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

Please be careful ! They sometimes wait very long until they “ have you where they want you “ in the relationship commitment . They paint beautiful pictures of the future life you will have together and are always “ too good to be true “ . They are So Kind ! So Patient ! So Considerate ! And in many cases ... a man of Faith ! They have an explanation for Everything that triggers any doubt on your part ! They may not ask for money . They may ask for your personal information .. Little by little over an extended period of time . They may ask you to accept a check for them or a package for them or to pick up some money for them and forward it . Tell this man to contact you via phone when his deployment is over and then see him “ face to face “ and see where it goes . If he is legitimate ; he will do it . A scammer or someone working a con will not . Best Wishes and God Bless . Be Safe .

This sounds just like what happened to me. He is in Syria fearing for his life. We had texts for a couple of months prior to asking for money.
He needed to ship parcel out of Syria & had no way to access his money in the states. I finally had to block the call, but shipping company still asking for money to finish the parcel even today.
It all sounded fishy, but he seemed really nice. Parents died, so i was the only one he could trust, to help.
Glad i found this site & others that were experiencing the same scam. I didn't realize how many people are doing this scam.
I plan to report this scam so others are not being victimized, not sure if that's what you women did also.
You try to do a nice thing for people in need, then you find out its just a scam.

Hi. Do you have pictures of this guy? I think that might be the same guy.

This happend to me in Denmark aswell
Been chatting to a man stationed in Jordan. He is now fearing for his life and his only relative in US is very poorly so he wants me to recive a package from him and have it transferred to this relative.
I sad no of course but he is still asking me to assist him.
I refuse.
Can he still send it to me as he got my full name?
Im very worried and stressed at the moment
Be careful out there.

2-3 days ago..yes currently..I received a DM in Instagram from Dr_Philip_Mike. He using Dr. Mike a celebrity doctor's picture. He said he interested with me and want to know me. I already find it fishy but I need to confirm first. Then he start to talk about himself. He's CARDIOLOGIST based in Damascus Syria for peacekeeping mission. Sound familiar right! Thank god I found this site and read your comment. I blocked him straightaway. So be careful girls/women out there!

Wishe I read oll the coments before I luse oll my money to the scammer.
I replay to the woman who have the same my story withe the widew withe he's 2 children yes I wose sow stupid to belive on oll hes storis
I realy belive that the sam person he use name on hengauth mark daniel withe pictures off Erik swanson you can chak that I am really hop this scammer pay for oll he do to oll as woman

He uses Kelvin Smith and Lopez Smith...I found out about him in the military scammers website...after l told him what l found out he block me because I offer to send him what he wanted and more...he wanted me to send money to an address in Turkey under the name of Kevin Smith...Ihad some fun making him believe l was going to send what he wanted...

Hey I'm in conversation with a guy at the moment going under name of Michael smith since December 2018 I'm just wondering is this the same guy I did a face check and nothing turned up he's says he deploy ed near Africa and has no means to use credit cards and claims he needs medical attention and if you like he only want 1200 dollars serious what cloud does he think I fell from and yes he cried his undieing love for me do you think I nite have same person ?

How do you do a face check?

Also beware of a Micheal Gomez. Dark bearded guy. Claims to be originally from Spain, lives in New York, in Turkey working as a civil engineer for his own company has been there for 1.6 yrs. Has photos and video of b him and his family. A couple of photos of him and his blond haired daughter.

Same story as you all. Quickly wants to know your future plans and professes their love to you. Even has you speaking to his Turkish translator. Then requests to help buy him an iPhone.

Sorry.... Next! Haha scam

I am currently being romanced scammed by a Kelvin Smith, a/k/a Kevin Harry who says he is an Engineer in Turkey. I sent him iTunes cards for his work documents. I have lots of pictures -- even baby pictures with his brother and his mother, pictures of his two daughters and him, pictures of him and his brother, pictures of him in rural Turkey working at an oil/gas plant with his NCC* Sweden jackets with his crew. He has tattoos all over his chest and written on the side of his chest is the words, "I will sacrifice for those I love." We have been chatting on Whatsup since Thanksgiving. Now he says he lost his credit card and cannot pay his staff and needs $20,000, the next day it was $10,000 and now it is $5,000. He wants me to sell my car, get a high-interest loan, or ask my friends. He was on Facebook but is no longer saying he mistakenly deleted his pages. He is on Instagram as Harry Kevin. He gave me his address in LA saying we would live there -- the address is for a house that is for sale. I would love to believe this guy but too much is wrong about his story! Anyone else know him?

I was approached by what seems to be maybe the same man. Only he said he was divorced went to do a job in Turkey is an engineer goes by the name of Wesley Walker. I told him I was married I was chatting with him for about 4?weeks when he contacted me said he got paid 1.7 million dollars and need a loan because he had to pay taxes on the money $85,000 . Said he needed $20,000 said he lived in Toms River NJ.
I haven’t heard from him in over a week after I said no he got nasty. He has a Facebook page I don’t think he uses.

