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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.

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Money & Credit

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Ive been chatting with a guy from POF. He says his name is Robert Ollarr. I have a phone number and email address. I have google searched multiple sites and none of his identity checks out. He is military deployed to West Africa, divorced, son age 8 named Victor. He hasnt asked for anything except I write his superior ( strange shouldn't he have said commander) requesting leave for him. Also I've noticed he doesn't form his sentences like an American would. Also he says he's from Italian and Native American decent but he is blonde. I also have a picture of him in uniform. The last name says Ollar...email is ollarr03 @gmail. com Any info ? Thanks

I've had quite a few guys follow the same patterns mentioned above. The one that very nearly got me didn't ask for money but asked me to open a bank account. It was after we had been talking awhile and i was completely crushed. Never did but still feel incredibly guilty. I feel a little better now after seeing all these posts

I have been chatting for couple months now to this amazing guy, who I thought really loved me..but last night he called asking for£2000.
I have sleepless night over this , I am gutted thinking he may be scammer. ...
He too said wife died one son ....

Hello

I believe we may be dealing with the same man what is his name?

George Frederick?

I’m currently chatting to a supposed lady now, claiming to be from the US army. I’m fully aware she, they, he is trying to con me out of £150 in Amazon or iTunes vouchers. I’m keeping them hanging for as long as I can, because when they’re chatting to me they’re not conning someone else.

Have one been chatting with since January need iTunes for phone, needed money to ship deposit box from London cause place was closing due to bankruptcy. Now needs money for drill part and more money to have deposit box delivered. Does the name Tyrell or Gabriel Davis sound familiar to anyone.

Have been contacted by a gentleman named Mark James on Instagram was asked to move over to Hangouts and talk claims he is a widow and has a 10 year old son named Kelvin has asked for money to fix his faulty equipment claims he is an engineer on a rig and is from Australia. Has anyone been contacted by this individual??

Yeah been talking to a bobby good says he's in the UK needed money for his stamp and he even let me talk to his daughter anna and said to unsubscribe from the dating site went back on layer and a different pic he's on dating site as 14u2 on mate one I reported him and never heard anything back and his pix still up there and has a few accounts on Facebook he's white but he has a Mexican accent and told him what I knew and still asking to let him put money in my bank like really it don't feel right investigate I did and found out he's a scammer after three weeks and 2000 dollars later ugh very sweet and nice voice he said all the right things to me

I met this guy on Mingle2 and he is absolutely gorgeous. Very nice body you can see he works out. He messaged me and I replied back and we been talking ever since. He says beautiful things to me and one day he said he has fallen for me. I was starting to really like him. Anyways, he is a widow with a daughter. He works in real estate and other business. He was planning on meeting me but got called off to Africa regarding goods that needed his attention. Before that he gave me 3 different numbers to switch to. he called me a few times but mostly text. In the meantime I am online looking up info about scammers. Everything I read he has done so far. I wanted to see his face to see if he is the guy in the photos but always had an excuse. He has an accent. So, just yesterday he says he was robbed at gunpoint and needs money for his daughter's lessons. He says he can't get in his bank acct and says his advisor can wire me money. Plus he needs to pay bills. I told him I can't do this. Back up a bit he was also wanting to marry me. All the things he said sounded wonderful and yes I thought this is to good to be real. So, when I said I can't help him he says that he is hurt and can't believe I won't help and trying to make me feel bad. So he says if you don't want that's fine but if you do tell me. He feels I can't trust him now and says we can't have a relationship without trust. So now I wait to see if he will text me. He sent me alot of photos of him and his daughter. Doing my research I learned about reverse photo. All his photos were ok except for one. I went to that site and found more photos of him and all I found was the photo I had was misused. I also saw different names and a photo looks like he is a model. Yesterday more photos were posted but I can't find him by the name he gave me. Using same last name. I was really hoping he was the real deal.This stinks and btw I kept all his photos and emails with 2 videos he sent me plus I have a copy of our text where he asked for assistance. I am kinda leary about putting his name here. Tired of having my heart broken

Your guy reminds me a lot of my scammer Wilson? Post his name . My reply to another post is on the first page dated 5/9/18 on this ftc site. I do have a FTC question? How do we talk privately to posts on here that sound similar to our experiences? So we can vent and compare
photos and such? Please advise...

