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.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Omg I’m talking to one guy nowadays and he calls himself major Sean Dunaway. US army currently in Afghanistan. He’s got 14 years old daughter, who is in boarding school in Dublin Ireland. He Irish with USA citizenship

Oh my!!!
The guy I just started chatting with his by Sargent Sean Dunaway...daughter Florence is 7 in Dublin with "Granny" .
Lost wife and 2 children in car accident.
(Rolly eyes)

I have spoken to Sgt. Sean Dunaway for a few weeks now online and he told me he has a 7 year old daughter going to boarding school in Ireland while his mother-in-law is in a nursing facility taking care of her. He lost his wife and 2 children in a car accident. I believed him. He wanted to send me money and to put into my account or keep at my place.

From Dublin Ireland wants me to open a bank account in USA so I can transfer his money to a gold investment client... wife died.

Anyone talking to a Mike Donovan Wood, from SC supposedly stuck in Benin. Muscular and tattoos. Originally from Ireland?

Has anyone actually had a package delivered from the guy ? Mine says he got his retirement pay of over 3 million in cash and wants have it delivered to me to keep safe . He says he is in Afghanistan and its not safe there . He goes by the name of Alex Mills

I met a guy like that goes by Scott Hagglund. In military in Afghanistan. Tried sending me his retirement of 1Mil in a package through Transjet cargo with tracking info website and everything. The package got stuck in Turkey so Transjet Cargo sent me a message asking for payment $800 via Money-gram to process the additional paper work. I wasn’t thinking at the time and sent it to them. Then they asked for more money, I text him back and told him he needed to take care of it. Says he froze all his accounts and can’t access them. I did more research and found that the military provides everything their personnel needs. At no time will they ask for monetary support. So I stopped talking to him.

I'm so embarrassed. My savings and much of everything else, gone because I believed this man, Parker Walker, in Texas., Needed to send me 2 million dollars of his retirement to hold for him.
Has been hell on Earth as the package was supposed to be delivered but I had to pay insurance , then security fees, sent all my money to various addresses in the US and Czech Republic.
I think it's an international crime ring. I'm devastated and ruined.
With God's help I will crawl out of this hole.

Does anyone know a Jeffery Martin's Gill from Keller, Virginia he says he needs money for airfare back 3000 he is stranded in Lagos, Nigeria for 13 years

I am dealing with the same scenario
I've been scammed. He sent me his passport which looks photo shopped can you send me a copy. He claims to be stuck in london needs to pay the country 5000.00 stam duty fee . he goes be dennis jensen.
I just want this man caught.

The guy I have been talking too says he is Italian. Can you send me a pic?

I'm talking to this guy and he said that he is Italian he is working in Africa. He wants me to let him have a package sent to me from Italy he said that it was his dad's that it has gold bars in it and also 12 million in cash and he wants me to hold it for him until his job ends next month

I want to send a pic of my guy. From Dublin Ireland Italian handsome 60's. Starting a gold business in the USA

Hi brenda was his name Antonio s

I have a similar story, only this guy is in Kuwait. Can we exchange pictures?

This sounds like a guy i am talking to now on hangouts, he calls himself Curry Grandi, said his parents died in a car crash in poland, he is an only child, he tried to get me to pay for his daughters nanny as he had to stay on the oil rig longer than expected, the story now is that he needs £4000 to fix a crane, says he lives in Detroit, his wife died, he has a 17 year old daughter who has actually emailed me to say how happy i make her daddy, he had a picture on facebook, grey thinning hair, goatee beard, looked polish, in his late fifties, does this sound like your guy?

I'm sure this is the same guy I'm speaking with please I'm speaking with him now and wants money he said his name was Mike please let's exchange pictures

My guy sounds and looks similar to yours. Mine has a 15 year old boy in boarding school in the UK. He is supposedly getting out the end of March

Have been talking to a guy on an oil rig, lost his wife in 2012, was raised in a orphanage after losing parents at a young age, and has a 15 yr. old son in boarding school in UK. Supposed to be retiring soon, and needs money to have his savings parcel sent to me to the tune of 3,800 pounds. Have only been communicating for 3 wks. Goes by Nathan. 61 yrs. old, beautiful blue eyes. Ring any bells??

I think I’m talking to same guy how can we share photos

I think I am talking to the same guy also. He has blue eyes, white/brown hair, a 16 year old daughter, born in Venezuela, adopted, works on an oil rig and is retiring soon. Says he from Austin Texas, Gorgeous person. But he asked me to marry him already. Interesting coincidence wouldn't you say.

