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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.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

My guy called me his queen, honey, babe, his wife etc.. he wanted apple cards, I sent one $50. He keeps telling me he needs to replenish minutes on his IPhone..load of crap. Along on a fishing trawler, needs 43k to replace a fishing robot. Keeps bugging me for it. Also said he has 3million dollars in an acct in UK, and needs to pay taxes on it before he can withdraw it..(fake acct) a real liar. He went by the name of Ben Richard. I contacted Instagram to report him as a scammer, and his profile was removed. Now goes by Wilfred James Todd. Stay away

My scammers name is Gabriel Entrekin. I have all the same red flags, although this is the first comment that I’ve been searching for. Gabriel said he has 5.5 million in cash to deliver to my house. I started the process with him until he told me I had to pay the shipping charges if $550.00 before they would set up the delivery. This is where the rubber met the road. I told him it was his responsibility to pay these charges. He then turned from the sweetest charming man to a mad man. Guilting and shaming me for not helping him. I was hurt as I believed all his wonderful promises of our good life together. This man moves fast. It only took him 8 days to put the scam out there. He told me earned this money delivering hospital equipment. He was retiring and coming home the end of July.

Still a scam right? I’ve never been through this before. If the box of cash was sent (from Ghana), he would be able to come to me by this coming Thursday. He said his bags were already packed. He was planning to fly into DC to pick up His 14 yr. daughter from boarding school. Stay overnight and fly them both home here to meet me.

Need advise. Have not read a story similar to this one.

Clmoz, Gabriel has just recently contacted me also. And I already told him that others have attempted to scam me and to not even try it. He is being charming so I am sure him asking for money will come soon. Don't send him any money. Let's both find a real man and dump this ass.

I have the same one but goes by a different name and used honey , Queen, babe, says he loves me so much. Been chatting for 2 months now and says he has 5 million in a UK bank, calls me his wife and made me beneficiary and needed to move the money from the off shore bank to my account and wanted to help me and wants to retire and marry me . I started the process and then I got the email from bank asking to deposit $2800 to activate to the gold account, that’s when I stopped. Asked him why should I deposit that money and he says it’s service fee. I asked him why should I pay service fee when he has so much in his bank, he can pay it. I don’t have any money. He got mad and stared to say all kinds of stuff . Saying I never really loved him and so on. Says he has a daughter with a nanny and his late wife died in a fatal car crash. Well , he ain’t getting any money now

I just met one. He said he was a petroleum engineer and his wife cheated on him. A nanny took care of his daughter since he worked abroad. Several days after he texted me, he began to call me love, baby, queen and he said he closed online dating account for me (actually he blocked me so that I couldn't report him). He said he was an orphan and then he said his parents were retired. I found something wrong with that. And whenever I asked him for a picture, he would get mad at me. Now he is persuading me to invest bitcoin. He just sent me a link today which I didn't click. Really horrible.

Hi Amy, this is the exact story I have been told by a guy who started messaging me on twitter and then straight away started messaging me on Google chat. His English is terrible and I have asked him to send me photos of him and his daughter and he gets so mad. I know he's a scanner and I'm just waiting to see how far he'll go. His name in this scam is Stephen Hompton from Youngstown Ohio

Interesting. A guy named Matthew Alberto attempted to scam me. Said he was from Youngstown, OH. Then moved to Broomfield, CO. Said he lived most of his life in Rome, Italy. I caught on pretty quickly-didn't get scammed out of any money. Said he had two kids: Connor and Audrey.

That sounds like a guy with same story about the family but different name that works for government in a secret mission somewhere, but same story, can you send me the pic so I can compare, he contact me by the social media, let me know, Share pics if you can , thank you

Healthy girl can you send me a picture

I got the same contact. Said a nanny takes care of his 8 year daughter. His story was his wife died during childbirth of his second child. Thomas Walter. Said he was born in France, and moved to D.C. when he was 7. Started with the honey, dear crap within one day. I have deleted and blocked him.

I am talking to this guy name Chris Thomas and he said the same thing that you did about the wife and daughter and nanny. Do u have a picture. I have one and I would love to know if it's the same guy.
Please reply thank you so much.