Supposedly on oil rig of coast of Texas. Dead wife. Parents died in house fire. Twin sister died at birth. Two kids, Smith (boarding school in Massachusetts) & daughter (Viola) at Boston College. Said he was from Denmark, but studied at Whittier College in California. Needed iTunes cards "to finish his map", had her take a photo & scratch off code. Then he was supposed to call, but didn't because "there was an explosion" and four people got hurt. After that, he 'lost his wallet" and the "Board of Directors" couldn't locate it. Called her "My love" & "My Queen", wrote lots of poetry. Wanted her to Western Union 3000 euros to "receive equipment for the rig" & then he'd deposit the $ back into her account. I found the same name on an old Nigerian scam from 2005. And the photos were of a nice man from Virginia with beautiful blue eyes. And his son. Heavy accent, said it was because he was from Denmark.

the guy trying to scam me also claims to be from Denmark. Hence, the heavy accent. But he was robbed! Yes, it was always my love or princess or sweetness...

I think I made a grave mistake by calling out who I thought was my scammer. He never ask for money and I found out that he really did have a job in Turkey. Then that he was not the person that so many of us believe that are going to Turkey. His name was Paul Cazorla and I must apologize for putting his name out there jumping the gun and thinking the worst because I had not heard from him for a while and thought he may have ghosted me but I have heard from him and I'm now assured that he is who he says he is so please ladies out there if you see this name please do not connect it with the scammers that you have found out about. This man is true and genuine.

Has anyone been contact by a guy called Bryan Lanning? Claims to be a private contractor, suddenly had to fly to London just before we were going to meet up. Private contractor in oil, construction. Was going for a job interview and still there after 7 weeks. Won a contract for a job but now has issues with work permit and wants money. First wife has died, second wife cheated on him, has a daughter at boarding school in the States, has no family as both parents died in car accident. Is really good at writing and speaking from his so called heart. Just getting too many red flags now. Is this guy a scammer???

almost exact details for me, shellbell, goes by Greg Helmut...

Hello. I am getting a request from a person that I met (for friendship) on a dating profile; requesting that I forward iCards (in order to rectify the "connection issue" overseas). He states that he is serving in the military overseas and supposedly sent me "proof" of such. Is this a valid website: www. sddc. army. mil (the site usually has a "USSA" message saying that the person's bank account is "temporarily frozen...."?

People can't use iTunes cards to fix "connection issues." The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books. The person didn't tell you the truth about what an iTunes card is for.

I sincerely thank you for your information. The iCard issue--along with asking me for money to take care of 'paperwork' for 'leave' request--is an absolute 'red flag (LOL). I will respond accordingly when I hear from him via text (yesterday it was a phone call to try and convince me of the importance of his request) but after thinking about it late last night; it backfired then and certainly will never occur now (LOL). Again thanks for your help.

person lara akin in africa nigeria becerfull

Here’s a text message from someone I was in a Facebook relationship with. I did not send any money.
sweetheart, how are you doing and how was your night?? I made a transfer on Friday to pay the balance for the pipes and i also paid engineers and laborers for their work. to my surprise today as I was about transfering money to the custom account i couldnt access my account and when i called my bank customer careline and asked why i cant make transfer from my account they said multiple transfer has been made in my account and my account has been accessing from an unidentified terrain and hence, they have to put a hold on my account for my own safety.
I told them to lift the hold because i am the one making the transfers and i m in need of money to finance my project but the customer care provider argued that it was the bank's regulation that my account cant be unlocked until i get back to the State in person and sign some documents proving that i was the one who was accessing the account from the location.The bank said they have had such encounters too many times and the banks ends up paying compensation in some cases when the original account holders claim that their accounts has been compromised.So the only means i could get the money transferred to pay for custom duty and claim my pipes has been blocked and i m so confused right now honey. I do not want to lose the contract, the means of my livelihood and my money and my effort are all on the line honey and i really need you now to stand for me.
I am afraid I’ll need the sum 25,000USD, to add to the one I have to complete the payment but I were able to raise 46,000USD here and the wife of the surveyor will be sending 32,000USD. what I was charge as import tariff is $103,000. sincerely I really need your assistance in this, and I certainly assure reimbursement of the funds as soon as i get work done and get my payment. I hope this will not upset you or make you feel disregard for me ,as at present i have tried a few things and I was able to raise $78,000 something deep inside of me has moved me to ask you as I never wanted to and i want you to help me out of this whole shit I am currently hanging. I dont want to lose the millions of dollars I have put on this project so far.
Love you sweetheart,

Omg almost the same thing happened to me. But he said his cousin was having a hard time getting into his account. He needed help because he didn't get enough pipes for his job. Which was ridiculous. So he was asking his mom to help and if I could just send him the money for shipping on a visa gift card. He didn't like it because from the beginning I have him a hard time but he still would try. I never sent money to him or open an account like he wanted me too. The one thing I do have to say is very respectful in the way they talk to you. But then again I guess if they didn't we wouldn't give them the time of day.