Hi this so sounds like the guy my cousin is involved with. Do you have his Facebook name and or picture so I can check this iut and convenience her he us not legitimate?

Does he looks Asian?

Do you have a picture of dr Blake

Do you by chance have a pic of this dude

I would like to see a picture of this person's identity.

I think i have talked to the same guy..messaged me on instagram, asked me to go to Hangout and I also did a google image search on him and his name popped up Frank P but on instagram his name is henry s. with a goatee wit black and gray in it, says he lives in california, had to go to turkey to work on rig and has 2 kids and wife is deceased..

There also a person I met on Face Book, he said he liked my picture and asked for friend request. I generally don't except people I don't know but I kept looking at his picture and excepted it. His name is Donald Woods in US ARMY/NATIONAL GUARD in Damascus, Syria, Home Town is San Francisco, California. He's very good sweet talker,seems very nice. Says his wife was killed in car accident and has a 12yr old son in Boarding School.after so many messages from him and his sad life stories, I fell sorry for him when he thought he was going to loose his hard earned Contract money and his documents in a package at Atlanta airport, needed money because he had no one else to help him so I borrowed money from Loan companies trying to help a friend out. It was always something happened and he needed more. I was so stupid I kept going to loan companies borrowing more monies because he kept saying he have money in account in states and he will pay me back all money I borrowed. I wish I had read this strip and known about these scammers before I got so deep in debt. I've never talked or met this guy it was only thru messenger. After reading this strip and everything that was done to other women, was done to me. I hope these guys get caught.

Dear Paris Chic,
I’ve made the same experience with Dr.Gillberg Larsson who has been working for the UN in Damascus. A widower from Sweden with a 12-year-old son who is in a boarding school in Italy. He wanted me to get a box with goldbars and some money. I was supposed to pay 2000 Euro for transfer and such via Western Union. When I go there to pay the money, the company denied the payment as it might have been a fraud. Thanks everyone for sharing their stories, now I’m sure he’s a scammer.

I have the same scammer. I've been talking to him for 2 months never asked for money just sends sweet quotes and pics of him and his son saying his wife died in car accident t and he has no family and friends and he don't like talking to women because they lie and cheat. His name is Steve William, his birthday is September. 25 1967 he's 42. And he says he well advance to play games or be a fake. He's a charmer. He's on Instagram.

If he was born in '67, he is not 42...he should have done the math better.

Anyway we can post a photo.....Williams sounds very similar. He's on Instagram.

sounds like my guy said he had sick kid mom died in accident was in the middle east he had bald head with beard and tats

hello this guy sounds like the guy my aunt is talking to do you happen to have a pic ? but he goes by woods diego campbell

Hello, do ou have a photo of the Dr in damascus working for the UN? Appreciate our help!

I accepted a friend request on FB, a Surgeon, from Montana. Right off the bat, I suspected he wasn’t who he said. Soon, songs from YouTube were sent, via hangout, love notes, called me “Dear”
Sounded like a Hallmark Greeting Card.
Widower, young son in boarding school in London.
His English was not from a man that grew up in the states. His texts were almost illiterate.
After a couple of months, he hit me up about gold bars they found while out on a mission. Asked me to contact his DELEGATE, to insure address, and how to get them out of the country.
I had enough. I first told him that his math was wrong, using Kgs, the gold wasn’t worth the amount he stated. I googled such a scam, happened back in the early 80’s, I believe. I also wasn’t ready for Federal Prison, nor a guest on Dr Phil.
I kept him on the line as long as I could stand it. I felt I was saving a lonely innocent woman with the time I took with him.
I did not know there is a place to send evidence to, I recently shredded all the emails, and deleted that account.

These guys are good, they study what to say. They look for single, divorced, or widowed women, and tell them everything they’ve wanted to hear from a man.
A sure way to pick out the fakes on FB.
1. NO FRIENDS
2. No photos, other than themselves.
3. No posts
Good luck ladies and gentlemen, they will not only leave you with a broken heart, but an empty bank account.

I would love to see a picture of this guy be cause I have a guy I'm talking to on hangouts. It first started with an iTunes card, now it's up to 600.00 dollars toward plane fare, of course I am not doing it.He is a sweet talker plays with your heart and sends songs.

What name does he go by

They more then likely stole the picture from someone's profile

I think this may be my guy..name is Kevin william..hes a real sweet talker..sends songs and just reasontly asked for $100 iTunes card..even said he was flying in to see me...said his wife died in a car accident and has 2 girls living in a boarding school until he completes his contract where he's working out of state..wouldnt give me details..said it wasn't safe..he sent me a friend request on Facebook and asked me to Talk on hangouts then deleted his facebook..my daughter had reservations so I looked his picture up on google reverse and a bunch of names came up.im not sure how to send u a picture of him..

