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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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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.

I m engaged to my soldier on fecebooj. I sold my house because he was coming home at the end of December. I was sending him money every month for food and connection and then medical emergencies. I ytold him it was wrong that the army supplies everything. But he convinced me that because off the restlessness they were not getting what they needed and his credit card would t work. Last. I think he was coming home but wanted to purchase some gadgets with his persuasion I sent it he never came home. Then this month he said they were traveling to Kuwait d take off from there. Now he sent me a document string that the army says they are to pay there own way and send receipts in for reemburment. He says he needs another 8 thousamd and I should helping my finance. The last time I quit my job and moved to another state to try to get away. I offered to buy his tickethe won’t let me. Someone sent me monks to other primo files with his last name and pics, different first name he says cruet stole his profile. I created my own and reached out to one and I knew it wasn’t him right away. I’m so desperate I’m thinking of suiside , I can’t bieve I’m that stupid and love him that much.

I hope I'm not too late. I read your story and I'm so sorry for everything you went through. Please don't do anything foolish to yourself. We've all done crazy things. I've had to start over so many times because I went with my heart instead of my brain. It's difficult starting over, been homeless and hungry but I am ok. You will be too! Please be strong. You are your #1 priority. Keep the faith. Everything happens for a reason. Be glad you didn't marry this loser like I did. Hell only started when I said I do. Your heart will heal and this awful experience will make you stronger. I wish you the best. Never give money to someone you've never met. Learn from this! I know you are hurting but take one day at a time. Good luck and you are religious, pray...it helped me. God bless. And remember there are many, many women who have been in your shoes. I wanted to die as well..thank God it didn't work. Take care.

My scammer was different than yours, but I want to tell you I know your pain. Please do not hurt yourself. He is not worth it. I felt the same way you did about being stupid. We are loving sincere women and they are jerks. Please talk anytime to me. Take care.

What is your soldiers name.. I know someone with the same thing going on..

Has anyone been in contact with a fake Soldier going by the name of Randy Leon Williams

I was asked for an Itunes card just 2 weeks into my long distance relationship. Met him on POF. He is an Italian who lives in America but works on an ocean oil rig in the Middle East. Has a face that you fall in love with at first sight of his pictures. He promised me the world. Reverse google images didnt match anything. Home address on his more than likely fake American driver's license is a house for sale on Zillow. This is so stressful!

Just had a woman by the name of Debora(or Janet) with a phone number registered out of Georgia try to hit me up to get her an ITunes card. Said she needed it for a “school project”...
SMH Needless to say,she’s not getting anything from me.

I was on a new site it was only up for about a year and I figured I would research the site itaelf found out it was a site created right out of the US and so I figured I would give it a try first person I talked to right off the back asked if I could get her an iTunes card for 50 I refuse to send anyone money clamming there in the is when it turns out there from Africa and every time I request to just do a quick video chat to verify there is always an excuse stating that they need an iTunes card for the call to go through I know that's not true but then it seemed worse for me as she kept insisting that I was the love of her life I knew it couldn't be true I just meet you two days again and your saying I am handsome when you look like a modle and I'm far from handsome it's simple due to I know it's not difficult to find a beautiful women no matter how any one looks but come on now

I accepted a game request on words with friends from Dr Mike Reghitto. He claimed to be a traveling doctor and had worked in a number of states. I am a skeptic and checked medical licenses in those states in his name, and they matched his info. He claimed he was now working for WHO in Syria after a divorce. He was charming and amusing, but sometimes his messages sounded like they were written by someone else. I felt like there was something “off” but wasn’t sure what. I even checked the WHO’s web site to see if they have paid doctors in Syria (they do) because I just had too many warning bells. I played along with the game, figuring I was pretty safe with 6000 miles between us. The other day he says he has good news—WHO is releasing him from his contract and he’s received a payment of $450K from the Syrian government in cash. He wants to use a courier service to send me the money for “our future together”. I told him “No” three times, but he just kept texting. I blocked him, I friended him and reported him on WWF. If it seems to be too good to be true—it is.

