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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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Has anyone met a woman online who asks you to send them an Amazon or other type of gift card? I've met a few women on dating sites who keep asking me for these. I was scammed once, thinking I was helping feed someone overseas. I learned my lesson. I feel as though anyone who asks for your help on any way is a scam artist. Thoughts?

Be aware of a man called Collins Albert that says that he is in his last mission with the Army in Syria to retired. Then when chat to you for weeks then says that will be sending to you a box with all his personal belongings with money and other things and later a courier company contact you saying that you have to pay $650 for customs in Turkey and ask to send that money by Western Union or Money Gram. The fake courier company its called "Extra fast courier company" be aware of that I met him by instagram.

This guy, Daniel, contacted me from a dating site. Cute, nice photos (selfies, photo with mom, with grandma). His dating profile is nice (said he had kids and was learning to play guitar...I asked and he was said no I dont have kids or play. Oops hahaha....a few hours later his profile had changed completely hmmmmm). Ive searched and cant find the photos anywhere. He has no social media due to his ex. Then I asked what he does and he basically said a project manager and it's the kind of work he isnt allowed to talk about, very secret because of his clients. 3 days after we started texting he told me he loves me and it's been so long since he has had these feelings. Very romantic. Very charming. Fun to talk to on the phone. Emailed me love letters. So I'm thinking wow!! Suddenly his phone is messed up and cant call or receive calls. After a week of talking he texts about this big contract he won but he had to fly out the very next day to Turkey for 3 weeks. I was skeptical and he knew so he emailed me the certificate showing the company name and that he won it. Could be legit but still seems weird and not quite right. So appropriately I didnt hear from him for a day as he was "traveling ". Emails continue, texts, charming calls via Hangouts. Then his card is blocked. He forgot to tell the bank he was going out of the country. He hasn't eaten because he has no money. I sadly fall for it and send cryptocurrency (bitcoin) not once but twice. In the meantime beautiful emails and professions of love. I copied and pasted some text from an email into Google and lo and behold word for word on a website that talks about scamming emails there it is. I asked him about it and he was like what? How could that be? I don't understand. Then the emotional manipulation started where he is so concerned about my insecurity about this and the damage it could do to myself and us. "I know you don't trust me but I am patient. A lasting relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust and honesty". Then he gets upset that I don't trust him. Round and round we went on that. He said I bet you are going to now ask for a photo of me with your name. But that the bitter truth is it wouldnt satisfy my concerns so he sent me a photo of him holding a cookie. Not good enough. I convince him to video call (hangouts) and he agrees. I see him (kinda grainy but the "network isnt great here". No sound. I couldn't unmute myself. He was just smiling and talking....was it really a call or just a video? Told me doing that call can make him unsafe (wants me to feel bad). He didnt say anything to me the rest of the day...I should have stopped then but I messaged and started the conversation again. Round and round we go. Now we are at the end of the contract and he says his account is locked because of suspicious activity and he thinks it must be his ex (they supposedly divorced over 10 years ago). He didnt tell me because he didnt want to worry me. Bank refused to unlock the account until he comes in person. He asked for my address to send me a parcel and I declined. He got upset and round and round we went again about insecurities. I ultimately caved unfortunately. He gave me his mailing address but I cant find anything online about this guy...not even Spokeo, so I mailed a card to see...we will see if it is returned to sender. Now he needs money to finish the job so he can get his paycheck and get out of there. I'm sticking with NO this time. He's sad and believes in me anyway....man he's good...I want him to be real but my gut says wise up. I sadly shared personal information with him like my address and what company I work for, my birthday. But I have lifelock so I'm counting on that helping me on that side of things. I'm biding my time waiting to hear he cant leave the country because he can't get money to finish the contract. OR he somehow is able and will meet me when he comes back...we will see. I feel like an idiot. I knew better but man he was good. I wish I could find the real man in the photo and tell him he's been hacked but reverse image lookup isn't helpful. Y'all be careful!

Im sure im being scammed but its difficult when your heart is involved. His name is Nathan Kennedy. He says he is a Greek born Singaporean that stays in Orange New Jersey. His wife died and his little daughter is turning 10. He never talk about us (includes his daughter) but always says "I". He already took about 400 000R from me via money cards for a supposedly mining tender. The tender fell through and he left SA for USA. Does anything sounds familiar.

