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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

Do you have pictures?

I have been talking to a French guy with a 17 year old daughter who is studying to be a doctor at a boarding college in Paris and he badly injured his hand in a accident on board the oil rig where he was a supervisor engineer but has scince retired he has a Scottish terrorist called jack

Yes I have pics, how can I send them to you?

Is he using the name Marcus Williams

I was talking to Marcus Williams, does he have salt/pepper beard, shaved head, pretty smile and a sweet talker? Do you know him?

I've been talking to James Williams since last october. Sounds like your guy. I had a feeling early on he was a scammer but I kept going. He eventually gets into your heart. Is supposedly from Denmark, knows a lot about it. Has told me conflicting stories along the way. Loves me and has plans for us. He tells me I make him smile. We laugh a lot together. But I have no idea where he really is and I keep telling him that I am going to find him. I'm having a difficult time letting go of him. And yes asks for cards and then will keep having weird situations come up and asks for money

I am responding to Terry & her comment on June 5 2021. Terry, I was just contacted yesterday thru FB, got a friend request from a guy named James Burr, also from Denmark, said he was a Surgeon in the military of sorts, stationed in Ukraine for 2 years, has been there 1yr now. He said he came to the US when his parents died, with his uncle, and he is a widower, lost his wife & 2nd in childbirth. but has 1 son in Texas at a boarding school. He asked my age, if I was single, kids?, what my job was, asked for my email, he wanted ME to email him thru google hangout.. Something is not adding up.. Does this sound familiar in ANY way to your James Williams guy??? Just wondering... Would love to know

He sounds like the person I am still talking too ,met him playing scrabble and got talking lost his partner in childbirth got 1 son age 8 back ho e in Ohio while be is in Afghanistan working for world health organisation he is a Dr, tells me how much h he loves me and planning coming to meet me

Hello, I'm talking to a guy who also has been requesting money saying he is a young surgeon working in world health organizations (W.H.O) and that he has lost all ID'S, passport and birth certificate due to a bombing on his first night in Afghanistan. He says his parents died when he was 18 years old and he is the only child. Everytime he is about to make a step to travel, an accident happens and something about the embassy that almost detained him. He goes by the name Martin Moore. Please, let me know if this is somebody someone has been dealt with too. I have photos of him to share.

This sounds like the man I’m talking with but using different name

What is his name. I have been talking to a Marine Engineer. Was a real sweetheart with beautiful words. On rig in the Gulf.

Do you have a picture of him?? I see people asking this but no response as to how to get pics shared??

I have been talking to a guy very good looking, marine engineer in the Gulf of Mexico,great with words,sounds the same as you described but has a 21 year old son going to college in California asked me to send his son 100.00 for his birthday, when I refused he got very mad,so I blocked him

I have been talking to a marine engineer, say he work on oil rig north sea near Ireland, he beat Romeo in Shakespeare, I can't work out if he is fake. Can you exchange picture. Santiago Maya

Stop and think about this, how many people have said in their comments that they talk to a guy on a oil rig in the gulf of Mexico, there’s only two in the whole gulf I have talked to at least 15, do all these guys work on the same rigs, I don’t think so, so if they say they work on an oil rig they Are lying does anyone out there know a Liam Andersson, if you do please let me know I’ve reversed imaged Him but came up with nothing, saw him on another site, he told me he was 52, father of one daughter, which we did video chat and his daughter was with him but he kept saying he couldn’t hear me I went through that once before, sends me flowers, a teddy bear, but I have talked to so many scammers, they don’t realize it but they put up a lot of red flags, when they tell you the same thing that other guys have, it’s so sad, and I’ve turned four or Five guys in because they have four different names on Facebook dating with the same picture, and they tell me after checking them out that there’s nothing out of the ordinary for it, that they are not a scam when I know they are, don’t send anyone money if you don’t know them personally thank you for listening

Yes, I had contact with Liam Anderson. However, he was single, a native Swede living in the US, turned 59 on 2/12/21 and was currently a diver on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
I met him on the dating platform Tinder and was "addicted" to him for 2 months until he needed money. I have some pictures of him or the person it should be.
I did not suffer any financial damage, just emotional.
I can only warn every woman against these machinations. Look very carefully what you are getting involved with, never reveal too much personal information before a first meeting! And if the case occurs - do not take it personally, the "victim" does not matter (whether you are short, tall, fat, thin, long or short hair, athletic or unathletic, sexy or housewife, etc.) - it is only about getting your money!

