Has an online love interest asked you for money?

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Looking to start a new relationship? For some, that may mean meeting a new love interest online. Word to the wise: sometimes it’s best to lead with your head and not your heart.

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. And many forge successful relationships. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims. They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love.

The Federal Trade Commission receives thousands of reports each year about romance scammers who create fake online relationships only to steal their victims’ money.

Unfortunately, an online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist.

The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, lists common signs of online dating scams and what to do if someone you meet online asks you for money.

Below are some tips to identify a real romance versus a scammer cruising for a target.

Online Dating Scams. Has an online love interest asked you for money? That's a scam. Scammers know millions of people use online dating sites. They are there, too, hiding behind fake profiles. Signs of a scam: Professes love quickly. Claims to be from the U.S., but is overseas for business or military service. Asks for money, and lures you off the dating site. Claims to need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Plans to visit, but can’t because of an emergency. $220 million lost in 2016. $56 million lost in 2012. Reports to the FBI tripled over 5 years (4,476 reports in 2012; 14,546 reports in 2016) What to do: Slow down — and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you. Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back. Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer. Report your experience to: • The online dating site • Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov/complaint • Federal Bureau of Investigation: ic3.gov. Learn more at ftc.gov/imposters and aba.com/engagement

Please share this information with others. Victims may be embarrassed to talk about their experiences, but you can help. A simple phone call, email or text, saying “Look what I just found” and sharing this information may make a difference in someone else’s life.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

This sounds familiar! A guy called Edward Charles who works on an oil rig & has a young daughter called Annabelle. He has asked for money to get his Wifi reconnected. Currently on Hangouts using a work friend's mobile. I have now refused him money at least 3 times but he is very persistent in saying that he loves me & wants to marry me!

Just go on Facebook. You don’t have to find them they find you. Then they get you off Facebook and have you go to Hangouts. From there they want to text your cell phone number. First time the guy asked for money he wanted me to wire money to a bank down in Florida. Gave all the information so I called the bank and spoke to a bank officer. She asked questions and said not to send the money unless I had met the person on the account in person. She also let me know I was being Scam. I did not send the money. Now he is really pressuring me into sending him 2 iTunes cards for $100 each. He told me not to tell anyone about us. I am stupid but not that stupid. He goes by the name of James Antonio.

Mine just asked me last night for iTunes cards. I said no but the light bulb went off when he did. I didn't react on the text just said broke. Hoping to end things quickly or find this sucker.

I was scammed by someone that says he is dwayne collins, an engineer working on an off shore oil drill off the coast of southern ca. Has photographs of himself with a lovely 11 yr old daughter, supposidly in a boarding school in Austria. He asked for $$ twice & a street address. Smooth talker, could be a nigerian scammer, terrible english !!

so, what do we do?

I am concerned about my friend who met someone on Instagram 6 weeks ago. He is from Scandinavia ? and he too is an off shore engineer in California. He has given her access to a bank account and she is doing some smalltransactions for him. He has just asked her for some money to buy some equipment which he will pay back when imminent funds come in....$20,000! He says he loves her, is spiritual, sending her roses etc. Any detail you know that would convince her he is a scammer would be great. Thank you!

You could explain that some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. They meet people online, create a relationship, and ask their new sweetheart to user use her own bank account, or the scammers account, to receive and transfer money.

 

If you do this for a scammer, your name is on the bank account and on the money transfer forms. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

 

Read more about online dating scams.

May be just a coincidence, but when you said Scandinavia, it perked my ears up. I met a guy Instagram 5-6 weeks ago who says he compared his accent to Scandinavian. Told me he was born in Norway, then moved to Chicago with late wife. Now, has 10 year old son and mum moved back to help care for him since he is now deployed in Afghanistan. Seemed very very believable. Each time we spoke on the phone, I was able to understand him fairly well. Except, the accent sounded more African or Nigerian. Then after 5 weeks, he asked for money to help him with paperwork to not be deployed to Syria. "Thats a suicide mission, I'll never go." "I have my son" "And, my wonderful new lady to meet." Can you help me please as with all the signal blockers here, I can not access my account". Will you help me? Ughh...immediate redflag. Let him ask me for a few days to see if this was more about money and it was...
Hope this helps.

I was just scammed by a man calling himself Austin Hansen. Met on dating site, said he just arrived from Australia, and was working on a oil rig in Gulf of Mexico for 8 weeks. Claimed to be a widow, with a 10 year old daughter Sarah who needed a mother figure. Very smooth talker, had Australian accent, professed his love quickly, claimed they were not allowed to use Skype or FaceTime on the rigs, but was able to talk on phone morning and night. Sent many pictures of an attractive man and daughter. Wanted me to help him find a house to buy quickly, sent me fake bank info showing he had 3 million in bank, but the account was frozen. His mother needed an emergency colonoscopy and wanted me to send him $4,000. This man was very intelligent, well spoken, and very good actor. Would cry when he told me of his wife dying of cancer and daughter not having a mother.

