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Has an online love interest asked you for money?

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Looking to start a new relationship? For some, that may mean meeting a new love interest online. Word to the wise: sometimes it’s best to lead with your head and not your heart.

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. And many forge successful relationships. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims. They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love.

The Federal Trade Commission receives thousands of reports each year about romance scammers who create fake online relationships only to steal their victims’ money.

Unfortunately, an online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist.

The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, lists common signs of online dating scams and what to do if someone you meet online asks you for money.

Below are some tips to identify a real romance versus a scammer cruising for a target.

Online Dating Scams. Has an online love interest asked you for money? That's a scam. Scammers know millions of people use online dating sites. They are there, too, hiding behind fake profiles. Signs of a scam: Professes love quickly. Claims to be from the U.S., but is overseas for business or military service. Asks for money, and lures you off the dating site. Claims to need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Plans to visit, but can’t because of an emergency. $220 million lost in 2016. $56 million lost in 2012. Reports to the FBI tripled over 5 years (4,476 reports in 2012; 14,546 reports in 2016) What to do: Slow down — and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you. Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back. Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer. Report your experience to: • The online dating site • Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov/complaint • Federal Bureau of Investigation: ic3.gov. Learn more at ftc.gov/imposters and aba.com/engagement

Please share this information with others. Victims may be embarrassed to talk about their experiences, but you can help. A simple phone call, email or text, saying “Look what I just found” and sharing this information may make a difference in someone else’s life.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

It would be great if these could be generated in an easily printed format. I work at a credit union - and have member's falling for these types of scams regularly. This would be nice to get in their hands.

We have a pdf of the infographic that you can print and share.  Thank you.

The man who scammed me money three years ago, contact me again, he said he was sorry and will repay the money to me. Of course, I know he is lying, what should I do? My case was reported to police three years ago, but finally closed file by police for further investigation impossible.

If you were scammed by someone, and you get a call about a refund, that call is probably also a scam. Don’t give the person any personal or financial information.

I have text msg saying they from western union and FTC FROM PHENOX ARAZONA FROM FBI I WAS TO CONTACT THEM OR MEET THEM AT THE AIRPORT

Someone claiming to be cruise ship owner has asked me to buy an iTunes card for the purposes of fixing the ships internet. How valid is this?

You can't use an iTunes card to fix internet service.

People can use iTunes cards to buy music, apps or books online. That's it.

Is it this person also? He goes by Captain Johnny Freeman. The Cruise Ships name is Harmony Of The Seas.

Why would a cruise ship captain need your money? The company pays for that out of their revenues.... Obviously a scam...

Has anyone been contacted by a German man named John G. Connor?
or a Russian man named Frankin Dechez - oil rig worker

Spelling errors / grammatical errors are their biggest giveaway

I was scammed by a guy calling himself Peter Kaua Sullivan, my fiance. I met him on Match.com and he scammed me all my savings over 2 years period from Western Union, Moneygram, Walmart to Walmart, ITunes cards. Just as you all said he was stuck abroad, his son had cancer and he owed taxes to Istanbul, Turkish government for job done there. He also had the money forwarded from Kenya or so he said. I was at the airport waiting for him to arrive several times and he never showed. he had an excuse each time of an emergency.

I had almost the same exact thing. His name was Mathew McCleary that was from Australia but talked with a Spanish accent. He was coming to see me but his crude oil shipment wouldn't ship because he had to pay insurance. Supposedly he all ready paid 37K. He was telling me he was in Istanbul Turkey. He needed 4710K.I told him repeatedly I had no money. He tried to make me feel guilty because I couldnt send the money.

I was talking to someone on Plenty of Fish. He had a European accent and told me he was from Sofia, Bulgaria. We spoke for a long time and he told me he was on a ship heading to Australia for business in shipping. That’s fine and he never did ask me for money, just an iTunes card. Eventually he did ask if I would accept a check that a client owed him. I said no due to scams. I did think about it and said I would accept the check but I would not deposit it in my account. He didn’t like that but too bad.

