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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

Anyone have someone with the name Jack Morgan? Found on Facebook and allegedly sent my friend 50 K in the mail, but its "Stuck in customs" and she needs to send 3k to get the package?

May i know how to identify the personality of the scammer? Can i have app to trace it up

My mom is being scammed by some guy named Peter Parker supposedly from California and works on a ship ..he keeps telling her he loves her and wants to be with her..he asked for her bank information so he could send her money and when she said no he preceded to ask her to send money on a card so that's what she's been doing..I've tried to tell her it's a scam and she wont listen to me..any advice??

First tell her Peter Parker is from Spiderman lol - then have her read these comments as then she will see a bunch of similar stories. Lastly, and this goes to every victim on here....DON'T ASK IF ANYONE KNOWS A CERTAIN PERSON'S NAME!!! They change it all the time so that is pointless.

Any one hear the name Marcus Donald or Donaldson

Goes by the name, Alex Chen. Is Chinese but grew up and is living in Washington. Wants to send me packages he claims have gifts for me inside. But, I have to pay the courier service before they will deliver it to my home. Can't google the courier company. Works as a contractor engineer and is working for the US government. Is now at an oil rig in Singapore. Said he will visit me after his contract of 2 months. Found out the real person in the pictures he sent me. Confronted him, he gave me excuses and said he will talk to me later. Waiting if he still has the audacity to message me again so I can block him, finally. Glad never sent him money cuz I don't have any, anyway. It hurts. But, it is what it is.

My wife is being brainwashed by guy that goes by the name Heney Derek in a romance scam, he tells her is com5to get her and marry her and take her away from a long with my daughter, he says he is coming after his job is done, but this has been going since last year before the Panadmeic, if anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated

So tired of people acting like they are someone and their scams.

Please watch out for a romance scammer named Lucas Ericcson. He says he works in Dubai. I once called him on his phone number 1-617-580-0231. The roaming charge on my phone displayed that number did connect in Dubai when he answered and for a three-minute call I was charged $200. However, there is software out there that will redirect phone calls to other locations. So beware.
This man stole from me 85K while I was involved with him a year ago. He's very good at his scam. He swore to return that money to me. That never happened.
If he has scammed you as well, put your story and his pictures out on the internet. Since we can't get our money back, we can at least defame him online and alert others not to trust this man.

Has anyone heard of a guy named Daniel McAllister suppose to be in Oregon. I really feel he’s scamming my friend.

Do you have a supposed number for this potential scammer? Mine is supposedly in Oregon as well.

Occupation of these men from Oregon and are they working in Canada?

I met a man on line who claims tobe general john Bradley new a lot about him wanted me to send 10050.00 for a vacation leave I'm 67 years old me daughter looked him up scam said he 67 also then find out he was 76 and this asked me to marry him said he was stationed in Afghanistan you need to post this as a scam patty burns

Did he send a picture of him sitting in a chair on the beach?

About 10 days ago a guy name Edward
oil rig engineer met on tinder say his wife died in a car crash as and he needed 2,200 dollars to send to his sick son Michael. I played along to see how stupid he think I am. He said that his son was staying in a hostel and he forgot to renew his health insurance. He need the money for his 5 year old son operation on his appendix. He begged and started crying. He sent me the account information in Australia. He said he had money but was delayed to do a transfer. I finally told him if he was a real parent he would catch a helicopter and go to his son.

Please does anyone have information about Michael Chen who scammed me and stole my money. Now he blocked me therefore I am unable to reach him. He said he is in oil rig in Kuwait working with KNPC

I have been speaking to a guy who says he is a soldier I syria I don't know if to believe him or not. He qualifies all the traits of being a scammer except one of them, he has never ever asked for money from me however he has asked me to receive a package for him that is so called worth $950.000 I don't believe this as what armed forces gives such an extravagant retirement gift he wants my details (not bank details) just my address phone number full name and email address do I give them to him or not please get back to me ASAP as he wants these details today. Is he a scam artist or not.

Don't give him any contact details. There is no package, but in a while you would be asked to pay "customs duties" or "a fine" because the package apparently contains "gold / illegal items". Of course none of these are legitimate fees, all you would pay would go directly to the scammer.

