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

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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

Me also was talking to a girl i met in meetme she said she was an e6 sergeant in syria her name was Catherine hannisick after 3 days of talking she ask for itunes card and I brought it after she started to ask for more so i blocked her on hangouts we never spoke on phone only email and hangouts this went on for almost 5 months i send her about 1.500 dollars when I started to ask for proof she just told me she was going to give me space i feel so stupid i also set her up made up an email and Netflix account gave it to her and when she sign in it was in Nigeria she claimed her friend stole it and gave it to someone

I got in touch with Catherine hannisick again through meet me app is where she always be she claiming that she love me and wants to marry me she said her commander said he will pay for half her plane ticket and she needed to come up with the other half of 1200 dollars then she said if i could pay the whole amount so she wont have to pay him back she also said that the commander will call me can anyone help me i dont think a person on a mission in the army have that much time to be texting and on dating app i send this person 1500 already i ask her for proof because she will say she have nothing to eat because the camp was attack she would send me an image of pasta from the internet i felt so stupid omg can anyone please help me what should i do

Block her ASAP. Do not send her anything.

Thanks i already did block her but i had to find out who it was so I contacted her again and we talk for a bit finally got her to video call she was black she didn’t think that it will show her i got a picture of her which i can just file a police report for impersonating another person and fraud she still says she is in the army which I highly doubt after all this she have the nerve to ask for a 10 amazon card unbelievable what a lowlife scum reya4catherine and still using Catherinehannisick she have the nerve to ask me to remove my review so she can use that person identity again because she thought i was weak and willing to do what she ask these people have no heart whatsoever they just want to use people looking for romance to get rich by the way this person was so horrible looking and dirty to think all this suffering for that lowlife scumbag

I have a guy I been talking to for a couple months and he said he was from Cali on a contract in Nigeria. He was getting a large amount of money for this job and was afraid it would be stolen over and wanted to send it to me. I told him not to put my name on it. So he sends me a picture of the check it's for over 500 million$. But he put my name on it and said it was coming courier company and wouldn't have to pay anything. Then he started asking for money to come to me and marry me and help take care of my elderly mom. He talked her into having me send him 200$ a week later it was another 300$. All the while talking to my mom begging her to get a loan and send even more. That he would be here the next day. She didn't send him anything so then calls crying to her on the phone how he loved us and all that kind of crap. Now he's still trying to get my last 70$. I have fallen so far behind my whole disablity check went to try to catch up on some of the things I didn't pay cuz he should have been here by now. He has made fake emails to the airline over there, fake emails from the courier company and actually made it look like they needed 200$ to not tell the authorities how much was the check was for and that it's being held till I pay or they turn it in to customs. It's a big bunch of BS and he just gets mad when I tell him no. His supposedly name is Paul Williams or Paul Christopher. I don't know where to start with reporting him to the proper authorities.

I have a similar experience with a girl who said she is Mandy Bender, sent me a friend request on Facebook, I was curious why a beautiful girl like you should contact me, anyway she got me a hangouts site which suppose to be private and we chatted for 3 days and I had a inkling I was being scammed as she asked me to get a I tunes voucher, I played dumb and made out I couldn't get one, then she started asking me about money so I said I was in debt, the big thing was asking for my address which I declined, so I knew she was a scammer, she told me I was the best thing that has happened to her, she kept telling how much she loved me and I was the only person for her.
I have now blocked her and good riddance. Facebook need to do something about these persons.

