You are here

Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money

Share this page

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

What if they ask for your SSN and keep on and on after you have told them no.

2 weeks ago Ive been on tagged site. There I meet Jones Leo Clark. He said he was a ship captain. At first he was good even until now.. He ask to send me photos but i never did. I just gave him an address, my brothers address...He never asked me money, instead he said, he sent me gifts ring, chocolates and money. LOL! He is from Patras City Greece. He said he buys gifts for me in Iceland as he was there for a tour... But the parcel address was send from Greece. LOL.. So i keep talking to him until now as if I don't know anything....And lately he said, he will call me with their emergency number. Also I need to message him if i receive the parcel... LOL. whether scam or not. I'm not into him...

Lady's stay away from Robertson jeffrey morrow. He tried scamming me.. He's using picture's from another guy. Has a son tattoo both arms and a eagle tattoo on his chest. Never was able to video or call me..

I have met someone on Facebook request about 4 months ago. He said his wife died in a car accident 6 years ago and his home is in Los Angeles. He says he has a son named Alex Bradley, that is in a boarding school. The guy says his name is Donald Bradley. He says he is an engineer on an oil rig in Ireland on a ship. He put a picture and it is a picture of a guy named Joe Cross. Has anyone talked to this person that say he is Donald Bradley

Has anyone written with a Korean who has now gone to Italy and his grandmother had an accident and they need money. He doesn't have a way to send money to the hospital because apparently his account is not working.

Has anyone been corresponding with a Henry Austin? Supposed to be German commander in Afghanistan. Has daughter and wife died. My sister is being scammed.

It is so hard to know if they are a scammer or not. I have a guy that is in love with me too quick. is an Investigative Journalist but not with a particular group. He lost his phone running for his life and wants me to send him a new one. He says he is "in a military Lahij Governorate, Yemen. and wants me to send the phone to Belgium where this person at the orphanage can get him a package. It just does not make sense to me. He is not able to access his own money bucause of where he is. I think it is a scam can someone else confirm this. I also would feel really bad if it is not. He is not asking for money. Help?
Confused

Has anyone talked to an Andrew Phillips, 2 children, ex cheated on him with his best friend, has a small company in San Diego was Firmstem construction, now changed his picture, has the same telephone number?

If you feel not right don't do it

Any experience with a guy from Tik Tok..Jimmy Ahumada from Norway originally works on an oil rig in the gulf. Divorced no kids. Approached me, attractive bald with beard said he is 59 and has a dog.

I saw a comment from a 2015 post, about a female talking to a man supposedly named Carl Breigner, from the Netherlands. Small world. Me too. He scamned me for quite a bit, starting in 2017, and I let him do it for a year. Beware! He's back on facebook luring in more victims. He's very convincing. He told me that his wife got involved with drugs and started sleeping with his friends, hence, the divorce. He said his wife went back to Mexico, with the dog, and he got custody of their 1 daughter. She's supposedly in boarding school. After talking to this man many many times, he sounds Nigerian. He wouldn't show me his face.

Hi. Has anyone dealt with a Bruce McDonovan, who claims he is in US Special Forces

Guys ever heard a man with name Philip Kim?? He said from Cincinnati, He is US Army, His wife died because cancer, He has a daughter and his daughter on boarding school. He still in Yemen and next month will be back to USA, He sent me a box the content of the box are gold medal, money $ 25,000. But he ask me to pay first airport clearance and tag then he will pay back after I received the box. Because I don't have money to paid then he threatened me. Can this be suspected of being a scammer?

I have been speaking to a soldier who claims to be in the army in Somalia at first all was good but after a wk he started asking for money he sent me his commanders email address I got intouch via email and said that pat wanted to come home and we could b together he said at first it will cost 350 pound so I paid it in cards then he said I will have to fill a form in but it would not allow me to fill in so I told pat he said he will fill it in but it will cost another 50 pound so I done it then he said that he needed inter net can I send him 50 as he said he needed food ect once again I did so far he has had 470.oo now he is saying it will cost another 550 for him to come home nd that I have to fill in a fiance form I have told him I haven't got any more I have voice my concerns to him via wot app said that I think I am getting scammed .he said that I don't trust him he wants me to send another 50.00 so he can have Internet to carry on wot app I haven't done it as I have been reading on Internet about deployed soldiers and bout how they scam he has sent me a pic of him but I think I have been scammed plz help me