Almost word for word,KB.... Greg Helmut

I was scammed out out of $500.00 and a Michael Kors watch by a man named Chiejine Maxwell Iwekauba in Nigeria. He was pretending to be Prince Hamdan of Dubai. While, he was posing as Prince Ha mean he told me he loved me and this and that. He cursed at me and called me horrible names. He even threatened physical harm on me. I reported him to the police and Western Union. I will not fall for that crap again.

I fell for a Nigerian 419 scam pertending to be a Prince and he was not. He contacted me via Instagram and told me he loved me and complimented me on my appearance. He asked the first time for me to pay 430.00 British Pounds to have $500,00 transfered into my bank account. I said no to that. A week later he asked me to send him the Michael Kors watch I bought for him to Nigeria and I did. After that, he said he was stuck in Tanzania, which he wasn't and was still in Nigeria, and needed $500 to get help. I wired him the money through Western Union. It turned out to be a romance scam. I tried to get the money back and reported him to the police and Western Union.

Here are a couple of other scammers names to watch out for: Michael Turner & James Howard Levine. Both claim to be serving in US Army Reserves over in Nigeria.

We have same in common stories, I was scammed using the name of SGT CHARLES WALKER BRUSH from US ARMY presently deployed in Ekiti State, West Nigeria, 43 years old from Great Falls Montana, USA. Claimed he was been cheated by his ex-GF and got pregnant with his own best friend and was discovered after his mission in Venezuela, he is handsome and a man of integrity as a man in uniform, we've been talking for 10 months, he let me fall to gain more trust in him, he let me pay all necessary payments in the Usamilitary1department thru Western union with different agents, when i searched on FB his using the name of WILLIAMS BRUSH, a good looking and cool man, all i thought he is real but it isn't real...Beware of this his number +2348165670266 and +234114971224....

The US Army warns about scammers who pretend to be US soldiers. This Army article has a list of warning signs of a scam, including:

  • Soldiers aren't charged money so they can go on leave.
  • Soldiers have medical insurance.
  • Soldiers in combat zones do not need money to feed or house their troops.
  • Deployed soldiers do not find large sums of money or treasure.

'Walked into this hook, line, and sinker. 'Was new to Face Book in Dec. 16. Saw the photo of a nice-looking gentleman on the "Friends" (site?). 'Accepted his friendship and sent a note stating how nice he looked in his suit. It took off from there. 'Sent my entire life savings, with the promises of it all being returned, and have gone into deep debt as a result. I had no idea about scammers at this time, but he robbed me easily. All they want is all your money. How do they get it? By going through your heart, causing you to fall in "eternal" love with them. Oh, yes. He had a foreign accent. He was so romantic -- but it was all scripted. 'Wish I had had a clue. Now I'm just a dumb debtor, having lost it all, including what I thought was a loving -- and honorable -- man. SCAM!!!

I feel that I was scammed by the same person. Fell for it the same hard way and feeling foolish for having trusted and believed. This guy has a foreign accent, claims to be a civil engineer and is Polish living in England. He's a widower with a 19 year old daughter. Very charming, thoughtful and very loving. Also, he seems to be very in touch with God and appears to be religious. Wish that I knew about all this scamming going on before I lost all my money. Beware people. Don't be fooled. This mas was really good at his game!!

I fall in love online saying he was in the army.he said he loved me and we would get married.i really believed him .until he ask for money.i haven't sent it.i have made up all kind of excuses.the hard part is I love him and it does hurt.how can people be so heartless.he don't text me.until I send.well.sorry but.i can't and wont.i will get over it.hes messing with my Facebook blocking people I know.cant receive calls he did something to my phone.how can you fall in love with someone you never meet.it can happen it just happened to me.

Anyone familiar with Dr. David S.Berchand? Uses hangouts-see Facebook. Beware! Please let me know if you have been scammed by him.