I just had a similar experience on Instagram. A guy named Kurt McMahon sent me a friend request. Then started professing his love for me (too quickly). He was a legal us citizen, lives in LA, Beverly Hills, has a son named Oliver. That his lost his wife 2 years ago in a car accident. He was looking for love again and was convinced I was the one, the search was over (lol). He even wanted to meet up with me.Then started asking for iTunes cards to upload some files online for a project he had at work, a contract that was gonna help him gain lot of money. He claimed he couldn’t use his credit card bc he had not had time to renew it (he thought I was that stupid to believe that). Then he switched to Amazon cards ($50-100) claiming that he would buy stuff for me. When I told him I didn’t have money he would ask to get him just a $25 iTunes or Amazon card instead. I knew he was lying all along. The day (which was October 16) he supposedly on his way to meet up with me, he texted saying he needed a $100 Amazon card to buy stuff for his son Oliver, it was urgent. I was communicating with him tru hangouts app. I went bck to his Instagram page it said user not found. That was yesterday October 16, 2018. Watch out out there y’all!
I told him countless time even from start that I he was a fraud, a fake! Told him that yesterday before blocking him on Instagram and deleting him on hangouts. Instagram needs to do sth about these persons too!!!!!

Sounds like same guy that did same to me. Claimed he needed money that his bank account had been frozen in the USA. Said he was working in the Gulf of Mexico. He showed me a video and didn't have an accent but talked on phone couldn't hardly understand him because of his speech. Its very similar to what happened to me. He wanted money said I was his lovely wife and his wife died in car accident. But I fell for his scam but sent no money

Sounds like the guy I met on words with friends. I've talked to him twice supposedly from Germany...No German accent. I could hardly understand him. His wife died in a car accident, but it was to painful to talk about. 12 year old daughter started Texting me asking for itunes card. It was all on hangouts. Deleted his Words acct. How can we exchange photos of this guy. He's waiting for me to Western Union him money for a plane ticket. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Susanna I see your post was from Nov 17, 2018. I don't know if you check back with this site. I've messaged another lady with the same story. Thanks

This sound like a similar story. Wife killed by drunk driver and has a 14 year old daughter. Does anyone have a photo?

I was just talking to this same man claimed his name is Leslie Harmon. Told me he had post paid for cell phones for us and later was asking me for my cell phone information. That sent up a red flag. So I started to investigate him. Sent me a fake license.

Just wondering, was his Instagram name kurt.mcmahon? He’s been messaging me and I’m worried because my story is matching up. Please someone let me know

OMG same story here I met a guy online that obviously copy pastes that he is a great man has 12 yo daughter asks me for a Steam card no specific amount for his daughter I tell him no happening he tells me how sad she is actually has the audacity to send me a photo of $160 in Steam cards says he bought it for her the receipt was from 04/2018. Ohh I could go on what a scammer. BEWARE

Is his Instagram name ‘kurt.mcmahon’ by any chance? Please let me know, I’m talking to this person and his story sounds incredibly similar to your Kurt

Kasey this ‘Kurt.mcmahon’ on Instagram is fake and fraudulently impersonating an innocent Italian man with a different name. Check his image on google in ‘reverse image search’. I’ve confronted him and he blocked me. And this was just a couple days ago. Luckily I never sent him anything.

I finally caught this person Catherine hannisick she or he was a scammer i should of know better this person was taking pictures from facebook and instagram somehow got into her private account im so mad that i fell for this all the signs were there but i was feeling alone and she was nice in the beginning but now i know i tried the plenty of fish app it’s garbage also u have same scammers trying to lure u into hangouts saying the same stories about being in the army or some sad story im still thinking about reporting this i have all our conversation and pictures saved on my computer even when I tried to stop talking she would say she try to hurt herself which of course was all bs what bothers me the most is that these are heartless people just after people money

Anyone who knows this Sandra2017 she's very good at convincing you she is real.

Where is this Sandra supposed to be located right now?

Hey Clifton was her name sandra ham?

Mathew MacCleary was scamming both you and me simultaneously. Your name isn't Alana is it because he once called me that by mistake. Australian citizen, deceased wife Laura, Pentecostal, grew up in Brazil ..sound familiar?

