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.

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.

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.

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.

Many names Joy Abdel, Joy Baby Abdel, Marcusse Diaby, Bah Hulaimatu, Charly Choco Balde , Islanda Frislene etc , That Girl told me lie want my help and I trusted her, when my fathere was alive he deposited 6.7 million Dollars, Transfer this money. She gave me Fake bank papers, Fake Affidavit and power of attorney. I have no idea about scamme, My Reference number 88xxxxxx, I have lot of prove, Please save my money. I have no hope without you.

You don't start a relationship by asking for money

Very helpful. I never thought of scammers using online dating services.

I have seen this kind of situation on Dr. Phil (on TV) and then the other day a friend told me about a person, in our town, that was secretly involved and sending money to someone they met online and this person has bankrupted her family's money/savings!!!!!

Very good info thanks

thank you i share this information with others

I have had this happen to me for years by men "friending" me on Facebook, Google Plus Hangouts, and other online sites. They act very charming at first for a few weeks, then ask me to wire them money (which I don't) I have reported their profiles to Facebook, and Google Plus..but am ignored. To this day, their profile remains active, meaning how many more women have they scammed..and why nothing is being done about this. Have even reported to Scamwatchers, to no avail. When will something be done???

you need to post names so everyone can see them

There should be so much more in this warning. Some examples 8f a scammer.Scammers are using fake verification websites, the #1 being Craigslist Verify. But this is not craigslist, it is fake. Says will not charge credit card, for verification only. Thats a lie.
2. Any unsolicited email from an unknown source asking for a date or hookup. Sent from one email address, but wants you to reply to a different address. All fake.
3. Same as #2 only email is addressed to multiple addresses, your only cc'd or bcc, Fake.
4. Receive email and person wants you to join a sex site to see her profile and chat. Fake
5. All cam girls, they will lead you on but only want credits/money. Who knows where they really are.
6. You sign up for a sex site and try answering all of the questions wrong. It still lets you join, Fake.
7. Any profile with just a picture and one word. "Hello" Most likely Fake
8. Any site that says for entertainment only, uses "Love Stars, or any type of fake profiles as stated in the terms. Fake.
9. The scary one, there are "bots" on the loose in the internet. Not even real people, they are programs and algorithms initially designed for advertisements. They have progressed and taken on a life of there own. Example of a bit is ask a silly question like what is your favorite flavor of ice cream, it will ignore your question but continue with its conversation like you never asked.It has become impossible to use any online dating site without being contacted by a scammer. Some are so persistent that even after blocking, they have multiple e-mails set up so they don't miss a beat.

I met this girl on a dating site we have been texting each other for over a month now and is in Ghana here mom is sick and I have sent her $200 in iTunes cards and she wants me to set up an account here she has been sending me pictures of her and texting me every day and lives in Florida but is over in Ghana with her mom she wants to come live with me is this legit or a scammer

Unfortunately you are being scammed. I have been doing the same thing to a guy claiming to be stuck in Turkey. Big indication is needing ITunes cards. I'm so tired of being a victim in these scams

I am going through the same thing only the girl is in new york and needs help for grandma in ghana! Hell yes its a scam.

Also, pictures will probably be an avatar, a likeness of a complete stranger. In one case, it was a porn quenn. The scammer had an extensive collection of everyday photos. A filename screwup uncovered the scam, not not before I sent money. LESSON LEARNED. Pass this on.

Friend gets Social Security check, cashes it and then buys gift ards and sends $400.00 to Male unknown, who is suposedly in the Russian army and a pilot. Been ongoing for as long as I have know her. This week he is supposed to arrive (again), and they will go off together and live together. Many people have told her she is being scammed but she will not believe it. She is divorced living in her ex husband's home but will be out of there oon.

I have been trying to get rid of this sites but can't. They claim to be in walking distances to meet and have sex. This is an outrage and a sin i cannot get rid of them. One site is m.spdate.com. Another: www. freehookupaffairs. com. Wish the FTC could help. I already filed with them. There are others that suddenly send me a nasty message. I tried to see if i can unsubscribe or block them but those options did not come up.

I know of 2 scammers on face book 1. is a Dr. Douglas Carl ,which he is still on there 2.Austin Pacheco is still on face book they both are scammers Why are they allowed to scam women ???

I have met both fraud and legit on a Russian site. Fraud is always young,beautiful,almost qualifies to come to you but needs money for a ticket, sick Mum, or whatever.
Real would like you to go there, tries to save you money if you do, and does not ask you to send money. Also sends pictures of themselves in a group of friends or family with names and tells of the events.Relationships both near and far develop slowly.

This sadly is all too common. I have the name of the person and banking information. Chase bank will not do anything with this information. Therefore are complicit.

What's the person name i also have a name & account info of this guy i met online he started off being kind talking about God etc when i couldn't get my daughter to send more $ to his " pastor" he behind very abusive via text however he paid 2 of my bills before this. Which I sure he will call chase an maje a false report. Ive saved all texts messages showing him sending texting me. He even texted my daughter saying he was buying me a car but i had to come up w 275 an he would pat the rest.

It is getting popular for women to open Bank Accounts for their online lover. Collect money and forward to on and open credit cards. Also to send iTunes and Amazon and other gift cards ALL WHO COME TO YOU AND SAY MILITARY ARE FAKE. ALL WITH PROFESSIONAL JOBS ARE FAKE. NO REAL MAN CONTACTS A WOMAN FOR LOVE...AND MONEY.

Wow! I so wish I'd had this information last year, I sure could have sent you some pictures, emails, ID's and phone numbers of one scammer. It hurt like crazy to think all he wanted was money.