I went to the bank and asked them to check if it was legit. First of all, why would someone ask a stranger to accept a $4000 check? I can steal it! The check was deposited to a new account just for that purpose. The following day the bank told me the check was fake. I also requested copies of the check. I was able to contact the supposed sender that lives I Maryland. He was an elderly man who told me that he and his wife had identity issues and he never heard of the third party bank the check was cut from. The bank was legit, just not his bank.

I called the sender of the check and told him it cleared but I was keeping the money. Then after much fighting, I took pictures of the check that the bank had stamped and told him it was fake and that I spoke to his client that never had an account at that bank. Anyway he denied all and had accused me of stealing his money! What nerve!

similar here, do you think they will really do something on you like spreading out the message between you and him coz i think they know your network through social media and show up at your address?

I would love to high five you for your intellect! Also, for putting that jerk in place.
Thanks for the tips...I believe that I am in a catfishing situation. It's so hard to get out of the web they weave. They are truly master manipulators!

I wish I had been smart. I wish I had seen this before July!!! Andrew Perry took me for $32000!!! I should have been more careful!! I hate myself for what I let him do. Now going through bankruptcy. It has changed me and my life. I can’t afford anything anymore. All my credit cards have been closed and paycheck garnished for the next 5 yrs. I’ve told no one but the lawyer.

I had the exact same thing. Girl first asked for small amount to get her i tunes subscription but i didnt gave after sometime she stopped talking to me

Me also was talking to a girl i met in meetme she said she was an e6 sergeant in syria her name was Catherine hannisick after 3 days of talking she ask for itunes card and I brought it after she started to ask for more so i blocked her on hangouts we never spoke on phone only email and hangouts this went on for almost 5 months i send her about 1.500 dollars when I started to ask for proof she just told me she was going to give me space i feel so stupid i also set her up made up an email and Netflix account gave it to her and when she sign in it was in Nigeria she claimed her friend stole it and gave it to someone

I got in touch with Catherine hannisick again through meet me app is where she always be she claiming that she love me and wants to marry me she said her commander said he will pay for half her plane ticket and she needed to come up with the other half of 1200 dollars then she said if i could pay the whole amount so she wont have to pay him back she also said that the commander will call me can anyone help me i dont think a person on a mission in the army have that much time to be texting and on dating app i send this person 1500 already i ask her for proof because she will say she have nothing to eat because the camp was attack she would send me an image of pasta from the internet i felt so stupid omg can anyone please help me what should i do

Block her ASAP. Do not send her anything.

Thanks i already did block her but i had to find out who it was so I contacted her again and we talk for a bit finally got her to video call she was black she didn’t think that it will show her i got a picture of her which i can just file a police report for impersonating another person and fraud she still says she is in the army which I highly doubt after all this she have the nerve to ask for a 10 amazon card unbelievable what a lowlife scum reya4catherine and still using Catherinehannisick she have the nerve to ask me to remove my review so she can use that person identity again because she thought i was weak and willing to do what she ask these people have no heart whatsoever they just want to use people looking for romance to get rich by the way this person was so horrible looking and dirty to think all this suffering for that lowlife scumbag

I have a guy I been talking to for a couple months and he said he was from Cali on a contract in Nigeria. He was getting a large amount of money for this job and was afraid it would be stolen over and wanted to send it to me. I told him not to put my name on it. So he sends me a picture of the check it's for over 500 million$. But he put my name on it and said it was coming courier company and wouldn't have to pay anything. Then he started asking for money to come to me and marry me and help take care of my elderly mom. He talked her into having me send him 200$ a week later it was another 300$. All the while talking to my mom begging her to get a loan and send even more. That he would be here the next day. She didn't send him anything so then calls crying to her on the phone how he loved us and all that kind of crap. Now he's still trying to get my last 70$. I have fallen so far behind my whole disablity check went to try to catch up on some of the things I didn't pay cuz he should have been here by now. He has made fake emails to the airline over there, fake emails from the courier company and actually made it look like they needed 200$ to not tell the authorities how much was the check was for and that it's being held till I pay or they turn it in to customs. It's a big bunch of BS and he just gets mad when I tell him no. His supposedly name is Paul Williams or Paul Christopher. I don't know where to start with reporting him to the proper authorities.

