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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 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.

Does anybody get a steve roland so sweet but said his daughter in boarding school and she was injured he get into his bank account and wants me to send 1000 dollars to her teacher medical help steve roland

Hi! Anyone here met a certain Sean Lee from Tinder? Asked to communicate in Whattsapp then after a while, getting to know you & professing his love that quick? Telling he's from Virginia USA, half-thai half-american. Then asking you to open his bank account & to transfer money to a certain people?

Scammer Alert! Met this scammer on Tinder. He goes by the name Eris Gale Johnson but found out in other scam sites that he was a scammer with other names as Ryan Anderson/ Jason Jackson. He will tell you he is a director of small scale gold company in knoxville, texas. He is divorced with victoria because she cheated on him. Then in a few days he will tell he is deeply inlove with you & would tell too much sweet long messages & thoughts. Then he traveled in Nigeria for a business then tell that his wallet has been stolen & that his bank accounts had been freezed because of security reasons. Then start to ask for money so that he can fly out of there to come to you then return the money but would not happen. I was scammed $2000. Hard lesson learned.

Just to let know they new scam going about on WhatsApp I had guy said that he was a doctor and work for the army and asked him where got my number and said covid center and trying to make out he a doctor and got a 14 year old daughter and goes by name Adrian Philip

I met someone recently who claims to be Kaitlynn Anderson. If it's fake, she's done her homework, even gave the same birthday. She hasn't asked me for money yet but she wants me to be co-beneficiary on a charity foundation she's starting. Waiting to see if the paperwork involves account numbers before blocking

Has anyone been scammed by a David Stone? Oil rigger in another country with a young son, Eric who’s mom died during childbirth? I am afraid my friend is being scammed by this guy

hi have her to read on these pages there are alot of the same thing and do not give info on her accts or dare send money if shes reading this please im tellling you they win your heart and then thats it. dont feed into there mess all scammers that why this site is so imortant im glad i got to here i was looking how to get scammers and here the pages rolled in i reported blocked and deleted him..his name hes going by is George Williams and hes all lies...good luck dont get sucked in with him her or whoever....take care do an image search with a picture if she has one on catfish.com 6 days for 5.99 then can cancel i found out the minute i put the pic in and found out hes not who he says to be..fake name and number as well..tc

my mother 78 is getting scammed by a guy named Peterson Rodriguez Bankz (you can look up his profile on facebook). she isnt giving me all the info but this is what i got. says he is 59. he is a doctor of some sort in the middle east i believe Afghanistan but is from canada. he was contracted out there but lost the contract somehow. one way or another he found a diamond worth 20mil. he fled the where ever he was at and went to paris but got stuck there because of covid lockdowns. he tried to sell said diamond but they would only give him 8mil. but he needed money for some sort of processing fee? so she gives him an undisclosed amount. says he now has the money and travels to UAE where he promptly gets arrested for having the money. they as well need some sort of fee to prove its not stolen. after paying that he goes to USA and tells her that the irs now wants to tax said money but wont take it out of the money he has since they now have the assets frozen. i dont know how much he has gotten out of her but she put a mortgage on her house. she believes that she is getting a loaded bank card in a few days. i dont know how to convince her it is a scam and adult protective services wont help on scams. ive asked her and her actual husband to move in with us. she is refusing because she plans on moving in with the guy. im completely lost now and dont know what to do. any advice would be great

There are several different people and places that might talk to you and your mother. You might contact Adult Protective Services again and ask what they do about elder financial exploitation. In some areas, a sherriff's or police department has a person who works on elder financial issues and could talk with your mother. You could contact the ElderCare Locator, 1-800-677-1116.) which is funded by the federal government to help families find services for older adults. You could ask if someone at your mother's bank would talk with her about her financial plans. You can read, or share, the information from this FBI page about romance scams. 

Anyone been scammed by a doctor claiming to be Scott Hadland. Does the whole Bitcoin thing.

