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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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Hey,this guy from Pakistan,is he in the army on a peace mission.He says he is widowed,a and he lives in Washington DC area and teach at West Point.We been talking for a while,but something is off,I ask him to take photos of Islamabad, but he changed the subject,And he start calling me, my love,that he wants to marry.And I was like wow,take it easy,I don't want to married nobody, And surprise,he ask for his vacations so we could meet,and he ask me,to send him 1.000 for the airline ticket.I said NO,obviously, and block him,He goes by the name of Michael Sands.What a creep

I met a guy who goes by Kennedy Martinez. Wanted iTunes gift cards and he sent a posture of himself. He told me after just a few days that he wanted to marry. He also sent the same pic to my friend but goes by the name of Terry Rodriquez

Was his last name Del Castillo?

I have been speaking to a man named Thomas Downs...very handsome, gray hair, gray beard. He claims to be a geologist...supposedly in Dubai since 2/2018. I have ran everything (photos, etc) and I had and have come up with nothing. It's quite disheartening. Please lets compare. Thank you!

Met a man thru online dating site. Hid name is David Pettitt . Everything I’ve read so far matches what everyone else says he lives in New York but, temporarily on a work project in Egypt. Now he’s ready to come home and texted from the airport saying being arrested by internal revenue agents. Everything is the same as others said. iTunes card, Apple cards, receive money from a friend in the Bahamas to send to a hotel which was holding his passport due to non payment in bill. Sent pictures etc. to me. Nice looking gray haired man... if familiar to anyone , please let’s compare.

There is a guy named Christopher Matt and he also goes by Christopher Matt Arnold that is a scammer too on Facebook.

Do you have a name ? This is happening right now

Do what I just did, put a Public post on Facebook, Twitter, and any other "networking" site you visit. Put his name, what he did (or tried to do), and any other info you know about him!

I had called my state police and they said they couldn't do anything unless he was physically in this state! FBI can't do anything because he's in the Ukraine. I doubt the CIA can or would do anything either. Apparently, it's up to us to stop this!!!!!

There should be so much more in this warning. Some examples 8f a scammer.Scammers are using fake verification websites, the #1 being Craigslist Verify. But this is not craigslist, it is fake. Says will not charge credit card, for verification only. Thats a lie.
2. Any unsolicited email from an unknown source asking for a date or hookup. Sent from one email address, but wants you to reply to a different address. All fake.
3. Same as #2 only email is addressed to multiple addresses, your only cc'd or bcc, Fake.
4. Receive email and person wants you to join a sex site to see her profile and chat. Fake
5. All cam girls, they will lead you on but only want credits/money. Who knows where they really are.
6. You sign up for a sex site and try answering all of the questions wrong. It still lets you join, Fake.
7. Any profile with just a picture and one word. "Hello" Most likely Fake
8. Any site that says for entertainment only, uses "Love Stars, or any type of fake profiles as stated in the terms. Fake.
9. The scary one, there are "bots" on the loose in the internet. Not even real people, they are programs and algorithms initially designed for advertisements. They have progressed and taken on a life of there own. Example of a bit is ask a silly question like what is your favorite flavor of ice cream, it will ignore your question but continue with its conversation like you never asked.It has become impossible to use any online dating site without being contacted by a scammer. Some are so persistent that even after blocking, they have multiple e-mails set up so they don't miss a beat.

I met this girl on a dating site we have been texting each other for over a month now and is in Ghana here mom is sick and I have sent her $200 in iTunes cards and she wants me to set up an account here she has been sending me pictures of her and texting me every day and lives in Florida but is over in Ghana with her mom she wants to come live with me is this legit or a scammer

Unfortunately you are being scammed. I have been doing the same thing to a guy claiming to be stuck in Turkey. Big indication is needing ITunes cards. I'm so tired of being a victim in these scams

I have the same with a guy who is in India Name Roy Paige claiming to be a contractor for some proyect there but he from Scotland and. He ask me for money because the taxi take off while he went tu irinate. Omg all kind the crap lost passport and credit card. I’m tired because we chat for weeks without any money request really but my feelings.

Is this Nelson Yollam?

What was the guys name?

What’s the use of itunes card?
I was contacted by this guy KELVIN RICHARD supposedly a petroleum enginner from scotland. Who is a sweet talker, knows the bible, who loves me and wants to marry me right away and will meet me. He is also a widow witth 4 y/0 son. We video call twice. His face is the same from the profile pic. Then afterwards he asked for a $200 amazon card. Then he went to work in Turkey but was attacked by pirates and took his wallet and passport. So, now he is asking money for hospital bills, food and hotel bills since he has no money to pay. He is also needs money to open an acct so he can transfer money there from his scotland bank acct. I said, No!

I am going through the same thing only the girl is in new york and needs help for grandma in ghana! Hell yes its a scam.

Also, pictures will probably be an avatar, a likeness of a complete stranger. In one case, it was a porn quenn. The scammer had an extensive collection of everyday photos. A filename screwup uncovered the scam, not not before I sent money. LESSON LEARNED. Pass this on.