A man just tried to scam me today, he said he was self employed in the business of mining minerals, currently in Johannesburg. Said he was robbed and needed funds. Very, very good at stringing me along romantically for two solid weeks, but why would he have no one else to ask for money than someone he has never met in person? No way.

Does any one know a Remyond Richards
Works for Outer continental Shelf body of
Gulf of Mexico.

I find someone on a dating site, he sent me a package and in that package he put money and the courier company called me to pay for the money he sent me, he wanted to visit me in my country and he said he is a doctor I'm confused

Did anyone scammed by the guy Mark Kelvin /George Roland he said he is a doctor he needs money, he wanted to marry me he said pictures of him but when I asked him why he didn't want to call he said his phone is broken from the camera

So I was in a relationship with a guy on qeep he told me how much he loved me and it went on for about a month. So because I could not give him a credit card or open up a check account, he is asking me to give him two one hundred dollars iTunes card and when I said no he said that he will send my nude pictures he took from my page to my friend, job, mother I'm afraid because he's still texting me for money is there any help for me.

When someone threatens to reveal your personal information unless you give him money, he is attempting to commit criminal extortion. You can report that person immediately to your local police, and to the FBI.

I received the message through facebook, he asked me to exchange text in hangout. He called himself Christoper Scott, an orthopedist working at the camp in Yemen. He said he wanted to go back (he said he is from NC, one daughter, wife already passed for a few years ago) He sounded a good person, but eventually I felt weird because he started to call me "baby", and "I love you" What a wired man, who could love whose we only chat online. I communicated him for a couple of weeks, and he suddenly said "I can go home" I said to him very happy for you....and he said to me he cannot have money some reason (I even don't remember), and he asked my bank account to receive money ! It did not make sense at all! I immediately stopped to chat this guy. HE IS A SCAMMER! Why he cannot have or receive money who served for USA military. I deleted his email address from Hangout. I felt wired when he called me baby, and said "I love you". I am sure he was a scanner.

Nash Morgan anybody? From Germany claims to be working in the Caspian Sea daughter Melissa lives with aunt in Berlin talked to me for 2 days kept calling me my lady asked me to send him a google card haha don’t think so pal

Iv been chatting to a mason buhagiar. Working up on rig in Aberdeen. Says he needs money to replace an old machine. He is contractor.. Why am I being asked to pay for his machine. Iv not got the money. I'm not prepared to hand any money over to him for a machine. That can find a leak. He has an address in Manchester. Has any other person been asked for money.?

He reached out to me thru Instagram. Goes by the name of Micheal Smith. Yes, spelled just like that. He said he is a hyperbaric welder and works on contract. He is divorced as his ex cheated with a friend. He has a 5 year old daughter. He says he is 50 but looks younger. He hasn't been able to work since his divorce 3 years ago. He is bankrupt because ex took everything. Within days he was saying he loves me. 3rd week he is dating he has no money before starting his contract in May. Asking for an Amazon card for $500. I didn't send it. Anyone else speaking to him or similar story?

Met on words With Friends. Independent contractor on rig. Wife died 5 years ago has teenage daughter. Asked me to set up account on hangouts. Then a problem with his supplies customs needed 10,000 and he couldn’t access his account. Got very mad said I didn’t care about him or I would help and he would repay me. I said no ! He kept asking for 500 in Apple Card so he could call me and bank ! Asked me to open a IRA account in my name and give him access so he could deposit funds for us ! I asked him for his info so we could do it in both names. No ID no license . Not allowed on rig ... then his daughter got sick and he wanted me to send 1700 to the dr. I just needed to give him my credit card information... did not do it !! Please do not fall for these scammers follow your gut. I almost fell for it but it just felt off , wrong .

Please can you tell me, I met a guy who works on an oil rig, and I have been talking to him for about five weeks, his name is Micheal Chadwell, he works in Brunei as an engineer. He has sent me a lot of photos of himself about fifteen photos, but now he is asking me to get a telephone top up card for him, surly if you are working away for weeks on end then you would have a phone on contract. I haven't sent him any money as I think this guy is a scammer, and now he is making me for guilty as I anm not going to send it.

How do you find the real person in the pics that he portrayed

Keep asking for pictures. I found out when my scammer gave me a picture with name tag wasn't cover and the surroundings. That's how I found out. Now, I'm looking and want to know the real name of the person in the photo.

