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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

I think this is happening to my Mom. Anyone dealing or dealt with a Lucas Romani??? I think he sent her money and had her take it out and send to him, then he takes the money he had sent back out of her account. I haven’t confronted her yet and am so worried!!!

Apparently the person I've been talking to over a year is a scammer as well I had no idea this was going on in Nigeria and Africa no wonder he said to get a hold of him on WhatsApp

Does anyone know or been used by a david mason. Or mason david.

I have a question. My husband's sister says she's talking to two men. She says they're sending HER money to save for them. I know it's a scam, but how's it work?

I got a dating app for dog lovers called Dig. You have to pay to use it, so I thought it was a safe bet. A man who claimed to be born in Paris, living in Portland Oregon, contacted me. He claimed to be a pipeline engineer. Want edyou to text me instead of communicating through the app, many times a day he sent sweet romantic messages. Said he wanted to hear my voice, and he called me and instantly I knew he was a scammer by his accent. Went by the name Russell Luis. Said he had a mixed accent because he had traveled so much. I did not buy his explanation and I blocked him after he found all kinds of excuses not to video chat. Claimed he could not use Skype or zoom or FaceTime, wanted me to go to Google hangouts which, when I looked it up, has been famous for scammers. I see that others have encountered this same scammer. Thank GodI figured it out early!

I met this guy on Facebook,and we have been talking on hangouts,and his name is Mathew Needslove,and he was supposed to be my next husband,until he threatened me,and said,that if I don't give him 500$ by Friday,that he was going to destroy my life.I have already sent a whole lot of money to Vietnam hospital for him,and also to immigration for him,and 200$ for him to eat on in Vietnam,and he supposedly made it to Turkey(Istanbul),and is in their jail on his phone threatening me.I put the conversation in archives.

I have been talking to a man named Elliot Grayson . He told me he lives in San Antonio Texas and is working on a contract on a rig in the black sea in Turkey. Asked for ITUNE cards and last night asked me to help him with 5000.00 to pay for 2 broken parts for a machine. Told me he can not access his money from America. He told me when he was 10years old his parents died in a car crash and he was raised in an orphanage. Says he has a daughter 7 years old who is being taken care of by a nannie at home.

Does anyone know a guy named Kennedy with strong accent or Andrew Steven a very handsome engineer on an oil rig

Does anyone know Donald Marsh? Supposedly he's in the military, contacted me via Facebook and then on Hangouts. He tells me that he loves me and that he has a 13 yo daughter that is in the states with the nanny because he lost his parents when he was 15. Got upset with me because I did not want to send him money for the phone service so that he can continue to chat with me and his daughter. He stated that is was going to be $250. I thought that the military had services for our armed forces to communicate with family. He called me today and it didn't sound like a guy from the states, it sounded like a guy from Africa. Got upset because I haven't told my family about him. I'm like really dude. He sent me pictures of himself but I think that he got them off the internet because I googled him and he's not in Africa....

So I found out the real identity of the person who’s photos were used. I recommend doing a reverse image search if anything is off. Especially if that person puts off meeting you. I sent that person an message. He is married and I think what problems that could have caused.

Anybody have dealings with a girl named ANNIE BROWN from DC area approx 32 ?

Anyone talk with a man named Joe Christ, Says he is is a Capt. in US Army.

I accepted friendship with a "military" general assigned in Iraq by the name of Will Abrams. He said he was a widower, no children, no one back home in the states. That was on 6/5/21. On the second day he started to declare his love. He asked me to install Hangouts to be able to.communicate only with him. Before that week ended he said that because of me he has applied for retirement and planned to come over the country where I live. But that he kept a fund in an indian bank nearly a million USD but that he needed to take this out before finally leaving the camp for retirement. The fund he said was awarded to him and to those who signed a contract before being deployed in Iraq and for safekeeping he couriered the cheque to this indian bank. He asked me be his nearest kin inorder to transfer the money to my bank account to.which I said "no way". Ask the bank to issue a cheque in your name then come here to collect the cheque from me, I told him. So I wrote to this bank. The reply was that they required a POA. In leiu of this he asked me to obtain the POA from his lawyer in India!! The lawyer required 1200 USD for the said POA. Already I was sensing he was a scammer although he constantly denied. He pleaded for my assistance to do this process so he could transfer this fund prior to leaving the camp. Said he couldn't leave unless this was transferred to me. So pitying him I took the risk by transferring 1200 USD to a designated bank account by thus lawyer in India this supposed person in Netherlands. I spent money to enable me to confirm my doubts that this Will was a scammer. I expected that following this POA issue which I received in my email 2 days after I made the transfer!! It was quick! So I forwarded this POA to the bank and got a response informing me that the bank account was dormant and inorder to activate the account I would need to pay 5 thousand EUROS. My doubts have been confirmed that all of them were in connivance..Will, the lawyer and the bank. He pleaded with me to pay the bank. I told him I had no money and would need to pay up the 1200 USD that was transferred for issuing the POA. He said I was the only person who could help him. To be honest, I was falling for him. Yesterday he called me by messenger abd he sounded a young person who spoke very faintly, that I could hardly decipher his words. He didn't sound a person as he claims to be with authority in the USA military service. He sounded as though he was someone from the africas somewhere probably from Morroco or Algier. I decided to terminate every means of contact with him. I deleted my email, the hangouts app, blocked him im my Facebook and Messenger. Today he appears asking me to accept him in facebook. I will not accept his invitation since this will mean a duel in pleading with me to pay the 5 thousand USD to the bank which never ends. I am so.much under stress and pressured that its a horrendous experience. Please if anyone here knows his name on line inform me and never accept his invitation to chat. Thank you

