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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 — click on Scams and Rip-Offs, then select Romance Scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Yup, found this clown on pof. Same story. Wasted 2 weeks talking to him till I dug deep and realized he is a scam. Gave me the story he gave you. I got tons of pictures from him but can not find the real guy through google images. He didn’t get no money from me lol

Omg, I just got flowers and chocolates and a teddy bear delivered by the local florist from Adrian Humberto Rivera, I’m freaked out!!

Show pictures. Please

He wants to send me flowers , too. I want to see his photo please

I’ve been speaking to a man called Mark Henry working for the US military but working in Yemen with a 12 year old son. I’m watching for him to ask me for money

Do you have a picture of the mark henry

Do you gave pictures of dr henry

May I ask what the scammer goes by?Does he say he’s in the military deployed to Syria? I’ve been talking to someone for over a year now. He messaged me on Instagram then asked me to go to Hangout. Yes I’m feeling like a fool woman too. Thanks.

That same exact thing happened to me today and two of my friends... We all got together and realized and blocked him... I think he stole someone's photos and is up to no good. He goes by Steve Gonzalez... Same Syria military story ☹️

Does he go by the name Cooper George xvi or Cooper fresh in Instagram

Ladies! I’ve been chatting for. A couple of days to a scammer with the same army/Syria story.
Immediately I knew he was fake and my first question was ‘are you real’ the conversation continued with me pointing out all the mistakes he’d made on his photos/profile. He knew I knew but we continued to chat.. it was hilarious and great fun! Fb blocked him as o guess someone else reported him. Best laugh I’ve had for ages! Like my own little detective game.. such fun! I miss him :)

The same thing with me only Afghanistan. He knew I knew he was a scammer but we had the best time. Hilarious fellow. Then he just disappeared. I miss him. I lost no money.

Hi did he go by the name johnson monland.

Right now I'm talking to 2 guys. One is on an oil rig the other is in Afghanistan and is a Lt. General. Here's a question for ya..... Why would a Lt. General be talking to me? I'm sure he scammer.

I just busted a man, claimed he was a seargent major in us army...found me on is Ryan Luke quinn...I can't find his pics anywhere...never asked for money, was sweet and acted caring...wanted to come home to me when deployment was over...finally got him to email me, located the ip, Nigeria...

I heve been contacted by by a man who says he is in the army stationed in Afghanistan transfering to Iraq. Wanted to send me a big box with gold bars money and supposedly all his military papers and pictures of him when he was a kid. Mind you this was after he tells me he wants to come back to me in the states and marry me and be a family. When he tells me about this box he wants me to borrow money from any one that will give it to me to get it. Conversation were never about "US" anymore it was all about the box and getting the money to ship it. Anyone have any helpful infromation it would be greatly appreciated.

I had the same thing happen to me. This box with his treasures and papers from the military. Money too! He tells me he is sending it to me and that I will be arrested because I am helping him with laundered money. His name is Garth Hestilow. He is very charming and smart. I have been reporting him to the FBI. Also there was a Dr.Wilson Potter and a Priest named Charles Nelson. Plus a company called Excel Parcel in London. I thought these people were liget. I am naming these people on this site so others will not be taken in like I was. When all is said and done I was left with just a heartache and I am trying to recover from it all.

I was just contacted by a Hispanic man 2 days ago named Wilson Potter who says he was adopted, raised by a priest And is stationed in the Philippines right now. He says he’s about to retire and move back to his home in California. Is any of this familiar to you?

I knew Chris Harrison. But he said he’s adopted by a priest. Originally from Berlin, Germany. And now in Florida. He said he’s a electro-petroleum engineer.

I had the same thing only it was a woman it is a good scam she got me good she was very patient

I don't suppose his "name" was Brad Unwin?

Sadly, the same thing happened to me and I was foolish to send money to help one claiming to be a Commander in the US Military stationed Iraq. He wanted me to help him receivet his property until he has a leave in August. He claimed his unit received compensation from their Commander for successful mission and money was stored with a security company in Syria, that was closing down due to imposed tax increases, and all account holders had to claim their property or it will be turned over to the Government. I STUPIDLY agreed to help and in order to get his property the papers had to be transferred to my name which cost $$$. However, it didn't stop there, but more money was being requested for certain certificates for the diplomat delivering the box to get clearance at JFK Airport, otherwise I would be in trouble should the authorities scan the box and my name is listed as owner. Well, I got fooled once, but not again. They even have a fake Anti Fraud Agency with a gmail email contacting me for this money. They can keep the alleged box. I am NOT touching it or paying for nothing else! I have filed a complaint with the FTC and provided all details and contact info.

I’m in dealing with something similar. Anyone got pics the can share?

I have someone I talk claims to be deployed we are connected at times it feels real ...other times I feel its a scam. He's sent me gifts, he's also sent me items to mail to.him.
Who has pictures...lets weed these guys out.

