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.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I’ve been talking with a guy that says he is a USA soldier stationed in Syria and that he found gold and money while in a mission. He wants my address and phone number so he can send me a box with money along with a ring as a proof of his love for me. But I’m not stupid I told him I’m not gonna do that and that I don’t give my personal information to no one. And I don’t believe that story and that he picked up the wrong woman to scam. I immediately blocked him on Google Hangouts. Just in case he goes by the name of Dave Wellington so please be careful with this guy.

Hi I have just experienced the charm of Dave Wellington. Similar story just that he was sending me some gifts and then it turned out that I had to pay for customs clearance. I can’t believe these scums make a living out of genuine people. Watch out for this guy girls

I just got scam or catfished for $100 . The story was different he was mechanical engineer got a contract for 1.9m in Ukraine. Because he was middle of ocean need a card to contact his son who was studying in Europe. There were several red flags. Tried to google him try to look him up on been verified no such person. Be glad you only sent the $50. I reported him. He even has a Facebook page with pictures of some other person with financial stability. He finally called me had a heavy African accent but the man in the picture was a Caucasian man.
I talked with a FBI person and said its not a Federal crime to impersonate a person but is when they extort money from a person...

On a Jeevan Saathi portal, I found a man a doctor. Must not be American though. He told me that he belongs to USA and is posted in Iraq. He told me he sent some medical equipment and books and asked me to pay transit charges of rupees 2.77 lakhs. I told him I am poor and not able to do it. He discontinued talking.

I met that guy too on IG. Couple of message and we switched to whatsapp. He told me he was norwegian settled in Scotland , mechanical engineer. When he sent the first message on whataspp I saw he used an US phone No. I blocked him on IG and whtasapp . After one week he texted me on whatsapp with Ukrainien phone NO. He claimed he has a contract there. On iIG he uses ID : Michael Blake381

Hi! Do u have a pic of him? Pls send it to me. We have some kind of story. Thank u for the help.

That's the guy I'm talking to. But goes by sambottje. A norweigan who went to school in Scotland but working in Cyprus.

This is the man Ive been talking to. He says he is from Norway, but educated in Scotland. He has a contract in Cyprus...even gave me a Cyprus phone number. I first got a message from him on POF. He goes by bottjesam. He even provided several different pics of himself and has been contacting me for three months. He needs money from me to buy electronics so he can finish his contract there and shower me with gifts.

Omg this is the Same guy he is waiting for money now for a shipment 5000 he is handsome he has alot of tattoos tall I have pictures and ID as I ask for please let's exchange pictures please

Is his name Antonio I been speaking to one also in Norway said he's there for a contract 10 months tall Italian raspy voice always in suits

I've been getting messages from a man who says he's stationed in Norway but will be coming home to Kansas City in April. He's handsome and says he's an engineer but I never let it get any further than that. He asked if we could communicated by email instead of POF which made no sense to me. He still sends me messages from time to time but I just ignore them. I get messages like this about once a week.....

I’m talking to Antonio. Tall dark and handsome. His company is based in Scotland and he speaks with a deep husky Colombian accent. Not asked for anything yet!

Omg yes I think I was talking to the same guy. Antonio frank or Felix

Can we exchange pics? It sounds like someone I am talking to

This gent started talking to me as a surgeon who was from Maryland. He went to school in Belgium but originally told me he was from Aberdeen Scotland where his dad was an engineer. He said he had been working with Doctors Without Borders for thirty years. He had pictures of a doctor, family. He had three kids in picture but mentioned he lost a son at age 25. He had a daughter in grade 9, he never mentioned extra teen.
His name is Dr Lawson Matt and said he graduated from Harvard.
Well I did several searches at Harvard alumni)medical and Doctors Without Borders. No name. Plus his language was not grammatically correct for one of such intelligence. He was snappy with sending YouTube music, however . I never left instragram. Yes his pictures were quite handsome and I could tell he lied about his age. Oh there is a Dr Matt Larson in Florida,
So watch out for a wonderful grin with the IQ like his picture with a stuffed panda
Oh he is in Syria for two more years....as a surgeon

Why would anyone trust a stranger with 2 mill and a lot of bar gold. Why would he trust you to keep it safe for him? You guys have never met right?? I was scammed like this years ago when I was 17. I knew then it wasn't right but was "in love" Never again!! You need to drop this guy like a hot potato and don't look back. That or just play with him for a little bit. But by all means don't send him any money!!!!