I think I might be getting scammed. I had a message on MeWe from some guy named Bill Shayne said he liked my mail in my profile picture. I am on that social media site often. He asked me if I had WhatsApp and I said yes. We switched over to there. He is a widower from Windsor Canada. Has 2 daughters name Jasmine and Ava ages 9 &7. He is a TIG welder working and currently working as an airplane maintenance engineer and has done some underwater welding in the past. He is originally from Ankara turkey his mother died when he was younger and moved to Canada after his father passed away because his uncles were fighting over money after his dads death . He has not asked me for any money or any gift cards

No elaborate story that he’s going out of the country in business. Says he wants to get to know me better. He talks of taking his girls out to dinner and when I ask him where he responds working 2 minutes. I look up the restaurant to see if it’s in Windsor and the ones he’s given me they are.

He calls me sweetheart most of the time. I don’t give him too much information about me and stay somewhat vague in some of my responses. I started feeling something wasn’t quite right when I asked him where his profile picture was taken as it looked professionally fine. He said he had some studio pictures done for his social media account which I thought was weird. When Facebook went done this past week I said I had a google chats account and to send me his email and I could add him. He did but had a different last name and when I questioned it he said it was his Turkish last name the name he gave me was Bill Hamme ( said his Turkish first name was Emin). So I decided to do some investigating about him. I can’t find anything on the internet regarding a person using the story he gave me or with that name. I tried do a reverse photo search on special catfish site but nothing there either. I did some more digging and finally found a picture that matched his profile picture and it was from a person in Belgium (I think that’s the country) who is a tv/radio person. I looked up more about him and found his Facebook page and all the pictures but 4 that this ”Bill Shayne” sent me are on this guys Facebook.

Im a fairly intelligent person but even the most intelligent people can be duped.

Please let me know that my suspicions are accurate or not.

I have a question, do love scammers keep the same telephone number but change their picture?

I am talking to a guy called Dr Michael Anderson from London. I get the feeling he is not for real, anybody else talking to him
He stated that he is a plastic surgeon in London

If anyone is chatting with a man claiming to be a 59 year old pilot for Kuwait Airlines, 9 year old son- James. Wife died giving birth to son. His son, Nanny and Lucas Benjamin Williams (the pilot) currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Whatsapp number is: 262-885-7688. Today, he claims to be in Kuwait with a month long contract. In the past few weeks, he claims to have traveled to Germany, Greece, Brazil, Malaysia. As of today, he is claiming to be in Kuwait and wanted me to order and send him a new I phone 13 pro- saying he would pay for it. Actually asked me to send him a picture of the front of my credit card. Unbelievable !!! Of course, I did not send. He said his son, James (a 9 year old, back in Brooklyn NY)) would put the money on my card. How can people like this sleep at night??? If you recognize any of this info, let's talk.

Has anyone face chatted with someone all the time, daily, straight phone calls, WhatsApp phone calls, etc. And then all of a sudden they are so in love after 5 months? It seems so genuine because of the daily chats and routines, it's like you see what they are doing on the regular.
But then it comes..."Will you go pick up this money gram or western union and send it to me?" Several times, then the senders names change. All of a sudden, they are ordering things to your house under different names. When you call the WU senders, you find out they were scammed out of some money. Then your romance person swears they didn't know, it was their friend who they were trying to help out.
Just be on the lookout!

2 of these scammer's have professed their undivided love at the end of our first day...2 have taken up to 10 days. Their back stories are almost identical. Like they are all working from the same script.

I got talking to guy on Facebook dating said his name was Charmaine but after asking if was his name says its John. He sends messages about what he wants in a relationship. How he's been hurt the past. I explain my past to him. He did quick video call lasted 5 seconds. I thought bad connection it was fuzzy. He comes across keen sends me quotes smiler ones on here this how came a cross this sight through the quotes. He sent me pics of himself and in army uniform but hiding name badges. He was coming across very strong I not gave him any intentions to either. When I told him about that I searched his quotes came across this he said not after money just love got it wrong we video call. I explained about video call he did not reply. Told him straight if he is after money just go away leave me alone as I have no savings no banks money in live pay check to pay check. He said don't want money just love. Should I see where it goes or block him I did search pics he sent nothing came up

Anybody hear of Harry Gregory in the niethlands on oil rig?