Hi I just saw this post. Yesterday I filed a report here for someone like this but I did not leave his name. This person gave me the name of David Santos Berch and so I think this is the same person. His background was as follows: Born in Nicaragua but raised in Malta. His dad died when he was young. He is 38 and is divorced with a 7 Yr old son who lives with his ex. He is an epidemiologist and has worked with MSF and currently with UNICEF because he wants to help people. His current assignment started last week for 6 weeks in Iraq. He actually pinged me his location which was a place in Iraq.After 1 week, he says his nights are boring and then he proceeded to ask me for a $50 itunes card to buy movies and books. Says his credit card expired which is why he needs the iTunes card to buy in Apple store. I haven’t sent him anything. Now he says he can’t wait for his assignment to end because it was boring there. He sent me pictures of himself, son and mom. He has called me twice but his voice just didn’t seem to match his image. Says he currently lives in Ontario. His mobile phone number appears to be a landline based in NY. Says I should text him before I call him. Also says that in Iraq he needs to clear his calls before he can make them. I think they are the same person and your post above just validated my concerns.

Ever heard of Carbone Philip or reserve the name. Supposed was stuck in Nigeria couldn’t get to the states but did after a year. Needed money to get to the states . Says he was a contractor had a daughter even the daughter contacted me trying get me send money. Asks for ITunes cards all the time. Professeslive for me I know better

My scammers name is Antonio Manetti, he sweet talkd his way into my heart. Once i fell in love, he started asking me for money through text messages, he would send me messages kn whatsapp and would call me but i could never see his face, after 2 months i told him i would not send money and that he was a scammer! He tried to call me after but then he stopped

My scammers name was also Antonio Manetti but later i found out he went by Eugenio Pezzuti or Arthur Weisman or Antonio Lazzuni, he would send me pictures of an older man. He would ask for money, he said he was an engineer, I am in Texas, he said he loves Texans with greek names, sound familiar to you?

It happened to me so many times in the last 30 days I am embarrassed. I am not a real man. Instead, I am a gullible fool with the brains of a hamster. The women on Google Hangouts begging for money included Erika Grimm, Theresah Degraft, kim courtney, Ashley Jean, Catty Torda and Cari Sabaci. There was also a woman named "sophia moore" who scammed me out of $700 for "BDSM training". She tried it again under two other e-mail aliases.

Has anyone else been scammed by a Lara Williams claiming to have a daughter named Hilliary and is in the army and fighting Boko Harem in North part of Nigeria and Niger this so called girl is really good and got me hooked, and scammed me out of hell ofalot of money and now I don't know what to do to get it back over $22k

I got a friend request from someone said he was military and in aleppio,syiria....said he was a widower and had two small children.. he said I was what he was looking for.. warnings went up. I had never spoken to this person only seen pictures and text messages...long story short asked to send me a package from him with his belongings as he was going on a mission..sent me a storage company.. i contacted and they wanted money.. told them to send the package back o the sender...I have blocked James Hallas Dunbar...

I met my guy on the game wwfs. His name was Cory Alberta,he lived in California, worked for Shell gas which he went overseas for work. The first time he asked for help was because he worked out of states for one of his jobs before this and was waiting to get paid but he needed help to get the money. Then he was in Alaska working fixing pipes he needed help getting money because his cousin messed up his bank account so she couldn't get in it somehow. Then he tried asking if I would open an account so he can send me money to get to his mother and son. Which I never sent anything or never opened an account because I had a bad feeling from the beginning. Not mention he was trying to get me to leave my bf. We started talking as friends. I told him i had a bf he knew it because I told him. Apparently I must of sounded lonely because he told me he was very fond of me in like 2 weeks. Loved me in 3 and kept trying to get me to say it back. Kept telling him I was in a relationship (he was a very sweet talker and knew all the right things to say) Cory Alberta said he traveled a lot for work,he had a son Curtis who lived with his mother in New York. (Because he worked all the time and his ex traveled for work too) Mind you I've been with my bf for 10 years and happy. He was such a great talker knew all the right things to say I ended up cheating on my bf Just by talking to him . They are very good at what they do ,their must be a school they go to to learn exactly what to say and when to say it. He was such a sweet talker. And tried to make me feel guilty also.

I have blocked the person on Facebook/messenger who scammed me. I refuse to unblock the person in order to report them on Facebook. I will not give access of my friends to this scammer (s). Don't know how to report scammer on Facebook now. I am going to report to FBI. I did fall very deeply in love. Lasted about 2 years. This has about killed me. I loved deeper than I ever knew love could be. And my marriage ended and I about lost my home. Please be very very aware! Do a Google reverse image search. Very easy and quick. Very eye opening and in my case, heart wrenching.