The military never gives compensation for a successful mission. If it’s something big they’d get a ribbon or a medal. No bonus’s in US military. My brother is a ret Commander my son is a chief. Petty officer

The same happened to me in September this year. General Clement Williams. He was orphaned at early age. Lost his wife in childbirth. 2 children in boarding school. Had to get a parcel out of Syria. We have never spoken as he told me they were not allowed to have phones etc. we texted. Promised the world. Wanted more and more money. I refused. Received plenty of photos, obviously they were stolen. I feel for the family of the person whose photos were illegally obtained.

Iv been scammed the same saying.i must spend money over so his treasure box has all his things I'm it his name was jon Bowen bew8he bad news said he was a general ha ha which put for him

do you have his picture? He say the same, gold briefcase with personal documents. Chinese, 54 years old, Doctor deployed to Yemen.

I have the same story, I feel foolish. a man, was on a dating site, he made me be out of the site, wishing a private conversation through text. he said that he is a sargeant major of the army stationed in Afghanistan on a mission. he was telling me beautiful words,
he is trying to make me fall in love with him. he was trying to take my heart, he writes me poems, very sweet, apparently, he speaks good English, he sent me a pic of him as a handsome man surfing, is not with the US army uniform but now i realized that is a scam, he says his name is Thomas Humphrey. i have not given any money. i have not been stolen. Good that I read these comments from you so I am going to block him right now.

How do you locate an IP? Thank you.

Omg me too an oil rig! I the gulf. I know it’s a scam. Named Allen??

I’m going through oil rig scammer too
Said someone impersonating him using his pictures yes I lost money. His name Henry Brown
As daughter 12. Nanny wife died 2016 just got taken off Instagram by the real person whose if he took! But he swears he loves me!
Lives California

OMG that is the story I just got from a guy, Fred William, exact to a T.

so the fred thats been talkin to me says he is from uk, but has lived in California for 28 yrs. wife died last year. he has a contract on a oil rig in the indian ocean. other money he says he has is invested in his company. he seems so nice and his words so genuine. i suspect a scam ...but sent 2 20 steam cards ..but iam not sending anymore. would like to know if he is the same person. i got a picture..he says williams is his last name.

I think we might have been scammed by same person. Can you send me his pic to compare?

Hi becca51, i was also scammed on the early weeks of june this year, his family name was also williams, i met him on skout, he said he was working on an oil company, and he said he sent me a gift pack with a lot of item gifts, and if ever the custom would be asking me clearance fee, he said i should pay just to avoid the delay. So was thing that it wad so different coz i never asked him any gifts, so i confronted him that he is a scammer, he got mad at me, then i blocked him and reported to the app

I think we were talking to the same person he called himself Jack Williamson was a contractor working out Alaska, told me how much money he was going to get once the job was done. Caught him a lie and toasted him I have his licence with photo if you want to compare

Hello. Did he say his first name is Marcos?

Would his name be David Walter William's. Sounds like the same guy whose asking me to send play store cards, itune cards. Now he wants 15,000. To dock a boat so he can retire from his project.

Omg we need to get those guys oil ring widow nine yrs ago 16 yrs old daughter from Italy but lives in Houston Texas. I didn’t send no money
He said his wallet get into the ocean and he had a little accident send me pictures and everything about his Mom, daughter, accident, him cooking barbecue,etc. When I refused to send money he got “upset” bc I didn’t trust him lol. His name ya Jerry Fredrick duende sounds Italian at all. I can show his pictures

Same guy now going by the name of Dr Robert Wilson from Texas originally from Italy working in sudan as a orthopaedic surgeon has a 15 year old daughter, wife did 5 years ago

I am being scammed by oilrigger. His name is Frank Coherl.
IAM 73 year widow. I have sent him money. I want to believe him.
I enjoy his sweet words. I have accused him of being a scammer, tried to break it off several times. I need to see a picture, I ask God to give me strength todo so. Please send picture

My mum has been talking to a guy called Richard but I think he is a scammer he is now saying he has been stopped by Indian customs and has to pay 10.000 dollars to get his so called drill through and needs my mum to help him he says he has a daughter and works for himself etc omg I' angry with these filthy people can anyone help she has got photos of this con man

Yes I would like to see photos. Is the lady name Alen??? My guy is from Belguim

Did this Richard person have a last name? I've encountered a man by the name of Richard Tuan Hieu. Says he's a contract drone pilot for the military. Has a 6yr daughter named Jen/Jenny, nanny named Susan who cares for her while he's overseas. Any of that sound familiar?

Alan? Lost his wife 6 years ago!
Yes he is a scam. From Columbia & lives in Jersey City NJ

Do you know the name of the Lt General you talked to in Afghanistan?

The person I spoke to was Lauren Ediger wanting to ship a consignment box.

Has anybody come across a guy called Micheal Scott? Saying in the UN based out of Syria?

I have been corresponding for 14 months with a UN person supposedly a USArmy Brigadier general named Dave Rogers originally from NC with a 16 year son in boarding school inParis. Until a few days ago he had asked for small amounts on ITUne cards to be se not to his son. Then he hit me with a whammy!! He had come into a huge amount of money which he was sending to me from Syria via Dubai but I have to pay the shipping company almost a thousand dollars to retrieve it. I said NO, find another patsy.


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