This man sounds very similar to a man I have been speaking to for almost 3 weeks. Ready to retire, 61 one yrs old with beautiful blue eyes. He is now asking for $3,000 so he can leave the oil rig and come to meet me. Is there anyway I can get his picture to see if it is the same guy?? Thanks

This is the same guy for each one of us. I did a image search and he is using pictures of a Canadian Male Model. Same story, came on really strong wants to marry. But let me please beg you ladies: Keep you money in your bank account. This person who is calling you is not the same as in the pictures. The guy in the pictures is innocent and he is not the one who is talking to you. As far as I could figure out, they are a scamming group from Namibia. PLEASE KEEP YOUR MONEY.

Nathan Anlon?? Italian looking handsome 60's . Wish I could post a pic of him

This Nathan has about 10 different names, his names were George, James, Nathan, Michael etc ,met him on words, ask me to open bank account after talking to him for 9 months,itune cards. I told him he is a scammer and didn't send anything, funny how he fell in love in a week. Please be careful

Hello I wanna be sure from this but I met this girl name Jennifer mcmackin through Instagram and she is in the military in Afghanistan and she wants to send me money and needs me to buy her a $50 steam card so she can activate her phone and now also to start a bank online

Yes it sound very familiar but his name is Casey Jones and has short blonde hair.

I have been talking with a guy on an oil rig, wife died 2 yrs ago, has a son in Spain in the airforce. Just asked for $4k. He has beautiful blue eyes, grey hair, five o'clock shadow, gorgeous. How can we exchange pictures?

Hi snnokie i have the same problem with a guy he told me from ur uk under name danny but he told me i was buying for u a nice shoose and bags from brands i see the pic its download from a site Dannywalter49 but i didnt confirm the link in the mail. So the order not complete i ask him te send me western union if u want bank account hahahaha he block me he told me i wana put all ur pic online i ggoogle him he have many profile on romance scammer website

I really wish someone would share photos with me so I can find out if this guy is the same guy I've been talking to. different story but it sounds like he looks the same and as I said before I'm sure they change their stories all the time so I was just like you check it out I mean how can we go about this? please!

Sounds like one I just blocked works as a surgeon sounds black just got transferred to Nigeria retired feb 28 and needs money to get to Arizona he got me for 1100 in steam cards

Hi i meet someone recently with the same background, same with a daughter actually sending me message how happy she is and convinsing me to say yes to hes message proposal..the description you said on how he looks seems the same person , can you send me hes pic to confirm if hes the one...

Don’t talk to this man please! Sounds like the man who ruined my life. I just recently within the last two weeks quit speaking to him and he is making threats to me. I gave him more than 10, 000 that I didn’t have over a years time. He ruined my life. Exact same story different city.

Never mind I figured it out for myself

Does any one no soner hill sounds so familiar all these story’s I hate been scam but I never sent money just my heart

This one poses as a doctor
Send you is so called banking details pin the lot. You open his bank and photo appear with all his Bank account balance.
He ask you withdraw everything.
10 minutes later bank ask your bank details with a heck of a fee you must pay.
If you don't pay scammer cry.
Lol I gave fake bank details
Mister still begging me

He is still trying to get me to pay

Hey Nunnu, I think someone is trying to scam someone I know. He sent his bank account info and she opened it and said there was almost a million in it and she had to take out the money and transfer it to pay for something for him. And it sounds kind of real to me, but I'm not sure. He said it was bank of Germany or something. What was the fee they asked you to pay?

I have been talking to a doctor is is on an off shore rig by Russia made me a beneficiary of 5.7 million dollars with ussr global bank which I cannot find first this fsa told me I had to pay 1700 to get the activation code first not its 12000 his name is dr Jeff bezoar from Egypt wife died has a daughter we talked about the Bible a lot I told him that it was a scam he told me it was back wages anyway I blocked him and got rid of hangouts and BBM he emailed me I won’t answer

Hi I just started talking to a man who also asked to transfer money from his account to mine and very rich as well

I just had the same thing happen. He asked me to open his bank account and transfer it to a man in Texas. It was over 2 million but he wanted to send $120,000 to him for goods he needed for an oil refinery job in Cape Town, South Africa. His name is Richard Wilson. Says he lives in Wilmington, De. And has an office in NYC

Yes I no him I was taking to him just a few weeks back he is asking me for iTunes cards iv stop.takj g to him now

Did he say he was a Dr. working in for the UN in Syria.Was from Sacramento

I have been talking with a man who claims to be a neurosurgeon working on contract with the UN in Syria. He says he is from Austin Texas. His name is William Logan.

Oscar harrison on my words 2 game. Surgeon from Dallas now in Syria. Blocked and reported to Word2

I’ve had a doctor from Sacramento talking to me but he says he’s in Afghanistan
Need money for a book to stuffy for a promotion

It would be helpful if all of you sent a picture of the guy so we all could verify ours

I’m chatting with a guy, Dylan Connor, has fake IG account under Dylan Williams with Italian model photos, not very good ones. Lives SF currently working on a contract in Italy.

That guy your describing sounds like mine. Loves me very much and wants us to be together forever. Got all of that after chatting for a week.

Same here

Pages

Leave a Comment