Definitely do not give him your details. I had a similar experience 2 days ago from a marine engineer requesting the same details so he could post a parcel to me. Total scam.

Has anyone been talking to a Houston Traves. Says he’s Italian but now lives in Wyoming. Claims he’s an architect and now in Ukraine on a project!

I Met a guy name Alex he is a marine engineer on a ship in Uk. We were in love an d a day he say he will be promoted and he send me gifts i swear i told him not to do it. Because we don’t know each other. But buy all things and put money to. I have to pay the shipping than again i must pay and i keep paying till the money became $5285. All i must do pay it to a Bitcoin office. Now after i lose everything. I see the make a money of more $ 150000 in bitcoin. And he keeps asking me more money inclusive the agent. In India. Because the parcel he send go from uk turkey dubai india and then my country. Is really must he made me a beggar have nothing

New year I comment on someone picture of him and his dog. Said how cute the dog was. Next I’m getting a friends request asking me to add him. Said he was from Arkansas area. Said he works for the foreign intelligence agency. After a couple of days of messages none stop he tells me his phone broken from coming down the stairs and he can’t hear when calling in or out and had the same problem when calling his mom who lives in Dallas, his mom originally from South Africa father from Dallas who died when he was 4.
Anyway told me he had to go Nigeria for work that work had frozen his bank account and emails etc. Eight weeks now he has been there within that time he has been shot in the arm apparently, been and booked flight home and that day got beaten up and they ripped up his flight documents after having no contact for 2.5 days from him he tells me he was left for dead unconscious. When to book flight again to find out he tested positive for Covid so flight didn’t get booked. While he was in quarantine told he had to pay for vaccine which was given on a Monday which is a lie as they didn’t get the first lot of vaccines until the Tuesday I think it was. Anyway lots of arguments during this time still telling me he loves me, and wants to marry me be a family, will take me to see his mom etc. Since this I have done a image search and found someone else with these photos and he is gay so told the guy I’m meant to be in relationship with he said work have set up decoys account and it’s not real. Since then he has said his Facebook account has been hacked and it’s now deactivated. When he realised he couldn’t get into his account he got upset and couldn’t message me, so I contacted him via hangouts. Unfortunately I did send him money. Not much only 1,000 usd

My “Imaginary Lover” always says he loves me with a “CLEAN HEART” and often stutters when beginning sentences. German American with a home in Reno. Pet engineer with multiple situations of great need. Familiar anyone?

I have encountered too many. Would love to see these thieves prosecuted. I do realize, it is so difficult to apprehend them. Is there anything that I could do to help?

Beware of someone named Joe Kim claiming to be a Orthopaedic surgeon working for the UN in Yemen saving injured soldiers. Says he has one daughter named Sonia going to boarding school in NY. He’s very skilled at pulling on your heart strings. I only communicated with him a few days and thankfully didn’t send him any money. These people are scum.

Just almost got scammed for 27,000 usd to buy oil equipment by a Harry Dylan oil pipeline engineer. American Brazilian, wife killed in car accident 4 years ago
Pics of good looking grey haired, grey bearded guy, his home, bike riding with children, on boat to oil platform, in protective clothing with his name on it.
Guess theyve stolen his identity.

Is ANYONE in here dealing with a fellow (supposedly) on a rig in Oslo, who has Madonna tattooed on his chest--her finger in her mouth? "Engineer. MIT grad." Looking to "settle down" at 52 or 54 . . . You pick which age. Blond hair and blue eyes. Face looks different various pics: Sometimes young, sometimes mature. Lean runner's build. Goes by Harry Melcort. Or Stockholm. Best friend Mason. Sound familiar????

i think my friend might be being scammed does anyone recognise the name Davvy Paulospos or Davy Paulospos. Lives in Sweden has 3 dogs officer in the Italian navy

Does anyone know some possible scammer by the name jay mcrae?

