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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

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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?

Hi Ella, is his name jeonghung? He said he is from taiwan working offshore in south china sea johor bahru?? Beware of the guy in instagram, his name jeonghung, his profile pic is with his son wearing black shirt which is same shirt with his son too.

I am also talking to a guy stuck on a oil rig...lost his wife 5 years ago to car accident and wants me to mother his 2 kids and he first wanted me to send him a thousand dollars, I told him no way....he got mad...told him to bad...then after a couple of weeks he then started asking for a iTunes card....this is crazy...I feel he might be a scammer..

Amazing looking guy contacted me on POF after about 24 hours (over 3 days)of chatting on Hangouts trying to convince me to visit him on his oil rig in the North Sea (apparently wives and fiancées can go for 2 days) He will pay for everything - i just need to contact his 'Agency' to confirm dates. Agency then requests $1000 for me to undergo Safety and Assurance Control. I refuse saying I do not have this amount of money. He says he will give me the money back in cash when i reach the rig He asks me to reschedule for later when money is available. Obviously there has been much more content to the conversation - a 5 year old daughter in the USA, him having worked all over the world, him being in love with me, him promising to spend Christmas together, dead parents, no siblings ............ I have not and will not part with any money but am currently playing things out to save some other, maybe more gullible lady. I'm not sure where he actually is, but he knows a lot about oil drilling and professes to be half Turkish and half Scottish. Wish I knew how to find where the photos came from :)

this guy is not coming to spend Christmas with you - hes living off us USA women - staying in hotel and making up stories to get money from us - he plays head games and plays with out emotions he needs to reported - send him no money hes never coming He likes to turn things around to make us feel guilty and feel sorry for him - he thinks hes always in the right and innocent

My guy is on Instagram as Edmond Potter but then told me in chat that his first name is Thomas. Wanted to talk on WhatsApp. 463-222-2074. He is 53, his wife Mary died 7 years ago in tragic accident. Son named Smith is 15 and in a boarding school in NY. He was born in Romania, grew up in Houston TX. Dad was a communist it teacher and mom was a hospital aide. Works on an Oil rig in the north sea, Denmark. Credit card is frozen and he needs $2500 to get home to see me and his son for Christmas. Calls me his wife... blah blah blah

Thank goodness I had heard of these scams. My "love" interest is in Germany working on some big road project. Has money in the bank but has been told it is inactive. To activate he needs 4500? euro to activate it. Wants me to take out a loan if I have to, he will pay any interest. He will send me the money once he has access to this "frozen" account. We have messaged and talked, oh he's a smooth talker. Have not met him. Told him no way will I send any money to someone I have only been talking with for a month and hadn't met. He has lost his wife to cancer, has a 14 year old in a boarding school in New Jersey. Lots of red flags and I did get sucked in to his sweet talking, many youtube songs sent to me. I'm walking away with a success though. This game with him helped me get through an unhealthy relationship with an ex. Even though this was a scam weirdly it gave me confidence that there could be a legitimate guy out there for me to find. It was kinda fun (yeah that may sound sick) to flirt and feel like I was wanted. When the request for money was put on the table I know to run the other way. Good luck to all us single folks just looking for a nice honest companion to build a relationship with. I have faith that there is someone out there somewhere.

You did not sound sick because I felt the same. I was very happy at the time we chat. However, when he asked for money, I know it’s not normal. I need to stop and think.
It’s hard to get over woth it though. I am still thinking about what happened ... sad, but good thing I am not struggling about it anymore.

A guy told me about how he was an engineer for chevron but travels to south china sea and he has no access to itunes card over there and I am the love of his life and wants to marry me but i need to send 400 dollars in itunes to download a document well piss off he is an engineer he should be able to afford the document . But the company wont pay until he hast the contract and document the he will go back to fl where he live supposedly and he has one son and is divorced oh and he is a pure smooth talker will say what we want to hear but I think it's a scam and ain't sending nothing......

Sounds similar can I ask what his name is

So similar situation. Same guy, same story and he’s name was Steven . Definitely scammer

Don't do it they are frauds.. I just went through this finally called him on it he professes his love to me asked me to marry him said he was a Dr. Same stories you're all saying it's a scam... I called him out on it told him he was a fraud and boy did his tone change he called me all kinds of names because I refuse to buy him a $ 500. 00 Google play card. It's a game for them easy money if you fall for it don’t become their victims!! They prey off women and girls prey off men!! Don't be a victim!!! Report them They guy who tried to scam me went by Jurgen Klaus said he was a Dr. And lived in N. Carolina was a widower with 2 daughters and very handsome.. Don't fall for their lies!!!