I was involved with Bob Wilson he said last week he and the doctor on the oil rig and his friend he went to school on another oil rack and found one they work for shell oil corporation were arrested and Bob was released because he was not involved and his doctor is the one that transferred money into my bank account from a lady that was stolen from the Ukraine so he and the other guy on the other oil rig are supposedly in jail. He is trying to get money to come home and I told him if you’ve been doing this 23 years how did you do at home before did you find some stupid blonde it’s time to pay your way. First time in my life I was thankful I was broke
So then they want you to apply for all these credit cards all of these bitcoin and stuff like that so they can transfer money into it from other stolen accounts and he said he was born in Germany but he definitely sound like he was from over near the Gulf He wouldn’t give me a recently picture or Do you FaceTime but he would give me the pictures of his doctor and his manager and his friend. But he said he still loves me and I don’t want anything to do with him and I don’t want him finding me but I can’t afford to move I’ve taken care of everything with the bank and the bank I was watching my account closely and they might even kick me out of the bag because of his transaction the bank still has some money I don’t want anything to do with it they’re trying to return it to the rightful owner. But he still thinks I have it And if they have horrible grammar they’re definitely not from the United States
And he had fake FBI agents email me but they would not call me and I asked them their names and the names did not match their badges
So I had a business card from one of the local officers when people stole from my yard sale and I even sent them pictures of the banks a.m. I’m here in front of the banks and your agent and we can go in and get the money and when I sent them the police officers card they stop texting me. If you suspect them do a video chat and take a picture while you’re talking to them. Last year I talk to a fellow that was in the army and he said he was ambushed Anna when they were out on drill and he sent a picture of me which was 20 years younger in the hospital bed near the cast on his leg and I said you don’t put a cast on open wound so I just deleted him but I did go to a local military enlistment place and told him his name showed him the pictures it was him but he had retired and was out scamming women

If you meet on Facebook and then they want to go to Messenger and then I want to go to hangouts get rid of them
If they ask for gift cards don’t give to them the military men can talk anytime they want and they have free passage there and home so do not buy any tickets And they have supplied phones and Wi-Fi to not pay for their Wi-Fi or cell phones
If they have no pictures and no friends and their Facebook or messenger account don’t talk to them Can you block people on your Gmail

What if a person is asking if you have a credit card and it’s a cash back credit card and he’s claims to be a celebrity and he wants to meet you, and his manager sent you an invoice for $ 20,000.

When you meet someone online and they ask for money, they're probably a scammer. We have a special blog post about scammers who pretend to be celebrities.   Don't send money to that "mananger," and don't give him your credit card number.

His name is Abdul Hakeem. He says he works at CLS Global Solutions and lives in Birmingham, UK. He is very sweet, a practicing Muslim and calls me Habibi my queen darling.. Etc.. He is gorgeous in his picture, reminds me of Sean Connery. Anyway, we were planning our future, family and stuff.. He made me feel he loves me. Then one day he became serious with his profession of love.. He wanted us to be official.. He also wanted to send me a gift package for Ramandan and that we plan on meeting in Singapore as he has to sign a business cobtract there. BUT he cannot sign it unless he produce 200k dollars. I told him to wait until the lockdown ends and business will pick up. He says he can't wait coz he might lose the contract. And then it happened, he sent me the conversion of 200k dollars to my currency and then asked me if I could help him get the money. He said he will pay me back after his contract ends... Since i am already aware of the dating scam I told him No and blocked him.. He got upset, tried to video chat, said he was just "testing"my love for him.. Whatever.. GoodbyeFelipe

I used western union and money gram to send money to a scammer and gift cards what can I do

The scammer I had was supposed to be a senior negation Naval officer. He did not ask for money, he sent me to Chase bank (obviously this person has had success at Chase before) to set up an account which he would send money to, help me pay for rent since we would be married when he came back from overseas. I did have suspicions but he assuaged them all. The bank told me not to share the bank acct # and routing number because I will be responsible for any deficit and he will be able to use the account. They advised that the proof is a complete change, and indeed all of his yelling and arguing was just what was predicted. I was so thrilled with my so-called Christian man that I never truly suspected anything because I wanted so badly to believe. I was primed to give the info but when I followed the bank's advise, just as they suspected he would, he got very upset and ended the relationship because I didn't trust him. I'm glad he did; I told him that if not giving him this info ends it, it never was real.
My QUESTION IS, in order to reassure him, I did what I don't usually do, which is send a photo of my driver's license and I wrote my address down for him in a text. I don't really know why I broke my rule never to do that but I did. So my question is, what are the possible damages? Should I get another drivers license? I'm scared because I made a previous mistake. How bad is it??

