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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

The guy I am talking to is also a Phillip. He sent me a dozen photos his company website in Texas which I googled n it came up. Everything he does the way he talks is like a scammer but one day I emailed the company owner and told him somebody may have stolen his profile n identity n he should report to FBI. My guy got the email n said to me what are you doing? This past Sunday we were texting when he said he is going out for a walk. Then surprise he sent me a video of him walking showing it is him. But he has asked for money in several occasions and keeps asking non stop. Very confusing. I think these scammers are pros.

Anyone talking to an engineer named Nicholas Benson?

Can everybody share their scammer number

Has anyone else heard of a scammer named Anthony Maxwell.

Anyone deal with a Maricon Escosis

Yes. Am still in contact. What do you know about her?

Has anyone and talking to Rick Hermann supposedly from Germany but living in the US for the past 8 years. I met him on a dating site and a few days before we were supposed to meet, he got called to work in Libya where he is now supposedly. He asked me twice for Google Play cards and then wanted my Social Security, birthday, and my banking information so I could check his banking information because he was not able to check it from his location. I gave him nothing. I am sure he is a scammer

Stay away from Richard Albert, he says he’s an oil Engineer in the gulf of Mexico never facetime only texts and then asks for money!

Im so glad that I found this site! Richard Albert contacted me telling me he is an engineer and that he loves me and wants to marry me, I was suspicious so I googled his name which led me to this site. Thanks for sharing your experiences allowing me to avoid a scam!

I think there should be a way to find out if they are really who they say they are and if it is a lie they should be punished in some way Impersonating a military officer can’t be allowed either

Hello Has anyone heard of a person named Edgar Miker. I have been talking with him over 2 yrs. Sent him money a long time ago. Says he is in the UK as an engineer.

Anyone hear of a Richard Alexandra?

Has anyone been contacted by a female calling herself Beatrice Smith, she has been asking for money

I just started talking to a guy who says he is in the Army deployed in East Africa. First he asked for a picture of my drivers license, I looked it up in scams and told him no he got very angry and stopped talking to me, then came back apologizing we talked it n out he said he just wanted to see it , I said no. Now he is asking me to open a Willa App , gave me a code and is asking me to send him a screenshot. Is this a new scam? He and I really clock socially and I m newly divorcing so I m scared of getting scammed out of what little I do have or going to jail. Please advise me on this.

Don't...
If anything provide him some kind of fake ID or if you want to send him you id change the number (AND your address!!! pls don't send your address.. some of these people are really bad news and if they have your address do you want things or odd people turning up???) on it in photoshop.. he surly doesn't need your correct ID ...

Yes be careful....

if you have his first email or contact copy the whole script and do a google search on it (I have searched a whole page from a few people I thought were genuine only to find the word for word to many other peolpe.. promising love etc - if a scammer he has probably tried to scam others (just another angle to check) ..

Sadly if you haven't met them face to face be very very very cautious as so many people want to scam money from people (I know it is terrible but some people it is apparently their income.. they get lots to fall for it) ..

best of luck but be cautious
ALbert Australia....

Be very careful, don’t send any racy pictures, DON’T send any money or open any accounts, don’t give any personal information. Keep your guard up.

I have been taking to a guy i have met online for about a year i have sent £3450 over the year via his children's nanny, he says he is a pilot and needs the money to get out of his contract to transfer to the UK, he says he has sold his car to get the remaining money. He has now asked me to set up a UK bank account for when he transfers and wants to move his money from a Dubai account to the UK which has made me very concerned. After an argument i stupidly gave him my sort code and account number to return my money and i have worries this will be misused.
Iam guessing this has been a year long scam

Yes this is a scam pilots are paid well and have access to their money. Never give out your personal info especially bank info.

Scamming a friend. Says she is owned by Chinese mafia. Needed them to be paid off to let her go. Posted a photo after they supposedly beat her. Now claims after he's paid all this money that the driver delivering her to him ran off with her.

