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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
Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

Comments

I have recently been scammed by a man who says he is an artist from the United States and is currently stranded in Cairo Egypt. He says his name is Jason Perchinske.

Recently contacted by name Jason Perchinske from Our Time. with same name and profession, artist Interestingly claimed he had possible artist contract and would be going to Cairo . Said he was widower and wife and two daughters killed in car crash 1996 and recently relocated from Boston to Villa Park. Too much too fast. Ended it quickly

I had the same experience with Jason perchinski..says he was widowed..lost wife and daughters to car crash..met him on our time. He was telling wonderful things..and then started asking me for money..said he was an artist..lost his tools in Cairo Egypt where he had a contract. I keep refusing..he kept asking..I finally ended it.

He just contacted me on our time as well Jason Perchinske. Exact same backstory, family killed in a car crash in 1996. This time he relocated from Boston to Connecticut. Also an artist by profession. More like a con artist!

I have recently started communicating with a man who says he too is an Engineer from the United States and is currently working in Cairo Egypt. I only know his first name of Patrick. He says that he has a poodle named Perry who is staying with a friend of his who is a doctor. When he supposedly first arrived in Egypt his luggage was dropped with his laptop inside and his laptop was destroyed. He want me to FedEx him a new one. I refused. All of a sudden his lawyer here in the states was sending him a new one. The next thing I knew he dropped his expensive iPhone and wanted me to send him a new one but again I refused. Now he wants me to send him a $200 iTunes card so that he can finished getting his cell phone fixed properly. I am not sending him anything because I honestly believe he thinks that I am so desperate for a man in my life that I will fall for his sweet talk. He claimed to love me from the moment that we started chatting on Hangouts.

Has anyone had dealings with someone named Robell Richards. States he is from south africa and a contractor that works over seas building mini malls.

Does any one know of an army scammer by the name of Richard allen

yes girl, he took more than $8000 from me.
I gave him my credit card information and he deposited a fake check. Itook out the money and then the checks went bad.

OMG I now have to go to Consumer Credit Counseling to get help with my credit cards.

Greg Helmut. This person used a fake womans profile on Match,(Laurie from Fairbanks, Alaska) and wrote to me and i was wondering why a woman would write. "She" was supposedly his "cousin". Thousands of dollars lost getting a computer sent to south Africa for a "multi million dollar government contract". He was supposedly an "engineer", just "one job away from retirement". Used elegant poetic words, sent music clips, even God.... and it worked. I wonder who the person in the photo is, if they are aware someone is using their photo. Maybe we should start a support group.... you really believe them, and fall in love with who you see in the photo....
Very devastating, heartbreaking and expensive....i found his photo on another dating site as "Robert" from Miami. Reported that, too.... but you always have in the back of your mind, is one of those profiles really real and you just ruined possibilities for them?

Do the reverse image search in Google to find the identity of the person in photo. I understand.

How do you do the reverse photo look up on you tube? I was given the email address of a Richard VanOrnam. One of his so called friends sent it to me. He is almost too good looking to be true. We emailed and texted for awhile, made plans to meet but he had to go to South Africa to do a 6 week project. Said his iPhone , camera and Mac Pro laptop were stolen at the airport along with his wallet. Says he has to have these items or he cannot do his work. I said no and he says I have extreme trust issues. Have you ever heard of this guy. He sounds pretty well educated and his English is not bad. Oh and he is a widower with a daughter.

I believe I am hearing the same story right now.

This guy just did the same thing to me.
Gave me the same story as above, then added his equipment broke down. Very well written and appears to be educated.
He is a scammer!!

daniel paul mark

I've been talking with a guy who says he's deployed overseas in Afghanistan and has been over there without R & R for the last 18 months, has access to medicine over there but not for what he needs, texts me every day around the same time for about 2-3 hours, tells me where he is overseas and where his next mission is. He says he'll get into trouble if he's caught texting me. He uses some kind of iPad type thing. I've checked the Scam Haters website and everything he's told me, if he were truly in the military, he would not tell me. He goes by the name of Lt. James Koppel with the 82nd Airborne. He's talked about the missions he's been on, who's gotten hurt, etc. He says he's from Illinois, is widowed and has a young boy. Supposedly, his Sgt. is stationed in the US in the Springfield, Illinois area and not overseas. She goes by the name Brenda Simpson. He's been asking for money to help pay for the medicine that he needs to treat dysentery, malaria, etc. I asked for proof of him being overseas and he did send me a photo of him "supposedly" with a couple of local people.A lot of red flags.

