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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

Sound like same man i m currently in communication. Name larry walker. Widower with 1 daughter who stays with nanny in kansas. He is prtroleum engineer on oil rig in gulf of mexico.
Stupidly, has sent him around usd8K.
Now, telling me that will go back to Kansas anytime and starting a big project, and want to put my name in the contract as I am his future wife.
Luckily I came across this site...

I have chatted recently his name Harry hndrick, he said he is a sergion in Yemen, he has 150kg of gold bar from Yemen government gave him as a gratitude of his job. He want to send me, but he wants me to pay the shipping fee. He even sent me his certificate that he is the owner.. what do you think of this? I think he wants me to scan.

I have encountered a guy who also works as a general surgeon in Yemen. Then, he said about attacks there and he needs to secure his life work savings , security companies are asked to leave the place, he needs to deliver it to me as soon as possible, and I have to pay the delivery charges. If I get to have the box containing his savings, I could get percentage from it. In the end, I did not mind him, I just block him and deleted my account. It was quite weird for me.

Yes, that all sounds like a scam

Yes, this is a 100% scammer

Step-dad is being scammed
We think our step-dad is being scammed. Since our Mom died, he has been lonely and going on to dating sites. He is 66 and “dating” online Janet Allison 45 year old divorced British Nurse with Doctors Without Borders in Syria. He met her on a Christian Singles website. She is divorced from an American pilot and has a home in Texas and an adult son. She has asked my step-dad to send stuff on her behalf to her son, because she can’t order stuff from Syria. She paid the cost by sending money to his bank account.

At first she asked for money for a plane ticket. We all said don’t do it, so he told her we were suspicious that it was a scam. She sent photo, with Bill, I love you sign on it to show it wasn’t. The photo shows an attractive 40ish busty brunette woman. He claimed he has talked with her directly when we asked why he never had face to face calls. We also noticed he is getting a lot of mail from SunTrust since he has been dating Janet, but he wont say what its about.

According to our Step-dad, he isn’t out any money, since she always reimburses him or will once she gets back. Janet is supposed to come back to the U.S. soon and after quarantine plans to come to Florida. He said he is going to marry her and feels very lucky. What do we do? And if she send him money and pays him back, is a crime being committed?

Im on a dating site name POF and I have met 3 guys at different times and both of them says they are from new york,& 1 in the army stationed in Yemen and all of them has asked for money ,wants my bank account information, send them money. 1 in new york wants $500 to fly to Washington. 1 in the military wants me to get a $50 amazon gift card,plus has my bank information, asked me to open a Northone bank account,cash app and says when he is done in yemen he is coming to Washington to see me. 1 says he is from Cleveland and has his picture on POF with different names so i set him up saying something different to each names to make a person to person contact and each one gave me a excuse why they cant meet.1 of the different names same picture guy after talking to him on the phone says would i like to buy a house in Florida and my mortgage would only be $1300 a month ,sent me all kinds of pictures of this house and looks good. Then I get in my gmail from a real estate guy that says he is going to send me papers on this house and to sign them and send it back with $1000 for the monthly mortage . I have not seen this person thats a so called real estate guy,nor seen the house only pictures,nor I have heard of anyone trying to send me legal papers and putting my name on something that i was thinking of a Dream Home through the mail. Now Im talking to 1 of the other names same picture and he says to open a cash app and wants me to set up a bitcoin so he can put money on it , says he is from Seattle and after talking to him and all of them i have talked to have accents. And the more i talk to him i found out he is from Turkey. So now what do i do? And how to spot them before hand?

I’m dealing with a scammer right now I met on pof claiming to be a doctor in Brazil. I would get off the Internet dating sites if I were you. I deleted everything and learned my lesson. He was trying so many different ways to try and con me out of money. Don’t get any bitcoin it’s a crypto currency that can’t be traced. They know this that’s why they get you to get it. He was also trying to get me to pick up money transfers from western union. I didn’t do anything and now he’s trying to blackmail me. Be careful ladies.

Thomas Johnson is who I got he says he’s in the military and then he stationed over in Japan right now he says he has a daughter but he didn’t even know that his daughter was starting school this week but he said he’s three months behind in his Internet bill and he couldn’t stand to not talk to me and that he loves me he asked me to marry him within the first week that he asked me to send the money on an eBay gift card so that he could pay for his Internet but when I asked what an eBay gift card would do he got a hostile and then he said that he was on the phone with his bank and the bank wanted him to come in to verify they needed his fingerprints which I called the bank and I asked they don’t do that and that the manager is willing to transfer money into a friends account accountI was going to give him a different account number and routing number but then he asked for my online ID my password my security questions and answers in my account and routing number and I told him I didn’t feel comfortable doing it so I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I told him that people scam people all the time with gift cards and he said if I was a scammer I would ask for a $10 million instead of 100 which is wrong they always ask for low because people normally can pay low

Omg! I met a guy called himself todd William's and used the same fingerprint issue w/ his bank! No bank anywhere requires you to bring fingerprints to unlock a bank account. When I wouldn't send money and cards, he got aggressive and mean. All of sudden he didn't love me anymore (after 3 weeks, boo hoo). This jerk said he was a doctor from malibu but working in Somalia for the UN, and yet needed money from me..... really?

