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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

Does anyone of you manage to see the actual face of your guy? Or they have excuses not showing their faces and just send you photo which could be a stolen identity.

The guy I have been talking too says he is Italian. Can you send me a pic?

I'm talking to this guy and he said that he is Italian he is working in Africa. He wants me to let him have a package sent to me from Italy he said that it was his dad's that it has gold bars in it and also 12 million in cash and he wants me to hold it for him until his job ends next month

I want to send a pic of my guy. From Dublin Ireland Italian handsome 60's. Starting a gold business in the USA

I am chatting to an Italian now met him online said his wife died 5 years ago & has twin girls & is A director of marine engineering, he lives in Texas America & is sending all his possessions to me via a parcel company but I have to pay Tax & local fees. Can you send me a pic pls if you have one so I can see if it is the same guy who scammed you..Thank you

hello we have a same situation how can i send you the photo..

I am talking to someone who says he comes from Portugal, lives in the uk but is working in Cairo, till the end of june, then he will marry me , and we can travel the world. He asked me to move our chat from tinder to whatsapp, i have been chatting for 3 days now, he hasnt asked me for money yet but his spelling is not good

I, too, am dealing with a man claiming to be from Italy. He says he is on an oil rig located deep in the North Sea. Claims he has a son. His wife was also killed about5 or 6 years ago in a car accident in Italy. Says his mother was American and his dad from Italy. Claims to have been raised there. I could sure use some help here. Some pics would be nice. Thank you ladies.

I have pictures I'd like to compare

I have a man named Gray Cox Italian blue eyes 5’11 nice looking. Emailed , texted, phone me for weeks confessed he loves me and had PS... sent me pictures. Had a contract to sell vehicles in Mexico City stuck in port for demurrage fees. Needs $120k. Said he will pay me as soon as he sells vehicles and can come home to me. He said he sold his home and all his money is going into this contract which will pay $12m and it will be ours.

Hi brenda was his name Antonio s

I met someone name Lucas Antonio. I want to check his picture but I don't know how to upload it on google.

I have a similar story, only this guy is in Kuwait. Can we exchange pictures?

This sounds like a guy i am talking to now on hangouts, he calls himself Curry Grandi, said his parents died in a car crash in poland, he is an only child, he tried to get me to pay for his daughters nanny as he had to stay on the oil rig longer than expected, the story now is that he needs £4000 to fix a crane, says he lives in Detroit, his wife died, he has a 17 year old daughter who has actually emailed me to say how happy i make her daddy, he had a picture on facebook, grey thinning hair, goatee beard, looked polish, in his late fifties, does this sound like your guy?

I'm sure this is the same guy I'm speaking with please I'm speaking with him now and wants money he said his name was Mike please let's exchange pictures

My guy sounds and looks similar to yours. Mine has a 15 year old boy in boarding school in the UK. He is supposedly getting out the end of March

Have been talking to a guy on an oil rig, lost his wife in 2012, was raised in a orphanage after losing parents at a young age, and has a 15 yr. old son in boarding school in UK. Supposed to be retiring soon, and needs money to have his savings parcel sent to me to the tune of 3,800 pounds. Have only been communicating for 3 wks. Goes by Nathan. 61 yrs. old, beautiful blue eyes. Ring any bells??

I think I’m talking to same guy how can we share photos

I think I am talking to the same guy also. He has blue eyes, white/brown hair, a 16 year old daughter, born in Venezuela, adopted, works on an oil rig and is retiring soon. Says he from Austin Texas, Gorgeous person. But he asked me to marry him already. Interesting coincidence wouldn't you say.

Do you have photos?

This man sounds very similar to a man I have been speaking to for almost 3 weeks. Ready to retire, 61 one yrs old with beautiful blue eyes. He is now asking for $3,000 so he can leave the oil rig and come to meet me. Is there anyway I can get his picture to see if it is the same guy?? Thanks

This is the same guy for each one of us. I did a image search and he is using pictures of a Canadian Male Model. Same story, came on really strong wants to marry. But let me please beg you ladies: Keep you money in your bank account. This person who is calling you is not the same as in the pictures. The guy in the pictures is innocent and he is not the one who is talking to you. As far as I could figure out, they are a scamming group from Namibia. PLEASE KEEP YOUR MONEY.

Im talking to an engineer on a rig in the ukraine. Can i send you photo to compare?

I am talking to a fellow on an oil rig he has asked me to contact a fellow to send me his 10 million because the are changing management and it will be delivered by diplomat he made it sound legit

I met the guy from san antonio texas his 35 years old asian american guy ... his very love approach and ask for itunes card, he told his engineer oil & gas current reside at australia for contract and now his in bolivia ... this person seem scammer but pretend to be a real person as victim

He is a SCAMMER , his picture is on scammer sight nationally know and several pics. He told me same, didn't ask for money right away. But needed money to get off rig, then money for a replacement. He will get mad when you don't send money, cards then he will ask for iPhone , gets very mad then he will stop sending you love songs, flowers ovet the net... NO MONEY

This is a man that tried to get me to pay for copter to get him off a rig, said no then wanted me to pay for replacement$14,000. NO, THEN ask for iPhone 10 xs, NO he use to srnd love songs, very romantic sayings, kisses, called me queen, dearie and wanted to get married. Sent pic of ring said we said we are married now. I laughed and told him he was a SCAMMER of course he said he wasn't. I told him I turned him and his so called VO, vacation officer to the federal and govetment agent, guess what he stopped contacting me.
He goes by the name : Aubrey Graham and his VO: George Scott of which I think is the same person.
Brown, gray hair, blue eyes. He is using some one else's picture.
He get mad at you real eady and says: you don't love your man? Or is this the way you will treat me in person?
Beware!!!! You can pull him uphe is noted as National SCAMMER.