I would be interested in seeing his picture also. I didn't meet the person who I got scammed by in a dating place he just appeared out of Facebook. I have the picture he used.

Ive just blocked a marine engineer scammer from Manchester UK. Widower and lost his only son in a car accident. Texting me morning noon and night. Declaring his undying love in a matter of days. On his way to Australia by boat. Something went wrong with the ships engine and also pirates in the area. Everyone had to abandon ship except him because he was director of operation and had to stsy with cargo. Concerned important documents and the money in his cabin locker that he was going to buy oil drums with would get stolen by pirates. Wanted me to look after money for him and requested my details as some carrier firm could forward them to me and he could get them from me in 2 weeks when he comes to my country. Don't know what details as i blocked and reported him on fb, messenger and whatsapp without reading any further.

Hey Lucylou...I believe we spoke to the same man. How long have you been chatting with him and did you get a video chat call?? I got one and it was short and no sound. He said it was because of the Waves and connection. I'm aware of fake videos that can be made to look like anyone. They are usually short like 10 seconds. He is about 52 gray hair very nice looking, very attractive crazy handsome blue eyes? Very sweet talker and sends love videos. Says he is a captain on container cargo ship, goes by Eddy James Mike Wayne? He has two children, daughter 17 and son 14 and widowed, his sister watches them while he is out on containership. He told me part of engine broke and they could not move forward without the repair part flown by helicopter...lol Then asked me to access HIS bank for him and transfer money to seller of the part. At that point I was OUT!!! We really need to exchange photos, how can we do this?? I appreciate you posting this info as it will help my brain tell my heart he isn't real! I knew things seemed off and no way it could be true. I just kept playing along while enjoying the attention and was waiting for the money transaction question to drop....and it did!! What name did he use with you? I am going to have some fun with this one before I block. lol Sad there are people in this world this shallow.

Heh Lucy a, I believe I talked to same man as well with same story, reeled me in real
Good and then wanted me to lay to ship his retirement and gold here and we’d marry. My son looked at Evergreen and money transfer and immediately told me it was a personal acct in Turkey, $8800& I never did it and I was the worst person , you do t care, you really did not love me, demanding, it was heart breaking for me, will not accept friend request I do t know!

I was given very familiar story. He is a smooth talker, but I think there are a couple people that do the talking on text. Some days the grammar is good and some days its poor, sometimes doesnt feel like I'm talking with the same person. Wished we could share pics on here. Would be interesting to see if pics match up to stories. lol Bottom line is these scammers should be ashamed! They will have to answer to God for the people they hurt, I don't care what their religion is...they will have to answer for what they do.

This person speaks with perfect grammar, then the next time it’s like he hardly speaks English . His name is Waktins Tucker. Yes the first name is correct. It is waktins. I don’t know how to do a picture. Copy and paste?

He's definitely a scammer. A pal of mine has had three guys tell her that their on an oil rig on either the Gulf of Mexico or the Mediterrean Sea. He's not real and move on!

I just met an oil rig engineer so he claims and Gulf if Mexico from San Jose, California
We only spoke for few days but immediate plans for future, in love and has no living relatives or friend he can trust money management, I’ve hear they talk to multiple women and I need to learn how to do reverse image, some thing does not feel right

my friend is also talking to someone "on an oil rig" - Lucas Garcia, obviously fake name. I can't get her to stop talking to him!

How about a Lucas Enzo - does your friend have a pic and how did she meet him?