The guy trying to scam me is named Raymond William!! But a different day he told me it was William Raymond. He goes by the name daddyraywilliam2. Asked me to chat with him through “hangouts”. After a month of giving me cheesy lines that I knew were crap, being that most men never ask the questions he was asking, he needed money for supplies for his daughter. Sent me Pics of his daughter “Meghan” who has a nanny and is in private school. Sent me pics of himself that are too good to be true. Tells me he can’t call me because the vibration from a phone will make the rig blow up. I refuse to send money and repeatedly tell him I’m a broke single mom with no job. He keeps responding with how disappointed he is in me that I won’t help his daughter with school stuff. I still refuse. I deleted hangouts and set myself to private on IG. He spent part of yesterday harassing me to borrow money to help him. I won’t send money to someone I don’t know for starter. Keep an eye. I wish I could post pictures to compare.

I know I have been scammed, sure of it. He friend requested me on fb as Luke Felix Howe 24.3.64 from Los Angeles, bio - medical engineer. Shaven head, extremely attractive, portugese accent. His profile showed created in Jan 2019 and this was late Jan. After 2 weeks he had 'issues' with messenger and asked to go to Hangouts. and he used Felix Luke Howe. He had won a contract working in Istandbul setting up theatre in a hospital. Ive had numerous photos, poems, pics of the equip being put together but never gives details. Then asked for money, in total he has had £1900 which goes via a friends' email. Who is Kevin Sexton has a Barclays bank account and british. After every transaction I forward an email of the confirmation from my acc to Felix's email. I have interrogated diff sites re scammers and nothing on either of them. I have got a mate to check fb and nothing. I dont know how to do a pic search. He has sent photos of his mum, him with his mum and his dogs etc but gut says something wrong. I do not give my job or status on fb. His lawyer, Simon Field is now out there and wants more money, as Felix has been detained for none payment to a woman caterer for the exhibition Felix set up. Lawyer comes on hangouts, same conversation with felix so how has he got felixs phone if felix is detained? Wont give me details such as a photo and ID of himself, wont provide the station detained. Previous to this, when Felix / Luke asked for money I asked for his ID, Passport and Business Card. He couldnt provide as lawyer has them! Now they want to more money so lawyer can collect, felix's documents and then delix will be paid, $350,000 !! Eerrr yeh, anyway have asked me to provide my acc for this to go into but ive told them have set up an account for this to go into independant, havent but this is the latest.

Sounds like the same guy that scamed me. Name Marvin Davis (or Donald ) Chan from Brooklyn, NY. Army, Brigider General in Demascus,Syria. With One 14 yo daughter in boarding school has picture of the two together, wife killed in car accident when daughter was 7, his parents both died when he was young and taken in by fathers best friend who raised him . Started out on Fb, saw my profile and chose me to talk to because same faith. Wanted to switch to hangouts. Started talking sweetheart then wanted itunes card. I sent him one feeling sorry for him for being military and far away and in danger zone, i ask and he told me his MOS 35 Tango Damascus, Syria under the UN orders, I checked it out online sure enough word for word that was the job discription, he then wanted to send me a parcel with some private personal possesions to keep safe not knowing if he would loose his life at any moment, there would be instructions with it. Was to be shipped to me from SHAHAT SHIPPING and hand delivered to my door by special couriour. I agreed, they wanted my picture ID and address, i sent it, next thing was i needed to pay for 2 documents at customs $5950! I refused to pay that. He apologized said he had already paid all his available money to ship it but didnt know they had extra fees. So that was that.
He kept talking to me and the danger got worse and he told me he had a back injury that he would have to have surgery but didn't want to have it done there wanted it done in the US but UN wouldn't realease him so he wanted out of the army and out of Damascus now. AWOL was the only hope because of the pain. He arranged a flight ticket, from Syria to Cypress to Dubai UAE to Houston Texas. He wanted $1000 to pay for the ticket, i scraped it togetfer and sent it after he sent a picture of the ticket. Then he needed $800 more because the ticket was $300 more plus he needed $500 traveling money or something, so i sent it wanting to get hin back to the states for immeditate back surgery.He texed me when he left Syria to Cypress and from Cypress to Dubai to let me know he made it that far. Next i was expecting him to text me from Houston Texas but he text me the next day, 18 October 2018 from Dubai UAE saying he has been arrested for gold smuggling. I also recieved a text from Airport Authority al Maktoum International Airport Mr Mohammed Abul Sulayam saying he needed to pay $5450 for 2 documents for the gold or be charged for gold smuggling and serve 2 years in prison. One docoment was for power of attorney the other was for ownership of 5 kilos of gold. While being held in detention at the airport he gets aquainted with Reem Maryam Abadi, guard who befriends him and lets him use her phone to text me. She was going to help him out with part of the money for the 2 documents but wanted $1000 from me...i didn't have it so then $500, i didnt have it. Then he sent me pictures of her and him in hearts an said Reem would probably help him if he didnxt have a " wife" thats what he called me because he ask me to marry him(made all kinds of promises to love and take care of me, grow old with me, make me the richest happiest woman, ect). Then signed off final on hangouts an told me i could try getting in touch with him through Reem if i wish, but didn know if she would give him the message. Thats after i said looks like he wants Reem and her daughter more than me since she has money and i didn't.
He was real romantic sent me video love songs, poems, pictures and such. Swore before God to love me with his dieing breath, sent prayers, scriptures said he could live without me. Called me 2 times once to ask for the $500 and once for me to pray for his back...sound like he was crying, desperate for the help...sounded so sincere but tried to make me feel guilty for not getting him the money through a loan.
Im leaving out some details but there are some more.
I dont know how or cant do a picture check to find out more. All this took place basically between August 2018 and 24 December.