Worried are you still talking to this Chris Thomas? Do you have any pictures

Yes I’m still talking to Chris Thomas. Does anyone have anything they can share,

I talking to a Chris Thomas too, what does he say to you. That he needs money for a broken crane. And he has to fix that to finish his contract?

I can share pictures with you and compare if this is the same guy. If it is I got much to tell

Hi I have been talking with a Chris Thomas and he knew stuff about me so thought I was talking to my childhood sweetheart but he was a fraud. Said his wife died during childbirth blah blah. Thought I was helping a honest friend but he actually was cheating me the whole time

Do you have any pictures of Chris Thomas to compare. Because I got the same story

Hi Julie,

yes I have pictures he told me he was a doctor and even till today he is playing me saying he is now sick in hospital and needs money so he can leave and has bills.
The pics he sent me are fake and videos are fake and he stole my childhood friends identity.

Hi, beingscammedbigtime, got some pictures too, he tells me he is on a oil rig, wonder if he is the same? Is there some way we can share pictures? Or do you have any mailadress he use?

I had the same thing Chris Thomas told Me he was a doctor and sent me photos of items He sent me and then the money payments happened. Does anyone have a picture of him or his Facebook Profile ID Info

Bigscammed can we try too compare the photos in some way

I sent a comment with a email i set up but looks like we cannot share that info online as that message has not been listed here. I am not sure how to get you a contact info point so that we can compare images. How is he talking to you. Email, mobile phone, whatsapp or messenger

Beingscammedbigtime, to bad we cant share in this page. He use hangouts and gmail, talked to him in the phone many time. Avoids every question and get hurt when I tell him that I know he use a scamprofile. 52 years born 5 february. Wife dead in a carcrash. Have a son. Seen all the real pictures from the pictures he use from the real mans photos and his family. And he know that but dont admit anything. Lives in NJ, now in the gulf of mexico, need to fix the crane to complete his work

Hi julie, yeah mine was wife died in childbirth and has daughter all images are off the fake profile he used. Told me he stuck in india fixing our package and money issue but now he has medical bills and immigration issues wont admit to me either that he is a scammer. Still acts so nice when he calls me

did he say he was structural engineer by chance???

i’m looking into someone who may be a cat fish - Larry Dean. structural engineer. ??? reply asap pls

Yes an engineer

Could he also use the name Ryan Taylor, he is widowed. Has a daughter named Michelle. He is in Cologne, Germany. Build a hotel. Suddenly, became ill. He says he lives in Houston, Texas. Went to NYU. Has no family. Very good speller, punctuated well. Very, very articulate.

I’ve been talking to a man sounding just like your man he said he’s a marine from Italy has a daughter in boarding school Sonia

Im speaking with scammer im sure, says hes a diamond trader, daughter caller Sonia, says he's Italian calling me babe Queen,,, wants to be with me forever, he says he's going to Poland to do his deal but hasn't asked for money yet...waiting, going by name of Diego also has cat called Sassy!!!

I've been talking to this guy named mark says he lives in texas but just went to poland for a 2 month contract hes a marine engineer he has a son named Kelly in Africa in school his wife died 4yrs ago to cancer he calls me queen wife his love says he will marry me when he gets back in the states he asked me for $ yesterday to replace the mud thing for oil I told him I dont have $ he knew that I'm about to loose my truck he said hes gonna get fired I told him I cant help now he thinks I'm not being honest with him and calls me more than he used to I have a lot of pics a very handsome guy and a birthday I cant find him anywhere on google I'd like to find this person I'm still talking to mark I want him to tell me the truth even though he won't have any remorse

Hi. I was talking to a man named Mark...similar story as yours. I gave him money said he loved me. Cut off contact and now have people watching my house. Can we exchange pictures of this man?

Hi Chori
Can you please tell me what is his name?
I think i am bean scam with the same person.
Thank you very much.

I think I'm been scammed by him he's name is mark James he have 1 daughter name linda she in the hospital needed surgery waiting on him to get back to the state and yes he's wife dead of cancer 4 years he got good game and a God fearing man.

