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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

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?

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

I think if we share pics that's a great thing.. maybe admin on here can advise on best way of doing this

I agree. This would be extremely helpful to victims and potential victims and criminal investigators.

This sounds exactly what I have heard From Evan... he is on a oil rig his machine broke down and needs 300,000 to fix to finish his contract.

Do you have pictures of him?

Yes have pictures

My intro to online dating was a scam that cost me $86,240. A civil engineer needing equipment released, then iTunes cards, then $500,00 because a child died from playing near his equipment and that money was for a settlement to the parents. I said I couldn’t afford that, he said they’d settle for $250,000. I was looking into mortgaging my home. I reported my loss to the local police AND FBI. Nothing they could do because I willingly gave the $86,240. I met him on POF and his name is Gary James. I’ve seen him on POF 3 more times up until yesterday and reported him to POF for the 4th time. I’ve only met scammers on various dating sites but now I’m very savvy and as soon as they ask for anything, I drop them. All of them since Gary have been reported on these sites. The latest scam was yesterday! All the other scammers names: David Alastor, Matt Ralph. There have been 4 others but can’t keep track of their names. Some engineers of some sort and two investment managers

Did he send you pictures? Can you describe him?

Yes I have pictures of him and daughter he has video called several times. It’s him don’t know what his real name is

Sage Gregory. Scotland, graduate of Edinburgh University. Wife died. Daughter, Mitchell in boarding school. Geological Explorer with contract for Exxon Mobile in Campos Basin, Brazil oil rig. Contract almost up. Machinery broke can't fulfill contract. Needs money now. Nice looking man in pictures. He's not Scottish. He is Spanish speaking.

Very similar to my story.
Civil Engineer
14 year old daughter
Shared pics with me
Speaks good English with Accent
Please share his pic

Does he have beautiful gray hair? Daughter has like auburn/red hair?

The guy I’m texting now is a contractor on an oil rig???? Good looking with name Terry Bristol. Norwegian, so he says! Dark hair graying on the sides. He says he’s 65 and divorced for four years. Very athletic! Not ask me for money yet! I’m very cautious but love the dialogue!!!

Be very careful , suddenly he will have an accident , he is so sweet and will ask for money , I talked to him for about a month then he asked for money
So good looking I went to catfish and the pictures were from a Italian actor

Same story I’m getting but not Germany he is on the Gulf his machine broke needs 300,000.00 to get it fixed to finish his contract. I had to laugh it was so crazy!!!!

Please don’t trust him. It’s hurt.

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