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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

Interesting, a guy contacted me .Sats he’s wining Cyprus. Needs to pay workers because he used their payroll to pay a hospital bill

Hi. Your story sounds very similar to mine. He is 56 years old. One son that lives in Ohio with his mom. He left for Turkey to work on a solar panel job in August. I didn’t meet him in person but he convinced me to send him money to pay the tax on a job he received pay for. He needed to pay the non residential sales tax. The last part of his scam was last month and asked me to open an account and receive a cash shipment. I said no! After all the money I have given him I’m now struggling and he will not respond to me. Do I share his name on the site or report him?

Report him and block him

Please tell me the name of the scammer you were speaking to... I am afraid my friend may be getting involved with this one now :(

I think this is the same guy. Age 55 -Says originally from Turin, Italy, living in Fresco, California but won a contract to build a rig off coast Istanbul. First said he had to pay bribes to executives on interview panel to beat other ‘tendons’. Then said bank account frozen - can’t pay his hired help- Turkish workers, he is hungry and can’t get back to his sick 18 yr old son. No siblings, dad died and estranged from mum who lives in France! I got scammed into sending £900 for medical bills for son who was seriously asthmatic-then was asked for money to help him get home to son- another (£500)! Wouldn’t send me a picture of the project he was working on. Very handsome, very articulate and intelligent. Very romantic, wanted to marry me very soon ( this would be his last project and make him very rich)! Wanted to buy a house by the sea and horses on a farm.. said wife died of breast cancer 5 years ago - very convincing. Got me to change bank. I gave him my bank details to put the money back into my account. As soon as I deposited a decent sum of money into my account- within HOURS my bank account was emptied - ( three Amounts taken:- £900 then another £900 then the last £450 that was in my account)! Illinois cell number- ( said used to live there). The money was taken by a Mariam Nimaga! The romeo’s name was Roberto Lorenzo Miguel.
Beware, he steals your heart completely..

I have been talking to the same guy only he called himself Roberto Lorenzo Miquel .

Skooter3 - your guy sounds a lot like mine. He's in Turkey building a gas station, goes by donovan fennando and by nelson fennando on facebook where he initially contacted me on 6-4-20. Says he owns the company, Crest Architect CA in Victoria, B.C. Asked me for $45k to complete $200k compensation for a worker that had an accident and died. I sent him nothing and don't intend to. I am stalling him by staying at the coast with bad cell phone reception. He sent many pics of him, his 25 yr old twin sons studying in Florida, and pics of his mom, dad, brother. He turned 60 on 8/5, has grayish hair, dark eyes, says dad is Spanish and mom Irish. He was born in Spain and came to U.S. when he was 7, says he owns a helicopter and is a pilot. Very romantic with I love you's early on, constantly sends poems, says it's me or no one else. Writes a lot about God. What you'll think?

I have a very similar story widow lives in Scottsdale. Got stuck on a construction job in Turkey! Claimed he had to pay fines in Turkey or would be thrown in jail! Highly suspicious gave me the vin to his house and cars nothing checked out. I would never send money and totally cut him off. Jefferey Forsberg Swedish met him on POF

Is his name Wayne Power? Does he have a dead wife Rosie and unborn child. He says he's 56 But I think a bit older. I just joined him on Hangouts and am wondering what his angle is. I am pretty sure he's gonna ask me for money but it is entertaining for now. Will block and uninstall of there's a whiff of a scam.

I also met a guy the same description as you've said. Can I have his name pls?

Your story is very similar to mine. The guys name is Jason Francisco Diamond, we met on IG. Very good looking, said his wife died 5 years ago and has a son in LA....

What does this guy look like. The guy I have been chatting with is bald, good looking, with a son in Long beach and his wife died 10 yrs ago. He is on a job in Turkey but now held up in the hospital from and accident he was in. Needs money to pay off hospital bills so he can get his passport back. Says the hospital is holding it till he pays off hospital bills.

I had been chatting with a guy with similar description; He is bold, from San Jose California, bald and good looking, never married and no kids. He traveled to Turkey or Cyprus supposedly since last week and needs help due to his workers' accident. He said he paid hospital expenses. I refused to give him money and he is very persuasive, he does not take no for an answer. Is there a way we can exchange pictures? maybe is the same guy.