Sounds similar to a my story except his daughter was 12 and needed a min in her life. The name my person went by was John Wilson. Meet on messenger they him contacting me and soon started asking for money for several different purposes. Every time is tell him no, be wouldn't talk for couple faster than come back and start all over again with all the nice chatter than hit again for money. In all total 6 different needs for the money for a total of several several thousand dollars. From cash in red target card to money sent thru CVS to iTunes cards. Stir clear. I have

Lots of this feed is actually 1 man. I know his real identity. He needs jail.

I am being scammed by this same exact person. Same name, same daughter, same everything!
So sad that people are capable of this sort of thing.

My mother in law is being scammed but she won’t believe us that he is a scammer he has scammed a lot of money we keep trying to tell her he is not coming. He told her he was from US had to go to Mexico and is trying to get back to US and needs papers and plane tickets for him and his 2 children. I reported it to FTC but they did not contact me back. I’m talking about almost $9000 he has scammed her. She say I just need to send the last of it and it will be done. We just don’t know what to do. She neglects herself for this person that don’t give a damn about her.

I would not go for any type of date unless I knew them personally and for a long time.As far as money goes just the word money or deal helps me ignore them.

Many names Joy Abdel, Joy Baby Abdel, Marcusse Diaby, Bah Hulaimatu, Charly Choco Balde , Islanda Frislene etc , That Girl told me lie want my help and I trusted her, when my fathere was alive he deposited 6.7 million Dollars, Transfer this money. She gave me Fake bank papers, Fake Affidavit and power of attorney. I have no idea about scamme, My Reference number 88xxxxxx, I have lot of prove, Please save my money. I have no hope without you.

I think I am in contact with the same lady please can you send me her photo I try to compare, please this will be of great help to me

You don't start a relationship by asking for money

The man who contacted me through a chat website, did not immediately ask for money. They are very good at what they do and very charming and convincing. The man I just found out scammed me, was using photos from an Army Vets FB back claiming to be him and stationed in Syria. I found out by accident that he's doing this to several women. I have since sent messages to everyone on his "friends" list for that chat site warning them he is a scammer and NOT a true military Vet.

What name did he use? I might have fallen for the same guy. But I haven't given him info like that.

Can someone please give me a name? I believe this is happening to me right now!

A guy by the name of Malhoun Baxter, in Syria trying to get home asked me to marry him after meeting him on Facebook . Sent iTunes cards for 50 dollars, but he was asking for a couple of hundred. He talks like he is real but I know he is not real. He says all the right things and wants me to help him raise his two children.but you only given 7 calendar days to pay 4,200.00 with an extension of 5 working days. He is a white male believe to be in his 40's, bald, profile pic wearing grey t-shirt, navy blue pants background paperwork on wall looks like he sitting at a desk leaning over. He is very charming and is a smooth talker.

What name did he use?

I have been talking to a guy who calls himself Justin Halls d says he’s in the Royal Navy, he has been sent to Nigeria and says he can’t use his debit card and can’t buy food or WiFi do could I send him £300 paid into his mother’s account!!! This has scam written all over it.

Does anyone know of man in Damascus Syria name Dennis Patterson or Peterson

I just went through a similar situation through Instagram. His "name"_Andy_Burns338 and said he was in the military in Syria & a medic. He had an 8 yr old daughter Anna. He was from Australia but lived in CA. He gave me some story about a sad upbringing and not having anyone to talk to. He said he was 38 and turned 39 May 11. His daughter had the "same" birthdate. She was being raised by a nun in the states but when I asked certain questions he didn't answer. He had no parents as they left him on Church steps so he was raised by a priest. I fell for it. I told him personal stuff. I was so naive as I was at a low point in my life. I was excited someone made me feel good about myself. He sent me pics. He was very handsome. He called me and his accent DID NOT SOUND Australian OR American. His English when he typed was odd. He wouldn't tell me where he went to school to be a doctor. When he asked me for $$ for his birthday and then again for a card to send him to be able to call me whenever he wanted I told 2 friends who set me straight. I reported him to Instagram and blocked him. He got me to get the Hangouts app which I have since deleted but he has both of my gmail addresses. I blocked him from there also. Thank God I didn't send him $$. Please let me know if this sounds like him.