Thnx for your feedback I also getting messages from alex.willi5589 she told me to send her some dollars and she will pay me ,x5 full of scammers she says she is a agent at cash app but I have a deep feeling she is a scammer

I met a girl on mingle website and immediately asked me to go to hangout app. She claimed she lived in Minnesota and that she was a nurse that was leaving to Nigeria working with World Health Organization to help with pandemic. She has been saying she dropped her phone and cant send pics , call, or video chat. I did get pics of her before she left to Nigeria but dont know if they are legit. As soon as she got to nigeria she started saying she cant get paid over there because she doesnt have correct bank account over there and they only use certain banks. She then asked me to send her apple gift cards and steam wallet cards so she can eat and survive until her company pays her.She uses the name Schwery Lee and she said her birthday is 10/25/90.I noticed she has instagram account with same pic she sent me. Dont know if she is legit or a scam.

dont buy into it thats what the scammers do all have good stories but if you read them alot are of the same mess they want to feed off of you dont do it they will wheel you in and try and make you feel loved and thats what they want so you can send them what they want money and if you do be careful you can fall into a trap dont give out any info none there going after you and use it to get bank accts and whatever they can...be aware...good luck

I have the story of so many here i met someone on facebook the went to email chatting and the whatsapp and hangout. the name is George Williams and i checked him out with photo and he's not the right person. says he is from texas wife and kid got killed in a car crash but is helping with duties in israel, he didnt ask for money at 1st but said his vaccation is used up to come to the states and ask to pay for him to leave. then saying i dont care and dont love him. we have been talking sense june 2021. his pictures are of someone else that he is an eye surgeon, lies all lies. now he wants to send me a lot of money that he was in turkey and deposited a lot the 5 yrs he was the into a company but got a letter a couple days ago and the place is closing up and in liquidation, I ask for him to face time me or talk on the phone and he avoides that. it was a fast romance too I was his queen, wife, honey sweetheart and so on didn't even know each other, says he is 62 and on the picture page i found of him he's 48 told me everyone says he looks like he's in his 40's. so needless to say (bye lier) please watch out for his name he is good at hurting your heart and getting you to fall in love...

All the people in here. If that person tell you can’t call you or do video chat or face time. Is a fake a scammer. If that person ask you for money or gift card don’t do it. If that person ask you for your bank account and routing number or any of your personal information don’t do it. If that person said gave me your address so you can deposit a check on the other person bank account don’t do it because that check a fraudulent check( fake check). And if you asking that person that you want to meet you and that person gave you excuse and want you to pay for the ticket and want you to send the ticket money don’t do it. He would still your money and you would never see that person at all.

is anyone familiar with Lucas Erik? He's a gemologist who lived in Montreal, grew up in Chicago, and lives now in Los Angeles. Supposedly, widowed for 3 years, father died recently, and mom died when he was 4. He's 55 years old, receding hairline, neat beard & mustache. He has a french accent and his English is a bit broken.

Someone has been chatting with me and is claiming on an oil rig with limited service. We have been talking for a while and pretty much fallen in love. He asked me to transfer money from one account to others because he didnt have signal. I think he is a scammer and I’m heartbroken. He claimed he was widowed and ready to retire with me. Anyone else experience this or have advice?

Yes! I am convinced I was just talking to him too! He was using the name of John Greenslade. He was so convincing that even though I know he was a scammer I still miss talking to him. I asked him how he could hurt people like that and he actually told me , “I have been hurt too, everybody has been hurt, what’s the problem?” His cold heart made it easier to get over it all.