Has any body heard of shawn webber on here I think I am being scammed

I heard of a Darrin Webber enigeer.. pictures are of a black man bald white beard..tattoos on arms and chest

Does anyone know Thomas Roland from Vienna Ausria?

Had somone last year on Telegram say they was Leonardo DiCaprio he asked me for Itune cards £200 he then texts me one day saying that hes coming iget a text one day with him saying I'm.here look out of window didnt see him at first look put a while later see a car person in car looked exactly same as leonardo dicaprio he was in back of a very dark vehicle with what looked like 2 men in the front of the car only I would of gone to him but my mom shouted at me to go to bed saying whoever's outside ot wont be Leo she said. Anyway next day I get a text again from him saying you fooled me I never want to see you again. : (

How long do they take before they ask for money? I have had scanners before on dating cites and right away they ask for cash. But this guy I’ve been talking for 4 months and hasn’t asked for cash. There has come up issues that I’m waiting for him to ask but he doesn’t. Claims to be in the Army. I search his picture ask questions and search answers. I just don’t know. Help!!!!

Is his name Tommy and really Gorgeous? I would send a picture but this site doesn’t allow it!

What name is he going by?

hi, has anyone here encountered a nice looking bald and bearded guy? he said he's from Croatia but living in new York for the longest time already. works at one of the biggest shipping company. always out for business trip. petroleum engineer. he's nice, calls often, we would video call but he can only see me, I've never seen him in video calls because he was out travelling on a ship, he says it's not allowed. after 2 months of communicating he started saying he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and doesn/t want to travel for work anymore. gave a business proposal, he said he has a doctor friend who works at a research laboratory who needs a certain herb and that he wanted us to supply for them. asked me to look for supplier. to make the story short, i found one but when i looked deeper into the loopholes, supplier, courier and this client all have the same IP address. supplier refuse to give important details about their company. this guy i met wanted me to support him financially in the business when i said i sense something wrong about the supplier, he got really mad and threw me all kinds of bad accusations. i tried looking up the guy's name in google, even his photos, but couldn't find anything. no social media account. he said he's a widower, only son, mom was old and staying in Croatia. anyone who encountered him?

I’ve been talking to a guy for a week who was born in Croatia, moved to New York at 20, wife died in a car accident 3 years ago. One son who lives in San Jose, California with his sister who died on Monday of a heart attack. He’s a mechanical engineer in the military but he’s in Canada right now. Has been for nearly a year. Very Christian. Strong accent. Goes by the name Armando Mouser. Age 53. Any of this sound familiar?

Almost same story.
Bald bearded man, very nice.
Can we share photos?

Does anyone know a James Herbert who is an engineer on off shore oil rigs? Says he's in Poland right now working. I would appreciate any information. Thank you

Omg that names sounds imiliar...
Does his number start with 447?

Anyways nothing happened. I was being nice and chatting. But he was annoying and clingy and said I was never there to talk? He stopped talking lol

I was playing Scrabble with buddies
We started talking in November, his name he said was David Blossom that his wife had dIed on the operating table 4 year's ago and his son is in a boarding school where he lives. I think the school is in Berlin. My family warned me but I didn't listen because I thought he loved me, I sure made a huge mistake just because he said he was wealthy. If anyone has heard of him please let me know because I'm filing a complaint against him.

Anyone out there been scammed by a mike peden railroad contractor he even has fake web ?

I recently was contacted by Mike Peden railway engineer on a dating site. He lives in Portland OR, wife died from cancer, no children. He is saying all the things that I have read on here. One woman man, he is lonely and wants a woman who is honest and won't look at other men. He immediately wanted to communicate by email and his profile is no longer available on the dating site. I think he is setting me up. Fortunately it is in the very early stages. Going to block him now

Yes, bad news.

The Mike Peden Railway engineer I had contact with was listed on dating site as living in Louisville, KY

My Grandma is being scammed by Mike right now. I told her it was a scam.

What is he doing? I am concerned for someone being scammed by him now.

Keep telling her until she believes. He knows how to play the game and hopefully she will become aware he has done the same to many of us out there. Was she on Silver Singles?