Now the same guy By the name of Jack Adamczyk landed in Qatar. got Coronavirus. ended up in hospital. Then he was staying at airport and borrowed money for hotel from someone. He had no money to pay it back so got arrested. I paid the fine for him and he is free again. But now needs $9000.00 for overstay on his transit visa. So he is living in Qatar airport trying to get me to send him the money. Not sending the money. I have given him enough already. Not sending no more

These stories sound so familiar to me. A man who said he was a USMarine in a mission in Afghanistan has been texting me in Google hangouts. He said he lost his wife and parents and has a son in LA. He's been very kind, romantic and gentle. He sent some pictures and looks very handsome. However I found a person with a different name but same photos on the web. He makes many grammar mistakes at writing. I'm not an English Native Speaker but I know about English grammar that's why he seemed strange to me. He's just asked me to buy him a gift card.

I think it's the same person I was talking with him for a month he ask me for a gift card but I get mad and he told me he love me and he wants to marry me his name is Octavio González I have pictures of him

Block him and dont send money! He is a scam.

can u send me a picture of him because I believe I'm in the same vote

What was his name?

I have been contacted by Us Army soldier Clark Austin with a daughter Hannah @ boarding school . Anyone else talking to this guy?

Sounds similar do you have a picture?

Guy out for solar panel construction and asked $100 guftcard. It took 3wks he asking me money. I asked his full name and received fake id. Could not find anything about him in the web

whats his name did he say hes's from Houston.But working in India,African American with a British accent.

My story sounds very similar to yours
I am embarrassed to admit I gave him some money and he asked for more but I deleted him
I don’t know how these people became so evil

Sounds like the person I was talking to. Had to go to Turkey. Connected on a dating app, I’ve notified them of the fake profile. I did a google image search and found where the photos came from. It took a bunch of photos and tries before google found him. The “real” pictures are of a man from Spain whose profile says is a physical trainer/therapist. Claimed to be Australian. His dad and brother died and mom is sick.

Definitely same guy...used Richard Langham as hie name. We even messaged that person in the "real" pictures he used. Wish we could post photos of the scammers that have deceived us and stole money. He hung onto me for 1 year and thee other person simultaneously for 6 months.

He claimed himself as an architect/ property developer and a private investigator living in LA. Named himself Henry Rich Archer. I couldn't find his photos on reverse search. He said he is an Australian from Perth. His dad and brother died. His mom sick with Amnesia in Australia. His dad left a huge property on Istanbul Turkey and he went to change the property to his name and apparently had to redo the house. After two weeks of finishing the work on it, he had to pay the contractor some money and asked me to somehow get some otherwise they wouldn't give him his passport back. I did arrange some money and sent him, but the bank in turkey rejected the money. I was saved by god. Said that he was 34 yo. He definitely didn't sound like an Australian, but stressed some Australian accent here and there. He also said that his model ex girlfriend cheated on him with her manager. And he kept saying that he won a lottery ticket when he met me online. I was so much into him. He never appeared on video call. I thought i found real love. He made me feel so good about myself and when I realized all of these in was left heart broken. However, he once said he won a huge contract worth half a million and he called me on Skype, during then, I felt like a video of the person he claimed to be was played for 30 seconds with no audio. I can say that because it replayed at one point. While I was finding ways to help him, I called the turkey Australian embassy to help him and they told me about similar incidents and ghats when I realized this is a scam for money and he also said that he contacted the embassy but couldnt get any help. But the embassy did not get any calls from the person named Henry Rich Archer. God was definite with me. When I asked him to go to yhe embassy to get help, he got mad and me and broke up with me. It's been a week for today he did that. I feel stupid to have dreamy about a life with him. He even said that after he returned to LA, he will find a 4 bedroom house for us to start out life and marry in India and have babies. He sounded so realistic while he said all that. I cried after realizing it was fake and coping up from the disappointment.

Dont feel bad about yourself many people have fallen for this including myself. The universe was looking out for you and putting roadblocks in your way. Block him and move on.

