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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

IM SCAMMED and my scammer has reviled his real self and identity every thing i send him thing through the united states postal and he receives them i have his photo id copy i do voters id i have his EVERYTHING please help i am hurt i discovered this please can i get help

how did you find out?

Chatting with this guy,says he is a neurosurgeon w/ the United Nations over in Berlin, but also a very well known rhinoplasty surgeon out of turkey. States he is widowed,has a son, his papers have expired needs to get back to the states to his son who has been with the nanny. Has tried to get money from me. I have looked him up, he is like a ghost, but he is using the pictures of the dr in turkey. He is not a UN doctor, he does not even appear on that list.

He goes by the name of Adrian Williams, also had an account on LinkedIn but has deleted it since.

Im thankful I found this site. I was about to be scammed by a guy named Robert Erickson, project manager for oil and gas company. He added me on Linkedin, messaged me everyday until I fall for his trick of talking to Hangouts. In just 3 months of talking he told me that he love me. He has 3 children named Trisha, Christian and Zara. He even sent a picture of him and his kids. He's 47, blue eyes, greyish hair on the sides. He told me hes from Boston. He call me her queen, love and Babe. He suddenly got a project in Thailand and now on a Rig. He let me open his bank account bec he doesnt have a reception on his location, asked me to pay materials for the installations then for supplies of his kids. Now he needed to the shipment of the materials but when I tried to open the bank account I cant get go through.. He said that the bank closed his account bec of safety measures, and now he needed money for the shipment. Asking me $8,000 dollars first but when I cant do the transfer it became $3,000. I've checked all the invoices from the supplier to be sure and I cannot find the companies in google. He's now using bitcoin for faster transactions. Pls. Be ware of this guy.

I been talking to a man from facebook says he is into oil and drilling, says his name is Wang Fulin..I tried looking him up and can't find anything. He ask me for a 200 Amazon card which I sent and asking for 5,000 because his drill broke and he need new one...claim his wife died in an accident and he have a 7 year old son ....he says he is in love with me and will die for me.. says he wants to buy us a house so we can be happy ...have any of you talked to someone like this

Romance scam that used the popular app Words With Friends, then immediately asked to communicate via Google Hangouts. Advised she was a Los Angeles doctor traveling to Syria for a 2 week Humanitarian comtract. Upon “arrival” in Syria, advised she had zero email access (but could still send messages on Google Hangouts), and gave username and password to assist with a wire transfer to $500k in medical equipment. I signed into account with a bank site with several misspelled words and no legitimate info or clickable links (capitalfirstonline.en), and poof, the transfer went through to the shipping company. A week later the delivery is “stuck in Turkish Customs due to a miscalculated shipping fee”, and suddenly the bank website says her account is locked. Meanwhile I’m watching all of this play out as a scam, and she begins to reach out every hour to ask if I can pay a $15,000 Euro fee to help her. I finally send her to the link to this feed to inform her that I know this is officially a scam, and that I’m reporting it.

I’ve even had men hitting me up on gaming sites like scrabble and other word games. Telling me about how they had lost their wife in an accident . So just be careful that has happened more then twice to me .

Ladies,
I've read a lots of commets.
How many of you got your money back?
FBI? Cyber police? Bank police?

Im chatting with someone named DANIEL GRAHAM, an Engr. from Romania who has a project in China. He is very goodlooking and religious. Made me believe that he'd marry me. Wants me to help him with his project and pay for the initial $10k to buy materials. But i later found out that he is a scammer who also uses the name Daniel Colhen. Until now im just playing dumb as if i dont know anything. He is still trying to get me to send money to him. Now he says he needs operation for a major heart surgery but cant even show an xray. Lol. He's coming up with a lot of funny things to get money from me coz he knows im into construction too. Has anyone encountered the guy? Calls me his wife by the way. Lol!