Ok so my Mother has been talking on a app called kik, I beleive l, to a Dr. Micheal.
He even sent her a " photo passport"
She claims she is in love 4 days after meeting him and they were constantly texting and then she started going on errands and I would find itunes cards and ebay cards and she was going to shops to get bit coin. What ever that is. He told her he would be moving to the states and starting a practice. He claimed he is a orthopedic surgeon but only after saying he was a childrens bone Dr.

He sent her a huge chunk of money and told her to cash it out and send certain amounts in cash to differnt locations in the states. And she did and he told her to keep 12,000 for herself and so she paid off everything she owed besides her home. Big loans and dr bills all that and then she started spoling us and talking about him coming for Christmas moving in with him and that he had a pool and my Lil sister could do swim there. I told her staright it was a scam and she said I just didnt know him , he was about to send a second round of money when her bank caught on and made her come in with police. For embezzlement and fraud and she was almost arrested. She had to pay the 22 back with interest and is still working it off , but Dr. Micheal called her again, threatened her and us and demanded she talk to him
Two weeks later I find out shes again talking to him and he is claiming he is sorry and he won t do it again , she says she wont send any more but I really need help with any info as I cant trust her anymore. Please any info or if you were scammed by this guy too

Has anyone else had the experience of a scammer threatening suicide and sending pictures of bloody appendages.

This is a scammer right?

Well, I also have a very small background. Like I said earlier I was born in Germany and moved to the state at the age of 11 with my father after I lost my mum, I lost him as well after I completed college and since then I’ve been facing my life all alone. I got married in 1981 and got divorced in 2005 after I found out my ex wife was cheating with a friend of mine which they both escaped and not be found nowhere. I had a daughter which also got married and had a kid but she passed away with her husband in an accident on their way to pick up their son from school. So since then I was left alone with my grandson, Michael but he’s now in school.

I met a Nigerian man on Facebook we have been conversating for 2 months now on messagener I like him a lot. He claims he has feelings for me has never ask me for anything says he wants to meet me and be with me. Say I'm his queen and he's going to take care of me and we'll be happy together. I hear alot of people say this is a no no. So could this be real are there any success stories of online dating from men in Nigeria. I'm an american woman.

What is his name or profile ?

What is his name??

Please tell me if anyone has been scammed byFred Morgan. He initially said he was in Iceland then stopped in Alaska with Covid but has made it back the Nashville. I have given him iTunes cards, sent cash in the mail, and he still refuses go give me his address or call me since returning. I am stating to think I may being scammed.

Have You more info about this man ? photo, handy nummer, facebook name or something else ?

Has anyone been involved in a so called inheiratence scam a young lady, if been talking to now needs 7000.00 to pay the bank to open her dead father's bank acct. In turkey

I met this guy online said in in the military we been talking for a while. He said he is in UN he told me he want to be with me so we can build a relationship together. But he need a credit card so he can pay his guy before he can leave he want me send my credit card information so he can put his retirement money on it so I can send the money to him so he can leave to come home to me my Saturday. He told me to write to the UN and tell that I will send the information.

Met a man on f/b who claims to a famous actor ( he has all or some of the person's financial info. which is scary since I saw it with the person's picture attached!)after a month declared his love for me. This all has scared the life out of me.Then asked me for money for an orphanage in Africa. I didn't comply then the accusations began that I was being truthful. Then he started using the money as a condition for us to meet. it's much worse than I can let on.Wanted me to send him cash through his bitcion wallet. Asked me for my social security number, bank routing , address etc.,., now that I haven't complied wants to call the relation off. Not sure whom to report this to in case the actor is a victim as well as myself.