Try these names also Shawn williams, daughter Sarah, troy williams also

He has many names, track phone, calls crying, always wants more and more money, he lies about a daughter, he cleans outs your accounts, tries to get u to sell your belongings, lies where he is uses other men's pictures! Manipulates you to try to make you feel guilty! Down grades your family calls you names! Doesn't care about you he lies wants to marry you travel, lies he has no family but a daughter, family all killed in car accident including wife! Sold his house everything for a 400million dollar contract and the truth is it all vulnerable women he stills their saving, pension, what ever he can get! He tells u very little about his life he only wants to talk about money and that's only time he loves you so much, wants to be with you babe, send flowers and gifts once wants iTunes cards, calls or texts all. The time! And you best answer or he calls you stupid and other names! Loves your family until he can't get nothing from them then he calls them names! He's good at his game and hopes he gets caught soon! He uses very attractive older man's pictures but voice of a black man! He covers his tracks well! He uses alot of names tony, troy, Shawn,micheal, Matthew,William, williams, so many he a crook! Look out ladies he got 25k from me and oh says he'll pay it back! Funny he says he's religious but talks alot about the devil when he's angry! He claims he in his 60s trapped in a motel from rig, he lies alot! Look out ladies he takes any age of women! Your his only family!he's coming home to marry you! After u send him more and more money, he says he's worth millions! Ya one scam after another! While he loving and scamming you hes scamming many other women at the same time! He has charges against him from others, he claims to have agent, ya she's an agent alright, living high off every single vulnerable women out there! Her name is charolette! Look out ladies!

I AM IN an identical situation NOW someone contact me this is 100% him

He keeps using Paul hollywood pictures the British baker, changes his name alot wants money lies about daughter! Cries! Oh your my wife, we're gonna travel, I'm stuck in motel, calls you stupid, and other names, manipulates you! Etc

i was in a relationship with purpose barbel for 3 mo .she said that she lives in cleveland ohio she told me that her husband left her and her daughter and she needed money for food for the house of course i sent her money 150 one mo 200 the next and another 200 the next we were spose to get toghter this mo on friday but that did not happen all of a sudden her husband came back when i asked for her address and her business address she gave it to me when i looked up the address one was the bus station in Cleveland Ohio the other address was an empty house that was for sale in Cleveland but i have all the information where i sent the money to her it was though pay pal business to business but i also have her picture and all the text message that i have saved i met her though her nice her neice ask for money but i refused she wanted i tunes cards but i never thought maybe they are working togather i an going to file charges i fell so stupied about all of this

Same situation with a guy by the name of Michael Osborne. Met him on Yahtzee asked me to go to a hangout site, been chatting 3 weeks he professes his love for me and says he has not been in relationship since his wife of 20 years was in a fire accident and he is widowed on a crude oil rig off Scotland shores. He owns this contract supposedly and will not get paid until it has been completed which is in 3 weeks . He then states he is coming to spend a weeek with me. And then will go back to oil rig for 3 weeks then back to me for 3 days before going to New Jersey where he claims he is from to see his daughter who is w a nanny so all along this has seems bizarre to me then finally in only 3 weeks wants to know if I can help him raise money to have a hydraulic fixed and he needs 25000.00 I laughed I said absolutely not. I don’t even know u. He claims now I act different and he can’t lose me he loves me so much. Sickening !!

Have you ever heard of Gonzalez

This guy from California sounds like this guy name Andrew J. Martin. He said that he's from California and has a contract in Nigeria.

I have a similar experience with a girl who said she is Mandy Bender, sent me a friend request on Facebook, I was curious why a beautiful girl like you should contact me, anyway she got me a hangouts site which suppose to be private and we chatted for 3 days and I had a inkling I was being scammed as she asked me to get a I tunes voucher, I played dumb and made out I couldn't get one, then she started asking me about money so I said I was in debt, the big thing was asking for my address which I declined, so I knew she was a scammer, she told me I was the best thing that has happened to her, she kept telling how much she loved me and I was the only person for her.
I have now blocked her and good riddance. Facebook need to do something about these persons.