Hello girls
Do you know I really very sad by knowing all this I was also having chat with Dr Russell Webster.in starting 2 days only he said he said he love me a lot I will marry You I ignored but somehow I got in I m feeling very good to have chat him.
I asked him for video call he denied he use to text me on Instagram I am very much emotionally attached with him. I am not able to cut this.I am so in. He stolen my heart can someone help plz.he asked my address he said he want to send gift for me .

Can some one plz tell me how I can search. Real name of that person in picture he shared I really want to talk that real person for once
I am sharing photo please help me to know real name of this person

DO NOT SEND HOM YOUR ADDRESS

I am involved with a romance scams and I want to know how to get out of it the supposed man i am talking to live in Nigeria Lagos it first started out with him telling me his mother was in the hospital and he needed money to pay her bills but that didn't work so he tells me his car has broken down and he needs money for that and that didn't work so he say he is hungry and he don't have money for food and that didn't work so he promised if I helped him he would send me a large amount of money and I felt for it I send him 200 dollars to help him get his money free someone please help me get out of this mess

Hi everyone. Unfortunately I have a similar story as well.An attractive guy who is around 47 with green eyes and so handsome ( named Eddie )texted me on Instagram .for the first time I trusted one person who told me fell in love with me. After a couple of days he requested for marriage and I believed since he said he will come to visit me asap.he told he is an architect in California and won a great contract and has to go to Yemen for doing his project. After a lot of romantic words for( about 45 days )he told he in in so bad situation and need a help and sent me his list that he had to pay for duties fee and need $300000.
He said his friend from California helped him by 250 and another friend also and asked me to help every amount till 25. I felt in love with this person deeply and trusted him .I tried to calculate money for him ,however I was in bad condition and didn't have money and told him that I wanted to lend money for helping him from my friends but he didn't believe. In the last moment I wanted to send even the only money that I could calculate by selling my jewelry but I couldn't sell it .one of My friend several times said he is not right person and it is a fruad, but I didn't accept. I didn't want to accept he wanted to hurt me and break my heart. He told after that project he decided to be retire and make a nice famiy with me .he showed me his son Andy also said he is so rich and can come to Canada for living with me .I was over the moon because I believed and never accepted my friend ' advice.
The last trying for helping him also wasn't successful and when I cried a lot and said him I couldn't calculate money just$ 2000 ‌I wanted to send him with bitcoin but I couldn't calculate , he was so angry and said me you played with me and with my emotions and I can't trust you anymore and left me forever. He broke my heart so hard ,because I believed his story and never had any doubt in his love. We had a lot of call even video call with together also sent some video for me and never thought he will hurt my heart at all .I was crying for 48 hours even liked to die and just wanted to say others since maybe he decided to do it again. I was not a stupid woman. I just had a big and honest heart that now it is broken and never trust any person in social media.

Have been scammed for a lot of money by guy calling himself Michael Drouzar , says he's German diamond merchant .
Total fake using stolen photos

I've been chatting with a Michael Drouzar that I met on Zoosk. He says he is a diamond merchant. He sends long emails and seems to be moving very fast. Must be the same guy. Thanks for the warning!

I have also been scammed by Michael Drouzar calling himself a gemologist and diamond merchant. He sends long e- mails, tells you a lot about himself and asks lots of questions about your likes and dislikes and sends long love poems! He is still in process of arranging a date to meet me- but thank you for this timely warning.

Ladies please don't listen or believe anything this guy has to say .
He probably won't ever be caught but if he was he should be locked up for a very long time .
He has no concern for his victims whatsoever

I've been scammed by Michael Drouzar lost so much money to this criminal.
He is on Linkedin but the photo is of an innocent man not him .
How does he keep getting away with it ?

David baker is a frequent user of dating sites. Beware This person will ask for things as laptops airline tickets.

Does anyone know of a guy named Alexandre Joel? He is supposedly an engineer working in France but lives in the USA. He is a widower with a young son.

My sister in law is talking to a guy from the USA online. He send her pictures of the gifts he bought and apparently forwarded the gift to South Africa. The gift is now in Cape Town and customs need R3500 to release the goods. The cell number on the whatsapp that customs send her is 078 578 4505. He apparently also sended her money. This can't be legit.