Did you get response to your questions?

There is a comment here that is just like my experience, a very nice man texting every morning every evening. He was German he said. He wanted me to go on Facebook, he had a nice story, he was a high ranking Naval Officer, he was overseas....

I recently go talking to 'Katherine Woods' who claimed to be in Atlanta on tinder. She kept hounding me to send her money and/or a cell phone and had the most ridiculous stories. Even the name and address she gave to send mail to wasn't hers.

Lookout for Paullee0045 on Instagram. He tried to scam me out of $3,000. He said he worked on a oil rig and his machine got lost in the sea and needed money to replace it. He wanted me to move to WhatsApp, so I did. He told me he loved me and a lot of other lies.

His name is Abdul Hakeem from Birmingham UK. He works as real estate developer and engineer for CLS Global Solutions. He is a devout Muslim and is originally from UAE. He is very charming and sweet, broken English, doesn't sound from UK.. Starts conversations in WhatsApp with "Ok Alright then".. Professes his love early on.. Talked about spending the future together, me converting to Muslim, have own kid.. Blah blah.. Wanted to give me a business where I can be the boss.. After a month of grooming, he asks me to help him get 200k dollars to complete his contract for Singapore. Says he will pay me back after the contract ends. I said bye. Then he wanted to video chat but im no longer interested. His picture reminds me of Sean Connery... Be careful girls

If a girl has four five different numbers from different states in the same week is that a red flag

I am talking to a guy called Richard Hoddle on WhatsApp I met him on scrabble go has anyone heard of this guy? After a week he was asking me for steam cards I’ve been chatting to him for 3 months he suggested we chat on kik first so was chatting on there for a while then suggested we chat on hangouts and now it’s WhatsApp he is claiming to be stuck on an oil rig because his drill is broken and he needs money to fix it and I am the only person in his life that can help him I was even sending his son steam cards he told me he is retiring in March this year but because of the pandemic and his broken drill he is still there I have had this gut feeling about this but he sounds so convincing that he is in love with me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me

I met Jerry he professed love quickly got off dating site to talk more freely went to Russia on a rig is petroleum engineer
Wants amazon gift cards

I am talking to a Man with name Johnson Irwin. He is asking for Amazon card for $26 so that he can call me from his number than military phone. He sent some Military ID as a proof. Am I OK to proceed and buy?

Don't do it whatever you do! I just got scammed a whole year by someone in the military I sent Amazon cards to & Western Union so we can communicate. He said he loved me, texted me on WhatsApp that we would be together & be married, he texted every day, time to come home needed money to go home early & I fell for it then he said was held up in customs & getting sent back to Nigeria in the Army. I have a case open now with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command with pictures & everything, I'm out $8000 & a huge crushed heart by someone I thought loved me. It was a real good scammer. It's a hard lesson to learn but going through a year with someone thinking they need Amazon cards or Western Unions to communicate in the military THEY NEVER NEED FUNDS FOR THAT & HAVE MILITARY ADDRESSES TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH! Don't let love take over like I did & be out money & a crushed heart. It's a horrible feeling. Never send money to anyone you meet online or believe you will get love or money back in return. Military don't need funds to communicate with loved ones. I went to the local military base & discussed this in detail & was told it was a scam. They hopefully will find this guy I pray but scams are what they are. They take your money & break your heart!!!!!!!

Has he used the name Gage Warren?

Anyone males out there scammed by Adrienne Melchore? Asking for money to pay her deceased fathers debts in order to clear for probate court in Canada to clear his estate so that she can receive her inheritance ? Also nursing funds to care for her elderly grandmother.