I am talking with a guy supposed name is Jordan in Cyprus in Mediterranean Sea contract driller been living in States for 3 years originally from Liverpool UK. Lost wife has one child and his mum only. Gets angry and blames me because of his financial troubles. I feel stupid because I sent him money by WesternUnion to a different person than him because he was on rig and couldn’t leave it so his boss would pick it up and bring to him because he needed to pay his workers Then it was several situations he would try to get me to send to him. Finally he realized I wasn’t and said he wasn’t going to speak to me anymore. I have reported him to the proper authorities found out his photos he was sending me wasn’t even him totally stolen photos he was using.

Same thing . For me , what’s name mine is stuck in airport security . Still being stupid . Yes chatted on Facebook convinced to move to hangouts . People told me scam but it’s hard . But this one has team of players as well . Web sites for banker and transferring money from dormant account to account in my name . Huge scam . Supposed to be American but has Mexican accent. Smooth talker and yes nice pics but can’t read logos . Feel extremely dumb

Thanks for sharing. I know its horrible but we are here for support. I have a scammer I met online recently, Cupid. I communicate with him through WhatsApp. Hes pulling a similar scam. I dont trust him. He send me pictures but I don't trust him. I think hes a scammer. He has an accent also, sounds like African. But he says he have money. Hes a Fireman and photographer. But...Dah.dah Dah he needs a card. I'm not buying it. I never met him. He loves me so much. He wants to keep me near his heart. Nothing will happen to me.
Wow...wow I'm being loved by an actual guy I never met. Smooth taller, nice pictures also. He wants to make me his wife. I'm Not a fool

It sounds like my rigman too... He found me on Instagram, wife died giving birth to his 13 year old daughter called Alana... She is in boarding school... He got me chat on hangouts.. I was a blessing, the greatest love if his life, the om to his daughter.. His dream to travel the world with me... He would love my kids as his own... He could Come and live with me ..At the moment he is drilling the Earth in Valencia, Spain
..only last night he asked for a gift card for his daughter back in the USA, Portland, Oregon... Whose birthday is on Saturday... I said sure but no money.. I want her address to send her something else. He said a gift card is such a great present she can buy what she wants... I said no... And then after saying good night to him and promised we would talk in the morning I blocked him on Instagram and uninstalled hangouts... The name he uses is Derrick Delaney

This is the same story I got from a guy calling himself Peter Kaua and he said he grew up in Brazil and has lived in Los Angeles, CA and now lives in Northampton, MA. Emailed me after 9 months threatening me about saying lies to the bank's fraud department and if I want my money back I should keep quiet.

Same guy, same long tale, same MO. Mark O Destenay, contractor, oil rig, yada yada.. spent 6 months talking, texting, FaceTiming. As contract was ending, “accident on the rig” needs 200k to close the gap to get to me. Ended up asking for the low amount of 1500. He got nothing but time from me. I just filed a police report as he emailed me specifically threatening my life. I will prosecute when he is apprehended.

Do you have a picture of him

Did he say he had a 6 year old daughter and his wife died of cancer because I’m experiencing the same thing with a guy who says he’s American, lives in Australia and works for a crude oil company.

This sounds very familiar and I have been chatting with someone similar but says he works for United Nations

I was scammed by a heartless guy going by the name George fenandez rodriguez i wish i had knew of this site sooner to save me from heartache. He claims to be Puerto Rican stays in Australia but is from the US. He scammed me £500 he was very convincing and good looking and i fell for his lies. Claims to be widowed(lost wife to cancer) and has a 6 year old daughter that lives with the mum in the US

This sounds very similar to my experience. It was a crude oil shipment and of course he was on a ship. Trying to make me feel guilty because I wouldn't send the money. There appears to be a legitimate shipping company involved also. They have a website but the correspondence isn't quite right. There are at least 4 people from the site sending correspondence.

Having the same issue right now. Nothing adds up. Been in the US for 25 years from Australia but has a Brazilian or Spanish accent.

what did he look like

Funny you should ask. That was another reason I was suspicious. The pictures he sent without my asking, were of a really good-looking "older male-model" type---too good to be true!

I was scammed for a lot of money similar stories. Guys in turkey. Name justin Allen Martinez. Met on pof

Similar stories with Mathew Walter, Mike Wood and Frank Milne. All from a dating site. All had lots of photos, handsome men, texted in a foreign kind of accent. Wanted iTunes cards. I had a son that was in a hospital and needed money to help cover the surgery he needed. One needed to pay his overseas hotel Hill so he could get back to the US. All crap. And when I called them out, they wanted to argue with me. Never talked in the oh nevermind it met in person. All via dating sites or texts.

Sounds like my story only mine had a son...

Sounds just like my guy. What was his name and where was he from?