I met a guy named Hang on eastmeeteast. He's 35 years old chinese. Supposed to be an designer. But he's a total fake. Knows nothing about Los Angeles but supposed to live there his entire life. We chatted trough watsapp and after 3 days he said he loved me. Sends me youtube love songs. Text and calls me the entire day. Ask if I've eaten. And then suddenly he's in need of money to do a project. Asked for $4000,- I blocked him immediatly

Sounds like the same man I've been talking to. But he says he's from Malaysia, lives in France, and his parents are dead. He's a handsome man, and always sends a good morning message, and asks if I've already eaten, and says that I'm everything he's ever wanted, and that he wants to marry me. And that if I let himvhe will die, because I'm the reason that keeps him alive. Oh my God

Seems scammers are using the name Dave Forster in many Turkish online dating sites. Beware, as discussed below, he’s sending out a message about how he works abroad, wife died of cancer, son back home in UK….. initial introduction is a long message stating dribble such as “I want you to be sure that I have one heart and it’s currently empty searching for love and I am ready to love and be loved”

I have been receiving a number of contact requests through Pinterest, of all websites, and I don't understand it. I topped a scam some years ago, involving a man who wanted me to receive packages to be picked up by a 3rd party. In the past 3 weeks I have received 3 more contact requests, all foreign nationals claiming to be working in Syria for various well-known entities. What's going on?

Has anyone heard of by the name of Jeff Potter he's supposed to be in military he messages on Hangout if anyone knows of him could you please let me know because I want to find out if he's legit or if he's lying

Harrison Lucas oik rig engineer, son in boarding school in Germany
White hair 55 years in the Mediterranean.

I’m talking to this guy name chad he say he is in marine corps and we talked on the phone but he say he Originally from Ireland but have a different accent, he haven’t asked for money directly he just ask if he can use my bank account or PayPal but he also wants to talk on the phone all the time or for me to send a picture so idk

Hi,
My mother has been talking to a guy online whose name is Matt Shoemaker. she has been talking to him for 1 year. Has never asked for money or a picture or anything. Says he is a General in the Army. Now he says he is coming home. I cannot figure out his end game. I know he is not real. I just cant figure out what he is trying to gain from this. Do these scammers really string people along for a year or so before trying to get money or something else? my mother is prepared to meet this person. Please help...

Any one else being scammed by Patrick Bruce bought horses in Nigeria and was stuck there needed help getting back home here in the us

I started talking to a guy off tinder. His name Christopher Wallace. Says he’s a gemologist from Colorado Springs 41yrs old. We’ve been talking for a month. I wanted to set up a meeting, but he conveniently got Covid. Says he was working as a freelancer to get a contract to mine diamonds in benin Africa. That was my first red flag. He does not do FaceTime. Only sends pictures. A week into being in Africa says to me he got robbed of all his items including passport. Has no money but doesn’t asks me. He pulls at my heart to get me to send him money to help. Fell in love super quickly. I must admit that I’ve fallen and have set him money but now I’ve cut the financial part off. Didn’t send much he did however ask for my bank info to help him get his contractors to send money to him so as to close the deal. I did not give him this information. He seems to have access to legitimate documents from police as he sent me a copy of a police report with his claims. I wish I could post photos of him.

Has anyone have any experience with this guy?

I had a guy i was talking to 5 months George Williams on facebook then hangout and email to whatsapp no video or phone calls he avoided that but as we talked i did image search on catfish and found out he is using a real doctors profile and pics. then he started asking for money and wanted to send me a lump sum to hold for him he was in turkey 5 yeares and had money put away ofc i did not do nothing of the kind reported blocked and deleted...good luck and take care

Anybody heard of steve roland?

Where can I see all these pictures? Also, I have one that needs to be checked out. So far, I have not found anything. I suspect him immediately. For starters, his name is Josh Lucas. Go figure. Throws off all the searches immediately. Then, a doctor in Iraq with our soldiers. The guy is gorgeous, but I don't trust him. Too much love right away.

Can relationshio scammers target people on disability Abd I just learned anoint gas lighting. D IP they use this trick too

a man called Charles Blake Allen contacted me. A software engineer lives in London. Soon we become good friends and chat every day. I'd like to know whether his identity is real or not.

I meet this person on FB using MD Sharuk he claims to work in Syria military personnel under the UN he asks me if I can send him money so he can get out in Syria he needs to pay his placement able to come home.he writes a very sweet message that melted the woman's heart. Today he told me he is Jeffry William. I think he is the scammers.

Pages

Leave a Comment