Same he is a building contractor
Contract in Cyprus
Problems with the a customer certificate
than he had to pay a lawyer
Than he was in the hospital..
I paid it all
His name is Marsh NATHAN
Met him on Tinder after one day hang out and su Whatsapp.
I am his wife queen honey sweetheart
60 years old swedish has a swedish telephone number Malmö and su whatsapp USA phone number seems from Waterbury Connecticut
Widowed with a son of 17 years old
Civil Engineering
phone number from USA +1 se

Hi how can one find pics of a scammer. Mechanical engineer for a Oil company on a six month contract in Netherlands, Name is Federico Ramon from Puerto Rico

I'm talking to a guy named"Joel Tiller" who says he a petrochemical engineer working offshore in Athens and says he's from Orlando. Skyped and he looks like his pictures. Beard salt & pepper hair. Stocky and is 57 yrs old. Wife cheated with best friend and divorced for 5 years. Has a siamese cat names Molly. Anyone talked to him? He's even sent a picture that he couldn't have stolen. Still leary.

dealing with something similar. he has video chatted me and it was him and he was on a rig in the ocean. he uses telegram and google duo to video chat me. has not asked for money

Hi this is similar to my story.
Can we share pictures?
How can we do this here?

has anyone had contact with Honza Lubos Franklin who is a scammer

Wow. So many people have gone through experiencing these scammers. I just ended my texting with a scammer a week ago. It was by accident that I met this guy. I was on MeWe because a friend said she'd joined. I joined back in November, but only visited a couple of times until February 22, when I accepted new friend requests that came out of nowhere. Guess MeWe was working on algorithms and upping their members. Anyway, I deleted most of the requests (37 altogether), except a few. John Mills was one of them. I didn't realize that that site also was a dating site. I'm in the midst of a divorce and had zero interest or thoughts about dating then. But for some reason I decided to answer a few of the men who were requesting to be "friends". Anyway, "John" and texted for about five or six weeks. He's supposedly from L.A., California, but is supposedly from Sweden, an engineer, who recently got a contract for a construction job in Malaysia. The whole time I talked to him, I was googling info on his pictures and stuff about Malaysia and contractors, etc. I googled the documents he texted me pictures of, as well as his passport, he showed me early on when I asked if those pics of him were really him. But all those documents and passports were fakes. Thankfully, I never gave him money. Seeing that I'm an author, I'm writing a fictional story on online romance scammers, and these comments are great for my research. Please don't ever give money to guys you're dating, especially online!

If anyone has information on a James Neville or a Robert Colin, I'd be interested to hear it. My sister has been talking with both of these dudes - one of them for over a year. I've been suspicious from the beginning.
Then there was Phillip whose oil rig was attacked by Somali Pirates. Oh yeah, as in ARGHH!!!

Anyone has received the story of a widower US soldier?
Benjamin Gasper, he needs to leave the army x retirement?

Yes, for me it was a guy named Will Abrams, claimed to be a widower, wife died 4 or 5 trs ago, no children, no family in Georgia, claims to be a general in the USA military service in Iraq, has applied for retirement because he wants to live with me and have a new life, his photos un Facebook shows him wearing the military uniform.

Has anyone encountered a Robert James or James fredrick

"Samuel Mandes won't give up! He is now using the name "Nicholas Gutta". He continues to find ways to harass and threaten me, even as I continue to block and report him! 2 years of this. Stay far, far away from him!

Has anyone come across a guy from Nigeria whose name is Stanley Idos? His name on his Facebook profile is Idos Stanley. I talked to an expert on fraud and she said he is a scammer. His profile is legitimate but the person who is using it is not. He is trying to make me buy him a phone and send gift cards.

Keep away from him. It will be difficult to get rid of him. If you get a friend request from him, do yourself a favour and block him straight away

hi im from southern ireland i was scammed by a person claiming too be a woman called lori baxter from north dakota usa
she or he or it blocked my fb messenger page yesterday gmt
she aske d me for 400us dollars and a smart phone plus money for food for her 12 yr old daughter she said they would come to me in ireland lol i m glad too escape let me tell you lol

I want to find out if this guy is for real or not his name is Gary Hilton thats what he claim is his name i met him online dating wr have been txting since july 2020 up to now he claims he lives in moreno California for yrs an has a son in the military in Aug 2020 he said he had to live for a big project he had to go work in an oil rig in malayia he sound very nice and tell me alot of sweet words a woman wants to hear so to tell you the truth i fell in love but i think am being scam unfortunately i did srnd him money he ask me for some iTune cards so he could use the phone to call me an he does call and txt everyday but i stop sending him anymore coz i saw your add he says he is divorce also claims that there was an explosion on the rig an that he is stranded an needs money to pay a lawyer so he can get him out of there coz the company wont let hom go i do have pictures of him i just to find out about this guy do i can get him out if my if he is scaming me i know soon or later all this evil people will get their reward from God !!