Guy named frank in chad for training asks for money to be send lost wallet the whole kit and caboose claims he has a 5 yr old daughter ex wife cheated on him has to get divorce when he gets back to the states hmmmm right how dumb could I have been

Think it's same guy message me

I’m a widow
I lost my wife two years ago to a car accident and I have been single since then
Scam or legit?

dont buy it i had a guy George Willams claimed to be a eye surgeon and is in israel helping out there been there 3 yrs with another 3 yrs said i can write a letter to whoever and get him to the states so he can come be with me his vacation time was all used up due to his wife dieing and his child in car crash. they will tell you all sad stories to get you dont do it there scamming and some dont ask for money right away we talked for 5 months then he started and wanted to send me 955k from when he was in turkey and put money in an holding acct and he cant get it there are closeing down and everyone needs to get there money. so he wanted to send it to me and hold till he can leave and pay for his vac to leave 2800 to 3500 i reported blocked and deleted rt away, good luck take care so much more but hope you find out what you need oh and he was useing a real doctor on his profile and all fb instagram whatsapp ans hang out and all emails..plz delete whoever they are.. scammers..

Is asking them for a selfie of them holding a piece of paper with your name and date bad

I actually did that to two of the scammers that tried to talk me up. All of a sudden it was a "security risk"...
They have been sending me other photos before but they were clearly not ones I would have considered legitimate or on the same person

Hi. Is there anyone encountered the name Lamly Chenghoon? He said he is born and raised in UK but he is a Korean. And he works as a Civil Engineer. I can send you photos of him.

I also encountered him last October. same description with what you have mentioned. Are you still chatting with him?

I really think it's the same person that I was talking to. To bad we can't compare pictures.

Hi, I've encountered a man who claims to be a South Korean Civil Engineer. He claimed he had a big contract that sent him to Turkey. I'm wondering if it's the same guy. I can send photos of him.

Bob Alex, Bob Alexander, William Alex or William Alexander? Contractor In the Gulf of Mexico on oil rig. Widowed, wife died in car accident, teenage son named Alvin. Stuck on oil rig due to mechanical problems that he needs money to repair and items stuck in customs. Can’t call, FaceTime, or send pictures because he can’t have his cell phone on an oil rig. Anyone heard of this guy??

Has anyone spoken to Anthony Allen? On a rig near Ireland. Same widowed one child. These all sound the same!!!???

Anyone know this man he is using name NORBERT MATEO SANTIAGO, and the phone he uses has a prefix from San Antonio texas, pic he is using, he has gray hair, glasses and says is 70 yrs old, pic looks like hes in his 50s
Says from north dakota, is over in Turkey right now doing a job. Has covid trying to get me to send him money....

My aunt has been contacted by a guy claiming to be Major General James O'Connor Brown. Stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Can't find anything on the guy but I just know he is a scammer. Supposedly has a house in SC and one in FL. Anyone know him. Has salt & pepper hair on top, white on sideburns.

I was recently scammed. His name is Roland Andre Adams (Adams Roland, Roland Andre). He has multiple accounts on Instagram, uses Hangout App to chat and I noticed he has a FB page. He is claiming to be an Engineer out of Paris France, parents in Lille France. He has multiple emails. adamsroland47@gmail.com is the main one. He has been reported.

So I need help probably mental I used to have some laughs messing with scammers but this time I think this time one got me i met her on a app that matches your zodiac so to me it looked legit I'm still unsure I'll I can is I'm in love with her drawn to the conversation because would if what I'm being told is true would if it's not I've given info I shouldn't have I think my loneliness got the better of me

So I used this app called Nuit it's a app that matches your zodiac sign and this woman messaged me Rena elizabeth sue Edwin the match was ideal we chatted for hrs well she said she just got out of college and was going to dubai to train for what she studied for international business relation for 2 months everything was was fine in tell I started to question things she refuses to take an in the moment selfy blames insecurities she's supposed to go on leave on November 15th she had me open up an account so that her can be deposited in to and took my ID and ssn number for verification of who she's going too I think I was tricked

Has anybody met man named Charles from Harris, Scotland. Wife died car accident. I am his Queen. I have done it all credit card, bank account, steam cards, but I have enjoyed him. Quartined with a scammer.