That's a scam. The US Army is aware of scammers who pretend to be soldiers, and posted a list of warnings, including this:  Soldiers have medical insurance for themselves and their immediate family members (spouse and/or children), which pays for their medical costs when treated at health care facilities worldwide - family and friends do not need to pay their medical expenses.

Bridget Small, I wanted to see if anyone had commented on my entry a few days ago - but I couldn't locate my story. Do some of the blogs get removed?
I don't know the exact date but I know that you have been very helpful with many of the individuals on the site.

Sometimes a comment moves because new comments are added before or after your comment is published. That can make your comment appear on a different page than it did previously. 

Anyone encounter a guy on POF posing as a doctor from Nicaragua but raised in Malta. Says he does contract work for MSF and UNICEF. He apparently is on assignment in Iraq for 6 weeks. Initially sounded passionate about work but now says he is bored and asked me to buy him an iTunes card so he can download movies and books. Spoken to him on the phone twice. Has sent me few pictures of someone who is obviously cute and appears to be a doctor but something seems off. Keeps asking me to send him a card. Phone # is a based in NY and his FB has the same type of pics as POF.

FYI for all the women using online dating. Christopher Anton Raymond is scammer. His latest story is he is in Dubai mining for their govt. He sweet talks you and then a couple weeks of talking he tells you he got paid aling wirh a new vehicle for his contract work. He then wants to send his cash payment and vehicle to you. Do not fall for this. It leads to thousands of dollars he wants. When he gets no for an answer, he starts telling you, you pay the money or bad things will happen to you. I have plenty of pictures of a person and the name, phone number or address he gave to me were not real. Anyone that asks for anything from cards to wired money is scamming you. When they do not get what they want, the get nasty. Block them and never give any petsonal info to them.

HI, Has anyone scammed anyone on here by the name of Garth Lindsey claiming to be a flite medic in the army and saying he has two kids and has been single for 4 years cause he lost his wife. Asks for Itune gift cards and says that he wants you to send him a phone because his is messing up and that he is deployed in Nigeria. Also asking for money to be sent western union so that he can eat other food because he claims the food over there get's him sick. Did he friend request you on facebook and then have you go to a whatsapp site to chat with you further? Please let me know if someone is dealing with this guy too.

I am being scammed right now by a guy who is trying to get me to send him, Itunes gift cards, 4 of them for $100 each to reload his phone so he can continue to talk to me, his "wife" as he will be out of minutes like this Friday. He said his name is Presley Davidson, lives in Jasper, Al is from Montenegro, and is in Bari Italy working on a huge project for millions of dollars and a Construction Engineer. He is a widower, his wife died in a car accident, 3 kids with very spread out birth-dates. He was quick to fall in love with me. Wants to marry me etc. I have a couple of pics he has sent and none are on any sights as a scammer. I would like to know if anyone else has seen this name etc as this is a "too good to be true" one of things.

Has anyone had dealings with a person named Denise Chambers or Dean Chambers in the UK ?
Just started talking with her. No money yet but she had started the I love you stuff.

They are even on Words with Friends. I have had a couple of gentlemen start conversations with me and before you know it, they profess their love for you. Next thing you know they are asking you for iTunes cards yo deal with situations which they have well made up.

They are even on Words with Friends. I have had a couple of gentlemen start conversations with me and before you know it, they profess their love for you. Next thing you know they are asking you for iTunes cards yo deal with situations which they have well made up.

I meet this scammer thru facebook name benny botham no one in their right mind doesnt say im in love with you in 2 weeks keep saying he was born in germany came to the US (new york or canada) dad died mom is in africa have 2 kids ex wife run off with another man bs he keep asking for itunes/amazon and now asking money for medical attention and my bank to. Any ladies out there dealing with a scammer asking u for money its all lies and the person is a fake

Beware of scammers on Instagram ladies!! All these men claim to be in the military and lost thier wives to cancer and yadda yadda .. they are liars and scam artists!!

How can we stop these scammers? I have done everything the credit card company asked me to do and I am still stuck with all the debt accumulated from my scammer. They actually have told me "that's what happens to you people". Is that what you say to a rape victim? Just because you cant see the crime doesn't mean that's it not there and that it doesn't hurt and that you don't feel violated. This person knows too much about me and I fear retaliation. I am too ashamed and embarrassed to talk to friends and it took everything out of me to walk into a police department. BUT how can I prevent this from happening to anyone else? The scammer still has an instagram page open and the followers keep racking up? I wish someone would have tried to stop him before he got to me? What can I do? I feel so helpless. I have filed a police report, a report here, and a report with FBI IC3 because he portrays himself as a military soldier. Seems unstoppable and its makes this so much worse.