Now it hurts to think I was a "Mark". I was really stupid. If my story can help someone else,it is worth it. Been there, L

Even annoymous, thanks for sharing that which is normally not shared due to embarrassment.

No reason to be embarrassed. It can happen to anyone, especially those who say "it could never happen to me". Maybe there is a trick they would fall for that you yourself would not. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I wish you a good one. Be happy!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! You are NOT STUPID!!!! YOU ARE JUST TRUSTING!!!! I RECENTLY HAVE BEEN SCAMMED FOR MONEY FROM A SCAMMER ON POF, and it is embarrassing and emotionally painful, but I will heal and move on in life and use this as a "hard life lesson experience, and I am so happy and glad that I NOW KNOW THE SIGNS, WHAT I DID NOT KNOW THEN, A YEAR AGO!!!!!

I had an attempted scam on POF very recently. Had only used the site once before and it was bad enough (he was married) This time everythjngblooked legit. He had read my profile thoroughly. Asked pertinent questions. Got very annoyed that I wasnt falling in love with him. Stayed away for a day then came back and told me he was sorry but that now HE was behind with his work and could I get him an iTunes gift card so that he could get his computer updated. I copped on immediately but only because I had read the warnings on the site. I told him I knew and he (pretend) erupted and said "what's the point of you being in my life if you don't trust me?" The ironybof it. However i think he may have stolen someones identity and life picture to do it because he appeared in photographs to be legit.

Facebook has a lineup of scammers who are trying to make a hookup for money. They act very empathetic and they listen carefully. Then they come up with a scenario where they need money for an emergency. There are 100s of them on Facebook. The tip off is when they have a photo of them with an animal of kid. Then they somehow inform the kid they are getting a new mom. Lately, the scammers are on a peacekeeping mission.

A very good looking man in Army. Fell in love within 3 days after talking for 7 to 8 days wanted me to send $3500.00 to him to fly home. He was protecting Syria. I went along with him telling him l would send. Then l typed him a text telling him l was not an idiot !! And l was not sending a dime to him . He is in a Army Suit with the name James on it. Beware !!

There is a man who has now somehow given me reason to feel so guilty I dont send this money. He has over 11,000$ now. Hes scary and I contacted the FBI and local services. I inderstand the money is lost and I feel stupid- but the point now is he also is in the Army. ‘Sweetman123...’ (any derivitive), has his son, and as a single father. I caught onto and a half months ago when his birthday was fake. I went online to been verified and his phone number popped up and everything you said was real so I get for leaving him. But then things kept not adding up and not matching been verified. So now I am lost, sad, and had just left a 17 year relationship. So, I was very very naïve and you can imagine more heartbroken than ever. I have pictures and am eilling to help with anyone- help!

Was it James Krueger?

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! HE IS A FAKE!!!! AN IMPOSTER!!!!!

Look here that mans is an old man. Born in the ancient tjmes

I am talking to a man who has beautifully swept me. Asked for leave in army to be with me but didn’t have enough for ticket and asked for money said when he gets home he will get into his fidelity and pay me back. He has sent me pics of him with his mates group pics and some from home and 2 short videos am I getting scammed?

The US Army published an article and list of warning signs about online romance scammers who pretend to be soldiers. The  article says that Soldiers are not charged money so that the Soldier can go on leave.

I noticed that I have begun to receive Friend Requests from people I do not know and who do not appear to be associated with anyone I know. I thought these to be curious and was also suspicious of them, so I denied them.
Interesting that your article indicates that often these are people who claim to be from the US but are living overseas, such as in military service. One of the invites showed pictures of a man in various aspects of military duty, but his profile says he is not working and is living in Afganistan. These were red flags. Another invite was similar, but allegedly living in the US. I am glad you posted these warnings. Thank you.

Limit your friend requests to friends of friends. That will really cut down on that crap.

Set you request to friends of friends. Mine are set high to keep idiots like that from pestering me.

My mother fell for this after my Dad died. Was going on for seven years till she met a flesh and blood guy who gave her an ultimatum about it. She stopped. She still thinks she will get her money back at some point though! Can I send you the info I collected from her on this? His user name was Thomas/Tomas Burnett I have some of her receipts and emails with address.

You or your mom could report what happened at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. People who report can choose how much personal information to give. Thank you.

A guy saw me on Facebook and contacted me. It didn't take longer for 2 weeks before the word "money" came up. Because I am a city gal, I instantly knew what the deal was. And, coincidentally, the EXACT points mentioned above is what I encountered - instant love, dad former military guy whose estate was being settled in Singapore (of all places for an African American/though not impossible), etc. A word to t he wise. Needless to say, I gave him a good piece of my mind and it wasn't pretty.

"Because I am a city gal, I instantly knew what the deal was..." LOL.....well, I am a country gal, and golly gee, slap my thigh and can you give me an amen sistah, I instantly knew what the deal was too!! Just teasing.....at any rate, I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Twitter accounts - ESPECIALLY Facebook as EVEN WITH tighter parameters,such as accepting friend requests from only "friends of friends", well that doesn't do crap....all these guys need is some unsuspecting person to accept their friend request, and then they "get to know" that person's friends and well, there ya go. And ladies?? Use something other than your pretty faces and cleavages in your profile pics. Talk about making yourself a target right from the git-go!!! I have had a few instances of this kind of crap, but one guy was persistent enough that it scared me. No social media account is worth going through this crap.

It was just announced that someone in the city I live in lost $75,000 to one of these types of scams.

It's shameful what these scammers do to innocent people. They not only try to steal your money but break your heart as well.

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