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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
Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

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

I have been contacted by a German man using the name John Aleksio. Please tell me some of the things he has been telling you. He suppose to be an architect. As soon as we started chatting he had a big job in Turkey. There has been one thing after another. I can’t find his name, email or phone number in any database but he does have a Facebook and LinkedIn Acct. I have denied anything he ask for but he still continues to call from a turkey number. He suppose to finish job this week than come back to states.

same here, same story but u can try catch them if they ask for money trought like western union cause u would need details like name of them or id , they don't ask but u can said they do so u have details of them .i did that when someone who was from us but working in turkey asked money but to be sent to Nigeria lol

That is a lie. Don't believe it. I experienced it before. They will wait for you to send money. Then you are done. There will be no trace of that man.

I believe we have been scammed by the same person. Went by Richard Langham

Totally sounds like the guy who goes by David Reyhan Wolfgang that tried to scam me out of money today. Met him on Words With Friends. Supposedly from Norway, living in San Diego. Wife died 3 years ago. Now on an oil rig off Ireland; his “machine” broke and he needs money to fix it and complete his “contract”. Asked for 8500 euros from me. He is one smooth operator. I’m keeping all the conversations from Hangouts...amazing!

same situation

i was in the same situaiton. A man named Duke beliant oil rigger at Total for 19 years connected me via Linkedin and asked me to join hangout messenger. He said he fall in love with me after some day chatting. I also feel love him because he all say very nice words to me. He asked me to call him but then he say just call, not video call. We chat and call everyday. Sometime he asked me about my job and internet banking, or whether the bank is opened or not during covid-19 restriction. Then this week he said there was an accident, one of his worker was injured and lost an index finger and his pump was broken and to fix this he need $75000. He only have 40000 so he have to borrow. a girl friend of a man in his team agreed to lend him $35000. But then he said she just gave him $27500 so he asked me for $7500. I said i dont have then he reduced to $5000. I realized that he would be a scam so i did not send him. He said i have no human heart to help when he is in trouble. I said I never send money to a person just meet online. He know my gmail. I blocked him in hangout. Hope he will not come back.

I met someone on match. He said he was from Belgium but retiring to the location I was at after HIS project on the oil rig ended. He ended up losing all his ID & credit cards and his equipment charges increased due to Covid. I told him I would never send him $. Contact stopped.
On the Online Zynga game Words With Friends, I had 4 different men message me & want to get to know me. All from different European countries, but lived in U. S. All independent contractors, self-employed, widowed, all on oil rigs .... I immediately saw a pattern and blocked them.
After reading your story, which, thank you for sharing, I see these scammers are truly out there. I don’t feel so alone now.

What was the name of Widow and what story she told you?

I met someone on facebook that friended me. Got me to fall in love with him. He lived in California got a contract on oil rig. Said he's in Brazil on oil rig. Started asking for Google play cards. I sent him $600 worth. Then he said machine broke down he only had $20000 with him and needs $10000 more. I pleaded that I couldn't give up my life savings being a single grandmother raising 2 grandkids ony own. He said as soon as his company pays him he will give me money back. Life like that really sucks. He is from Europe originally. His name is Mark Dexter.

Yes Yes!!! Tries to make you feel bad not helping him.

That just happened to me and he hoped I would never be in a desperate situation like his.

I had a gentleman get a hold of me on plenty of fish and he began talking to me and asked me to go to Google hang out which I did and he talked and sweet talk to me for eight or nine months and never asked me for money but sweet talk to me to the point that I offered to him and he said he was paid in gold in the UK gold bars And he asked to ship it to my address and the US even talk to my daughter on the phone and said he had two girls and that he left me that it just went all out and ended up breaking it off with him because I felt that this was not real and I was going to help him ship this so-called gold bars to the United States but he sent me some fake emails from the shipping placeAnd he was German and his name was William Smith but that could probably be his real name or not if anybody has had this same experience please let me know

Yes, agree. Anyone know why they asking my bank account, some one transfer the money to my account and then I transferred back to his account?