I also spoke to Lucas Garcia, he later rocked up same photo different name sorry I can't remember his second fake identity, if I remember I'll let you know I've had 49 scammers, only 3 were successful. Show your friends this they hit me to the tune of $15,000 but another one wants $7,600 because apparently US Military like to freeze soldiers and Orthopaedic Surgeons of their pay and want them to do the impossible and pay for their replacement person. But of course they can't can they they need our magic money to do that

What was his name?

I'm also talking to a guy that claims to be a petroleum engineer, shortly after we started talking he said he was being sent offshore and is now in the gulf of Mexico, hes been there for a little over a month. Anytime I questioned anything dealing with the idea he could be a scammer he would get upset. But then he wanted to pay off not only my credit card but also my student loan, so around $12,000 of debt, without ever having met me. He emailed his "account manager " about it, I asked him to send me the emails...which made him mad but he did it. And they seemed fishy as the account managers email was through gmail, not a company address and the emails between them were not professional at all. Sometimes this guys English is really good, other times I have no clue what he's trying to say. Like during the whole talk of getting me $2000 to pay off my credit card, saying that I would get the money and then a payment plan would be set up. Eventually I found out that he meant that I'd get the money for my credit card debt and then money would be put into my account monthly to help me pay other bills. He didn't want my bank info, but instead wanted to use cashapp....which I dont have. I refused to let him do this, told him I would be more comfortable having this conversation after we met. We had the talk 3 times, always the same argument. Then a couple days before Christmas he told me that he had the day off and had a problem that he hoped I could help with. He wanted to update his itunes list but couldn't access his account. Which he told me previously that he didnt have a subscription currently. I asked if he could just go online to do it, or use amazon to purchase a card, or if his account manager could help. Conveniently his account manager is on vacation, and his payment was denied on apple. He wanted $100 gift card...I told him no and ever since then hes been moody and says that things are good between us, that we are different, and doesnt get why things will be different when we meet.....he had told me previously that as soon as he got home he was coming to meet me, now he says he doesn't know if he will come at all. I told him a friend of mine was recently scammed, the guy wanted to pay her credit card and then give her money monthly, and he told me he doesnt need to know about what happened to my friend. I feel bad not believing him, but I know that I have to protect myself. I've even asked him how he can't be worried about me.... this guy claims to be Stephen Robert (no middle name), said he was born in Wyoming but raised by his dad in south Africa and moved back to wyoming when he was 20, because his dad died. He says him and his mom dont really speak because she hates his job (his dad died doing the same job) and he has no other family. First he told me his bday was dec 24th, I wished him a happy bday and now suddenly his bday is dec 28th and hes going to be 39. He claims that he cant use his cell phone while offshore, but has been sneaking using it to talk to me. Yet I tried calling his number one day and it's a Google voice account, which can be used by a phone or a computer.

This sound like the same guy I have been speaking to since January calling himself Richard clooney 39 this year. His dad died when he was 4 only child. His mom is South Africa and his dad from Dallas. They lived in South Africa for 20 years after his dad parents didn’t like his mom. Told me he really likes me and wants to marry me. Wants me stay with him in April but I explained can’t as flights are difficult due to Covid so I said I will come out in July. Calls my daughter his daughter already taking on his roll as dad. Said he will pay my debts off and pay for my flight as I’m his partner and he will cherish me forever treat me like a queen. Will do anything for me? Has anyone else had this ??