Anyone have a Tony Perry? He found me on FB, no mutual friends. Oil rig in N Atlantic, home base LA. Orphaned as a kid, wife died, 13 yr old son in boarding school. Switched to google hangouts from FB. I went with it as a lark- I'm not looking for as anything. Romantic comments almost immediately! Guess I was sorta playing with him- knew it wasn't going to go anywhere. Today, a week later, son story about son. Wanted me to send $200 I tunes gift card. Wrote him back saying he's scamming me. He gets defensive saying he's a God fearing man. Then he says he's busy & he'll catch up later. I know it's a scam now. Too bad I sent pics of myself! Time to block.

Can you send me pics of him i may be being scamed

I have pics but don't know how to send to you. Pics I have show he's late 40's-early 50's. Has mustache & goatee with some gray. Same with hair. I have pic of him in kilt. Also with 2 dogs & one with cat. Pic of boy with dog- he looks about 9. Supposed to be 13. Also pic of "Tony" in white shirt & tie. Hope this helps. I reported him to FB & the profile has been removed.

Anyone have a Tony Perry?? Oil rig in N Atlantic, from LA. Dead parents, dead wife, son in boarding school. Just a week chatting with him on hangouts, then asked for $200 I tunes gift card for son. Told him he was scamming me. He said he was hurt that I asked. Said too busy would contact me later. Yeah right!!! He found me on FB even though we had no mutual friends. He wouldn't give me good explanation as to how he found me. Right now I've unfollowed him on FB & hidden him on hangouts. I'm curious to see if he'll contact me again. If he does, I have a plan. If not, he'll be blocked on hangouts & unfriended on FB. Kind of knew it was a scam, just wanted to give him enough rope to hang himself! The pictures he sent were of a really cool guy- I feel sorry for whoever it is!!

Hi l had this guy showed me Pictures of his family home in Italy Lives in LA has a fifteen year old son in boarding school first picture sent of the kid was about 9 or 10 with a dog second picture was older looking kid. This guy went by Julius sent me pictures of himself in a towel standing by his cars one was a black Jeep he had in torn jeans and a blues shirt crew cut gray hair and goatee glasses. He sucked me in with morning poems called me his wife and his son called me mum. He was working on an oil rig off of Boston Out there for 3 months Then came the request for iTunes cards to finish project. When l refused he became less romantic and l blocked him off hangouts. He is really good and l told him that please ladies don’t fall for him

Does anyone have pictures? I posibly may be trying to be scamed....

This guy is called Berry Allen Dagne. Born in Germany lives in Washington. A widow with 9 year old daughter. I sen 2 x £25 Amazon gifts. He now wants me to buy sim card, I AM NOW GETTING SUSPICIOUS. HE WANTED TO PUT MONEY IN MY BANK ACCOUNT, I REFUSED, OF COURSE. I THERE A PHOTO GALLERY OF SCAMMERS. THIS MAN IS 6FT. TALL VERY ATTRACTIVE, 66 YEARS OLD, HE SAYS. HE HAS A BEARD AND WEARS LARGE RINGS?

Re: Tony Perry !! After posting here yesterday, I unfriended him on FB, blocked him from hangouts. Forgot to block Email. This morning get an Email from him, with all the loving & missing me BS. Replied-- told him to go away, he's a scammer & I reported him here on FTC. OF COURSE, he's now blocked on Email!!!! BEWARE OF TONY PERRY!!!!

I have reported my scammer a few times but I recently learned that he has changed his identity and is using new pictures and new names. I knew him as Jon Bach Fitzpatrick on Facebook. He has/is going by the name of Gregory Hedman and Gabriel Russ. When I knew him he was French and now he is German. Please, please beware. He just scammed a woman out of $40,000.00. He is targeting political parties, in particular liberals and Democrats. Still using the story that he is an art collector, living in Houston and Chicago. Please be safe!

Anyone talking to someone named Chris/Hyun? He said he was half Korean/half American, moved to South Korea almost two months ago, estranged with his American dad and his Korean mom’s dead, broken up with girlfriend who was a drug addict three years ago and now just started working at an oil rig in Turkey a week ago for 21 days. Hasn’t ask for money yet though very quick with saying I love you and wanting to be in a relationship.

I reported Tony Perry to FB yesterday. This morning his page has been removed. I'm sure he'll turn up with a new profile, but at least this one is done!!!

I reported Tony Perry to FB yesterday. This morning his page has been removed. I'm sure he'll turn up with a new profile, but at least this one is done!!!

Now I'm getting bombarded on Instagram with friend requests!! Wasting my time having to block each one. I guess this harrassment never ends!

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