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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

You can look up photos on Google to find where else the image has been used/posted. You need to use a computer and from Google you select Images and in the search bar select the camera icon and upload your image and it will search for that image. I have done this and it works. It has helped to confirm a scammer who is using the same photo setting up other profiles.

Don't do it. I have been scammed a few times. One was supposedly a marine captain in Afghanistan and got $3000 and an expensive iphone.

I met a guy on Christian dating site and we communicated every day and I then started texting - he even had. "Daughter" email me as she was concerned I was going to hurt her father . His story was he had a job in Dubai with a big payoff but his tools were stolen and he needed 14,500 but he had most of it only needed 2000 from me - I blocked him and put his email to spam . Quoted bible verses wrote poetry for me ., his name was Henry Dailey but it was more likely a fake using mr Dailey picture and name . Sad

I feel I may be communicating with the same person. His name is Paul Smith and is working in Nigeria. His daughters name is Mary. Lived in Jacksonville Fl. but originally from Ireland. Sound familiar?

this sounds like adam ledet or ledet adam has a daughter name lisa who will text you about concern over her father suppose to be from irland this man man has a kind smile gray and black beard friendly face I think its adam ledet beware

What's his name and description?

Omg was his name John field Micall ?

Right....u fall in love with someone who dont exists ...false photo...fake profile...sharing their problems they r from uk or us and stay in south east africa following tourism programme. ...ha haha.
they have no foodstuffs and ask u if u know about western union etc...

Don't send money again,go to your bank and complain if possible change your phone no,email and any ways you think he can still get access to you ,

I had one and reported it to the police now there looking into the scammer I had

Hi there can you tell me more about this situation?

Which information do you know about the person.contact me and lets track him down

I'm in the same boat he keeps texting he needs money now it's $1,500 . I also need help

I feel the same way how do you get out of it

Just tell him you know they get paid and you are not sending money. And do not send it. I don't care how much he says he loved are cares for you, a real man don't ask for money, just scammers.

ayala, I'm in the same situation as you are. I was scammed by thousand of $$$ and even pawned un able to redeem my jewelries. I have accepted the reality and maybe it's my destiny. I cant recover my loses anymore. I was dumb but I gave it all to God for HIM to handle.

I dont know if i am being scammed

He has not asked me for money but Is sending money to me he claims to be a general force command u.s. army. He said His wife died.and now that he met me

he Had sold his home to relocate to be with me he has hired a military lawyer to do all transaction he has been doing alot of traveling for meetings and the money from the sale of the home

he wants me to handle to buy a home where i am located I had confronted him about being a scam he got angry and said he is a noble man He said he dies not want his name stained but tonite i saw a photo of his wife wearing eyeglasses with the year 2017 On them

and the date posted was december 2016 if you go to google his biography is thier i have met him in persone but very much confused what do i do

This sounds like a scam. You noticed that something isn't right about the photo of his wife.

A scammer might not ask you for money right away. He might send you stolen money and ask you to deposit it in your bank account. Or, he might send you a bad check and ask you to deposit it. Scammers don't always ask people to send money, sometimes they use people to transfer money from one place to another. If you get involved in a scam like that, you could lose personal information and money. You could get in legal trouble.

If this doesn't feel right to you, you can stop talking to him or block him.

Sorry for that...just dont think about it,it hurts try to hangout with friends,do good things thhats not you..lets start with that and see how it goes

how did it all happen ?

Block him then ghost him

I'm in one now from Nigeria and said that he is a Child of God now how can someone be a Child of God and be a fake . I really need to know. I have posted some things that I wouldn't want anyone to know or see . So how do I get out of this one . # HELPASAP. Inonenow

The reasons why most those scammer always get it so easily to defraud their victims, is because we chosen not to believe the sincere person. Take for instance you ask, where are you from? And he or she say I'm from so and so place, the next you block the person, when you already see his or her pic clearly on the dp. For me i have met many claiming to be a military and so on. But the truth is that we just have to be mindful while dealing with people.

Barry Nolly is the name of the person that tried to scam me but I got him told him that he was a lie and that the police was on to him and his friends and that they will be arrested in a matter of days so he never called back again.

How do I tell my story I don't know how to get this to stop my husband is being scammed by the picture Raven Riley he thinks she is real she is on skype and call or messages him all the time I want him back with out this scam ruining our lives someone please help

Hello my name is Terrie, and I'm writing this with a broken heart. I meet a suppose to be a us army soldier in Afghanistan. His name is Bernard Stephen. Promise me the world, and it all was a lie. Ladies watch your back and don't let your guard down. December 21. 2016. Please be careful.

What if you have done a video chat with him and his face matches the pictures he says he is a business man but his customer can't send his money direct to him so he needs you to open a Bank account I feel this may be fraud

If a scammer wants to send stolen money, he looks for someone to do the dirty work.

Some scammers develop online relationships and ask their new sweetheart to open an account, or accept a deposit and transfer funds for them.  He will make up a story, and send you instructions about transferring money.