This sounds just like a guy I’m taking too

Guy found me on dating app. Said he was Israeli from Brooklyn NY sister in Miami. 7 year old daughter and nanny. Went on business trip to Dubai. Then all of a sudden telling me odd stories of weird things. I already picked up on it being strange. Called him out on it few times and he played it off. I still knew he was lying. Then he said he was investing into a gold company. He never asked me for a dime but he was suggesting he needed help. I actually told him early in our communication that I will never ever give money to anyone from online so u would think he would’ve moved on then. He tried a few times. He uses the name Matthew Mihail Jones. Says his mother lives in Israel and father passed away. Says his wife died in a fatal car crash in New York. Well he must have realized I’ve figured it all out as lies and he’s probably sadly moved on to others who believe him. I’m not sure who’s pictures he’s using. I’m only upset that he has done if mine I sent to him. Truth is anytime we put our photos on dating apps they have access anyway so it is what it is. Hopefully this will help anyone not fall for this at all. Good luck out there. I think I’m done with dating apps now.

How old is he . Could be the same one I'm talking too

What dating app was he on

Hi, i think i have the same scammer. He says he is stuck in Malaysia, needs money for his work permit so he can get is paye check cleared. Call me babe, honey, sweetheart, sweetie, wife. Tell me he loves me more. His daughter just turned 18, in a modeling or fashion School. His late wife died in a fatal car crash. He says he's from Norway, still have a sister with 2 kids over there. Currently in Malaysia for oïl rig work but as a house in NYC. He uses the name Alberto Alfred Weberg. Asking for a lot of money. Unfortunetly i did send some but not anymore

Omg ! Meet the guy on tinder !
His story is the same
I am currently chatting with him on hangouts
Alfred Weberg from Norway
Live in NYC
Has a daughter in school in fashion
His mom and dad has died long time ago
He is in Kuala Lumpur. For a oil rig contract in maintenance. He is retired and working on oil rig will be his last time. He is supposed to come and meet me in my home town.
He send me his flight number.
So happy I found this blog. Now I have to block him.

I am in communication with him
He is right now in Kulua Lumpur on a oil rig
Have you meet him in person ?

Mine also said babe, honey called me wife etc. And also. I love you more. Same person. Different background story name and pic, also from pof

I have a guy that would call me the same names, met him on plenty of fish, uses the name Scott James

He is a big time scammer. Run

I think i might be dealing with this guy. Younger facial hair, hair a bit longer on top. Says his name is Adam

Clmoz- This is definitely a scammer. Block him on phone, and wherever else you met him and move on. You did the right thing by refusing to send money or pay the fee. Nobody has 5.5 million in “cash delivered “ anywhere. Don’t let him continue to hurt you.

This sound similar to some I have chatted with recently the amount is the same want Amazon voucher sonhecancall the company he went by the name of Walter Christopher and speaks French I have now found the pictures he sent are fake and the guy he has taken from has had its one loads oftime
. When I say have on money he get very angry and says I have not looked everywhere to get it

How do you contact Instagram

A man named James Mark add me on Facebook I confirm him to be my friend.after tomorrow he told me to register on whatsapps or HangoutsApp.we exchange messages on hangoutApps until he propose me and we become lovers .after a month he want to see.me but he need me to send letter to thier boss he taught me what will I write so I copy the letter that he send to me and I send to thier address.after an hours I receive already reply telling me that I will pay $500 dollars so that my boyfriend can leave to meet me. I did not give but I promise him to pay.Now I am thinking if it is scam or what.He call me voice call almost everyday but not video call.i ask him a favor to see him on video call but he didn't.i did not see his face .Is it a scam?

I’m on hangout app with a James mark it’s almost two weeks chatting together. He hasn’t ask for money yet. He says he’s 57 and a son who is 15 in boarding school. Says he is on a ship in Norway on a job he’ll be home in December. Lives in Maryland. Very attractive man gray beard and mustache, salt and pepper hair says he’s 5’2 hazel colored eyes ...says he was born in Germany and came here when he was 20. I get a lot of romancing from him by way of his texting. Does he sound familiar To anybody... I do have a picture he text me

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