I have been talking to someone (his name is Lewis Griffin) who supposedly an engineer originally from Spain, but living here in the USA...we communicated a long while, he's supposedly working for an Oil Company. So after a while some how or other he needed a thousand dollars because the rig he's on suddenly stopped producing oil, after a long while I did bite the bullet and sent a Walmart money to a person by the name of WHITTED JOVAN MONQUE in Dallas, TX, well it never went through so I sent a MoneyGram and was told to separate it into two increments of $500 each....the MoneyGram cost me each $11.50 so this guy was insistent I would get my money back, of course I know I wont. So i will be out $1150.00. Now I get another request from the Engineer they will need $4000 for the oil for the rig........well needless to say I told him absolutely no and will not send anything to him......He has been so demanding and I tell him I have no more money to send. He says he's so in love with me and can't wait to get off the rig so we can be together..........no more mistakes will i make in these situations..........I was a fool and knew I shouldn't have done it, but lesson learned............

My friend is currently in an online relationship with a scammer who says he's working in South Africa. All the obvious signs of a scam but she insists he's going to marry her. He asked her to open an account so his customer could deposit money and for her to send it to him via money gram, bitcoin or western union. Calls himself David, don't have a last name. He claims to need a winter coat because it's cold there. It's 64 degrees there. She won't listen to me.

I just joined a dating site called Hinge and met a guy who fits the profile exactly. In the NL military, on a mission overseas. Just asked for money which I told him no to. Anyone else have an interaction with someone in the Netherlands military who lives on Oklahoma.

I’m believe I’m in the process of speaking to a scammer...same sort of sob story... He is actually gorgeous looking man with a body of a god in his Fb profile... name Michael Thomas . He too is in the army. Lost his wife to cancer . Looking for a mother for his daughter. Told me he loves me I’m the one ext...

My future ex-husband I believe is currently being scammed by a "girl" going by the name MaryAmber Roberts. Her previous name on FB was Daniel Mary Amber but she has changed it since she closed all of her previous accounts & pages. I have tried talking to him about this, but he insists that "she" IS REAL!!!! Thinking of having him evaluated for mental issues now Before this Scammer Drains him too!!! Any advice is appreciated....

I think this man is trying to scam me...the name is "Bill Morrison". Claiming to be in the military. I wont give him money. But he is still talking to me. But argue when he don't get any money.

I went on cancermatch and meet a man amen Charles Morrison who said wife was killed in car wreck and have 15 yrs old daughter and he send pictures I did too and now he introduced me to daughter on Hangouts who asks me for brithday present for itune card she needs help already call me mom I told her no and he got mad now he came back and asked me to marry him he love me so much he can't live without me ok today he asks for a iTunes card to send to him so we can talk more because he a engineer working contract in UK and I told him no and if you engineer then you have money to buy your own ok he got mad and said unpleasant words to me I said goodbye Charles you get nothing from me he said bye because I saw his scammer what you think is the same man

I too have talked to a man by the name Charles Morrison for a long time who had a daughter and lived in UK. Wife died in car crash. Sent many itune cards and one Amazon gift card. He is engineer working contract he said in Nigeria but he is in Uk. Promised me he was coming to see me in July. I stopped talking to him April 2919. Sounds like the same man. He is so convincing. His daughter did ask me for money on text in UK.

I made a comment before but I wanted to know if scammers numbers 2 wanted to exchange pictures or anything to me. Sounds like the same man.

Names to watch out for....Fasel Gerhard Manfred...claimed to be working through United Nations, contract job for 2years in Syria. Claimed to be a bone graft surgeon. Supposedly from new York. Wife and daughter killed in horrible car accident. Son in boarding school in Georgia(Westminster school). Had fake Facebook profile with stolen photos of a very successful businessman. Always in need of money...travel, travel emergencies like overstay penalties ...prevention of jail time, etc...found out everything was lies! After I blocked him on Facebook he(?) set up another fake profile using name of Carling Norman Daniel. This name had replaced the name of Fasel Gerhard Manfred on my blocked list on Facebook. Scammer used same stolen photo for both names! Picture was finally removed. Now both names/fake profiles are gone from list. Please be extremely careful. I still will be reporting this to FBI. If you think you might be victim of a scammer please make sure you keep everything...emails, money gram, western union receipts...