It sounds like the man I have been talking with for 3 weeks. He says he is an engineer on an oil platform, in the Gulf of Mexico. He says there was a big explosion, two men injured, drill broken. Cost $700,000.00 to replace.the drill. (Sound familiar)? He wanted me to agree to let his Cutts bank trans. $3,000,000.00 into my account I said “no”. Next, he wanted me to give him $20,000.00 for deposit on the drill. I did not give him any money. I ended the relationship yesterday. I told him in an email that I knew he was a criminal and that I knew he was using me as a mark. It hurts though. Said he was Swiss and moved to States with wife, she is dead, adult son. He is a very good looking older man. Mustache, beard, glasses, green eyes blond hair. He says he is 75, but looks closer to 60. He told me his name was Don Sergio Alberto, which is certainly not his real name. This guy could get you into a lot of financial trouble or legal trouble, if he is laundering money. Stay away from him.

I am actually in the same situation right now. He is 55 and started by sharing with him his big contract with millions of euros. Said they are working on an oil rig. We met on a Christian dating site and he asked me to leave. Said he is an only child, has a daughter back in the states whose mother left when she was young. Already wants marriage and to come to where I am residing in Asia. Says he is in Turkey. But just this week he had one of his employees made an error which then caused an explosion. So now he is asking for 1600USD so that his insurance company can replace his important machine that was burnt. He sent me his passport and I want to believe him but am not sure how to verify his identity and all. We have only dated a week and never video called.

I have been talking to this guy saying he's an oil rig in China and he's now off the oil rig On the Border in Beijing and says he can't get out of the country back to the United States unless he has $35,000 to pay the back taxes for the money that he made over there he sent me a check for $70,000 and the bank just notified me that it was a bum check and that he's a scammer his name is Marco Piper age 62 curly hair blue eyes 5-6 nice-looking claims to be widowed 2 years ago has a son 11 years old is anybody know this man he supposedly says he lives in Buckeye Arizona

I have the same experience I am riding out right now but I have been totally naive. Hes already got £1,570 - $1970 out of me. I'm haemoradging money loss now. A smooth operator in the name Ambrose. Got me from Instagram. Sounded so genuine. Took me off to WhatsApp. We texted everyday till Thursday 28th May 2020. Hes blocked me. But I'm doing my own investigation and screenshot face of young man in Turkey he asked me to send $500 I'm on to something massive. I've got 3 names from this young man now. I just need police corporation now.
Thanks for your sharing stories ladies. My love interest also claimed wife died of pancreatic cancer 6 yrs ago. His parents died in plane crash when he was 19. Originally Norwegian, now lives in US California. But his nos is from Dallas Texas. What a joke.

I have been corresponding with a man for over a week. He asked me to go to Google Hangouts. I did, the next day he asked me for money. His wife died years ago. He is a UN doctor on contract in Syria, he needs his personal items from Iraq. He asked for $5,500 US dollars then when I said I didn't have that kind of $ it was dropped to $3,200. He has professed his undying love for me. He is so handsome. I did a reverse photo search and didn't find much. I am supposed to MoneyGram $700 to him. I didn't want to be a fool but I he sounds so great. He's from Dallas TX. Sounds too similar.

Long story Handsome Soldier & a of lot of money 2 nd Leuentant Frank Paul is Big time scammer! His box, military buy out, travel Cheryl Hite wire address all scammer. Delete quickly

Very familiar. I think this is someone I am talking to around the 15th of July

Anyone have any contact with Hans Dorst, Dorst Hans, Louise Stokes, Kenneth Cook?
reverse face search found same pics on roughly 10 dating sites, some in Russia, some in USA. The pics appear to really belong to a completely different guy who was identity was lifted from Twitter.
This scammer is a "civil engineer" "secret gov contract" "has a house in Houston" and after 5 weeks of schmooze, his mom is dying and his wire transfer didn't go through and he needs 10K to pay the hospital bill....These are only 3 of the names I found him under. I am sure there are more.

Same guy friended me on fb. Says his name is Felix Morrison. Says he is UN Dr in Syria. Isn't funny that all these guys are widows. Says he wants to marry me almost immediately. Must think we are stupid. Just asked me to get him itunes. I was sure he was catfishing but wanted to see what he asked for.

A guy with name Anthony Anderson, 60 y.o, from Washington DC, CEO/Engineer/Business Develeopment Manager of Towerfield Petroleum, widowed (wife passed away 3 years ago), son died of automobile accident, granddaughter Sarah and daughter in law Elaine living 25 minutes away from his home, and a dog Billy. Now he said he's on the rig in Turkey and had problem with custom asking him to pay fee for manufacturing the equipment, but he reached the limit on bank transfer. He used fake photo owned by a DJ in Denmark, also use fake Iron Bank online banking.