I think my ex husband is getting scammed by a young lady ( if’s it’s a lady) name Fathima. She say she lives in Durban. She is 35 never been married and lives with her father Ibrahim. They are pretty well off and they have ties with many ppl that work in the embassy. They are telling him that they can get her a passport and visa quickly and he has sent the money. He really doesn’t want to tell me the truth or give me too much more information but this is horrible.

My mom has been talking to man named Ben Anthony. Supposedly from NYC and an architect. He has been overseas (Turkey I believe) and due to covid cannot access his bank account. She has sent him money on Bitcoin over 6months ago and he has yet to pay her back. He asked again for money this week and she is preparing to send it. I have tried to talk to her without any help.

Has anyone come across maxwell Robinson??? I've took a image and looked into other sites nothing comes up , hes us military, wife died 2 years ago, 14 year daughter lives with nan!! Gorgeous!! 45 yrs personnel and captain

My mom has been talking to a man she met through LinkedIn. His name is Ben Anthony and he is supposed to be an architect in NYC. However, I can find nothing out about him. Nothing online. His initial conversation to my mom was he was looking for a friend who had the same last name as my mom. He quickly started telling her how beautiful she was and she quickly fell for him. She left her husband (my dad) of 40+ years. She has sent this guys money via Bitcoin (large amounts) and he has yet to pay her back. She sent the money because he was overseas and due to covid he couldn’t get to his account. That makes no sense to me. He continues to pursue her and she continues to send him money despite me telling her he sounds like a scammer. He has not paid her back a dime but continues to make promises of lavish gift (buying her a house). She is going to lose everything she has to this man. Has anyone heard of this name?

They change their names. Each scammer typically has a different name. You won’t be able to find any info on him. He may provide a fake passport but won’t be able to provide a drivers license

How about a fake driver's license would that be possible too? Coz i read from someone here that one can give u fake passport and license too if u go to the police and verify it. Can one trace using the SSN?

There is a douglas james doing this scam hot muscles body a woman's dream unfortunately the writer is not the same person as the photo

I have a friend who I believe is being scammed. She met the guy on Facebook. He is a lumberjack or owns this business. Very wealthy. Lives in Oregon and is working in Canada. Says he was born in Africa and moved to US as a child. Has an accent. Divorced- no kids Closed Facebook account- said he was hacked. Only wants to communicate by Google hangouts, text, phone or email. Doesn’t want her to share their relationship with friends or family.

I've had two scammers come at me at the same time professing their love and I called them out on it and they blocked me a guy called Taylor Harrison and the other guy went by brian rogers

I’m so scared that I got scammed. Reading a lot of your experiences here. I’m still in the middle of this whole supposed “relationship”. I met a guy named Noah Anderson on Tinder. He works for WHO, Irish by decent, wife died 6 years ago and parents car accident a year after that, 44, with salt and pepper hair and is now in South Africa. He has confessed his love for me in a matter of days and it’s been 7 mos. Text and speak daily - mostly in Hangouts. We had video called a few times but always had bad connection and he saying he is in a bad signal area. I checked his linked in and even has connections to other WHO people (just 15 connections) really. I was thinking of contacting them too but this might be an actual syndicate because they might all be connected.
I started getting suspicious when he has told me to never listen to friends and family about our unconventional relationship and that he would love to meet my children when the time comes, earn their trust. Then he says he is working on a project which can help people there in Africa and sent him some money to donate in his mission. It is under the guise of helping others and that he is raised by his parents to be of help.
He has proposed marriage and even sent me a ring and necklace (he got online for such cheap price).
In some aspects, one can believe he is for real and he is quite religious too. Generally throughout the day we are both busy but he would always contact me and sounds like he is in a busy place. At night we would talk for hours and I even became his alarm clock in the morning. The second thing is that he cries a lot on the phone with me when he knows he can’t help people and he sees people suffer. He says absolutely the right things. Sends me love poems everyday where most he gets off from the net. We also send photos to one another obviously I sent more.
I’m afraid because I’m in the middle of this and somehow I might be wrong. Exposing him here and in the end this might be real, too. I am virtually and unspeakably confused.
The trigger today is when he told me he will be receiving an inheritance. He needed help to process the papers and some fees. Sent me a forwarded email from his so-called lawyer. I reviewed the email and realized there is something really wrong in the email if it’s coming from a lawyer. He says he met the lawyer once since he was his fathers lawyer. I asked him a few questions and he says he will verify it. Several hours passed he texted how I am and it’s as if nothing happened. I confronted him and told him my lawyer reviewed the email too and asked for all the documents including his legal docs. I told him my lawyer asked me everything to protect me from harm. He went crazy. Since this was already a few times of me blowing off on him around his commitment and questioning how he thinks of me in terms of his so-called “wife”- asking money here and there he questioned me back today. Dismissing me saying how can I question him and doubting his love for me knowing he just “forwarded” an email on this inheritance.