I'm dealing with the same girl and her associates. She goes by the name of Nancy Lee/nancy_leeluv@ yahoo.com and it's her and her sick mother. Asked for ITunes cards to buy food which you can't do! Asked for money to come to me to live. Evidently, I just found out today, she used the enticing photos of the Porn star Abella Anderson to lure me in! Also goes by the name Anne Buchholz. Unfortunately I did not do any research on her early enough and I'm out a total sum of $2000 and change over the last 4 months. I agreed to help her out to get her out of New York, NY. Gave numerous ITunes cards, sent money for the care of her mother while she visited me then bought her 2 expensive plane tickets to get her here. She has a travel agent by the name of Philip Lansdown, who I sent the Walmart to Walmart money transfers to, resides in Cedar Rapids,Ia.for the plane tickets and a guy by the name of Marvin Benoit, Lansdowns secretary who is in Trenton NJ. And I thought it was all legit and sincere. Still in contact with her and the agent cause they don't know I know the truth. Got all my information in order and am going to try to catch them! If ever unsure of anybody do a google reverse image search. It's free and that's how I found out who the gal in all my texts and emails is. Good Luck.

You can help law enforcement by reporting to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies nationwide use for investigations.

You can also report the person to the dating website, and to the money transfer service you used. Call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

Don't do it! I had the same person hit me up. She goes by the name Pricilla and she asked me the same thing. The second I heard Itunes card I dropped her like a hot rock and you should too. Any mention of the ITunes card just delete their info.

dude this girl named Priscilla her last name wouldn't;t happen to be Garcia. I met a girl named priscilla Garcia on twitter. It turns out she stole pictures of a girl and the girls name off Facebook. But I blocked her once i figured out she was fake

She is a lier and scammer ! She is lieing to you i been was dealing with ghana and nigeria scamms i too am a victim of both nigeria and ghana they think us america ppl are stupid slow they dont really like us just our money you gave $200 usa dollars gave her $ 36,000 nairas in there money she converted it i advise you to go to usa money convert in nigeria are ghana ! Stop sending her money she is lieing too you you will never see her and they pretend love to get our money marjarioty they wife husband girlfriend be right beside them getting that money and laughing at us stop being a fool okay its your choice i cant warn you if i wasnt in love like you from there but scamm they every where call them 419 ok scammer look it up thanks

I have a girl in Ghana that has been talking to me for about a week now and she says she loves me but hasn't ask for money.

this is happening to me Guido777. she says her name is Joyce Quaye. apparently very attractive . her mom is sick in a hospital in Ghana due to kidney failure and needs money

Scammer can be a woman or man from Ghana. Also going by Loise Naisaino, Clare Nyongesa, Candy, Nancy.

I think my brother might be involved with the same person. Do u have a name?

My brother is going though the exact scenario. Can u tell the name of the person u r dealing with?

Is her name Doris Hines?

Is her name Melinda Allen, by any chance?

I'm a old pirate and trust me ya got scammed, Guido777 one just tried to scam again same story as yours.../

Did she say her name was Jaqueline Tagoe 214)302-9564 mother is sick renal failure shes is school needed iTunes for a dchool project shes obtaining her masters degree.

Friend gets Social Security check, cashes it and then buys gift ards and sends $400.00 to Male unknown, who is suposedly in the Russian army and a pilot. Been ongoing for as long as I have know her. This week he is supposed to arrive (again), and they will go off together and live together. Many people have told her she is being scammed but she will not believe it. She is divorced living in her ex husband's home but will be out of there oon.

I have been trying to get rid of this sites but can't. They claim to be in walking distances to meet and have sex. This is an outrage and a sin i cannot get rid of them. One site is m.spdate.com. Another: www. freehookupaffairs. com. Wish the FTC could help. I already filed with them. There are others that suddenly send me a nasty message. I tried to see if i can unsubscribe or block them but those options did not come up.

I know of 2 scammers on face book 1. is a Dr. Douglas Carl ,which he is still on there 2.Austin Pacheco is still on face book they both are scammers Why are they allowed to scam women ???

I have met both fraud and legit on a Russian site. Fraud is always young,beautiful,almost qualifies to come to you but needs money for a ticket, sick Mum, or whatever.
Real would like you to go there, tries to save you money if you do, and does not ask you to send money. Also sends pictures of themselves in a group of friends or family with names and tells of the events.Relationships both near and far develop slowly.

This sadly is all too common. I have the name of the person and banking information. Chase bank will not do anything with this information. Therefore are complicit.

What's the person name i also have a name & account info of this guy i met online he started off being kind talking about God etc when i couldn't get my daughter to send more $ to his " pastor" he behind very abusive via text however he paid 2 of my bills before this. Which I sure he will call chase an maje a false report. Ive saved all texts messages showing him sending texting me. He even texted my daughter saying he was buying me a car but i had to come up w 275 an he would pat the rest.

It is getting popular for women to open Bank Accounts for their online lover. Collect money and forward to on and open credit cards. Also to send iTunes and Amazon and other gift cards ALL WHO COME TO YOU AND SAY MILITARY ARE FAKE. ALL WITH PROFESSIONAL JOBS ARE FAKE. NO REAL MAN CONTACTS A WOMAN FOR LOVE...AND MONEY.