The name is mine! His name and information is completely different, but could be the same guy. I've been corresponding with him since early August--off and on--but have been suspicious. He tried asking me for an I-tunes card once. I refused. Pretty much the same M.O., but with different facts--his name is Mark Destenay, from Berlin, Germany, working on a rig in Gulf of Mexico. I have not given him ANY money, but it's come up several times, in a very general way. He talked about wanting to deposit money into MY account--which sent up red flags because I thought if he actually asked me, he'd want my account information. We used phone, texting, and Hangouts!
STAY CLEAR!!!

I'm usually pretty good on judging ppl. But I got scammed to. He has my Address... I don't know what to do... Please help

Hi, my “suitor” knows my address also and where i work. Has anyone given you a response. My guy is good. He is an off shore oil driller. Knows all the lingo and parts of the job. Was in LA but now in Malaysia. Plans to marry me , Only after a few weeks . Only child, parents dead, told me he was 50, now it is 53. Has a daughter. Ex wife cheated on him with best friend- thats my true story Best part. “His” photos were stolen from Instagram, so when i did a reverse search... yeah well . The photos are 10 years old. And on multiple scammer warning sights. Now his camera is “broke” cant send any photos. Is a independent contractor. Got me off dating site first day. Very attentive. Calls me at certain times of day, pretty much same everyday.
Says born and raised in la and Sweden. But no vital statistics records found.
Is there anyone out there with similar story?

Exactly the same story, made me feel guilty for refusing to buy iTunes cards, wife died, son, lives in LA, flew to Malaysia, sent pics of the gold he was buying! Declared undying love for me, going to whisk me away.... These people must think us women are stupid & desperate! ... I'm glad I've read all these stories , I don't feel on my own with these feelings now,

It happened to me too...said his wife died in childbirth and the baby died too! Said he was a doctor working in Gaza but from Miami. Pictures were gorgeous! Then he said he needed $7,500 for a Bitcoin Deal! That’s when I used the reverse image app ...put his picture in and found out he had stolen a Doctor in Berlin’s photos and used a fake name! I busted him and he swore at me! I reported him and contacted the real doctor in Berlin to warn him what was happening! DO NOT TRUST ANY man online who appears to be “too good to be true”!!!

Hi. I suspect foul play with a guy, very good looking, pastor-like, tall, who went from Dallas, Tx to Malaysia as a supposed contractor. His wife died at childbirth, baby too. Has supposedly a daughter studying in London, England. East European accent, well-read, highly intelligent, sensual. His name is Eiswerth Peter on a profile he had and then erased, on Facebook. After 2 days in Malaysia, he was "mugged" and robbed of all his belongings, passport, credit cards, the works. He is insisting because of our "LOVE" I'd have to help him, send money again after I already sent it... He said I am his wife on the second chat.

I have experienced the same story... Divorced, have 3 kids, wife betrayed him with his best friend etc... except he went to Dubia in 2017 and is back home supposedly now. Did this person ask for I-tunes so he could call his company back in the States?

I obviously was tricked in a similar way. Girl’s name is Kareen Wood. Asks for Steam cards now for the third time. That finally made me question her story.
She claims to live locally but comes up with endless excuses for not being able to meet. Works in a coffee shop without name, lives with her female friend, her parents died in a car accident when she was little and she also fell in love with me rather quickly.
I hope others will learn from these posts before they are taken advantage of.

I got the same story and he want i recieve his money for his business because he in army now . And he was ask me iTunes card . And he sent to me $200 because i said i need that

Same exact story except born in Greece, lives in San Antonio, working in China Sea and stranded in China.. all other info the same down to the camera on his phone being broken.. I can’t figure out how to look up His pictures though, wish FTC would create a place on here where we can compare them! I currently have about $9000, $4000 from a fake check the rest from borrowed funds from family and a credit card account I opened for him! Hate myself for falling for this guy!

