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

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!

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

No one deployed overseas in a hot spot should be using a dating site. Violating security protocols. My would be scammer asked me to let his bank wire his money into my account to save it from being confiscated. At least I recognized that as a variant of the Nigerian scam. Wish they could be caught half as easily as they seem to catch their would be victims.

I also met this gentleman on the TAGG website, who calls himself Johnson Smith. He is in the United States Marine Corp,deployed to Egypt. We chatted for a little while, and he suggested a different website (Whats App) to continue talking. We talked for about two days, before he gave me the story about bad food over there, and he needed money to buy American food, and it was expensive. He asked me to send him $700...which I have not done. First he said send it Western Union,then he said no, send it through Money Gram. This should not be happening. I decided to Google scams, and found this site.

I just got a request from a woman claiming to be a marine stationed on a peace keeping mission in Nigeria, she said she needed money for food lol

Thanks for the heads up I too been scam earlier today this girl I met on dating site asked me for money for about fifty dollars gift card for Amazon she said that she was in Nigeria

Is there any way I can add photos to my comments? I have 3 photos of men not listed and current chars of them wanting money

No, we can't post pictures on the blog.

Can we put there names on here I also have pictures

This is person on facebook claiming to be General Stephen Townsned. Very attractive man. He is trying to scam people like myself, says he is in love with me and wants to meet me and spend the rest of his life with me. Want me to sent him lots of money for flight to come here and meet me and marry me.

Same person claiming to be General Townsend, born in Griffin Georgia, and is overseas fight the war.......wanted me to send two I-tunes cards because he's not able to have any money and can't access his bank while there..........hmmmmm go figure He's is also in love with me and wants us to be together when he gets back to the states......................

I would like to see your picks. I have been searching for sites with pica of men scammers. It seems to be hard to find them.

I have been getting chatted up by a guy called Wilfred Joe, who claims to work on oil rigs and has a young son called Wilson. He asked if I would send him money for leave from the rigs. I have been looking here to check him out and note he has been using lots of different names like Daniel Markel, Roland Smith etc. Thankfully I did the photo search and found out he is a scammer. I have read what other people have said and note that in his profile under various names that he has used different locations as his home country and also different dates of birth. I'm glad I didn't send him any cash and kept refusing his request to send him money.

I met a doc Wilson on line working in Syria as medical doctor for us army but working for United Nations and is 57 and wants early retirement. Very romantic and good with words and sending music links and within 3 days of being on dating site he wanted to move to email and professed his love quickly and felt I was his soul mate. He
Uses Emails hangouts and Skype! wanted me to send £2800 for flights Dubai to uk business class as he reckons he has diplomatic passport & services would fly him to
Dubai from Syria. after 8 weeks of daily contact I said no and said he was a scammer.
He is still contacting me saying him loved me and I have made it clear I’m sending no money, His name is Kev but he likes to be addressed as Wilson..

Could his name be Kelvin Teddy

I recently had a doctor from the UNITED NATION'S saying that he was looking for someone like me. He said that he had a daughter and was living in Maryland, and his daughter was in boarding school. He said he was in Syria,send there for a year. He told me that he had 3 months to go. He used the name of Adams Harold Anthony jr. He said he was American. He called me and as soon as I heard his voice I knew he was a scammer. I keep hearing a rooster in the background. His said that the military camp was close to Syria homes. He then told me that all he could do was think about me. He had only text me a few times. So I hung up on him? And blocked him. Now I have another one saying the same thing but this one is on a oil rig. Blocking that one too.

Just ended my online supposed “love” scammer Wilson Moore or Moor yesterday! He had me good! Smooth eloquent talker, romantic, handsome, with 8 yr old daughter living in Virginia with nanny as he worked in Iraq as a doctor with MSF org. for US Army. Mom n dad, n ex wife and grandmother all deceased..

He called me his wife pretty quick. He wanted $2700 for lawyer and docs due to him being detained in customs in Istanbul Turkey for supposed transporting money in his luggage??? He was supposedly on his way to see me!! Sooo many red flags in a 2 month period only. But I was blinded, and now feel heartbroken?