After reading everyone comments I'm unsure about the guy I'm talking too. Meet through plenty of fish goes by the name David Brown says he's in the military deployed in syria. Has aked twice for an iTunes gift card which I haven't given to him as this caused red flags. Has anyone else heard of this guy?? Says he is single no parents, died when he was a teenager lived with his grandmother from the US.would love some insight into this.

Anyone ever had the fake celebrity scam, where you comment on a celeb's Facebook page and then get a reply supposedly from the celeb saying "thank you for your support" or some such rubbish? I recently had to step in when a loved one was contacted by a fake Stephen Amell and even though he's now blocked those contact details, a part of him still thinks there really is a parcel from this joker stuck in Thailand somewhere, and it doesn't matter what I say, I can't convince him that the person he was talking to was more like Stephen SCAMell.

Yes. Recently Colin Farrell. Took five months to ask for me to talk to his bank because couldn’t access his account. What? Why ask me? Won’t talk on phone or Zoom due to to “privacy restrictions.” Very knowledgeable about the actor. Even knew restaurants near Colin’s home he would take me to. Came up with answers in less than a minute. English was good but some errors. Thought I was speaking to different people at times. Told him he would never get a dime from me. He keeps trying to woo me.

Richard Jefferson is the name my scammer is using. Says sh lives in NYC had a 9 year old daughter he started out on words with friends then asked to move to hangouts. Started calling me wifey right off the bat. Sending the same poems every day. Then he was scared to tell me but he wanted iTunes card. Then he sent an old video of someone getting hurt and says he needs 7000 to keep himself out of jail he was supposed be doing that job but he wanted to talk to me. I confronted him and he got pissed cuz I called him a scammer. A few hours later s got another message that said baby please help me. Well I was born at night but not last night!! Lol

Chatted to guy fro POF and he was engineer in mine is South Africa and has 11 year old son. He was transferred to Ghana and had to pay own way & company would reimburse.....now he has been detained at airport on way to flying home to Merced California as he had two rings.....now needs $3000 to be allowed to fly home. Name David Bradley....son Michael....its customs official asking for money.
Any similar stories?

This is a scam. I was scammed. This scenario is similar.

Met a woman named Nathalie Martin on a dating website. When we met, we quickly became a girlfriend and boyfriend after chatting on skype. Everything seem legit because I saw her on Skype. I tried to image search her and haven't found anything out of the ordinary. The past few weeks everything seem "normal" like normal couples do. We Skyped in the morning and evening pacific time. The only thing that was in my hindsight was that she professed her love very quickly and wanted to meet me in person. She said she lives in Toronto, Canada, however at the time we were "together," she was in the Philippines taking classes as an event planner certificate.
One night she told me she was robbed while going back to her residence and needed money for help. I knew the story sounded fishy, but at the time I felt sorry for her. She asked me to transfer money through western union. I went to the nearest western union and sent her the money, the personal info she gave me was totally a different name. From there, I thought that was the end of that. The week before she was suppose to depart from Phillipines to Toronto, she asked me for money again for living expenses. I was hesitant to give her money again because I felt like I was being scammed but I gave her some money again because I was worried about her. The day before her departure we talked and she said she wanted to see me after she went back. She was supposed to call me back, but unfortunately she never did. No calls, Skype status was invisible and I was blocked from talking to her on the dating site. I tried to contact her through Skype and email and no response. It's been 11 days since I last message her. I'm still shocked and sadden that it happened and I'm still staying strong. She is a white female, believe to be in mid 20's, blonde, wearing a tank top on her profile pic. She is very charming, really charming. Beware!!!

Sorry to hear that...

omg... i met her too at tagged. she did the exact same thing. she seemed legit at first, then she gave me her skype contact. after 2 days, she said she loved me. we chatted on skype for a bit, then she used the same story as above. thank god i read this post and i will not be sending her anything on western union. please note that she wanted me to send her money to "nervin padilla" in the philippines. this is to replace her "lost" passport so she can come back to canada.

everything above happened to me except me giving her money, thank you mr. loveless. she gave me her address as well in toronto, thank you once again.

I think I'm going through the same thing. Mine claims to be of German and Romanian decent. Said that he is a widower of seven years. Has a daughter we will call her "Rita" that he says goes to college in Florida. He lives in Chicago and has a home in CA as well. Wants to be with me,is very charming,saying what he will do for me. Supposedly works in construction. Has sent pictures of daughter and him by these expensive machinery. Told me that he is Abu Dhabi sent me a picture of the contract. Everything was set to go start the work. Text me today to say that machines are stuck at the port because he didn't pay some expenses and the port patrol won't let the machines in until he pays $140,000.00. He won't get paid until the first quarter soothe contract states and his company is supposed to self fund the 1st quarter. He never asked me for anything but got a little ticked when so asked was he a scammer. Now I have pictures of a very Handsome 60 year man in good shape I'm 50 although reading these scenarios I don't think who I'm seeing us who I am talking to.