Hi
Think we’ve met same guy very similar story, his name in Harry josh Wells . But wife cheated but is now dead.
Again he wants to marry me etc etc , has an issue as his bank account has been blocked and he has to get home to meet with his bank manager. Asked me for £2000, the amount had altered since. I have refused saying I don’t transfer money into other people’s account. I’ve called him scammer as he wouldn’t send me docs to carry out s due diligence check.

I never got scammed because I'm too smart for that but a few days ago I was texting a woman named Malissa Moore on Facebook. She wanted me to go to a site called Hangouts and said she wanted to get married soon so she could get access to her late fathers property worth $55.000. Whatever that means. Then she had the nerve to ask me for a $75.00 gift card for some project she had.I told her flat out no way and said I'd report her for being a scam artist. Then she begged me and said she loved me and wanted to get married right away but only if I sent her money. I told her to get lost and blocked her. Why do they let crooks like her try to rip honest people off I'll never know. You think you might find love but end up with more heartache.

That person sound so familiar to me everything the same but the name Christopher David Dorrough is this person name
Anybody know of him?

They guy I was in contact with could be your guys brother! Mine has his own business, but the website has so many grammatical errors. He told me his parents were dead, only child, had a son that an elderly family member was raising. Sent me a copy of a "contract" for a job overseas that looked like a blind hamster wrote it. Needed large sum of money to get there. No , no, and no!!! It was all about money. Even had other women he was hustling send money to me, then me send it to someone else. Shut that down in a hurry. Every time I asked him a question about something that didn't sound right, he would ignore me. Found out recently, that he had.been in Nigeria all along. Called him on that, and he didn't like it. Haven't heard from him in almost a week.... probably because I told him I was broke, and that I busted him.
Prob embarrassed. Going to check these other web sites, and see if he stalking them, too. What a big dummy he is...and I almost was!!

Yes. I was scanned for a lot of money. Independent contractor in Dubai. Needed money for project. He was building a home for some royalty in Dubai. I made wire transfers and sent many itune cards. Even booked his flight to the US. He never got on that plane. Said they could not check him in. I did find out that the lawyer he claimed to be using, was in VA so I notified him. I notified the FBI but never heard back. Could not get in touch with the bank or the land authorities to confirm anything. He was very good at his love scheme. Sent me flowers twice. Very attentive, sent me many pictures. I found him in Instagram but he has deleted that now. I meet him on Words with Friends. Then talked for months on what's app. He even had me take to his xwife to confirm him. I'm sure she was part of the scheme, as well.

The one that i had spoken with for months says he was born in Louisiana but lived most of his life in Italy. Works on a vessel as a maritime programmer. Ex cheated on him with his best friend. Has a Facebook account. I also found an older account on Instagram. Very intelligent. Everything was kosher until he asked me to get an I tune card from Wal-Mart and put 200 dollars on it so he could get the e codes for e zines to upload videos faster to finish his coding on what he's programming. Of course I said, No. Then he said, I hurt him because he really needs me for that. He has sent photos, called on messenger and called on video chat with only part of his face showing while on a boat that was moving. Says he has no children or siblings and never been married. Any similar stories on here?

I'm talking to the same guy right now and hes asking me to check a bank account for him to see if theres a deposit. All info is the exact same as you mentioned.

How were you able to do a reverse search?

OMG; so I am corresponding with a guy right now on Instagram who has professed his love; wants to marry me and be the mother to his child. He claims to be on an oil rig on the Mediterrean and needs to upload project files. No one else can help him. He also is saying he needs data on his phone to keep texting me. He can't use Facetime because of CCTV all around.
I know; am I stupid you are thinking.
This guy is putting in the time chatting and his photos well he is gorgeous of course.
I haven't given him anything; but it's killing me. I really fell for him and kept trying to convince myself it was real.

I went through a very similar situation. Mechanical engineer, single dad, only child, dad deceased, lived all over the world, and working offshore. Quickly fell "in love" with me, stated he needed financial help. I felt foolish, falling for this person. How did your situation end?

Did he say that he is from taiwan and work offshore in johor bahru south china sea?

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