This sounds a lot like my guy. They all have the same story. Mine is good looking with salt and pepper beard & moustache, receding hairline, other pics are without facial hair, with a girl in mid teens, long dark hair, hazel eyes and long hair down or in a top knot. Got me off FB dating app immediately. Wanted me to go on Hangouts but I said no. He goes by Danny Zheng. Says his "daughters" name is Sara and she goes to private school in Pittsburgh. He's supposed to be half Chinese and half American. Mom and dad, who was in construction, died long time ago. Says he'll be 60 on April 24. He's also a construction engineer. Widowed ... wife was in car accident. Only child with one daughter, no other family. Drives a Tesla he crashed, showed me pics of his busted up face lol. Same spiel. Travelling to Turkey this week, landed a big million dollar contract in Istanbul. Sent me a copy of the certificate and "proposal" from from Wiki Turkey with his 900k+ salary for 10 days. It was pathetic, like a third grader did it. I'm waiting for an emergency to pop up. He has asked me a ton of questions, if I own my house, car, IF I HAVE A BITCOIN WALLET, and who my bank is. I lied. Nothing is consistent, sometimes he writes very eloquently, other times he sounds like a foreigner. Someone asked...why do they disappear on the weekend? Idk...I'd like to know because he vanishes on weekends too. Love bombing is unrelenting and he wants to marry me. Never met him. Lives in Allegheny County Pittsburgh. It is a Pittsburgh number...though probably a spoofed number and burner phone. Other guys on Tinder and FB dating on oil rigs, or contractors/engineers, or Dr.s at the UN or elsewhere. Either Orthopedic Surgeons or Nephrologists. Never came across so many widowers. Also, he speaks with a thick accent. Lived in Norway and Latvia. Don't feel bad, but don't let any of them fool you either. I have this guys number, literally and metaphorically. The Turkey connection makes me think this is a ring/operation working out of there.

I think the oil rig guy has been talking with me as well. He always called me sunshine. That is why your post caught my attention.

Lolll same here!! Steve too works oil rig petroleum engineer etccc np family,,but I play with him,, I spot them as soon as I see their pic! They never can video etcc .I find it funny..¥I never ever get caught by them!I smell them from far away They are pathetic

Rig in Gulf seems to be a good way to get in trouble. Anyone have a name. I think I met one.

Anyone being contacted by Daniel Bucky, 51 years old, of course a Chemist, wife died 10 year's ago

Do you have a pic? My friend is being possibly scammed by a doctor, about same age, dead wife

Hi whats the story behind your friend who is possibley scammed by a doctor. Pls help me i might also being scammed

Kindly send me a picture if it possibly
scammed by a doctor, dead wife and 1 son

What is the name he's going by? I have a guy who's supposedly a doctor working on a contract in Alaska by the name of Alex. He's mid 40's, muscular, mustache with beard and is extremely handsome!

Morgan kelvin , I hav pics

The Petroleum Engineer calls me "Sunshine" as well. This has gone on since early January, 2021. He goes by Daniel Williams. Claims he is from San Jose, CA. Daughter cared for there still. Working North Sea platform. Desperately in love with me.

I had an oil rig guy.... Sunshine was frequently used..... Check out his photos on reverse images. If they're actually paulo brunetti, we had the same guy!! I never sent money in any form and caught him out on several lies. Got bored and blocked him.

What is that guys name on the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. I have been talking to one on an oil rig and he asked me to get $400 iTunes cards, I didn't, but now asking for Steam Cards.

My offshore oil rig guy is David Scott. Let me know if you’ve been contacted by him. Part of me wants to believe he’s real but the other part says he is scamming me!! I need to know!!!!!!!

Hi. Same here, but was not fooled and never sent money. Does the name Gabriel Morrison sound familiar? This was months ago, and he is probably trying to scam someone else.

Gabriel Morrison, sounds like the guy i am chatting with. Widow, orthopedic surgeon, has a son in boarding school? Tell me more please, I have thinking he is a scam for a while now. Thank you ...

Sounds like the bloke I blocked yesterday. Orthopedic surgeon working in Syria has a boy in boarding school even gave me his son’s email address

OMG! I talked to an orthopedic surgeon stuck in Syria who has a son in boarding school. He tried to hit me up for $4400 to get out of Syria but I blocked and deleted him. Sounds like the same guy. I had to block him on Skype that he liked to chat on.

please what is his name my heart just dropped to my stomacheor a picture

Sunshine was this man asking you for $50,000? because if this is the same man? he uses Google Hangouts? I do have a pic of this man if it is Matt Low

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