I just had a similar experience on Instagram. A guy named Kurt McMahon sent me a friend request. Then started professing his love for me (too quickly). He was a legal us citizen, lives in LA, Beverly Hills, has a son named Oliver. That his lost his wife 2 years ago in a car accident. He was looking for love again and was convinced I was the one, the search was over (lol). He even wanted to meet up with me.Then started asking for iTunes cards to upload some files online for a project he had at work, a contract that was gonna help him gain lot of money. He claimed he couldn’t use his credit card bc he had not had time to renew it (he thought I was that stupid to believe that). Then he switched to Amazon cards ($50-100) claiming that he would buy stuff for me. When I told him I didn’t have money he would ask to get him just a $25 iTunes or Amazon card instead. I knew he was lying all along. The day (which was October 16) he supposedly on his way to meet up with me, he texted saying he needed a $100 Amazon card to buy stuff for his son Oliver, it was urgent. I was communicating with him tru hangouts app. I went bck to his Instagram page it said user not found. That was yesterday October 16, 2018. Watch out out there y’all!
I told him countless time even from start that I he was a fraud, a fake! Told him that yesterday before blocking him on Instagram and deleting him on hangouts. Instagram needs to do sth about these persons too!!!!!

Sounds like same guy that did same to me. Claimed he needed money that his bank account had been frozen in the USA. Said he was working in the Gulf of Mexico. He showed me a video and didn't have an accent but talked on phone couldn't hardly understand him because of his speech. Its very similar to what happened to me. He wanted money said I was his lovely wife and his wife died in car accident. But I fell for his scam but sent no money

Sounds like the guy I met on words with friends. I've talked to him twice supposedly from Germany...No German accent. I could hardly understand him. His wife died in a car accident, but it was to painful to talk about. 12 year old daughter started Texting me asking for itunes card. It was all on hangouts. Deleted his Words acct. How can we exchange photos of this guy. He's waiting for me to Western Union him money for a plane ticket. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Susanna I see your post was from Nov 17, 2018. I don't know if you check back with this site. I've messaged another lady with the same story. Thanks

This sound like a similar story. Wife killed by drunk driver and has a 14 year old daughter. Does anyone have a photo?

Yes I do, daughter named sarah?

I have been talking to a person he calls himself Hoffman Davidson.. He is on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Kept asking for money for his daughter Rose, a broken engine, a briefcase with valuables in it that needed paid for. Google Play cards for phone minutes ! Have sent lots of money..he wants more now. Does sound familiar to anyone out there? He says he loves me. Plans to marry me. Will come home soon!, never a phone call, video call. Nothing.! Will pay me back. Says his wife dies of breast cancer. Has a daughter named Rose in boarding school. . Never seen him. Has sent photo but I do t know if it’s really him . can't find him on Google either at address he gave me. What y’all think? Is he scamming me? It really hurts when they profess their love for you for so long and nothing ever happens. Says I’m beautiful. The most special woman. What should I do about this. I hurt and devastated .

Yes sure do!

The first guy name is Cyrus he asked for a Sephora gift card for his housekeeper. The second guy said his wife died in a car accident and he had a little girl in his pictures, his name was Jason daughter named Shirley. From Michigan but mother was Ukrainian. He asked me to send him a 500 dollar Apple gift card, and when I said I couldn't he got angry lol oh well. I kinda think they were the same person because of the mannerisms...and they both could never video chat.

Just look up Paul hollywood British bakery same picture were all getting Paul has alot of pictures this guy uses and he cuts copies and paste Paul's pictures to his body! So stupid!

Omg! This is exactly what happened to me. I would love to exchange info and see if this is the same person I’ve dealt with. It started on WWF then moved to hangouts. Please reply I’d love to compare info.

Watch out for Davis morrison - from Nigeria and is 14 years old!