This sounds exactly like my Dr. Ben Blake, US Army currently in Syria, bad break up with ex-wife, mother and father died when he was very young. Only living relative in the US took him in and raised him but he died too. No living relatives. Am the only on he has in this world, very smooth. I would get an email and songs everyday. He's in love with me after 4 weeks.
Because the action in Syria is so bad, he wants to send me some of his valuable papers, medals, awards and whatnot. But the UN Mail Man (Jason) a personal close friend is stop at customs in Ghana and needs $9,480 to get this box cleared or it will be confiscated.
Others Names to look out for ladies: Ivano Roko (eharmony) and Brad Babyface Thomas Plenty of Fish

I think I came across a scammer on Instagram. Goes by the name Walker Evans. Pretends to be Christian. Sends quotes and uplifting messages everyday. Says he works for the UN in Syria as an electrical engineer. Is a widowm. Wife died of cancer. English is his second language and Spanish his first. Has two children a girl and boy. Sent me a few pics of him and them. Said he doesn't want me to share with anyone because he is a private person. Quotes scripture easily. Says he was orphaned at the age of 11 and then changed it to 18. Was raised by the Catholic church.

Yeah don't be fooled. I wasn't. I was waiting for him to ask for money. REPORT A SCAMMERS!!!!

please I need a picture I think I'm talking to this guy now

There's another guy that goes by Scott Wilson

I know this scott wilson

Hi Sara do you have a picture of this Scott Wilson?

Can we check if the following name of this person was a scammers and using innocent people names and photo. Thier name was Steven Robert working on Exxon Mobil oil rig . And the other one is Paul Walter said he is captain of cargo ship let me know where to send thier photo to verified thanks in advance

I met a guy by the name of Bernard Weber on Instagram. He says he is in Mexico oil rig.
He needs money to get off the rig. I have sent 1800 in google play cards. Now I think he is scamming me. Does anyone out there know this guy. He is handsome muscles write beautiful emails sends greatbtext messages. Says he loves for for real. I have finally ask for proof. He says to trust him.
I guess I’ve lost my money.

Hi! I also have a guy that says he's a Chief Engineer on a BP oil rig platform " Atlantis" 180 miles in the gulf of New Orleans. He's a smooth talker and he drew me in. Since I was talking to him for 4 months I believed him. He said he was a widow and so am I so I thought we had a lot in common. Then he started asking for Amazon gift cards, then he came up with a story of...how he was contracted to BP that if any kind of equipment breakdown...that he was personally responsible for and he would be sued for 1.1 million $$. He ask if I could rent a chopper to get him off the platform to be able to go to his bank to access funds so he could pay for repairs. It would cost like $12,000 for the chopper. He said as soon as he gets to his bank he will transfer the money right back to my account. Im sure he's trying to scam me! How do I do a Google search with his picture?

I'm also a widow I just got scammed by a guy that said he was on a oil rig in the gulf off. New Orleans he said he was a contrator that worked for Noble Drilling and our stories sound the same. He used the name of Philip Cormack I got shamed FOR $9,000 by this creep I got wise after he wanted me to accept two safe boxes with $2 million USD and they sent them to Atlanta and this diplomat was to contact me and he did and they wanted $50,500 for custom tax and I tlad them I would not pay that to send it back and then he tryed to get me to transfer money from his account to mine and I told him to leave me alone and I contacted the police and the said that this has been going on for almost 4 years with the same pictures. I would send you a picture of him but don't know how

Hi, I´m having the same situation, his name is Jeremy ,we have been chatting for 3 weeks, he wanted to move to hangouts I said no, so we still talking on IG, he said he is in an oil ring in the Gulf of New Orlands. Same thing, he loves me, he will get off the ring next month and wants to come to visist me asap, he has not ask for anything so far, only for my personal phone number, which I gave it to him... he is single, no kids, never been married, no parents, no relatives.... has anyone been contacted by a similar guy??