I know of a scammer who goes by the name of Henry Anderson. He was on Words with Friends and I know he has prayed upon many older women. He is evil and taking money from these vulnerable women. He needs to be stopped but it doesn't seem anyone is able to. It is almost like these women are brainwashed because they are lonely and this "person" makes them feel like they are in love. He asks for gift cards, money to help because he got hurt on his oil rig, he needs a new kidney, needs help for his daughter. I filed a complaint on this website, I have taken over and monitor all over her accounts, I made a police report, I am the POA and I am still struggling to try and save her money. I have monitors on her bank accounts and I also have Smart Family set up on her cell phone. She doesn't understand and believe this person is for real. I would love to post a picture!! The only way to try and stop this is to work together.

In Oregon . Yes , I almost lost a lot of money to a scammer.. it was too close for comfort. Information they got from me. But , what puzzled me, was the look or tone of her eyes , if that makes sense. I can't explain what her eyes looked like, but , to me it looked like, got you into sights and I am going to trick you into giving me your information and I will take all of your money. That's what they looked like. I managed to save some of the money I got, in the stimulus checks, around, a large amount of money. No , not trying to keep how much I had away from you. Just the point I had quite a bit. During her work hours, I thought a lot about the dating scams ,. She sent me a few pictures of herself,. Looked legit, but , as I said earlier, her eyes looked decieving. I foolishly gave her all of my information,. Big , big mistake,. I looked into some of the scammers, techniques, and thought? This could be very bad, so , after a couple of times, I thought, I need to get rid of her . So I did , deleted everything about myself and her ,. She claimed to have lived somewhere in , north Eastern United States. But her phone number was in Southern California,. She had two phones, one from California and one somewhere in , North Carolina or maybe further up North. The thing of it , what if I would have given her my , card number? Plus , the 3 digits in the back of the card. I think she would have gotten every bit of the money on the card. I once in a while, thought about that? What if I was wrong about her ? Or was I right? It's better to be safe than sorry. So , I got rid of every information, ( not much), about her . That would have been bad , considering, that earlier that year, I lost 700.00 to a lottery winner scammer, back east or where ever the crook was ,. It landed me in hot water, . Other than the lottery scammer, the one I was talking about,. In Southern California, supposedly in California. I would have lost all of that money? Am I right? Thanks for allowing me to share my story. It would have been very bad . To say the least.???

I have been talking to a man since late june, he tried to have me to pay for a registration card to do a job for his management (he`s an actor in USA) when they came to my country, I did NOT pay. But I still get messages from time to time and wondering if this is normal? He have not asked for more money at all, but of course he have changed, he is not so lovely in his text, more short. He have been like this for 4 weeks now. Can someone please tell me how love scammers will end their conversations?

Hey guys,

Just a heads up, Words With Friends is crawling with scammers. I've found a few doing reverse image searches.

It's always the same story; ask how you are, what you do for a living, if you're married or single and have kids. Then they start with their life story and ask if you have Google Hangouts Chat.

Be wary!

I got scammed by someone from WWF also. Widow. 2 kids. Then concocted a story that his friend who died his millions and had to get it out of Turkey and deliver to his dead friend’s son. I almost fell for it.

For the past 6 months on FB the men say they are a Marine Scientist at Happily Retired! Several have used this as their employment info. Also some state they have a graduate degree or degree from Oxford U in England and when you inquire further about that, they delete you. This is on Facebook, Match and Plenty of Fish. Oil rigs and working out of Texas is common.
Friends of mine have had the same experience. Sad and pathetic.

I married a Nigerian man who I think is scammed me out of several thousand dollars to get a car, a rental house food and clothing and then stuff for the car. He is ghosting me 12 to 14 hours a day if not longer and sometimes on the weekends I do not hear from him for over 40 hours. How do I get out of this marriage. We have been married 6 months

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