What is his name or profile ?

could i be actually talking to more than 1 scammer at a time. Both chatted me up/moved to other platform/ call me babe and darling/they both have called me and talked and both have sent pictures. what can i do? I do not know how to even begin to tell at this point.

Has anyone been talking to a “Chris Wilson” late 50s has a son Jacob. Wife died at childbirth with second child. Works at oil rigs. Had to go to turkey for a job. Got burnt in a work place accident. He is handsome, grey hair wearing a suit in one photo. Has a dog also.

Has anyone been connected by Melvin Salm or the last name can be Salmeron. Claiming he's in the military. Also John no last name phone# is 619-483-1816. Pease let me know if anyone has heard or been contacted by this men. Thank you

Corresponded with Mark Forsberg from Facebook dating. Claims to be a 63 year old widow who lost his wife to cancer and had a daughter in her 20’s who is studying medicine in the U.K. He claims to be a Civil Engineer from Sweden who lives in Manhattan. He professed Love immediately which I found to be a red flag, because he never made it possible to meet and then went to Cypress to bid on a hospital job, which he won the bid. He lost his phone while being quarantined, another red flag cause he changed his number. Everytime I mentioned meeting with him he kept saying you get to know someone better by just talking. He kept asking for my email which I didn’t give him. He wrote poetry everyday and told me how I changed his life..a lot of red flags. Then I saw what other people wrote about him and confronted him with the fact that he was a scammer he got livid, I blocked him.

Hi Jane
It sounds like the same guy except went by Jefferey Forsberg.
Total red flag when they don't want to meet in person!
Best Natalie

Met a couple men on "words with friends " Site. Suspected scammers right away but still got sucked in by one of the. Fortunately no money was lost but must admit...I did lose my heart. Has anyone heard of Donald Markson? 66 yo widower from New York state? Would love to compare notes.

Is any one know Liam Christhoper ? He said he is surgeon doctor ,36 years old. American Chinese he said. He want to send me some gifts like shoes,bag,jewelry and some cash.. i think he is scammer where just 3 days chatting and now he told me he really love me. He called me in WhatsApp only in voice call.. if i ask a vedio call he always said he's connection is poor. Please any one can answer me. Thanks

Has anyone else encountered a supposedly twenty something Romance Scammer going by the name Sumaira Saleem Masih from Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan? Classic scammer case. She found an older (60) American guy on Facebook, moved him quickly off FB and onto WhatsApp to avoid detection, sent cheap gifts to build trust and then turned the tables by pulling on his heart to donate money for orphans. Thousands of dollars were wired Western Union to her personally and not the orphanage. Then he was conned out of thousands more for all sorts of things like education, family emergencies, yada yada yada. She directed him to use gift cards (replenishable) and send electronics, etc.. Of course all the while saying they are "soulmates" and professing love and intent to marry. He foolishly fell for all of it for years and lost nearly twenty thousand dollars. She is a highly skilled manipulator. Romance scamming is probably her full-time job and likely to have a number of victims.

I've been.scammed a.few times. Only got took for $100. Figured I got off cheap. One was an oil rig. Talked on whatsapp. Another was someone in Texas. Nothing stood out as fake until.a did a photo look up
Picture turned out to be some French chef or designer. So not the guy in TX. Another one was a Dr that wrote long texts as he was over seas and in a different time zone. He was such a narcissist
Checked his photo. The guy was a dr..a German Dr that was not on Facebook. I warned the real guy.
Finally a contract out of Boston. Had 1 daughter. Told me his bank card got stolen. And money removed fro.his account. His account was frozen and didn't have any money to eat...I mean who has only enough in the house for one Day? Plus no.family anywhere to help. I suggested driving food to his place. He got the $100
Noticed alot have a first name like last name
.like James William...

Hello,
Your story of the guy from Boston is very alike the one is contacting me… he goes by the name of Ray Steve and contact in WhatsApp via +1 (505) 226-4847.
First we didn’t have money enough to pay the rent, got fired in the meantime, then the card and bank account frozen, finally he got a job offer but had to pay money to get the job. He’s suuuper cute, piercing in the nose and eagle tattoo in the chest-shoulder-arm region.
Does this ring a bell to you?
I need help to know if he’s real

I am being wooed by William Liam who lives in London and has a 19 year old son, Collins He says his wife died 10 years ago. He flew to Dubai yesterday (showed me his flight details) . He says his father was Swedish snd mother English, he studied in Canada but his accent sounds as if he comes from somewhere in the Far East, as he called me yesterday morning. I am enjoying his compliments but can’t believe his love claims. Yes roses, songs etc . It’s a shame we can’t post photos here but I came across him on Jewish Seniors . He’s very attractive with short mostly grey hair and beard . Sounds like as many have described. +44 7405 809031 This is his phone number. He is presently in Dubai as a consultant engineer after winning a 3.5million bid (oil rig / platform).