Am I being scammed? Or am I going to lose what could possibly be love?

I can't honestly believe how many scammers I've come across in the last 2 weeks. Telling me they love me within days. Luckily none of them got anything from me and after asking for pics with Id they go silent...names are Patrick Anderson, Jordan Nelson Medina, Medina Cody Dickson and one was just Brandon. All from tinder. Be careful out there

Did anyone talked lately with a guy called Alexandre Danilo (Alex on Tinder). I have a friend who felt in love with this guy...me and other friend found out that he is using pictures from Gerald Rogers, guy that wrote a book and is quite famous...she doesn't want to belive in what we are saying to her...his story is same as many, he is engineer from Germany living in California and now he is on project in Turkey...wife died in a car accident, having one son...he wants to marry her and come to her

Has anyone been in contact with or communicating with a person named Mike Peace Jack?

Has anyone been contacted by a leo labin, he even video chatted me, liked me on fb dating, asked me to go to hangouts so we could talk, even said he had a daughter 15, who just last had a birthday, his son his 5, he had his daughter whose name is Stella contact me, he's very good lookin, his daughter asked for steam cards so I did get her one and sent it to her. He's supposedly in Canada now, he got robbed on a train and asked me to send him all my information so his boss can put his money that is owed for working into my account, I did send him steam cards to trade he said for cash, I fell for it and I feel so stupid and hurt, he even got me to send him pictures of me. I was hoping this wasn't a scam, they are really good at what they do.

Anyone out there been in contact with a someone named Lynn Owens! He says he is a widow, no family, works on a rig, 61 years old originally from Sweden but lives in Alaska. He was on a Rig off of Santa Barbara , California, and was the platform foreman (something like that) for the rig. He has been contacting a friend since December he has not asked for money, that we know of, but tried to send her 2 million in cash through a courier. We talked her out of signing for anything like that. He has indicated 4 times now that he was coming to visit but has not shown up yet, saying first he did not get paid and cannot leave without the money to pay his men, then it was he has to pay upward of $10,000 for a helicopter to get off the rig, then it was did not get his money from the company for the job and then this time was the money has not cleared in his account. He told her he would be in this Friday, but I do not think so and can't imagine what this excuse is. This man is very handsome, white hair professes his love for her and says he wants to take her around the world, buy her house and anything she wants. He asked her to look around for the house she wants and he will buy it for her. He says when he comes in to find him a hotel that he will stay in for a month while they are buying the house. Anyone dealing with this Lynn Owens please answer and if you have a picture great please share. We all think this is a scam but my friend is hook, line and sinker that this is real and she has met her ticket to retirement and someone to take care of her.

Yes this is a scam definitely cut ties with this person but honestly you’re friend probably sent money already same scenario with my friend as well. She asked me for $8000 because he was trying to send a million dollars cash by courier. Courier was fake and website domain was based in Nigeria. Scary part was that scammer had all her info and she did not have any of his. Stay away!

this sounds like the guy Im talking to. They all seem to use the same story line..gonna come see you, gonna stay for a month to buy a house, needs money to get back to the states , cant access their accounts from the UK..will pay you back..has a sick son in The Uk boarding school, never tells what the name of the school, or what the name of the rig they were on, needed money for helicopter to get off platform, needs money for tools for platform. Does anybody ever get their money back? or do they ever catch these darn scammers? They all seem to like handouts or Whatsapp..do these sites do anything if you report them? But they all use different names so I imagine its hard to catch them..google image search, Rip and Scam, Oil rig scammers, ..Ive checked them all...NOTHING..but Im not giving up..says hes coming to see me...we shall see!