OMG!!!! That is the exact story I was told. The only difference he was from South Africa and he’s name is Gorden, he has an accent and he sounds so real, I’m talking to him for almost 3 months every single day. When the exactly the same thing happens to him like you described, I send him money, but he still didn’t come. The man is gorgeous and so professional in what he does. He make feel so special, he never missed to call me or text me., he sounds so caring and loving.

They are very good at what they do that’s why so many people are scammed by them. They are very attentive and loving and say all the right things. He will keep stringing you along and asking for money and he will never show up. It’s a scam and he is not the person in the pictures or messaging or calling and it is all lies. Block & delete him and then heal your heart break.

I have a friend that is a widow, lost her husband in March. Anyway she has been talking to a guy his name is Leonard, in the service over seas, he sent her $3000.00 she put that in her bank, than he paid off her car, he tells her he loves her, calls her though out the day, he said he is an orphan, his parents died in a car crash when he was 7. I have told her it's a scam and to stop talking to him, but she doesn't see it. Has anyone talked to a guy by the name of Leonard? Oh he says he's from Utah

I'm talking to Leonard. Spanish, from Madrid. Parents orphaned. Son 17 years living with head master in st. Diego. Right now doing cancer reaserch in Malaysia.
He's using US phone number. Couldn't find any info. Of him. He said he's very reserved. We're talking second week. He loves me, he will marry me. He's rich. Will take care of me.

Sounds just like my guy. I have been talking to him for 4 months. He was originally in Houston and then he was in Maryland for work. When he was suppose to come back he was sent to Turkey for work. Even sent me his work confirmation email. Told me to go look for houses. Sent me pizza and flowers. Has two daughter (Amanda and Noel). Mom abandoned them. They are now with his sister in Australia. Set up a crypto wallet for me and put in $100. I won’t touch it. He even sent me his bank account info so I could transfer money for him to businesses he needs to pay. When he was suppose to come home from Turkey his bank accounts got locked up and he needed $40k to finish the job. He has been on me non stop to get him the money. I won’t do it and he claims I don’t love him like he loves me. Jeffery LucaMoore. Anyone else have this guy.?

I think we got the same guy. I have pictures of you want to share. Name is a little different but I caught him changing his name. Lucas Walter or Lucas Johnathan or Lucas Smith. He claimed to have bought an a car for me, and sent gifts in the car from Turkey to the states. He used a website that seemed convincing at first. But when I got a call to pay $5,800.00 I knew it was a scam. It broke my heart because I was emotional invested. But, he turned really mean and rude saying I didn’t love him and I ruined his life because of it. Oh and he’s rich, supposedly. He also pushed me buying Bitcoin,

Did you ever get to meet this Jeffery Lucamoore? Or was this online. I am actually in Houston and supposed to meet him today. I did a search on him because he honestly just seems too good to be true.... and this is what I found....

Jeffery Lucamoore is a scam!!! Don’t give him money! Block and delete right away! I didn’t want to listen and list money and my heart! Little by little he will convince you to give him money. He will promise you everything! Run away and save yourself.

Hi!
How did you find the real person on pics, this spanish therapist? I want to identify "mine", please

DID YOU FIND OUT HOW TO GET PICTURES IDENTIFIED I need to know how to do that

George Benton, 63, bald, accent. 6’2” slender. Says from Denmark
Driilling eng currently in Dubai UAE
Had explosion on platform. Messed up computer. Emergency please help. I did. Very pleasant, loving
Explosion, bandits, messed up rig sent to Hong Kong with shieks for new drilling head. He is expected to pay half of cost because he was manager of platform site. 442,000. Had to borrow. All friends himself now tapped out. Im in for the computer, He needs 50,000 port charges in dubai . . To ship back rig to dubai. Before he can ship He stalls gets port guy to say its paid they get him sent back via Interpol.
Contact is with UAE oil company that does exist. He now owes port guy 27,000. Sent money but some snafoo last 19000 didnt go. Now taken to jail in Abu Dhabi Due to port charges not arriving. Now has appointed attorney needs bail money.
Anyone who knows how to photo id

