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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 — 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


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 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 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 obviously I confronted him about it and he apologized and said he labeled it under a different name when he was still in, 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.

Can you send me a picture? If so, I’ll send mail address.

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

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.

Hi, I have been scammed by a guy named Andre Walsh. He said he works for Kaan Air as a helicopter pilot. I met him on scrabble go and yes, like a fool I sent money. A lot to his so called family in California Sylmar. I do have pictures of him. He apparently works on the Ayazli gas rig in the Black Sea. Watch out for this man. He is a charmer. Not sure if the pictures he sent is actually him. I just want my money back. My concern is he has my address and contact details. He has photos of me and nudes too so I am concerned he will spread it all over the web if I expose him.

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.

Recently, a young woman randomly started liking a number of my fb posts and then messaged me. She said she was in the army working with the CIA for UNICEF. Her english isn’t horrible, but it’s questionable. She urged me to go on to another messaging platform called “Telegram”. We kind’ve talked about nothing for a day then she was insistent that she loves me and wants me. Her “name” is Ava Oliver.

Hi all, do you know chris alvarez?

I think now for the moment i have te seem whit e man from Londen he sad he love me end he never see. Next month im goning to visite him in Londen but now whit te corona you have to stay inside but you also need to fil in e docement to stay insid te house so this men from Londen have to give adress if he dont give he is fake

I have a doozie....I was scammed this past month by a 77 yo Civil Engineer from Lenoir City, TN. Said he was widowed 5 years ago and is just now ready to try to date. Outrageous, syrupy love letters came immediately. Pledged undying love after 2 emails....loved me for my soul as bodies age as they are superficial etc ...he claimed he was a Civil Engineer, born on Frankfurt, CAREER was building gas turbines, bridge constructions all over the world. Bid big bucks for project with his band of engineers called the rascals. Red flags all over the place but he had me worked up
He says he is a Baptist. Worst email was him relaying a dream he had that was the most erotic inappropriate context that it would make your hair curl. Well, he was coming HOME to me and we were going to live happily ever after until he teed up his excuse. He was trying to complete his last project and the gas turbine had an explosion. He left me hanging wondering where he was. He came back at me with the disaster story which I am sure would be impetus for his claim he couldn't come to me as soon as he thought.
He had me emotionally strung out, but I got it together and told him I knew all if this was bogus and how sorry I was for him that he chooses lies and deception to be the hallmark if his pitiful life. He was so could I say such things....he's blocked from phone, no emails but text is open. I'm hoping I never see any blip from these jerks.

I made friends with a David Marcus playing an online game. He is now working on an oil rig on the Mexican Border until after Christmas. He has left behind a daughter aged 13 and a son with no one to see to there needs he also left no honey for food or fees for school books or house hold expenses. I have since sent money each month and am sending money for school needs. We can’t really afford this money but I can’t see the children hungry. I’ve got very close to the daughter and she appears to get very upset incase I leave her. Please can you advise.

Holly, stop sending money. If there are people pretending to be kids they are not. He is just stealing from you. Oil field workers and engineers are one of the most common professions claimed for scammers. Please stop immediately and delete any contact with this person after you report them. You are being used horribly and taken advantage of. He is probably doing this to a number of caring, kind women and probably does not have a job at all but lives off the money he steals. I know it will be hard for you but you are a victim. His kids are not suffering. There are probably not kids at all. Please report this guy and stop doing without so he can live a life of luxury off of you and a number of other women.

It's obviously a scam - no father would leave his children like that. If you need proof, look up yourself and contact the school directly and ask about fees and if the children are registered. It's a very common story that scammers tell people. Stop sending money and block the father and daughter and son, they are all scammers working together.

Has anyone heard of Raymond Foreman? He's apparently on Petronius rig in Gulf of Mexico.

I tracked his email address to Lagos in Nigeria.

This guy maintains he's from NY and is very, very good. I've been chatting for over 5 months on Hangout. He never answered my mails until last week when I was able to track the ip address.

He says he can't answer calls on Hangout there on the rig because his desktop isn't compatible and yet it rings out.

The track information advises he uses an Apple iPhone.

Beware of this guy, he's very good.

Am talking to a David Rice, Staff sergeant in Syria. Alarm bells rang when he said he is not allowed to face time. He said he is in the 96th civil affairs battalion. My first time on a dating site he sent me a message he is 59. Thought he just wanted a pen pal as he had no family. Because I am so many years older than him I am very wary. He says he has been in Syria for four years, with no time off. Does not sound right to me so started to try and get more info on him.

Was messaged by “Marcus” from Morris, MN, on a dating app. After 4 days of brief chats, asked to go off the site. Agreed & 2 days later he contacted me. Sent rapid fire messages and a # of pics of the man from the app. Asked for a pic of me to verify it was actually me . Immediately asked what I am looking for in a man - when told I already answered that in messages on the app site, he replied that he was looking for inconsistencies as he was in military security and this was how they interrogate. Then sent a picture dressed in military gear. Said full name is Staff Sargent Marcus w Allen. Told me he had 2 daughters - the youngest who is 13 (told me she was 14 on the app) and older daughter who lives in Texas and works at Walmart. When I asked if he minded the distance between his home town and mine (it would be 5.6 hours driving distance) he said he was actually currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan Wrote: “To be sincere I’m in the military and I’ve been deployed here in Kabul ,Afghanistan for months now and I will be coming home in two weeks time. that’s why I want to meet my best half, the Queen to the throne of my heart to replace the void left by my late wife.” Then went on to say his 13 year old daughter lived with a nanny that he employs - sent pics of a little cutie who looks to be about 8 both alone and with him, as well as pics of his other daughter at what looks like a grad party with him, and a photo of a nurse with him who he claims is his dear, departed wife. When I commented that service in Kabul seemed to be pretty good, he said it’s because the military have things set up during certain hours only on weekends. Said he might not be able to contact me again for a little while. Told him I was in a vehicle with my daughter driving, so service seemed to be getting bad. So he said he had to go but would chat later. Looked up the phone # and it says it comes from Colorado, at some medical clinic. Looked for him on various social media but could not find him anywhere. Now I am worried that he, whoever they really are, will use my picture and my name to scam other people...

I think this happening to me,this man is in Scotland on an oil rig and has been chatting now for a while I think he has taken someone profile..this man is very nice looking age 68, has a 21 year old daughter has been divorced for 4 yrs and now needs money to fix machine his contract will end in December and will repay me then or any one I can borrow it from..talks to me morning noon and night...but I have not sent money..and will not told him I don't have it...say he can't access his accounts...anyone else been contacted by John Inabnitt ,can't find him on fb...please let me know if you have as I feel it's a scam to.. so dissapionted to.. in myself for falling for this. I have pictures

I'm talking to a man on an oil rig in scotland too. Machine broke. Need money to get out of customs. Should be home in time for Christmas. Maxwell


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