That’s true, I that I scammed by a girl whom I met on Craigslist

Very helpful. I never thought of scammers using online dating services.

They do. That's how this man got me. He was using a chat site called WireClub. He was very "charming" and convincing. Knew all the right things to say. Claimed to be in the military in Syria and was using photos of a real Army Vet.

A guy name Alistair juggins from Dallas Tx an engineer requested me in Instagram, I thought that was someone from one of our churches around the country. I asked if he knows me and he said no, but that he would like to know me, he had a verse from the Bible so I thought that he was a real Christian. We text through instagram maybe for 2days he asked me where I lived and my age, we talk about the Bible he also said that he attended first baptist church in Dallas. he started to call me honey, love, angel, it was so weird because I never chat with an estranger . he told me he was widowed and had a son 11 years old that lives with his Nannie because of his job. He didn’t asked for money but he was saying to pray for us like for a relationship. I looked his name on public record and his name only comes in Instagram, also he only have women on his followers and I checked that he has another account with alistair_juggin. I didn’t give him my name or where I live , very sad that people try to steal the money but also play with other people feeling. He was super charming, and did not have a picture with his son.

I have seen this kind of situation on Dr. Phil (on TV) and then the other day a friend told me about a person, in our town, that was secretly involved and sending money to someone they met online and this person has bankrupted her family's money/savings!!!!!

Very good info thanks

thank you i share this information with others

I have had this happen to me for years by men "friending" me on Facebook, Google Plus Hangouts, and other online sites. They act very charming at first for a few weeks, then ask me to wire them money (which I don't) I have reported their profiles to Facebook, and Google Plus..but am ignored. To this day, their profile remains active, meaning how many more women have they scammed..and why nothing is being done about this. Have even reported to Scamwatchers, to no avail. When will something be done???

you need to post names so everyone can see them

Meet someone on FB,named Melo Johnson March 29-30.Very charming pictures (wish could post them here!). Claimed to work as a secret diplomatic service agent from the US Army for the UN. quickly forced to switch from FB to What's Up and then deactivated his FB profile. Claims to be 48,on FB was 42, in reality looks like 40. Claims to have been cheated by his ex-wife who got pregnant by another man. "Has 10 year old boy. Has no siblings, both parents died. Immigrated from Spain to the states at 15 yrs of age, yet only speaks little Spanish, lol. "Saved $560 thousands but all "fix". Asked for $$ to process his leave from the army duty.

just happened to me on Hangouts. Does the name Michael hit you?

Is it Michael O. Festus Watch out also goes by Ogundare Abiodun Olayemi

How about williams price. Asking $5000 for hospital bill.

What about William Hammond?

That sounds like the guy also going as Abrahim Mayoke, kabanga Amir, Andrew Fresca, Brian Blodgett and Kris Mcgrail from Arizona, MA, PA and Kenya.

Is Michael on a boat in the Black Sea, very ill, needs meds, and

michael, on a ship around instanbul, about 48 50 no parents, says from ohio, but has an accent, wife died a daughter, got hurt on ship by pirates, different birthdays, I think fake passport pic,very handsome, Michael Brayan, Bryan, met on fb

Yes the same guy but on Instagram, Michaelalanbr added me several months ago. Every morning I started receiving a message from him, a rose etc from me. He told me he was from California andworking on an oil ring in Germany. Widowed, two children. They all use the same stories... well today he asked me for 5,000 to settle his taxes in Germany so he can return back to the States. I think we both were tried to be scammed by the same person!!!

Is it Austin Michael Hobbs

Watch out for Bruce Chrestien...He is not real ladies!!!

Michael Poole is the one who got a lot of money from me!!Very charming. Beware!

Just happened to me on hangouts by a girl who said her name is Carey

Just emotionally scanned by a guy says his name is Hannet Kieth o met him on online dating site and moved to Hangouts.!said his wife cheated on him and doesn’t trust woman but since he find me he’s okay to get married now. So charming. I was trying to be on my guard and well stupid me fell for the guy. He used famous Russian picture and said he was a marine biologist overseas in Fiji working the pipelines. Tried to google that but didn’t find anything. Said I will come to see him and he said come to see. Says he lives in Ontario and has 2 kids. The one kid’s picture I recognized but thought okay maybe that’s his kid a child actor. He give me his kids email addresses peterhannet1231@ gmail.com and annahennet@ 1231@ gmail.com. Got mad when I wasn’t sure about emailing them. He didn’t get any money from me. He sounded like he makes more money than me. Maybe he feels bad asking me or just didactic have time yet.

Is Michael a journalist/ TV reporter?

Was he going by the name of Michael Shultz

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