Must be a lot of those UN doctors in Syria. One is trying to contact me too. Has not asked for money yet but I’m sure that’s coming! I reported and blocked him.

Hi
A guy from Dallas Texas, contacted me on FB and said he is in love with me. Self Employed, Good Looking, Widower .
British Accent, recently he is in Malaysia for a project and he has no access to his bank .
He needs money to send to his daughter who is in a hostel in California.
Something is fishy.
How does your guy looks like

Hello Poor Mom,

I’ve been talking to my guy since September as well. Meet him on FB too. He to is from Dallas Tx. and is a widower. However, he tells me he has a 15 yr old son. A caregiver is watching him while he is offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. He is very good looking with green/hazel eyes. Very sexy looking. Also says he loves me and wants to marry me. Wish we could share pictures and compare.

I meet a doctor suppose to be in Syria on Facebook then he wanted to go to hangouts to talk. Says he has 14 year boy with nanny at boarding school. Doesn’t have access to his bank account . Wants steam cards to help with internet access. But he lives in Houston Texas he said. His name was Chris DC

Met someone online also on Facebook Dating, he's from Houston Texas working in Shanghai China project manager installation of 5G in Shanghai, Has a 10 year old son and his mom only of his family Son and mom have a nanny and son has a driver. Had a problem to his bank account and is asking me to pay $4000 to get materials from Customs. Everything seemed good after many weeks of chatting, he's pressuring me for 8 days now for the money. His name is Fraser Christopher (not real name) yet he sent me ID cards to prove who he was. How dishonest, never sent him money...

Same with me... man told me he's a widower lost his wife, met him on Facebook dating. He says he's from Dallas Tx but bought house in Houston. Fell in love with me short period of time and has asked me and pressuring me for $4000 to pay customs he's in Shanghai China. Makes me feel guilty as I will not give him money, has dual citizenship German and American.

I got one from denmark working in sweden...says has house in nc..sent him 600.00 i am.done..

Oh boy...our stories are not exactly the same but the guy I'm talking to uses the last name Ambrose. Hopefully you see this and get in touch ASAP. I have several pics from him. I'm so sorry this happened to you. No one deserves to have their heart or wallets tampered with in this way.

I am talking to a man named Gavin Michael. Met him on words with friends2. Now we are on hangouts. Said hes been divorced 6 years and has a 12 yo son. Living in Los Angeles. Self employed petro chemical engineer who left for Turkey on a contract. First his equipment being shipped from China was to go to Ankara, but was rerouted past Cyprus. Cyprus customs wanted 50,000 to release equipment. Now the equipment is broken down and wants 170,000 to repair and get machine back so can finish 1st phase to collect 40% of contract money. Says he will come back to the states to get his money and meet me for a happy everlasting life together. Plans to hire a foreman to run the rest of the job. Says cannot take pictures.

I met Mark Avey Ragan.
Claims he has a house in austin. Hangout phone call getting to know him, his wife dies 3 1/2 years ago and his 13 year old son is in boarding school in Germany. Staes he has a contract with UN as architect.
When I asked him about Austin, he know nothing about it. And asked me for a gift card. Amazon or steam.
What on earth makes people want to hurt others?! I just dont get it.

The man contacting me on Facebook says he is a contractor on a Marine drilling rig. Claims to be from Austin, TX. He is white, claims to be 63 yrs. old. Handsome man. Has white mustache and a white goatee. Claims to have a 14 year old son. Sound familiar to anyone?

I have a similar guy named Baldwin Jäger. Anyone knows him?

Do you have any photos of him to describe him? All of these latest scammers sounds like one in the same with some facts repeated to us women

Don’t trust him. I have similar one, his equipment got held up by customs. Met on Words with Friends. Self employed, widowed 5 yrs, 12 yr old son, engineer got a contract. His equipment needs to be transferred from Custom seaport to oil rig. I told him he drew a dud this time, I don’t have money, bet on the wrong horse when he chose who to chat with.

I also met someone who is in turkey and needs money to repair machines. He is project manager at a construction site in Ankara. goes by the name Daren Marc miller Walsh. Can we exchange photos?

Same story, same location, same company, different name. Pictures galore of a handsome man. Found the pics online he stole from Instagram and used. Would be happy to exchange photos. Just do not know how to do it

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