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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

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.

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.

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?

Did he send you pictures? Can you describe him?

Please don’t trust him. It’s hurt.

This guy has told me he's on an oil rig and needs money for repairs on hoses. Goes by the name of Joe Cross

do you have a picture or a name please we are in the same boat

Do you have a photo of this man?

He has also used the name Richard Langham. He also has 6 other alias. Do not send money. He is a full blown narcissistic individual who will do anything

Do by any chance have the other names, LOL this is similar to one i was speaking with on a fitness app - but did my investigation and am pretty certain i just busted him... no comment for a few hours so we shall see. He went by the name Jason Lambert

I was talking to a man from Zoosk who said he was from Finland and was importing gym equipment. He got off zoosk right away , so I don’t remember his profile name . Asked me for a loan. I didn’t send it (Zoosk couldn’t really do anything without his profile name. Went by the name Jack Petersen. Tried to do some reverse look up and couldn’t find him.
Just to let you know, you can opt out of the people search type of sites, so that someone can’t get your info. Also, many times those sites are wrong. Try looking up your wind name. Wonder if it was the same man.

I have a guy from Finland in Turkey who is a architect . He is telling me he has a big job and wants me to send him iTunes cards. Same person?

I am in contact with a man from Italy who also had a big architect job in Turkey (in March)...what name does he use? We met in Christian Mingle.

Same here. He contacted me on LinkedIn under the name Stephen Alexander. Said he was an architect and going to Turkey but the pandemic stopped him. First he needed money for his business then for the hospital. I did not give him any.

This man, Oliver Lindstrom73 has
Tried to scam me out of $4,350.00
To pay for Helicopter service to take him off an Oil Rig out in the ocean! Gave me the link to email this company. I received their prices for different fares!!!!!!
What he wanted to do, was cut his contract short, and fly from the "Ill Rig. To Houston, and take his money out and fly here to marry me right away!! Intuition kicked
In, And I had all these red flags!!
I flat turned him down. On every
Thing he wanted to do. Which were all lies! He was going to get that money and run like a Jack rabbit!! He got nothing from these old's country girl!
Once he could get the money, he went into a rage, calling me names, ugly ugly names!
Bye, Oliver ! Lover Boy!

I have a very affectionate follower who is on an oil rig as we speak! What a coincidence! My guy is Julian. We should compare notes! Too bad we can't bust him,

This sounds just like the guy my mother is talking to.
He's going by ths name Mark Edeh.
He's asked her for 6,600, then 3,500.
Told her to borrow from family, sell her car, home.
Wants her credit score, bank info.

He uses pictures taken off another person's website.

Says he is stuck on a ship in the Persian Gulf, he's from Germany, has a daughter Pamela in boarding school in the UK.
That he's a widower.
Owns a 5 bedroom home in Chicago and many cars.

His bank account is blocked and he needs my mother to send him money to reactivate it so he can hire a private jet to leave where he is.

When she told him she hasn't any way to get that much money, he has suggested and insisted she buy Amazon cards for him to pay his bank with.

But he also told her to give him her bank info so he can transfer money to her, then she can send it to him.

And she's falling for it and trying to come up with it.
Help if you can possibly give me advice on how to get rid of this person before he takes what little she has.

She can't even afford food or her rent but he doesn't care.

You tell your Mom it sounds like we are talking to the same guy except this time he is from NJ . Does he talk romantic and send lots of poems. He now in Turkey on a ship working as a Mechanic . He has 2 children boy and girl they are inboarding school his wife died 3 years ago. He was
asking for 5 grand because he is sick. I did not send him money, I got a text from the nurse on the boat he had a seizure they needed me to send them money so they could fly him in for treatment and test. Met him on Scrabble now on WhatsApp. If you want to share pictures gladly send one. Yea he told me to take out a loan.

I had the same thing happen with a man named Harvey Benjamin but I caught on very early and warned him about my thoughts he was scamming but he just kept going at me. Until I flat refused to give in. All of a sudden I was a disgusting women but he slipped up and expressed that in Nigerian. Tell your mom to walk away right now!

No, I have a polish guy, who can't read Polish. Lol

I also met a Polish guy. Who had me real fooled & I was suspicious, then he asked for money for his I phone. Can't believe it, these lies they. Said he lives in US &works overseas. Anyone with similar experience recently?

Yep. Lives in Alabama.

Stephan Speaks German on a Oil Rig off south US coast .
needed 1000 to get his materials to finish his contract . was a engeneer.
NY telephone .
said he just moved to OR in a town near mine .
I did get him Itunes card but knew better then sending 1000$

Is his last name Duff and does he say he is a petroleum engineer?

How about Mike Conner. scott Kufus. Or Scott Stapley

Scam! Is his name Paul? I called the card company and they told me DONT DO IT. YOUR BEING SCAMMED. I STILL HAVE JIS PICTURE

Yes! Paul Collins Bujar with a florida license! Same story.

I think I am being Scamed by a guy who was on a rig in Hawaii. I paid him back to Denmark. Now he wants money to go back to Hawaii to sell his Company. His Name is JUSTIN Robert

Hi do you have the photos of him as I think he has tried to scam me too and it would be interesting to compare pictures

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