My guy’s name was Karl Schmidt. I looked him up in Germany and all over not able to find his identity. That should have been red flag #1. He was a widowed German engineer with a 5 year old son. Because of that I forgave sometimes awful English. He called me. The accent didn’t match but I thought it was because of all his traveling. He was rebuilding Syria you know. He was planning to move with his son to my city. Was looking to marry me. Ugh. I feel so so stupid. I had a niggly fear that he was a fake . He never got any money from me. Only broke my heart, made me wasted time, and feel like a complete loser for falling for his scam. Damn it!

Has any1 heard of a micheal kelvin us army based in afganistan orphaned one child 14 year old wife died during child birth hes 57 and originaly from california

Any one heard from Grayson Connor Allan
Changed his name to George Maddiso .
He owes me money!!

I had two men who said they were doctors working in Syria and how long they were there and they are ready to come home but they needed someone to write the organization then this organization sends out this document asking you to send money for their release would this be a scam

sounds like Christopher Ross in Malaysia. I backed out when he asked me for my id to process a letter for his vacation.

I meant a scammer on a dating site. He goes by two names
Avin Johnson and Ejanavi Johnson
Resending tis as sent it first time and not sure if it went through. Avin is a Nigerian scammer who professes his love for you on dating sites He first asks fir game cards then progresses to cash. Large amounts as he just wants to get to bayou in the US and marry you. He has asked for $9,000 from me which he did not get. This let you a huge argument where he did everything in a site called Viber where we continued to attempt to scam me. I am sure there are others beside myself that he gave the same story too. When he didn’t get the large amount he wanted he had a plan. Just send 1000 so he could get his visa started so he can get to you and marry you. I am sure I am not the only one he has promised marriage and the start of building a family with. Please before some woman falls for this, could you please end his scamming! I have photos if they will be if some help to catch him

Im sure im being scamed, been talking to a guy claiming hes on a oil rig in the gulf of mexico. Says hes widowed and has a 20 yr old son. Wanted i tune cards then when i redused 2 days later asked for an electric jacket. He makes you feel so loved with all his beautiful words.. but lord knows its all fake. Says hes retiring soon and wants to come live with me as soon as hes off the rig. Uses honey, baby, and love all the time. Friende me on facebook then automatically said to talk on hangouts... goes.by the name of michael Sherman. Has anyone heard of this guy????

Yes you hit on a very good point. They all use babe, baby, my love. Sweetheart. The most used is babe women or men.
I have met 5 different women from different sites all 5 were scammers.
One suggestion don’t put on your profile anything about business owner or self employed. They have a program that searches for those people

Does anyone know wesley corbett, claims to b in the gulf of mexico on a oil rig. Nothing but a big scam.. block immediately.. claims to b 61, profile pick of himself with a white dog.. widowed and all the works that are all fake.. anybody who friends you on Facebook that claims to b working on a oil rigs is a scam.. so please dont let there seeet ways fool you. BLOCK THEM IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

How can I share photos

is anyone here talking to a bill williams? born in michigan but works for the un in yemen at the moment, 59 years old and white, lost his son and wife in car crash years ago, has a german mother and an american father. lost his dad when he was a kid (probably around age 10) and moved back to dortmund with his mom because of it. allegedly he cannot leave yemen since all of the paychecks he has been getting in his 30 years of working for the un cannot be transferred to a bank account outside of yemen as long the relationship status between him and the person taking care of his money isn't clarified/proven. since he doesn't have any family, he lured a woman in to take care of his money and pretend to be his wife, and in exchange for that he pretty much romances her and asks her to send him money (>300€) in form of itunes cards (to charge his palmtop pc).

I was scammed by a woman I had made a Comment on a post it she had on Facebook and Twitter. She messaged me and I messaged her back and that’s when the conversation starts then immediately year they want to go to another site like in this case hangouts and when they get you in Hangouts that’s when they start telling you how much they love you. And they have never met anyone like you they want to be married and send the rest of their live with you. That’s the bait. Make no mistake they are very good at making you believe everything. Some get right to the asking for money. Some wait a little longer but as soon ask they ask for money , RUN. The scammers won’t take very long. And if you suggest another way to help they have all the excuses. If they want you to send them money for flight to meet you. Suggest that you buy the plane ticket and email the Itinerary they will have an excuse why that won’t work they are very cunning and they tug at your heart. Some if you don’t go through with the setup for money you agreed to do to get away from them. They will keep trying to get you and be upset that you think they could do such thing. If you agree it was a mistake then things will be fine for a short time but they will ask again. They will never give you there phone number for a person to person talk. If you ask they will redirect the conversation or say yes and then never get it. That is the one sign if you have any doubts ask for their number. If you don’t get it they are scammers. And you don’t want to believe it.