What about someone who wants to wire you money to go see them? Is that fraud too? I'm just going to ignore them now.

I am an older man who became friends with a much younger woman on Face Book. After 2 or so weeks, she said I was the one for her,the one i was looking for,and loved only me.She makes me feel like a million dollars.A week after ,she suddenly is in desperately in need of money, I send her some. then 2 more requests the same week. Wire her nearly 2 grand through Western Union.She says she is a Christian and me her future husband . Though she has never met me , wants to come to me in a different country and marry me here though she has never been where I live. She sounds so real and serious but also too good to be true. Am I being scammed ? She wants more but I am ready to say no.

She is a scammer. They know all the right things to say. After you have nothing to give she will stop talking to you. They all have pretty much the same sob stories. And will drain you of everything then move on.

I have been emailing a guy named Erich on Facebook he asked me for 800 hundred dollars for id- card to visit him at air force base in Georgia. He told me he loves me after 1 day of emailing. He called me but sounds like a guy from Pakistan. It's been a crazy week. His pictures are amazing so handsome. I asked him to video call me but he says he can't. He asked me to chat online with him on hangout app. I emailed him a few hours ago and told him that I can't email him anymore. I can't believe I started falling in love with this guy online that I know deep.down is trying to scam me. I contacted Facebook n complained on their website I need to contact the 2 other govt agencies on this site.

I know my best friend is being scammed by this guy who says his name is Reagan S. Meyers. Within the first week she and he were talking through Messenger, he said he fell in love with her.
About a month into the "relationship", he wanted her to either get rid of her Facebook account or to give him her log in credentials.
He claims to be a 57 year old Special Ops in the US Army, in Syria. He has Skyped with her, on his laptop that's apparently set up in his bunk. He had a Facebook page, but all it had on it was a brief description of his job in the Army, his age, and claiming he's from Minnesota. He supposedly has a large farm there.
He's a widower with a 14 year old son. Supposedly he was able to set up a three way phone call a couple of months back so my friend could meet his son.
So many red flags: Besides asking for her FB password, he has a "weird" accent that my friend doesn't recognize. He says he was born in Texas, but it's not a Texas accent. He says he's going to be back in the states in August, and he will come get her, and they will get married and live happily ever after. (yeah, right.)
About 5 months into it, he asked her to buy him a new cell phone because his was destroyed during "maneuvers". He says he was shot in the arm that night and since it was strapped to his upper arm, it was blown to pieces.
She bought the phone and had it shipped to some kind of postal office in Turkey.
Three weeks later, he tells my friend that he needs her help. He can't get the phone yet, because customs wants $600 for tariffs. Now, my friend is disabled and is not working. She's waiting on her hearing for federal disability. She is living with her almost ex-boyfriend. She has no money.
He then says for her to send $300. She says she can't. He starts trying to convince her, and then tries to make her feel guilty about it.
But now, whenever I ask her about how things are going with him, all she'll tell me is "He's fine, it's all fine." Personally, I suspect she did send the money, and she doesn't want to tell me, because she knows I'll get on her case for it.
I really want to show her this site, but I know it will break her heart. All she wants is someone who will love her the way she loves them, and instead she's getting scammed.

Hi ive been asked by a Contractor working for the UN Peace keeping Mission in Syria, to pay for a vacation certificate $1550, so he can come home to the US then come to the UK to Marry me, he has a 16 yr daughter staying at a boarding school his wife supposedly died of cancer, His name on Hangouts is John Stewart..im 98% sure he is a scammer, plz advise !

How can we let people know that their pictures are being all over the Internet due to these scammers

Has anyone spoken to a Mike Hyatt a major in the US army currently in Syria from Raleigh, NC with a bank in Arizona? He wants to retire and is willing to do so because of his love for me.
He is asking for money.

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