Same thing happened to me I met this guy from Syria Damascus his name was Smith Anderson but on messenger supposedly he used his father’s name Chris Osahon and was a surgeon doctor he said he lost his wife and parents in a car accident and his 14 year old daughter who’s name is Julia Anderson was in boarding school he had been single for four years. We talked for a little while on messenger than he wanted to talk on hang outs. We had only talked for about 5 days when he started to say he was falling in love with me. He later began to ask me if I would be his wife I mean come on no one falls in love that fast especially if you haven’t known that person long enough. He gets me to meet his daughter and she begins to call me mom I mean I dnt even know this girl. She than begins to ask me for $500.00 pounds for a trip their taking. The money was for hotel, vaccines, and spending money. I didn’t answer back, so I contacted her dad telling him I’m not sending no money than he begs please help our daughter I’m like she is not my daughter I’m not even your wife. He tells me I’m mean and he didn’t understand why I couldn’t help him than I tell him why can’t you tell him why can’t you give her the money your the dr driving the Mercedes. He tells me he can’t because his credit card did not work over there. Well I told him he was a scam artist and that I gave heard other stories of wife and parents in car accident and 14 year old daughter in boarding school. I deleted him from hangouts.

Had same incident. Met me through FB & wanted me to go to messenger, then Hangouts. JohnmWilliam / johnmwilliam has a 15 yr old son Billy in Larissa Greece going to school. John is Major General stationed in Syria Damascus. His wife had been ill for 8 yrs. Immediately calling me Hon wants to marry me & be a mother to his son. He said he is retiring in Aug. & we would be together as a family. This went on about 2 mos. Then all of a sudden his son gets into an accident on his 15th birthday, May 20th, 2019. The Dr. Gery Steven said they needed $2500 in order to treat Billy. They were keeping him comfortable on oxygen. I tried doing search on him, did find one but not sure it was that Dr. He sent me his e-mail stevengrey144 @ . When I tried sending e-mail it reverted back to Billy's email. Never heard of a hospital that wouldn't treat someone in serious condition.
I don't find any record of Adagbrassa Medical Center. The Dr sent back message Well, Carole that is the law of our hospital here, Carole I'm really busy with a lot of patient right now, my advice to you, you do need to at fast because the accident is very serious, but we are helping him with the oxygen. You do need to at fast or you may lost your son, but we will do our best to make sure nothing bad happened to him....Steven.
John could not furnish the funds because he can't access his money in Syria & he is such a big shot General Major & there is no one to replace him. I asked what hospital Billy was in, the name they gave me I did a search & couldn't find it. Suppose to be a small hospital in Athens. Dr. text me again stating needed to hurry up with the money because of Billy's condition was getting worse.. Being on low income I didn't have that kind of money. They wanted it in Bitcoins. They said I was Billy's mother, I informed I wasn't and they were to contact his Dad. John is begging and pleading with me to get the money some how. Kept telling him I couldn't get it. In the interim I had been sending John Google Play Cards so he could use them to make phone calls. Spent $1000 on them. / Also has a similar scenario #2 Same song different verse. Before John.. Gregg Irving or Gregg Griving. Has a son in Military academy school, wanted to go on excursion costing $3900. When I refused to pay for it he told me I wasn't any use to him. Hadn't heard from him till couple weeks ago. I deleted him immediately. I won't be communicating people I don't know.

I’m having same was talking to some bloke for few days then his 15yr son was in a accident and he wanted me to contact the embassy ASAP I soon blocked him on hangouts . Now I have a bloke called James William says he in army in seriya and asking me to send him a 200 I tunes card so he can top up his data me think it time to bloke him also

I talked to a similar guy. Even better is after I called him out on his scam he got kind of angry and mean. One thing he did is sent love letters by email but watch the spelling and grammar. He is still on my hangouts. He tells me to get off and does not know how to block. I said how do you like I am in control now. So when I see him active. I call him a scam and get off this site. Drive him off the site

Do you have a name of this guy. Same thing happening to me

If it is your hangout group, just block him. You can do that.

Same thing happened to me, wife killed in accident and had a 14 year old boy. On a cargo ship working and said I love you so fast. Then promised to see me and then something went wrong with the job and then asked for $10,000 money! Can we compare photos? Please? Thank you.

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