Anyone come across a man with an accent who says he’s an engineer and just want to contract and hast to go to India. He asked me to delete my account immediately and so did he. And he’s being all lovey-dovey instantly but he will not send me a selfie on the spot. He’s using the name Jose Branco

I recently talking to a a guy who followed me on Instagram we first talked in Instagram he has pictures and he said he is a 35 year old doctor from US he is currently working on a government isolation center. He told me he loved me and he was so happy that he found the love of his life, he called me love, honey or my queen. He never asked me any money I always asked if we can video chat but he said it is against government law he might lost his job i was so scared because we been exchanging picture. I wanted to make sure I wasn't dealing with a scammer. He also told me he is an only child his mother is from Sabah Malaysia and father from Missouri city Texas. I was unsure but i don't want to expose him because he might be a real person.

Its me again.. He send a package to me as he said and it supposed to arrived today but the courier ask me to pay 50 thousand Philippines pesos I told him that and he went nuts he will exposed my photos and everything..i don't know what to do..this might be a dangerous person.. i was so caught up on his romantic words, we are talking in whatsapp

Yes just had this guy wanting to rush into a relationship, but i am doing this whole enjoy being single thing and still calling me baby. Claimed to be a surgeon , some story of losing his mom 15 years ago being part PuertoRican and here in America land of his fathers. shared photo of "him his dad and aunt" ..day 2 asks to be wired a nike or steam gift card or something because banks having issues with pandemic but also claims it is joint account from office. then i remembered on facebook the profile picture seemed more northern look and though it said Canada at first but guy claims to be in miami. Photos do not seem to be same person and definitely using love connection lingo still despite just getting to know each other etc. Either bad at faking being bad at english or bad at remembering what level of bad english comprehension to fake . Though i imagine if moving here with his dad at least 15 years ago that english comprehension would be a bit better .

How about a Richard Figueroa. Says originally from Ukraine. Working in Singapore, widowed, has a son in Ontario living with his disabled aunt.
Or Joseph originally from Greece living in Glendale. Parents & sister died in car accident. Girlfriend cheated 3 years ago.
Either one sound familiar

Its me again.. He send a package to me as he said and it supposed to arrived today but the courier ask me to pay 50 thousand Philippines pesos I told him that and he went nuts he will exposed my photos and everything..i don't know what to do..this might be a dangerous person.. i was so caught up on his romantic words, we are talking in whatsapp

He gave me timeline on paying 50thousand pesos and I don't even have that kind of money. I asked my Instagram friends to report and block him posted it on Instagram so they can help me. I blocked the number that is asking for the money.. i reported him and blocked him in Instagram. I wanted to block him in WhatsApp but I am scared he might do something but if I did not pay him he will still do something. Im so scared and don't know what to do

He goes by Franklin Harrison saids he is Orthopedic stucked in Dubai Customs. He needs $5k to get back to Houston. I gave him $2k in Steam cards. Always huzzling me for money. He said he is a widowed & he has a son named Kelvin that stays with the Nanny. He promised me to buy me a Million dollar home, a car & always loved me. Always called me at 5:AM. Said he was in Syria & escaped War. Traveling with $4.2 Million Dollars &$500 K Blocks of Gold. He didn't declared it in Customs in Dubai, so he has to pay a Fee for his release. I almost sent him $15 K for his released from Customs in Dubai.

I started talking to Edvin Erickanders, a petrochemical engineer from Norway, living in Austin, Texas and working on an offshore oil rig in Dubai. Both his son and mother have contacted me to say hello. He’s supposed to be back in Texas next week, but suddenly there was a tragic accident on the rig and as the person in charge the government has taken his passport and there will be fines. He hasn’t asked for money YET but I have a bad feeling about him. Would love to see other people’s photos of their scammers.

I've being talking to a guy name Jacob Logan. He says he live in london and works in a vessel at the ocean. He said that he download software and direct vessel. He ask me for steam cards I gave him 1,400.00 dollars in steam cards. He also ask me for my bank account so he can have his manager to put money weekly in my bank account to pay for equipment for vessel. I said no so he broke up with me. I'm really hurt and depressed I had to get help from doctor. I know he scam me. He also say he has a dog name jack and a sister dying of cancer. I met him on meet me app. He has and account on instagram but he block me. I've being scam I wish i could post his picture.

is anyone talking to Goktas Hasan? He is on LinkedIn and says he is a doctor and a us solider assigned to the United Nations on a peace keeping mission in Syria .