Peaches- Has your grandmother lost any money to Mike? Is she still talking to him? Curious.

Does your grandma live in South Carolina?

Oh my...have I, and he is still trying to correspond. He actually is trying to convince me he is the real deal. God this is funny. I knew he was a fake. Went on the Silver Singles. I told him from the beginning I would be boring...but he would not give up. I don't have money, and yet he keeps it up? I started to investigate , and saw the fake web page...good lord he has gone through a lot of work. I just received another email from him this morning. Insisting I respond, because he is the real deal. Silly man. Anyway thanks for posting this. Maybe we can worn other women off.

I have been talking with him since July. Of course he told me I was the only woman for him. What a piece of work. His business is not even a real business. I feel like such a fool.

My mother (recently widowed) is talking to this guy right now. Except now he is based in TN. I am trying to tell her that he checks all the boxes for a scam or at the very least some kind of creep. Hope I can convince her without hurting her feelings. This really sucks.

I know someone being scammed by him. What is his MO/ modus operandi? Did he try to get money from you? I am very worried.

I wanted to know how he scammed the other person that you know. He borrowed a large sum of money from me to complete his project.

Yes, I have been in contact with him.

Yes, since July.

I think he scammed me too and he told me he now lives in California but is working on a project in Bahrain and I did give him quite a large sum of money. He was on Silver Singles.

There is a profile and photo of Peden on LinkedIn but he is now based in Seattle, Washington

I think I am being scammed after an interaction on craigslist. It's the "my 14yo son...Ohio" deal. What should I do?

BLOCK HIM and report him to FBI Internet Crimes.

Has anyone linked up with a swiss guy, living in Connecticutt who is an architect by the name of Davis Luis - went to Dubai to follow up on a job he had already done earlier in the year to find that 3 people had been killed and 2 injured due the collapse of part of the building he was in charge of constructing - 55 years old one daughter Anne 16 years old his wife died 8 years ago due to ovarian cancer!

I had guy on WWF Byron Markus who chatted with me and went to Hangouts. He lived in Nashville TN and worked forExxon and got job out of country. He needed money for his son Sammy in boarding school In Texas. He needed food and medical treatment for skin condition. He supposedly left his wallet at home when left for job. I refused and he will never forgive me if son dies. I told him the nanny could take him to hospital for treatment. I found a twitter account with his picture under Jeff Lancelot and son’s name there was Kelley. Just wanted to get his name and story out there. I gave him nothing and blocked him on Hangouts

I was scammed by Peter Palmer . He lived in bluecrossing Mi

Please has anyone heard of Davis Luis - swiss born living in Connecticut CEO of his own architectural business called DL Architecture & Construction - pics he is using belong to a well known Austrian leading politician!!!

Anyone hear of James Grimmett or Coca

Beware of a person who poses to be an engineer who claims to own a construction company in Ukraine. He went to Thailand to sign a contract and since he has only 430thousand dollars, he needs 15k more to pay for contract fee otherwise he will lose the contract where he can make me an overnight millionaire LOL marry me and we travel around the world, this being his last contract so we can be together. No, I did not give his demand. His passport is held by immigration for sticker. No international credit card. No valid ID except engineer's ID..yet he owns a rollroyce and Bentley for his toys? LOL. His name is TONY ABAD or ANTHONY ABAD BOHDAH per fake passport LOL. I wish I know how to post picture here but in not good with technology. By the way, I was lured to send $1,000 to pay for his 5 start hotel and food while he is still looking for money. He was supposed to visit me with a business class ticket he sent me but cancelled due to pending problem with contract fee. Hilarious!

I was introducef to a female in the us army in afghanistan on whatsapp by her brother-in-law in Oregon. It started out just fine at first, then she wanted me to use a certain "spell caster" to make the relationship unbreakable. Unfortunately, I paid this person to do what she asked. Then he wanted more money to cast other spells. When I said no, he got very angry with me, and so did she.
She asked to text so we could chat more privately. She asked for my address so she could mail a check to pay for her mothers medical bills. The check bounced when I trief to deposit it into my bank acct. She asked me to use a different bank, but I told her I could not. She started to ask for money to buy a new cellphone. It started out at $60, then $125, then $200-$250. Her dollar sign was always behind the number and I this seemed odd (for example 60$ ). When I told her I read online to send no money to an official us military deployed, she said it was a hoax. Out of curiosity, I searched her name online and used the number she gave me once again to find out more. The person on the other end had the same name, but never heard of me and asked me to tell her her name. When I did, she flipped out and said to call the police. I haven't heard from this person since. There's more, but that's embarrassing enough to continue.

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