But, reading all these testimonials has me feeling like I’m not alone and a lot better. I wish I could compare photos with someone or somewhere? I had that what if he is real mentality! I feel so foolish for falling for this type of scam. Very vulnerable i guess?? What an experience. No money was ever sent, thank goodness. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Yes I am interested in your post I was akwardly induced to like this girl that was not real... "The scam artist" told me she was looking for love but I let her think twice about what she had said to me because nothing made sense she said she was from the US but lives in Nigeria with her grand mother stupid me sent her 3 pictures of me so now I know a poor girl will see that face of mine but worst part is that I have no clue how she ended up in my Gmail address I told her I no longer needed her attention and that she was basic a scammer and blocked her from my contacts so sad that these people think they can get away with posting other people's pictures and acting as if they are them that poor girl on the picture must of been looking for somebody and found the perfect guy.. but the good thing that I feel inlove with their girl in the picture and not the guy or girl who was telling me all those positive things..

I've been talking to female scammers on Twitter. Fast talking how they want to spend the rest of their lives with me and need iTunes because wifi used up. Or need money to fly to be with me. I laugh because I ask for pics and they send profile pic or same ones. I look at what is in back ground of pictures for info. Lot's of time they back east but on my same time zones. When they should be asleep. It's sad what people do a good minded person. Just shows how sick there mind is to think this way. And they call them selves American. To me a terrorist gets more respect. Lest they don't lie. They say they want to hurt us. Lol. Ask questions and don't move fast.
Best of luck.

I just had a very similiar experiance but his name is Anthony James. He is asking me for 23,000 to get out of jail for fines not paid after being in an auto accident. Extremely handsome man proclaimed his love and wanated to spend rest of life with me along with marriage. Just said this yesterday. He always knows just the right thing to say to bring me back to thinking that maybe he isn't a scammer. I sent him a 500 walmart card back in April so he could pay some bills here in the states. Come to find out today...he bought clothes , womens shoes and a playstation with it. UGGGGGG

This is the guy who contacted me!! He had asked for money but the bank told me not to. He is right now asking for iTune cards. Even while I came on this site to see why someone would want me to send them 2 $100 ones just for a gift. He said to take a picture of back of the cards etc. I am so glad I came on here!

Heartbroken,
I too had the same situation with my supposed man. He said he was from NY and ee were talking 2 months when he said he got the contract deal to mine for gold and diamonds in Dubai. A month later, he gave me the good news of recieving his pay for the job and the vehicle that came with the contract. He claims he was sending his pay in a briefcase hidden in the vehicle. Next thing I knew, I was getting emails from Asian Global Services for 1000.00 because I did not tell them there was cash in the car. Briefcase supposedly had 900k in it. Then they send another email stating I was going to jail for money laundering. Supposedly the vehicle and money was being held in Italian customs and another email came stating I had to pay 5k if I wanted the vehicle and money shipped to me. The whole time I am in contact with my man, Christopher Anton Raymond (whose name is not real), and he begs me to pay the money because he now was arrested for money laundering too. I told him to get lost. He is on KIK, keeps contacting me and says when he gets home, I will see he is not fake and I will regret treating him this way. I have pics of him too and gave them and all his info he gave me, to my son (who is a police officer) to research him. There was nothing. Chris gave me all fake info including a fake SS #, birthdate, telephone #, fake parents name and all. Then he has the nerve to call me annoting cause I call him on everything. What a scammer.

I too just ended a "love relationship" recently. Also felt heartbroken because I felt that he really was sincere and being honest. Then things just didn't start adding up right, and when I would question it, I rarely got an answer. If I did get an answer, the question was reverted back to me. This was over roughly 13 months. I lost just about everything I owned, family and friends were trying to tell me, but I didn't listen. Wish now I would have, and I wouldn't be looking for a place to live now, or having to look into bankruptcy because I have no money to my name. So, I know exactly how you feel because I to thought everything he told me was real, guess since mine is still so fresh, I still have a little part of me that believes he had been telling me at least some truth.

I have a friend i feel is being scammed. He has not asked for money as if yet. Question how soon before he asked for money? And what if anything could have convinced you he was a fake? Im trying to save her heartache and more but nothing works

How do you do a photo test?

I too, would like to know how to use the image search to identify a scammer

same here would like to now how to identify a pic scammer

Andie long wood , Andy Longwood, Craig , Scott Donald. Are they Scamers?