Anyone talked to a Greg walker? Says he is an independent Marine engineer. Lives in Pensacola. Says he is on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico for over 6 weeks.

Anyone have any interaction with a Wills Clifford???

Anyone know about a girl named Lizzy? She says she’s from the Netherlands. I’ve spoken to her, she sounds Russian.

Anyone been talking to , invited by Rameriz Connell, supposedly in Finland saying USN or Dave Smith claiming in US Army and his 'commander' claiming in Syria

Has anyone been scammed by Robert Flores Harvey claiming to be a sergeant in the US Army stationed at the Cameroon boarder outside of West Africa. He used FaceBook dating app and whatsapp

Is look like the same history. The boy who spoke to me used the name Alex Mario.I met him on a Swedish website. He was German and Moroccan and lived in the USA. His daughter lived with her mother in Germany. He said he worked on a military ship and was traveling from Dubai to Mexico. He text me every day early in the morning and tell me how much he loved me. We talked for a week but only three days later he said he wanted to send me a gift and that I had to pay 550 euros in taxes. They also sent me a message by whtsapp and call me from india airport informing me of the shipment and asking me to pay the taxes to receive the package.when I refused to pay the shipping he told me that he did not understand what was wrong with me. He got angry with me and told me not to communicate with him anymore because he did not want people who would argue like me in his life. I have some photos and I would like to know if someone also has photos to identify the person. I hope my story helps more people not to be scammed.

Any one come across a Lana Nicolas apparently from Los Angeles? She’s 21

I got a text off a girl on Instagram and stuff they want to chat on google hangouts and answered and straight away start harassing me and threatening me saying I’m sending videos to your family and friends in 24 hours

Hi ladies anyone been in contact with a Michael powell from New Jersey is an independent contractor for power company and is currently in Norway working but having trouble as machine broke and is stuck asked me to log into an account to transfer money over but it said he needed to pay money to use the account just seemed odd to me sends love songs and poems n I question we him about it didn't get for almost a week but trying and ringing again any advice would be most appreciated thanks

I met someone on Scrabble. They said they were working in Belgium in some military capacity. They needed money to retrieve a box they sent to a safe-house in Turkey. They say the pandemic caught them unawares so they were short of money. They convinced me to send them 2700 so they could fly to Istanbul to retrieve their box. Once there they said the government seized their box and now they need almost 30,000 to collect their box. They also need 2400 to pay hotel bills. They are now threatening suicide.

Anyone heard of a Taylor M Brown met on Facebook now talking on Messenger, showing signs of being catfish, hope he’s not but anyone else heard of him?

Hey is he in us army??? Do you have pictures of him?? I think my friend is been scammed by him aswell. Tall, dark hair, bodybuilding body and tattoo on his arm and stomach???

My friend has been chatting with him but from tinder but same name. Tall guy,brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos as actually the picture is taken from a different Instagram account. He is scammer

Hey, does anyone got a message from Austin Andrez, telling you that he is in US army, a soldier currently living in iraq and that he is on a peacemission ? He told me too much about his personal details, also, what was weird, asked me if I am married or not. And that's when I started to suspect that he is going to use this information later on very wisely... He told me about his late wife who was killed in a car accident, and also, that he has a daughter.... He said, that he can't talk with me on instagram, because it is forbidden for soldiers to have it or chat due to the safety measures.. And the first thought of mine was, when why he did connect on it in the first place, if he know how risky it is.... Also, he made a lot of mistakes...I am not native at English, but a few times he wrote HIS, HIM, HE ( talking about his daughter) ... When He ask me for my personal email to chat more on Google hangout... I didn't give him that. I'm just writting this in case, that maybe someone is searching also if it's a scam or not. And if someone got similar message, please, be careful.

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.

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