I have a guy on a oil rig in gulf of mexico. He does call me and video chats with me. He has sent about 5 pics of him . But I still think he may be a scammer will a scammer call and video chat ?

I have a drill engineer, independent contractor leaving for an oil rig outside Brownsville, TX on Monday. Australian accent. I've facetimed... tells me he lives in OR, where I am. Used to live in WA. Wife passed away 9 years ago.

So I got a random text one day from a women who said we met online and we said and sent pics too. She tells me she lied too her father about us getting married just for her to get his house. I said I wanted out couple of times and each time she guilt tripped me and threatened to report me. She said the only way was with gift cards and or bitcoin. He sends me a random green dot card and tells me to help her out by taking it too my banks atm and withdrawing the cash and then sending it too her. I accidentally destroyed it due too the fact they kept pressuring me with threats of arrest. He tells me I just made him lose $5,000. He didn’t know me and randomly sends me this. I was forced to buy him over $1,000 worth of bitcoin or be arrested. They kept harassing me with these threats to get what they wanted. Made me make a cashapp account for their own bitcoin thing. Had me sign up for different bank apps which failed and sent me couple of fake checks through my bank account after threatening me. Had to send her $700 worth 3 days ago or else I’d be arrested cus some guy had her pics? I blocked their numbers after reaching out too the community and am scarred for life. This has to be the scariest thing that’s ever happened too me. Is this a common scam?

Hi, I think I am being scammed too. I have been talking to this guy named Lucas from Norway but living I the US. We have been chatting for like 3 months now. He suddenly had to go to Cypru as contractor for 2 months. He sent me pictures at the airport, in the plane before takeoff, when he arrived at the hotel, dinner with his investors and everywhere he went on weekends to tour around. So supposedly during one if those trips he was hijacked at gun point and broke his foot trying to run, the tour guide supposedly got shot. He had to have leg surgery as an emergency. He sent me pictures of his leg and him in the hospital bed. He never asked me for money and we kept talking. A few days after his surgery he asked me to send him a new iPhone since his shattered when he ran and I bgg having a hard time seeing myvtexts or talking to me says he cant hear me. I stopped texting him or answering his calls after that but he kept sending me pictures of him and his leg stilling a cast and saying that he cant believe that I let his request for help ruin what we had. Like I said I think it's a scam had anyone else heard of this one yet. I have pictured, ton of them.

I was recently talking to someone that had to go on assignment for 10 weeks. All of a sudden he and his co-workers were held at gun point and he dropped his phone and wallet. All of a sudden his bank account is frozen lol. He never asked me for money until the other day he asked for 25 bucks on itunes gift card but then asked for 100 bucks to add to bitcoin. Definitely not a coincidence that our stories are similar. What a bunch of creeps.

Hi. Has anyone else talked to someone named Benson Grant? I met him on Words with Friends. Moved to Hangouts. Claims he's a Bitcoin trader in Michigan. One son. Divorced. I never gave him my full name, phone number. No bank info. Only email. Everything seemed fine. All of a sudden he starts saying his son needs steam cards. I said no. After asking for 3 days and my saying no he got downright mean. I stopped talking to him. Ladies, please be careful. I am glad I never believed him completely.

Have you heard of a doctor by the name of Brian Scott in Syria He is voice does not match up with the picture

How can i search for his photo? If he appears in other sites or if he is legit? Please help me.

He said his name was Alex Giovanni from Bethpage NY. Said he was in Alaska on an oil rig. He uses fake pictures of himself. I found him on Hinge. He never asked for money because he never got that far. He claimed to be from Sweden but born in Italy. We had a Zoom call and that when I noticed something was not right. I used Google Reverse Images and found a picture he had sent me. The ones on the dating app did not come up. He had a NY phone number. He is very deceiving but knew how to answer my questions. Beware of him.

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