Please beware and know this is a scammer! My scammer used stolen photos. Said he was doing contract work for UN in Syria. Said UN wouldn't pay til he got back to U.S. this was a lie. Said wife(rita) and young daughter(Sarah) had been in a tragic car accident about 7 years ago. Son Harry was in a boarding school in Georgia. Lies. All lies. But I fell for it. Lost a marriage of 30 years and almost lost my home. Get out now!

Kind of sounds like my scammer. But G.K. is a handsome 63 yo who has a contract with the Egyptian Gov. to mine for diamonds in Cairo. Equipment is stuck in customs. Unfortunately I have been taken for a huge amount of money. Supposedly a widower from WV, wife died of breast cancer, Older son died while serving. I found the name on FB and there is a strong resemblance. That being said, I still I am involved in a scam.

Hello, sounds like my mom might be currently scammed by same person. Wish there was a way for us to communicate and exchange his images to see if it’s same person. She has started sending him cards since she said she would not send any money. He is a handsome, in shape 60 year old by the pics he has sent her. Unreal, I have told her he is scamming her and she doesn’t believe me.

Anyone here heard of Moise Viorel? Claims to be of German decent. Lives in Chicago has a daughter that goes to college in Florida,is a widower. Says he owns a construction company and is doing work over in Abu Dhabi now his machines are stuck at the port with port police and it $140k because of some fees he didn't pay. He never asked me for any money yet it sent off red flags because of things I had heard about scams. Says he also has a home on Hill Street in Solana Beach CA. I googled the home in Chicago on 107th street and it is nice although it is for sale. Then when I did ask him to s3nd me pictures of him I. Dhabi since I have never traveled out of the country he says I don't trust him. He says he is too old for games all because I started to ask him questions about his true relationship goals and his intentions. He has text or called me everyday since we began communicating. Since our very heated conversation on his end this is the first day that I havent received a text or anything from him.

My husband scammed by someone posing as Emily Ratjowski model. He sent money and really believed it was her because she sent a pic of passport. I found the same passport pinterist.i feel out marriage is over and cannot believe he fell for this.

That sucks that happened to your husband. I am married and had a young woman suddenly contact me and was professing her "love" for me and eventually asking for iTunes cards because it was her "birthday" in a week and I told her it was my "birthday" the day before hersband asked her what she was going to get me? Ha ha. So turned it completely around. I asked myself..."Why would a young "attractve" lady contact me out of the blue and fall in love with me immediately and ask for money? "

Common sense days scam. Your husband needs to ask himself the same question next time.

What they do with these iTunes cards is resell the numbers on the backs for cash. I'm being approached by three or four right now. One even used pictures of herself, dressed and nude, and making a peace sign with her left hand as I requested, to prove she was a real person. Guess I have to cut them all off. No one this gorgeous would really be interested in me.

I wish i had read your article before i got "scammed" out of 30K

Met someone on tinder. Claims to be USMC deployed in Syria but contracted with UN. Mom and Dad deceased. Has 4 yr old son. But his Mom gave him up. Asked for money for flight to come home to be with me. Sent him money. Then he has asked 4 more times. Out $9k. Every time I ask him questions I don't get straight answers. He gets mad when I tell him he is scamming me. I too have had friend request on FB of people I don't know. He said he lives in my hometown but won't give me address because it's in a military neighborhood and I can't see his house. He lied about his birthday. His answers aren't consistent. He claims to love me and calls me his fiance. It's creepy. Also heard a rooster in background but he said someone gave his Captain a rooster. When he calls me he has a Jamaican accent but he says the monitoring device he has to use to call me has bad signal. So many red flags. His name is Staff Sergeant Alex Patrick. His pictures are him wearing his uniform. He says he is going to pay me back when he gets home.claims to make 35k a month but doesn't have access to his money.I have come to terms he is scamming me and I'll never see my money.

I have a friend who I’m sure is being scammed by someone with the name of Antonio Grytsenko. Supposedly lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, geologist for Shell Oil, has a 12 yr. old daughter and 17 yr old son. Says wife was a drug addict. He has a nanny and is about to leave to work in Australia for 3 months. He refuses to FaceTime, has such heavy accent that he is very hard to understand. Anyone else had an experience with this man?

What happened with your friend? This person just contacted me!

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