Watch for Benjamin Rolls as well! Claims to be from Phoenix, AZ, self-employed - has a 6 y/o daughter, wife died 3 years ago. Went to China on business and stuck over there, started off needing 8,000 and after I continued to refuse, magically a friend has the money and now he wants me to deposit check in my Acct; dream on!

Thank god you posted this! I met him on OkCupid and got the same story about the dead wife and 6 year old daughter named Jemina. He says he is commercial archaeologist. He has FB, IG, and LI accounts so he looks legit but his phone number traces as a landline and is registered to a Phoenix LLC. It’s October and he’s still in China (although he claims he just went there last week) and needs $3,000 to complete the sale of artifacts. Since it’s not asking for 50k or 100k it seems like it’s not a scam but it is. His accent is also unexplained-sounds like English isn’t his first language but claims to have grown up in England, Sweden, Egypt, and Columbia but says he doesn’t speak any other language. He references Phoenix specific things (streets, locations, weather/time) so it makes you think he is in Arizona. He is very convincing, makes you think you’re crazy for calling him a scammer, and is very forceful when you refuse his money demands. He definitely plays the game well.

Just asked a guy to get lost he was very skillfully romancing with me for two weeks. Speak with French accent , not available to
meet due to important abroad business but wanted about 5k USD to be wired to him. Had nice pictures and called himself Ray Reyneron. Actually this name exists on Linked In . I did not send money he wanted to explain but all fits scam scenario. Be aware. He usedCA and UK phone numbers and I met him on match.com

Lorcan Dubois, met on Match, lots of romantic songs and poems, French /Irish, widower, engineer. Handsome pictures, seemed posed. I asked if he was a bot, got a smile in response. Two weeks ago he went to South Africa for working on a road project. I went along with the messaging just to see, said that I was falling in love. Today he asked for $11K because his equipment was stuck in customs. I almost laughed out loud. I was waiting for this. When I resisted, he got nasty and tried to guilt trip me. But I held strong. I don't see his name on this site, so am adding it.

P.S. if a guy sends Celine Dion songs to a woman, it's weird. That was a red flag. Plus the fact that he said he had put a Craigslist ad looking for employees in South Africa. Guess what, no ad. These helped me be vigilant early on

Please tell me more about your contact with this person. A friend is currently talking to a person using this name. Thank you!!

Hi Syka, thanks for posting this, I have been talking to a guy with exactly that name, he apparently lives in Birmingham, and is a Satellite and Telecom engineer, but he won't tell me whereabouts in Birmingham he lives, it's a big city. He sent me nice photos, and looked lovely, and was complimentary about me very quickly. I smelled a rat and did a few searches, I found the Linked in profile you mention, which matches his photo that he has sent me. There is a Ray Rayneron on Facebook (note different spelling) who has the same occupation but lives in California, but he looks nothing like the person I am talking to. So I am going to wait for him to ask me for money and have a little fun with him now I know he is not real. This morning I had messaged him, he wanted my phone no but I have refused it , saying I don't speak to people on the phone before meeting them. I haven't heard back. There is definitely a time difference when he messages me usually in the evening which makes me think he is in the US. He pretends he is half Polish which explains his lack of English. It says on his Linked in profile that he is Irish, and doesn't speak much English. Nothing adds up. I could go on. I won't be meeting him or telling him any more about myself or sending any money! I found him on Plenty More Silver Fish.

Was romantically scammed which started at
coffee meets bagel then moved onto hangouts for chat... Michael Peters was his used name. I informed coffee meets bagels and they were going to ban this user from their site.

Anyone heard off a guy called Eddie Walker claims to be in Iraq at the moment and needs money to fix a machine says he is on a 3 month contract. Obviously not sent any smelt a rat?

I was reading an article about fake engineers on oil rigs scammers. I was corresponding and talking on WhatsApp to a man who says he is from Oslo, Norway. He was raised in an orphanage in Norway. He moved to the US, when he was 40 and is now 60. He has a thick accent. He is a devout Christian and prays 3 times a day. His name is Phill Shaw. And his daughter's name is Ivy. We met on Words With Friends. He professed his love quickly. He called me his "Queen". I hired a private investigator for $366.00 to check him out. He said Phill Shaw was a fraud. When I read Phill the report from the private investigator, he confessed he is a black, 32 year old from Nigeria, and he makes these calls for a living. There are thousands of these guys.

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