Yes, my situation is similar and he asked for money. Can you describe his physical appearance and age? How can we share his photos to see if it is the same person.

Thanks,

HI Vmh:
Could you please describe this guy in details, did you send you pictures and video clips?
I met a guy who gave me the similar story.
Thanks

Hi! Could this Scott Wilson be Scot Davey as well? I’m afraid my friends mother is being scammed. I have a photo if anyone interested. He says he is 59 in real estate in New York

Hi Linda I think i fo Too Do u hav abut pic of This person so we can compare and get to the bottom of this big lie? Thanks,

Maam maybe you can help me..I meet and chat to this guy online..He said He is a US military soldier assigned in Nigeria..as our conversation goes..Because I wanted to see him he told me that they dont have access to their account and wants me to pay for his leave form amounting $300..I need an advice on this..Is he telling the truth or a scammer?please help me

I think you and I are talking to the same guy! He sent me pics, he’s gorgeous, said wife died in a car accident and has a daughter, parents are both dead and he claims to be a Sgt in the Marines.

Is it possible to share your pictures

Hi is it possible to share pictures? I have a friend who is chatting to someone who has given her the exact same story and yet she refuses to believe that it’s a scam

I had the same thing happen to me except he was in Africa.. He was very persistent I tried to block him but he showed up somewhere else, On Facebook or Gooogle + .When I refused to give him communication money he went another route and asked for I-cards The communication bill was 385.00

I also may be speaking with this person. We’re you guys ever able to exchange photos?

What was his name

His name he told me is EDGAR SMITH JOHNSON, IN THE ARMY A SERGEANT STATIONED IN Afganistan or NIGERIA

Hey I had the same thing happen To me claimed to be from Africa ..but was stationed in Alabama then he got deployed...to Africa ..I had him face time me once ..it was same guy..but not sure what his true name is ..I talked to him for a few weeks ..then he asked me for money via gift card..that didn't work out ..we didn't talk for like 2-3 weeks then he hit me up again . This time he told me he was deployed..then I offered to send him a care package and he comes back with this long list of things ...some of them electronics

Please don’t send any man money...EVER! A real man would never ask his woman for money. NO NO NO..

Sounds like Jeffrey Scott. Hes been catfishing for the past week. Wanted me to send him 300. Us to get his forms to come be with me forever. Blah blah hes drop dead gorgeous and very smooth. Hes scamming you in have found lots on wev about the real soldier Google him sister I bet it's the same guy

Please can u send me a pic. I'm trying to warn my aunt who is being scammed by Charles . Same scenario. She is now madly in love.

Hi where did she meet l,the charles and what is the family name?

There is another guy that goes with Steven_Hendry_Lucas claiming to be a sgt but when he sent his fake military Id. In his ID it says Cpt.

My wife is talking to a man calls himself Michael Anderson that claims his an engineer etc. And he's a widower and his wife passed away of cancer.

Samuel, I have been talking to someone too like that. I have put a reverse search on his pictures. Most of them pulled up fake. It is so sad to me that someone, anyone, would mess with someones emotions like that.

I hope I'm not involved with this person! Sounds similiar! Different name though.

Hi Anne. Does your guys name start with a K? I have a friend talking to a similar person shares same storyline..but name is different haven’t seen it on here yet. I’m sure it’s the same person or group scamming innocent people.

He’s a scammer. I talked to him too.

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