If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

Please tell me, I met Ayite Mawuelom Alognon on facebook and in person in Gambia, we learnt a lot about each other, we married, I returned to sell up in the UK but he then didn't want anything more to do with me. I have the marriage certificate so why would you marry and then dump them. He didn't get any money out of this at all.

I have been told that after they married they will sue you for alimony - spousal support that is and you will have to send him money. I don't know how that goes but I have heard of a couple of people with that problem.

Hello, I've been chatting with two men now. Both claim to be in the USArmy. One say's he's in Aphganistan, the other in Syria. Both through Facebook. The 1st one is on Gmail. The recent one is on Facebook- messenger. They both asked for money, however I need your help. I'm currently speaking to both and can provide details. For example...do these individuals use Brinks, or other Airport security documents?

No, absolutely not.

As a veteran, and with current friends is the military, I can tell you that most military men offer to help YOU if anything, not the other way around. Pretty much ANY document can be forged or faked, and no, military personnel would NOT be using them. It’s not a valid form of ID at all, and with their military status, you could press for them to show you their orders going to their location oversees, their military ID, and American drivers license, along with a selfie. Anyone would feel you’re over-stepping your bounds, but if the money is that desperately needed, they’re going to meet your demands. I meet tons of military personnel that break regulations (with the few exceptions of intelligence personnel because of their top-secret clearance). With intelligence personnel, they need to be guarded, but THEY can’t afford to be accused of being a scammer, so they wouldn’t be leveraging a romantic interest for their financial troubles (which they really shouldn’t have any save for a lack of living a more fun life, even with child support).

That sux

I have a friend that just met a guy on POF a few weeks ago. He's already sent her flowers and is telling her he wants to marry her but they are yet to meet. Last weekend he was in NY and conveniently this weekend he's gone to Australia for two weeks. He removed his profile from the site a few days after meeting her and has even asked for her password to remove her profile. All of his pictures look like professional pics and it all seems too good to be true (to me) but she's ready to get married and have babies tomorrow. I hope he's on the up and up but just seems fishy!!

Hello myself I have fell for a Nigerian man. We talk every day. I have his address where he worked and looked him up on the computer. Yes he has me for money. Is he real?

I am curious if you have a picture of this person, I am talking to guy claiming to be from UT but is on business in Australia as well and am wondering if same person

Wow this sounds famiar. Nick juarez sound famikia?

I have been talking to a person Nick Juarez in Nigeria.could be the same person.

I knew a Nick Juarez from Houston Texas who was a Sargeant in the military. He has disappeared and I need to find him. He had two kids. He was over on a top secret mission!

Supposedly from Houston.

He's a scammer

Same here but says he's in Malaysia needing money for A shipment to get through customs. He even sent Me a customs tax form etc via e-mail. I know he's fake It's very evident. Wish I could share a pic on here.

i meet some guy he had his daughter and son email that he was working in Maylasia name is George Smith.. he told me he lived in AZ but he was going Maylasia for work. That He need me to send Laptop Because His broke..And That he couldn't get any money for air fair and now that he need money pay the taxes

Mendez27:do you have a picture of this george smith .. cause my mom has been talking to a george smith that says he is from the army and he is in dubai and he separated from his wife and he told my mom he was 40.:( i dont want my mom to be heart broken cause it sucks...he also gave my mom an email that says soldiers-off-duty.gov@consultant.___ and he told her that if she needed to contact him to email him there.

If you meet someone online and they ask you to send money or gifts, that's a sign they might be trying to scam you. The US military warns people about scammers who pretend to be soldiers.

Scammers tell many different stories to try and sound legitimate. They might say they're in the military, or travelling for business, or have kids who need financial help. They ask for money, or gifts, and promise they'll see you soon. If you send money or gifts to someone you never met in person, you probably can't get them back.

 

What is his name? As I'm dealing with a guy also who is supposed to be from London but just got a contract in Malaysia and is needing money for the custom.His name is Alexander Robert.

Is he an Engineer for Premier Oil & Gas and his wife died about 2 years ago ? OMG He didn't ask me for money but pledged his love for me every single day.

Do not send money I am out 219k to a scammer I am pretty sure working as a contractors trying to collect his 1,560,000.0 chech his name he is going by is andrew Markus and other names involved luke yin sung as a bank branch manager another name is lin lu hu or Morgan Mathews beware never send money to anyone I met Andrew on dating website. Would not meet me before he went did the set up a bank account and many other things but as I sit now all my savings is gone and I am in debt

Im in the same situation. Pretty sure I have been scammed.mine is also a contractor stuck on a ship and can't leave until he pays for flight and freight charges. His name is Ronald reaves. Even sent me a picture of his contract award and his cheque.

Was Alexander from Norway but brought up in England, parents died early, no siblings, he is widowed, Engineer with oil contract in South Africa? The person I have been talking to is Ronald Alexander, met on Facebook.

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