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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

So I'm talking to a guy that I met on a dating app. His name is Troy George, is 49 years old, is half Turkish and has a 5 year old daughter named Lisa. He lives in San Antonio and he works with "automobiles," - which he never seems to clarify. He is very handsome, salt and pepper hair, a beautiful smile and blue eyes. We've been texting for over a week. He sends me pictures anytime I ask but he's shy about a video chat. He has an accent but not sure it's turkish. Anyone know him?

One month ago, I met wid someone on instagram , after sometime he purposed me for marriage nd told that he has a baby girl and wife passed away.. I told me he worked in uk navy and from Brazil.. now I have stopped taking to him.

Hey my name is Linda and I’ve been scammed from a guy who I ave been talking too for 1 year. I met him on a dating site and always new what to say. His name was Patrick Luca who’s been stuck in Turkey due to COVID. He’s a jeweler but has been in a tough situation and in need of money. I’ve been sending him money but I’ve never heard his voice or seen him. Texting is the only communication I have with him. He had an issue in receiving money so I was sending money to a friend who would send it to him. I used bitcoin and gifts cards. He would hey angry if I asked to much questions. I finally searched online for help or stories related to mine and I’ve found plenty. I called him out in what he’s done and he tried to deny it then instantly stop texting me . Hope this helps someone out

So there is this attractive guy on Linkedin that says he lives on the gulf coast and works on an oil rig. He says his name is Richard Burk. I am married so I was not 'looking for love', but he was not offensive in his introduction so I accepted his connection. After a couple days of texting with me, he says he has $10M worth of gold bars that he recovered on a diving excursion with his team in Mexico. He sent photos. And says he will give me 10% if I help him sell them here in USA. He could not answer me when I asked what part of the gulf of Mexico he was stationed on. Instead gave me compliments on my looks. I am deleting him as a connection but wanted to warn other women. I looked at his facebook page and it seemed normal, but his "likes" were all Pakistan music and books. Small detail he missed. Like the other reports on here, his profile says "divorced."

How do I report one 's name and picture to expose him for his future victims??

Watch out for some one named Andrew peters or recently changed name to andy p.f he is a PI lives in nyc but had to travel to turkey to take care of a property . His one and only card got hacked and his bank closed his account. Now he had all these bills and taxes to pay before they let him leave turkey. He says he is Australian but his mother is south African so he has an accent. He sends you all the pictures of bills and receipts and make you fall in love with him.

I met a woman on a website, started off as a normal conversation which she later wanted to move to Hangouts, which i had no issue with. A few weeks go by and she claims that she just found out that her mother has heart disease and doesn't have enough funds for the surgery. She states that her relative can send her money by only means of an online banking. I said i can help her set it up in her own name but she argues that it had to be in mine. I straight up refused, but she kept pushing for a few days. When I point out the flaws, she blows it off as if I am confused or I don't understand her situation, claiming that I don't care about her as a friend. She then stated that if her mother passes away, then she will commit to suicide since her mother is her rock. I managed to talk her out of that part, but this is the first time I have seen a scammers story this descriptive and thought out.
I have been smart enough not to send this person any money so far, as well as blocked her on my phone. Has anyone met a scammer this extreme?

Robert Miller on Facebook from saint Paul Minnesota is a scammer

Am talking to someone on google hangouts and she has asked for some money and says she lives in her friend house idk if it's a scam or not can anyone help?

Most likely it is a scammer, my own scammer is on hangouts as well, as soon as I blocked them. They texted me from another hangouts account. I am playing along for now but I will not send money or share anymore info. Let’s see where this goes!

NO! don't send her money. Did you do facetime or a online live face chat? if not don't send her nothing. If they are not willing to do that (live/ face chat online) they're scamming you. Could be a catfish. If you haven't even met this woman in person don't send her nothing.

This guy says his name is freddie steiner and is on LinkedIn, instagram and says he has a 12 year old daughter and is a engineer but now doing a project in Germany and is a contractor but has ran out of money and said he needs 20000 for a engine. The most I did was send a steam card for 50 dollars. Want to know if he's a phony

Yes that is typical scammer story, don't send any more money or gift cards.

Hi all, I am in South Africa and I have met an Alex Melvin on Tinder, he has not asked me for money, he has asked me to make payments for him from his personal bank account, gave me the username and password. He says he is from LA and currently working in Madagascar installing 5G cables under the sea. Widow with a 9 year old daughter, sent me photos of her. I have photos of him when do I upload them to verify
.

STAY AWAY FROM REED ANDERSON. HE MAY CONTACT YOU ON INSTAGRAM AND IS VERY CONVINCING. HE HAS A WHITE FRENCH BULL DOG NAMED DANDY AND LIVES IN MIAMI PRETENDING TO BE AN ARCHITECT AND GENERAL CONTRACTOR. HE WILL TELL YOU THAT HE IS GOING TO JORDAN TO BUILD A ROAD . AFTER HE GETS THERE AND HAS ROMANCED YOU HE WILL TELL YOU THAT HE CANNOT PAY THE TAXES ON THE MONEY HE RECEIVED FOR THE JOB. HE IS VERY ATTRACTIVE, WHITE GUY WITH BLUE EYES, BALDING, BIG MUSCLES, AND WILL SEND MANY PICTURE OF HIM BARE CHESTED. CLAIMS TO BE A TRANSPLANT FROM BRAZIL AND SPAIN AND CAME TO THE STATES IN HIS 20'S. HE IS WIDOWED FOR FIVE YEARS, HAS A 23 YEAR OLD SON, AND HIS WIFES DEATH FROM LUNG CANCER DEVASTATED HIM. HE WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE THE FIRST WOMAN HE HAS TALKED TO SINCE HER DEATH FIVE YEARS AGO AND HE IS JUST GETTING OUT THERE AGAIN. HE WILL LIVE DAILY LIFE IN A NORMAL MANNER, MAKING PANCAKES, GOING INTO THE OFFICE AT AECOM IN MIAMI, PICTURES AT THE AIRPORT, PICTURES ON THE BEACH. ALL VERY CONVINCING AND PROBABLY A MUCH BIGGER SCHEME, SCAM IN THE BACKGROUND.

Do the scammers usually give a passport ? I wanted him to prove his identity and asked for an ID

I have asked for passports. If they are genuine, they should oblige. But be alert to cloned passports. We ran a passport through google reverse image search and found the one it was cloned from.

Has anyone here been talking to a good looking guy with a gray Goa tee and gray hair claims tho be a self employed engineer and is in Qata he is a con. let me know if you know him

Has anyone met a Scott Luna says he’s in the military very good looking dark hair says he’s 45

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?

Hey Princess. He just sent me a mail!!!Typical scammer!

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.

anyone know scammer kok chee chuo? chuo kok? chuo kok chee? please comment

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?

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