Sounds very familiar,he friend requested on Facebook and said how he lost his wife,son , daughter in law and granddaughter in an accident.Had a son in boarding school! Didn't take me long to block "Micheal Jespersen" when he started to ask for money. Said he works for bisso marine.

I have had only bad experiences with Christian dating sites. Met foreign speaking men professing their undying love and then asking for money or even iTunes cards. Sorry to hear your sad stories but at least I know I am not alone. Of course I did not comply with their requests. Better luck to all.

That sounds like what happened to me I was on a dating site and a female sent me a message we got to talking after about an hour she told me to delete my account then we started talking and after 4 or 5 days she told me she loved me. She told me she lived in Atlanta Georgia she wanted me to send her a $100 so me being a sweet person I did when I saw that the duction in my bank it said it went to San Jose California so I called the pay pal I was able to get my 100 back then she told me she was going to be a nurse and part of her certification was she had to go to Columbia for 3 weeks we are still texting back-and-forth then she asked me to send 200 to Ghana West Africa I did and they rejected it but they took the money out of my account so now I have the way 3 to 5 days to get my money back if any of you come across this scammer she is going by the name of Sandra ham

Oh my I am talking to a guy on an oil rig in Ghana I’m about to send money to I would give anything to know for sure that he is real we’ve been talking for over a year and yes twice he was coming to meet me both times something happened. Someone help me please

don't send him any money hes conning you - he sitting in a hotel in Ghana getting women to support him - hes never leaving Ghana he a catfish

everytime hes coming to you something happens - example his visa expired, hes thrown in jail and detained, he's sick has a fever, hes robbed, or he gets arrested for not paying medical bill - there is no medical bills in Ghana and you always send money to his driver am I right? stay clear from him and report him

If shore oil rig? Name if Richard?

Richard?? What is your Richard’s last name? The one that has been scamming my widowed MIL also goes by this name!!!

Was it Richard Maxwell??

Yes his name was Richard. And this guy said that he was a widow, and had a child and that he worked on a ship as an Engineer. He said he lived in the US, but worked on the ship a lot. We had a good and I mean sweet online relationship until he managed to ask me for money through a 3rd party. Once he did that, as the Bible says, with Adam and Eve, my eyes were opened to what he was trying to do to me. I was so disappointed with him, and still am to this day. I also said to myself, hes just an ignorant fool, because I could have been a good person for him, little did his greedy, dishonest self know this. But soon he will get caught and as the old saying goes, what goes around comes around. Just glad I didn't depart with any monies. And hes also very charming and very handsome, if it was him in the pictures. Beware ladies..

Richard Maxwell??

I've been chatting with some by the name of Richard also, who is a supervisor on a oil rig station near Dallas Tx., never gave him anything and will not give him a penny. What is the last of the Richard you have engaged conversation with..

I am also talking to a Richard. Different location. Do you have any photos?

I do, send me your email and I will send his picture to you.

OMG! I have been texting with a guy named Richard. We spoke on the phone once. His texts indicate an accent. His voice has a heavy accent. He told me he lives in Rhode Island, is a widow, and has an 18 year old daughter who goes to Providence College. She has also texted me. He has sent pictures of them together & she has sent me pictures as well. He is handsome and she looks like him. Recently he asked if I would buy a $250 Visa card for her. He cant because he is currently in Dubai. He says he is a personal
investor in oil. Very early, he started to express some very strong feelings for me & would hope to get married. Please help! I met him on pof.

Hunny he is talking the same to me and I have pictures and he marrying me to, lol he's a scammer look up Paul hollywood. British baker pictures and more he uses them! He scammed me for 27,000.00 he's threatening me now

I was friended by a guy named Richard on Jackpot Magic slots. After a few days of small talk he asks me to sign up for an acct on KIK so we can talk more privately. Once we started talking I found out his name was Richard Coffman. He was a 60 y/o widower of 5 yrs as his wife died from cancer. He is from San Jose, CA, with two teenagers, 14 and 16.
He claims to be a petrochemical engineer in Dubai waiting on contract he will be able to retire after. He gets the contract, so he is now stuck in Dubai for 6 wks to compleye the job.
He is looking for his new soul mate, and we seem to have a lot in common. He wants to talk to me and get to know me better, but he needs a specific phone card and he can’t get it in Dubai. When I ask what it is, he tells me an iTunes card. He asks me to get 2 $100 cards for him. I told him he could buy it online from Apple and it would go directly to his e-mail. He informs me it won’t let him buy it, and his e-mail is messed up. I said, sure, I’ll go get it and proceeded to block him, delete him, etc. I know a scam when I see one as I’ve had something similar happen before!

Omg! Sounds like the guy I met two weeks ago on pof. Help!!!! How can I contact you?

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