Yes. Why iTunes and Amazon gift cards. Do they turnaround and sell them??

Wow! I so wish I'd had this information last year, I sure could have sent you some pictures, emails, ID's and phone numbers of one scammer. It hurt like crazy to think all he wanted was money.

Now it hurts to think I was a "Mark". I was really stupid. If my story can help someone else,it is worth it. Been there, L

Even annoymous, thanks for sharing that which is normally not shared due to embarrassment.

No reason to be embarrassed. It can happen to anyone, especially those who say "it could never happen to me". Maybe there is a trick they would fall for that you yourself would not. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I wish you a good one. Be happy!

I was hit up after making comments to a Beautiful model on Instagram. She claims to be Rosanna Arkle. She keeps insisting I get Walmart or Chase Slate gift cards for her trip to SRI Lanka and she will be putting money in a account and extra for me.

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! You are NOT STUPID!!!! YOU ARE JUST TRUSTING!!!! I RECENTLY HAVE BEEN SCAMMED FOR MONEY FROM A SCAMMER ON POF, and it is embarrassing and emotionally painful, but I will heal and move on in life and use this as a "hard life lesson experience, and I am so happy and glad that I NOW KNOW THE SIGNS, WHAT I DID NOT KNOW THEN, A YEAR AGO!!!!!

I had an attempted scam on POF very recently. Had only used the site once before and it was bad enough (he was married) This time everythjngblooked legit. He had read my profile thoroughly. Asked pertinent questions. Got very annoyed that I wasnt falling in love with him. Stayed away for a day then came back and told me he was sorry but that now HE was behind with his work and could I get him an iTunes gift card so that he could get his computer updated. I copped on immediately but only because I had read the warnings on the site. I told him I knew and he (pretend) erupted and said "what's the point of you being in my life if you don't trust me?" The ironybof it. However i think he may have stolen someones identity and life picture to do it because he appeared in photographs to be legit.

Facebook has a lineup of scammers who are trying to make a hookup for money. They act very empathetic and they listen carefully. Then they come up with a scenario where they need money for an emergency. There are 100s of them on Facebook. The tip off is when they have a photo of them with an animal of kid. Then they somehow inform the kid they are getting a new mom. Lately, the scammers are on a peacekeeping mission.

I've experienced multiple times on Twitter & once on FB. One guy was in the military & asked for $1,500 because he all of sudden had an issue with his bank account and couldn't get funds from his 2nd job. He got upset when refused to open an account in my name. Another supposedly worked on an oil rig, contract was about to be up soon. He had a daughter living overseas in boarding school. He was supposed to be American originally from Florida but didn't have a hint of an American accent. He asked me to purchase $300 in itunes cards & send him the #s from them. Another asked me to be his go between to collect some $ that a former/deceased patient had left. Another one claims to be working in the state of Georgia. Says that he's Austrailian and on a contract for a solar panel job site. has to use special phones, cannot video chat etc. Tells me that he is in the hospital & sends a seriously photoshopped picture. Says that he needs medicine/antibiotics not covered by his plan, wants to know if i have $300 that I could send him. I say no, I was between jobs which he was aware of. Then he asks about my credit cards. Says that he's having issues with his bank & wants to have his checks sent to me/my account. Says that he will have his boss/payroll rep call me to authorize the changes, I just have to supply some account information and say that I'm his fiancee. They all declared their love almost immediately. They all had a daughter or son who lived somewhere else, also all had an ex that cheated or died in some manner. I actually found it a sad & fun distraction. I can't believe that people think that it's ok to treat people like this. No trust at all.

Befriended me on FB and message me thru messenger for 3 weeks then let me transfer to hangout. I think I'm also talking to a scammer man. I have his photos but don't know how to post here to warn others. Really good in expressing himself but then after a month, he's already asking me to send money for his daughter but uses 2 different names to send the money to. Now he's asking me to send money $3,500 to pay his attorney for documents so that his funds will be transferred to me.

A very good looking man in Army. Fell in love within 3 days after talking for 7 to 8 days wanted me to send $3500.00 to him to fly home. He was protecting Syria. I went along with him telling him l would send. Then l typed him a text telling him l was not an idiot !! And l was not sending a dime to him . He is in a Army Suit with the name James on it. Beware !!

There is a man who has now somehow given me reason to feel so guilty I dont send this money. He has over 11,000$ now. Hes scary and I contacted the FBI and local services. I inderstand the money is lost and I feel stupid- but the point now is he also is in the Army. ‘Sweetman123...’ (any derivitive), has his son, and as a single father. I caught onto and a half months ago when his birthday was fake. I went online to been verified and his phone number popped up and everything you said was real so I get for leaving him. But then things kept not adding up and not matching been verified. So now I am lost, sad, and had just left a 17 year relationship. So, I was very very naïve and you can imagine more heartbroken than ever. I have pictures and am eilling to help with anyone- help!

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