Denise S.. this sounds too familiar if you have any pictures of this guy can you email it to me. I met this guy on Our Time dating site...email is buckeye2480@gmail.com. thank you so much,. Catherine

I’m talking to a guy Valentine Alfred. 59. Born in Lund, Sweden. Father was Swedish and was killed two years ago. Mother is British. No kids. Wife died in car crash around 2013. He is marketing mgr for LG Electronics. Handsome. Salt/pepper hair. Blueish eyes. Very much a sweet talker and wants to be married. Sound familiar to anyone??

Hi,
I think my brother is getting scammed by a lady in the Ukraine. He's sent her a lot of money. The last 3 lots of money she sent him she said she didn't get. What to do? It's very hard to talk to him about it. Thanks, Rosy

Ok. I was talking to a guy that called himself Leonard Wong. something was suspicious. He said he was an American pilot and after three weeks he said he will send me a gift. Then another person called claiming to be the courier and saying that he needed to deposit 1000 USD for expenses. They got the wrong lady since I work in geography. I blocked them but I really want to make sure they don't scam other people. What can I do to report them?I am in Belgium but I am just an exchange student.

Dr James Adams is a scammer. He tried to
Get $12000. Dollars for his son's kidney operation be careful he's smooth I didn't give it to him. His cell phone is from Norwood california

I met someone on Facebook dating website. He said his name is Wolfgang Jonas. He said he is a private contractor but now has to go to Turkey on business. He hasn't asked me for anything yet, buf I am treafing cautiously. He told me he wants to take me on vacation when he comes back.

I have been talking to this guy for quit some some time now. About 5 months. He says hes in the army and is of the 3rd infantry or something like that. He's asked for money before but that was only once. He said he didn't and doesn't need my money it was just a test because he knows what he can offer me. Of course I have been doing my investigations and haven't found anything with his pictures. Although i did find this address when I looked up his phone number and the number is not registered in his name. His name is Jeffrey rose. Also says he's a sergeant and we talk but just not all the time because he says that he can't be on the phone while he's at his desk. He is 55 and says that hes coming home in November somewhere around Thanksgiving. Tho I am not keeping my hopes to high about it I do hope he is real.

I met a guy in dating app, but we mainly contact in what’s app. He said he lives in Uk, he said he sent me a package for my birthday gift. I later received an email from shipping courier that I have to make payment to a personal bank account for import duty tax clearance. I did. Then, another email from courier that after scanning, they found $55,000 in the package. Courier asked me to contact a what’s app number who said he is FBI bureau and I must make another payment to the same bank account previous to get government stamp. If not, it will be money laundering and I will get arrested imprisonments soon by sending me pictures of my house from GG. I blocked them all and reported to local non-emergency FBI, ic3. Later, another what’s app number who said he is another FBI want to warn me that I only have 48 hours to follow their instructions to avoid money laundering. The guy I met also tried to contact me with different number.

any updates

who knows one ella rose walker

Has anyone heard of Cindy Bill's? My husband has given her over $20,000 so far and is continuing to give her money. I'm trying to get him to understand that she doesn't love him and he is being scammed. Would love feed back from others who have come across her.

It seems I got one on Instagram whose photos aren't showing up on a Reverse Image Search. I'm thinking they are using customized photos (supposedly this person is with special forces in Afghanistan with the army) probably hired some ladies to be used in these photos as the scammers, the smart ones anyways, know we all know about reverse image search. Be careful out there guys!!!!

I was talking to a gentleman named greg sandilla..
He told me he lived in Norway..when we spoke on the phone he sounded Nigerian..
I had a two year long distance relationship with him..
During this time he called day and night..he soon asked for steam cards and eventually money..he ended up steelimg $10, 000.00 and i never heard from him agian.. I did research and he is nigerian..and married..

Good morning,

So this isn't me but my mom has supposedly been talking to a middle aged man from the US but is some sort of construction worker currently in Nigeria. She has spoken to this person on the phone but it seems like there is always an excuse why he is not here or can't get back. His name is Alex Thomas and supposedly has a younger daughter. I just found out that she has sent him money but I just have a feeling this is a scam and am just not sure how to go about finding the truth and explaining it to her.

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