Me too, how do I photo search. Pls advise

You can go to YouTube and search "Google reverse image search"
Complete instructions.
I found out profile pictures were stolen. Names didn't match pictures. Scammers use same stolen photos and multiple names. I feel sorry for people whose photos have and are being stolen.

how to do picture or image test

Some guy named CLARK WILFORD is trying the same thing....except he says he has a daughter in boarding school....he says he is a marine welder in Germany at first he wanted an iTunes card so he couls renew his app....wth
I.sent him.NO money
Now he is claiming he needs $3000.00 to get his machines off the ship to.finish his contract. I.told him I.am.not a bank DELETE!!!!

This guy I was texting is something similar to yours but uses a different name,and he says he has a teenage son,who lost his mother to cancer, has not asked for any money though,not yet, did this guy let you text his child which is probably him .my guy says his nails Steven Robinson,and his son is Eric...can you see if he uses the named I mentioned....

Just go on Facebook. You don’t have to find them they find you. Then they get you off Facebook and have you go to Hangouts. From there they want to text your cell phone number. First time the guy asked for money he wanted me to wire money to a bank down in Florida. Gave all the information so I called the bank and spoke to a bank officer. She asked questions and said not to send the money unless I had met the person on the account in person. She also let me know I was being Scam. I did not send the money. Now he is really pressuring me into sending him 2 iTunes cards for $100 each. He told me not to tell anyone about us. I am stupid but not that stupid. He goes by the name of James Antonio.

Mine just asked me last night for iTunes cards. I said no but the light bulb went off when he did. I didn't react on the text just said broke. Hoping to end things quickly or find this sucker.

I was scammed by someone that says he is dwayne collins, an engineer working on an off shore oil drill off the coast of southern ca. Has photographs of himself with a lovely 11 yr old daughter, supposidly in a boarding school in Austria. He asked for $$ twice & a street address. Smooth talker, could be a nigerian scammer, terrible english !!

so, what do we do?

I am concerned about my friend who met someone on Instagram 6 weeks ago. He is from Scandinavia ? and he too is an off shore engineer in California. He has given her access to a bank account and she is doing some smalltransactions for him. He has just asked her for some money to buy some equipment which he will pay back when imminent funds come in....$20,000! He says he loves her, is spiritual, sending her roses etc. Any detail you know that would convince her he is a scammer would be great. Thank you!

You could explain that some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They meet people online, create a relationship, and ask their new sweetheart to user use her own bank account, or the scammers account, to receive and transfer money.

 

If you do this for a scammer, your name is on the bank account and on the money transfer forms. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

 

Read more about online dating scams.

I was just scammed by a man calling himself Austin Hansen. Met on dating site, said he just arrived from Australia, and was working on a oil rig in Gulf of Mexico for 8 weeks. Claimed to be a widow, with a 10 year old daughter Sarah who needed a mother figure. Very smooth talker, had Australian accent, professed his love quickly, claimed they were not allowed to use Skype or FaceTime on the rigs, but was able to talk on phone morning and night. Sent many pictures of an attractive man and daughter. Wanted me to help him find a house to buy quickly, sent me fake bank info showing he had 3 million in bank, but the account was frozen. His mother needed an emergency colonoscopy and wanted me to send him $4,000. This man was very intelligent, well spoken, and very good actor. Would cry when he told me of his wife dying of cancer and daughter not having a mother.

Sounds similar to a my story except his daughter was 12 and needed a min in her life. The name my person went by was John Wilson. Meet on messenger they him contacting me and soon started asking for money for several different purposes. Every time is tell him no, be wouldn't talk for couple faster than come back and start all over again with all the nice chatter than hit again for money. In all total 6 different needs for the money for a total of several several thousand dollars. From cash in red target card to money sent thru CVS to iTunes cards. Stir clear. I have

My mother in law is being scammed but she won’t believe us that he is a scammer he has scammed a lot of money we keep trying to tell her he is not coming. He told her he was from US had to go to Mexico and is trying to get back to US and needs papers and plane tickets for him and his 2 children. I reported it to FTC but they did not contact me back. I’m talking about almost $9000 he has scammed her. She say I just need to send the last of it and it will be done. We just don’t know what to do. She neglects herself for this person that don’t give a damn about her.

I would not go for any type of date unless I knew them personally and for a long time.As far as money goes just the word money or deal helps me ignore them.

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