he said because of sanction it has to go to uk and asked for $2500.00 postages and insurance. It cost her $7000.00 in total and he sent her a fake ring. He said someone had swapped it during transfer. He will give her money back when he gets out of oil rig. After 8 months in oil rig he said there was an oil spillage due to his fault and he has to pay $350,000.00 damages to insurance otherwise he will go to prison. He said he is very rich. His acc balance is over 3 millions dollars but is blocked because it was not activated for the past 12 months so he needs $60,000.00 to reactivate his acc to pay his insurance bill otherwise he go to prison. Apparently his in jail awaiting his lawyer to activate his acc but he dosent have the money. He is waiting for my sister to pay for his acc to be re activated. We know he is a real scam. He said he is a widow from usa with his 14 year old son living with a nanny in Sandiago .... i am so glad that we been advised by the police and the bank that to block him. He is real scammer

Watch for this one too. Ben Roland. Atlanta Georgia number on pinterest and whatsapp. 256.733.3095. Profile photo is little girl. And he says he is head of un medical in Kabul Afghanistan.. has stolen pictures of another man.

Has anyone had or has contact whit a John Grage? He supposed been In Qatar and was coming back to USA after being a self contractor working through United Nation but now is stuck at a Boarder check point and needs a bunch of money to pay for a TTPC travel card. It might be a stolen picture he uses for his profile as he is really good looking gray hair and a gray Goa Tee.

There are many guys claiming they live in British Columbia on Tinder trying to scam older guys to send them flight tickets money via PayPal. Do NOT do that. Your money will be gone 4ever

Hello.
I have been talking to a guy in whatsupp for a couple of weeks now and i am having my doubts, hence why i got to this page.
He claims he is from china now working in Miami Florida at Hurt oil company as a geologist. He is saying he is 35, single. He is so good looking and he even called me with whatapp camera to show me that it is him and yes it is the same guy from the pictures. The thing is.. He first introduced himself on instagram and now that instGram is deleted. He said he is 32 now saying 35. First said Delaware. Now its Florida. He hasnt ask for money, showed me pic with him and his mom, and says he will visit soon.
I am afraid of these things as I have heared so many stories. I am curious to see what happens i must say, but I do not trust him.. Even with the couple of video calls that we had.
Any advice please? Is anyone talking to a similar James?
Thank you

I just entered a website that ask for my birth name address and reported it

Hi, I just recently encountered with I'm assuming a scammer. Not quite sure at the moment but he did drain all my accounts out. He said it's a loan but kept asking and asking for more money. To the point where I even encountered companies giving out fake loans just for you to send and pay fees after fees after fees. But anyways back to the story I think I go scammed by an African man. I do not know his real name because he send me other people's names and accounts numbers to send him money which I WAS TOO STUPID TO DO SO. Now, I'm really in need of help because he doesn't want to return any of my money. I just talk to him on the phone. I can't believe, I believed that he will help me in my situation. Then come to find out he never did and left with all my money. How should I go about this situation. 2 companies scammed me for pretending giving out loans then this guy scammed me for all my money. I would really appreciate any help please..

Sounds like the same person to me....he almost got me but thank god nothing had processed and I was able to change my account...
I just posted as much as I could stand about the main participant I'm sure that I could find a whole lot more especially regarding the other people that he portrayed to me...and the same timeline

Took my money, wont give it back, think they work with individual scammers.

Oh and all three romance scammers I had all in one day!!! An oil rig worker. A Military doctor and a deployed soldier lmao I must be popular!! Fedrick Mathew ( soldier) Michael Thomas( oil rig) and the doctor left cause I didn’t pay attention to him lol . All the are from Scrabble Go !!! Geez lol .

Wow that is unbelievable what men will do.... I had the same from a site called VIP are card game site. they are like hidden in every place possible

Scrabble seems to be a current hotbed for scammers looking for lonely women. One that calls himself William Davis has my wife hook line and sinker right now.

ive been on a long distance relationship for 9 months but now this guy asked me to open a IRA account and i did but now his company sent me a check to deposit in the IRA account but i cant because no where on the check its for retirement the bank did make a copy of it and it seems real so the bank said i can deposit it and open a checking account but my long distance relationship guy said no and he said his accountant said to close the IRA account and look for another bank

Someone called David Morris contacted me through LinkedIn and asking to add him in WhatsApp and Hangout, I added him and begin chatting with him daily, He told me that he is a General in US Military and working in Kabul so he couldn't call me or sending any voice notes to me because it is dangerous to do. He shared with me some photos of him when he was in the USA. after 1 week he admits that he loves me and he wants to come to my country and I have to send an email to his department to tell them that he has to come home for urgent family matters, I did that but I worried when the email asked me to pay 3500$ for publishing leave certificates to him.I search through the net about email and send an email to the Department of Defence about what happened and to inquire about the email he provided me, they provided me with information to depict if he is a scammer and how to report him.
After searching about him on Linkedin I found he has many profiles with many different names but has the same information about him. when I asked him about that He has blocked me from all applications used for deceiving me.

Hi there,
I see myself in your story. It seems that our stories happened at the same time with the same person. It's him, Major Gen. David Wood, 3rd infantry in Kabul. 54 y/o American soldier, 33 years in the army. He lost his wife 4 years ago to blood cancer. 13 y/o daughter in boarding school in the US. I got some pics of the real soldier that did steal my heart with his eyes. I started chatting because I admire, respect and appreciate our soldiers. I am feeling lost right now after knowing that I was scammed. It hurts so bad that I still feel the pain. I wish I could have a chance just to see or talk to the real soldier in the pictures once because I admire him. I just can't accept the truth until now. I feel really terrible and can't share with anyone.

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