How do you take the picture from hangouts and Google search it

Ray-Ban glasses, picture of him with a tooth bruch in his mouth? +1724....number?

I think I`m being scammed from a guy who says he is on a ship in Austrils and he is a marine engineer and wants all my info and social security number so he can fix this engine and the only family he has is a grandson in boarding school he needs me to open a bank account to use it to fix his motor and how much he loves me and is a real sweet talker

My sister is being scammed by someone named Daniel Roland that works on ships. He was coming for Christmas but a fire on the ship prevented the visit. He was burned so I expect he will hit her up for cash soon. She was taken before and nothing we say changes her mind Crazy stuff, I tried several ways to find out about this guy but surprise, nothing out there.

Me too i met this guy on Instagram and he says that he is Marine Engineer and his father die like 10 years ago. He said is 35.

Is his name James Wesley?

My friend is being scammed by a Ethan Micheal baker says he is in zUSA army and is in Syria. He wife died and / children are looked after by a nanny now I found out today he had been asking for money and she went to bank and transferred £ 2000 into account in boulgaria any one who can help with reporting this I have the details that she sent it to and I have 2 photo of him.

This sounds like the person I am speaking with I am gutted . I have photos

SHARE PHOTOS PLEASE I THINK I AM BEING SCAMMED ALSO!!

This sounds like same guy just scammed me $770 works on rig son in army boarding school, wife died, needed help to pay his legal fee to process retirement fund. Charmed the pants off me, songs, poems, confessions of love list goes on.

Sounds like guy I talked to for a bit..worked on oil rig. Had son..wife died. Was contractor on rig needed money for repair engines. Asked for 26,000. I did not comply. Them asked for iTunes cards. After not getting this he lost interest but now someone else is texting me saying they are friend.,NOT. They are ruthless.

I wonder if this is the same guy I talked to for over a year. The name he used was Kelly Ernest McGill. He is 57. He said he was a mechanical engineer on an oil rig off the coast of Texas and needed money for parts for the engines. He was working on a potential million dollar contract. He said he had a daughter and was divorced. He charmed me, made all kinds of promises. I thought he was real and sent him money I should not have. I had no idea of this horrific world of scammers.

I think I have been talking to the same guy, met him on pof. He sent me proof that two other woman have sent him funds to help pay for his broken equipment but he needs more. Promises he will pay me back, won't stop calling. I blocked him but continues to call. He sent me multitude of pictures with his kids and his parents.

Also getting scammed!! Might be the same guy!!

Yes same here. He was mechanical engineer on a contract in the Ukraine drilling for crude oil. Said his wife died 5 years and he was looking for someone to as a friend companion. Finally ask me for ITune card for $100 so he could talk with his son while in the middle of the ocean. I have blocked him!!!!

What was the guys name Sara? I was scammed by a guy out of $8700!

Oh my God, sounds like the guy I am talking to. Engineer on oil rig. Now in Spain. Son in boarding school. Friended on Facebook then asked me to go to hangouts. Deleted his profile on Facebook said he was hacked. His name Thomas Greenwood from San Francisco. Asked for iTunes cards to get data. Nope not sending, then said had a suitcase that he wanted to send me, but the company said 850 USD to change name to mine. Again no and now 4800.00 or he loses the case. He sends poems, songs, swears to God we are soulmates and I was sent to him. Says his contract is up soon and he will be coming here to spend his life with me. He does not give up even when I say I don't have money. I want him to go away but at the same time, I love the way he talks to me. Wish I could post his pic, older man, bald, beard, rayb.an glasses in front of a jeep

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