Nathan Anlon?? Italian looking handsome 60's . Wish I could post a pic of him

This Nathan has about 10 different names, his names were George, James, Nathan, Michael etc ,met him on words, ask me to open bank account after talking to him for 9 months,itune cards. I told him he is a scammer and didn't send anything, funny how he fell in love in a week. Please be careful

Hello I wanna be sure from this but I met this girl name Jennifer mcmackin through Instagram and she is in the military in Afghanistan and she wants to send me money and needs me to buy her a $50 steam card so she can activate her phone and now also to start a bank online

Sounds like the same guy I’ve been talking with almost 2 yrs, he goes by the name Jason, J, jasonBri, Jason Brian. He an oil rig mechanical engineer. Met on WORDS. looks for middle age ladies, after 8 months started hitting me up for more info, then said I’m falling in love/having feelings for you. He is from the UK. Fell for him; hook, line, sinker.. I was all alone and then asks to add : HANGOUTS so we can have proper chats.
Then asking iTunes for books.. next it was I google and the STEAM CARD. Worth more in UK.
Story: Loss my wife to brain cancer, my only son died in accident, has his elderly mum w/caretaker while he’s working on oil rig in UK. Mid to late 50’s. He’s playing at least 8-10 women at a time. After asking for bank acct n cred card info I was out of his life so fast

Yes it sound very familiar but his name is Casey Jones and has short blonde hair.

I have been talking with a guy on an oil rig, wife died 2 yrs ago, has a son in Spain in the airforce. Just asked for $4k. He has beautiful blue eyes, grey hair, five o'clock shadow, gorgeous. How can we exchange pictures?

Hi snnokie i have the same problem with a guy he told me from ur uk under name danny but he told me i was buying for u a nice shoose and bags from brands i see the pic its download from a site Dannywalter49 but i didnt confirm the link in the mail. So the order not complete i ask him te send me western union if u want bank account hahahaha he block me he told me i wana put all ur pic online i ggoogle him he have many profile on romance scammer website

Sounds familiar.

Is he French?

Is he French? Did he say his kid needed peronal items because he left in a hurry and didn't leave enough for his son to get supplies?

At to his point I've had no less than 10 men try to pull something similar to what I'm ready by in these threads. Latest one, Finnish, into gemstones wanted me to invest money with him to buy me some. When I said I'd need more info he said I didn't trust him and started saying all kind of mean things. Said I'd never find anyone with my attitude. And this was only 3 days into chatting with him.

I really wish someone would share photos with me so I can find out if this guy is the same guy I've been talking to. different story but it sounds like he looks the same and as I said before I'm sure they change their stories all the time so I was just like you check it out I mean how can we go about this? please!

Sounds like one I just blocked works as a surgeon sounds black just got transferred to Nigeria retired feb 28 and needs money to get to Arizona he got me for 1100 in steam cards

Hi i meet someone recently with the same background, same with a daughter actually sending me message how happy she is and convinsing me to say yes to hes message proposal..the description you said on how he looks seems the same person , can you send me hes pic to confirm if hes the one...

Don’t talk to this man please! Sounds like the man who ruined my life. I just recently within the last two weeks quit speaking to him and he is making threats to me. I gave him more than 10, 000 that I didn’t have over a years time. He ruined my life. Exact same story different city.

Never mind I figured it out for myself

Your story is similar to mine. My guy goes by name of Robert Henrik Jonas. Says he is 57, from Netherlands, widowed, has 15 yr old daughter, Sofia, in boarding school in Oregon. His daughter emails me, telling me how happy she is that her dad is in love with me. He works on offshore oil rig in Norway...says he is supposed to get vacation soon but keeps saying his vacation has been delayed due to work. He started telling me he loves right away, sent me pic of engagement ring, proposed to me. Always asking me for ITunes cards. Calls me on Hangouts almost every night.

Same thing... I have. Guy named Gordon Borban. Requested me as a friend on linked in. Asked a bunch of crazy questions. Tells me his wife, father and brother are late... has a 12 year old daughter named Aubrey. I told him I was married. He didn’t mind much so I played a long with it for a couple days...
I’m not sure what he’s after?? But probably similar.

Does any one no soner hill sounds so familiar all these story’s I hate been scam but I never sent money just my heart

This one poses as a doctor
Send you is so called banking details pin the lot. You open his bank and photo appear with all his Bank account balance.
He ask you withdraw everything.
10 minutes later bank ask your bank details with a heck of a fee you must pay.
If you don't pay scammer cry.
Lol I gave fake bank details
Mister still begging me

He is still trying to get me to pay

Hey Nunnu, I think someone is trying to scam someone I know. He sent his bank account info and she opened it and said there was almost a million in it and she had to take out the money and transfer it to pay for something for him. And it sounds kind of real to me, but I'm not sure. He said it was bank of Germany or something. What was the fee they asked you to pay?

I have been talking to a doctor is is on an off shore rig by Russia made me a beneficiary of 5.7 million dollars with ussr global bank which I cannot find first this fsa told me I had to pay 1700 to get the activation code first not its 12000 his name is dr Jeff bezoar from Egypt wife died has a daughter we talked about the Bible a lot I told him that it was a scam he told me it was back wages anyway I blocked him and got rid of hangouts and BBM he emailed me I won’t answer

Hi I just started talking to a man who also asked to transfer money from his account to mine and very rich as well

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