I was in Iraq for a whole year and we still had phone and internet access, so don’t believe that

This 52 y.o. guy claims he is doc with WHO stuck in Iraq now cos about to be sent on dangerous mission. Widowed with 2 kids and mum. Our 22nd day and already saying he is disappointed that i can't pay 13k euros to fly him out on early retirement cos his joint account is locked due to female friend trying to steal all when he is in Iraq. 9 more weeks to go before contract ends. All sounds too convincing, but you get a bit weary when all poems, writings he sends you are copied and pasted from online sources. I am telling him stay on till contract ends; nowhere is safe.

I have met a good looking man that I'm his queen within a week. not even sure he knows my name. says hes traveling anesthesia nurse. wants me to recieve money from cash app. wondering how yours ended up

I met a guy sounding very very similar to this- very hot with an incredible body! Can only text cause of his work in Turkey. I am pretty sure he is real, but doesn't change the fact that he could be a scammer! I have pics- do you? Brown hair and eyes. I even got a video of him, but supposedly got in trouble. What was his name? Please respond!!!

I'm pretty sure the guy I've been corresponding could be this guy. He goes by the name, Joon Seong Wang. He also send a video while in Turkey and got in trouble. I have lots of pics. Have tried to do reverse image lookup but have not found anything online. He has stopped texting since I refused to send iTunes card and accused him of being a scammer. He said he was hurt by my words when he's just asking for a favor from the woman he loves. I'm trying not to laugh, but it's funny.

Is he always in his car or at Starbucks in the pics??

Hi, your story is exactly the same as mine. He said he was an US Navy, in late 30, super handsome with good body. Their parent died in ghastly car accident, 60ft tall and confessed very deep love for me within only days and promised to marry me in my country!? He said he was deploying to turkey to peacekeeping mission and he succedd to save the live of the oil company boss from kidnapper and the man reward him $423.760 and wanted me to make him a new online bank account using my email because he forgot his own's email password. But the number of money that the teller agent deposite is not the same ammount of it, i dont know what will he do for the next. I am still talking with this "suspected scammer". His name is ALEX MICHAEL. Is it the same guy? Hope to get your reply please

Hi, your story similiar with mine. Do you have a picture of him? Or does he had some tatooes on his hand (full on the right and a half on the left hand)? Because now i still texting with him and i am afraid if he was a scammers.

Ailurophile I have the same description of the guy I've been talking too since July 20th...handsome, very muscler, has one half sleeve of tattoos and the other arm is a full sleeve of tattoes...he claims to marry me once he is home in November..he is in south Africa on a peacekeeping mission...we met on facebook...then he started sending pics of him and his 3 kids...he says he is divorced..his wife sold all his stuff while he was deployed in Afghanistan..sold his truck and valuables...and left the 3 kids with the nanny on base...he says he is from Austin texas...he supposedly had a birthday September 27th so now he is 44...and his dad died in a car crash and him mom died of cancer...their names was Hensley and Karen...his dad was African American and his mom was Jamaican...he grew up in New York and when his parents died he joined the marine and got married to his ex wife at 22 and she was 19 ..her name was jane....he says he has a daughter name Kayla who is 8 a son name Jack who is 6 and a daughter stormie who is 4...and goes by Chris benjamin...i have pics of him that he sent me...and confesses his love for me...and that he makes sure im eat...and taking care of myself...talks about God and writes me poetry....he supposedly lost his wallet right before he was deployed to Africa and his bank had to freeze is account do to him losing his wallet...then asked me if i had cash app...i sent him $50 once to someone cash app cause his card was in his wallet...so i screenshot the name of the person I sent the cash app too...and said he needed it to pay for his connection to keep in touch with me...but i realize the military has free wifi wherever they go...so now I've been playing him lately and not talking to him and he is telling me he can't concentrate over there cause I won't talk to him..he is saying he is dying not able to talk to me cause i won't respond back to him..asking why I'm doing this to him what did he do.wrong...let me kniw if anyone is having the same story

Sounds like the same guy I’m talking to now...Do you have pictures of him

What was his name

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