I’ve been chatting to a David Belman for the past week. He says he is a surgeon and is about to retire to Milan. He has a 14 year old son.
I was also chatting to a guy called Curt who says he is in Ukraine mining diamonds and gold.
Are these guys scammers ???

Hello Ladies, I have been corresponding with a gentle who says his name is Frederick Roland who lives in Texas and has a 14 year old daughter named Sandra who being taken care of by a nanny. He supposively is in Turkey working on an Oil Rig. He asked for a google play card, then he asked steam card and I couldn't find on so he said send him an amazon card, so I did. Now he wants to pretend to be his wife and receive money from a bank in the UK and I told him that I was not going to do that. He sent me a friend request on facebook, so beware, he sounds like one of the guys in one of these post.

Just told one of this scammers,whom I talk with for two weeks,good bye. If you will meet with Antonio Braya,who has 11 years old son Alex and lives in Florida,just run. It’s good,that I understood that he is a scammer,when he suddenly went for a contract work to China for 3 month and then asked me to make a transfers to his account,so he will be able to buy an equipment to start his work. Bullshit.

A week ago I met a guy on a dating app, we are in different states, after 3 days we moved onto another app to talk. He did started a lot of sweet talks and caring words, right after we start to talk on another platform. Since then we did talk about bringing each other to places that we went to that day when the opposite comes and visit. Also telling each other where we went and when we get home.

He told me he trades bitcoin as interests. At the time he didn't proceed further about bitcoin trade. He started sending me photos of him (not anything sexually). Just normal daily photos of himself. I been careful about all the photo he send me. I even did a reverse image search on them, all photo results was 0 match. First time I felt something was wrong when he told me he just finish bitcoin trading and telling me how much it earns. At the time I have no idea how bitcoin runs, he even try to explain to me. He told me I should try it out too, I rejected and the topic was changed rest of the night. Second time he asked me again, and I directly told him I am not interested and I am not comfortable talking about it and can we stop talking about this in the future. This time he reply to me that maybe I don't trust him and we ended the conversation that night.

In the past I have experienced romance scam but luckily I didn't fall into the trap of transferring any money.

I don't know if I am just paranoid about this. I have deep feelings for him and I don't want to stop talking to him. Which I know maybe I should just stop and block him. We are still talking normally and that bitcoin topic never came up again.

Can anyone give me advice if I am just overreacting because of the past experiences. He have never asked me personal details like address, date of birth, bank details. What he asked was only for me to consider trading bitcoin.

Hi. I have been talking to a Norwegian (from Ohio) living in the UK says he owns a piping company. Calls on WhatsApp on a +1 number and is called George Adamski! His photos show no sign of being fake and we have spoken on the phone. He even got his daughter to ring me. Asked for no money in 3 months. It’s all suspicious as he does not like FaceTime but keeps talking about meeting me in June when he is back from setting up a job in South Africa! Is this a catfish?

I believe this is a catfish. Adamski is not a Norwegian name. George Adamski was an American author (1891-1965). This person is fake

4 days ago a guy messaged me on Instagram. His name is Phillip Joe, he is 55 years old and has a son that is 15 years old. His wife died from breast cancer 5 years ago and his dad also passed away.
He is from Houston Texas, but he is currently in Yemen contacted as a doctor and would like to retire once his contract is over.

He sent me a picture of him and his son at the beach holding surfboards.
I'm not ready for a relationship so I wasn't really into him, but I felt sorry for him as he said his wife died and I lost someone close to me a few years ago too.

Over the past two days I have been extremely busy at work so I haven't been chatting to him which obviously upset him because he kept messaging me asking if I'm upset with him and he tried to phoned me multiple times while I was at work.

When I got home from work I messaged him and said I am not obligated to message him as I am not his girlfriend and not once did I show any interest in him so how can he be heartbroken after 4 days.
I had a strange feeling about him since he invited me on Instagram.

HERE'S THE STRANGE PART!!!!! After I told him I am not obligated to respond to him he didn't read my message so I checked his Instagram and he deleted his account but the name he had on changed back to the original name sule_samaila which is a Nigerian name.

Be careful!!!

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