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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

Yes same guy 46 parents died when he was young. Wife and daughter died in car crash. His name is Henry James Scott has many Instagram accounts. He is offshore, I caught him out with the time difference and his age an other inconsistencies. He says he makes 150,000 a job. But I caught on so very quickly I asked him for a 100,000 dollar loan. That got rid of him quickly

OMG!!! I think I am talking to the same guy. Except my guy claims he's 43, has a son named Alex and is a marine engineer who lives in VA, USA but talks with a thick accent. He claims he is an only child and both parents are dead. Says he went to high school in Paris b/c his mom was from there. Claims French is his first language, but his accent doesn't sound french at all. He supposedly gets contracts worth millions and is overseas for 1-2 months at a time. Says he can't video chat for security purposes but will call me on WhatsApp. He once sent me a pic of himself holding a piece of paper with my name on it but it looked fake. Claims he lives me and wants to marry me. He has already asked for the Apple gift card and now asking for help paying for a flight to see me. I didn't give him money of course.

Waw, i guess I had the same story as you. He is a off shore drill engineer. Has 1 daughter 13 years old. Divorced his wife because wife had affair with his bestfriend. And now he asked me some money to help him for his project in UK. I believe he is a scammer

Has anyone spoke with Steve Austin from Florida, I’ve cheated, divorce, I son in boarding school. Started asking for huge amount of money with itune cards. Unfortunately sent a few prior. Loves me, wants to marry me. Now overseas, problem with job.

I have the same story can you send me a pic

I’m talking to the same one as you now, oil rigger, can’t send photos he has a web site that looks legit but I couldn’t find him on LinkedIn. 15 yr old daughter, wife had affair with best friend. Very good at getting all of the background stuff looking good.
PekO oil drilling, asked for $14000.
Just stay safe. If they ask for money say no. Male or female, no exceptions.

Think I have been speaking to the same person, do you have any photos?

Peko global drilling company is a fake
I reverse checked his photos and came up with an Australian man who I have messaged, but I think it could be the same guy both dodgy! If you have photos, can I see? I’m thinking he does this a lot!
He didn’t ask me for money because I worked the scam out first Lol

Hi, My suitor friended me on Instagram. He said he was from Australia, but living in Minnesota. He asked me where i was from etc, etc.... i said i just moved out of MN to a different state for job etc. He told me he was a flight attendant. He started out asking if we could be friends. The conversation changed to a different web app to talk - whatsapp.
By using whatsapp , i was able to verify that the number he was using was indeed for Minnesota. Long story short his family moved from Australia to the US when he was 7 yrs old. His parents died when he was 11 yrs old, he was the only child etc. His other part that was similar to your story, was that his girlfriend from 1 year ago cheated on him with his best friend. His photos he said he lost from old house during the turmoil of parents both passing in an accident. I tried to ask for some other of verifying he was who he said he is. He just sent a photo of him and the airlines he works for. I told him that isn't not proof. He made it sound like i was in the wrong or he didn't understand why i was doubting him. I did get him to admit where his parents were from, i think i caught him, he said dad from Australia and mum from Brazil. His English was great, not great at the same time. He called me from whatsapp sounding unset etc. and he did have a Brazilian accent , i think. Oh, i forgot to mention several of the pictures on instagram of him working for an airlines, which was a Brazilian airlines so that itself idk why he didn't say he worked for such and such airlines.
Long story short, we chatted for 1 week. He did profess his "sincere interest" for "dating me" or "falling for me" etc. which i though was way too soon. Last thing he did ask was he needed my help, and not to get angry if i was "not comfortable with it." He said his flight schedule had changed and he was flying to France the next day. He asked if i could get him a iTunes $100 gift card so he could make some downloads on his ipad because he "couldn't get it over in Brazil". He said that he needed United states itunes. I said i could not and then didn't give my reason. He then texted ... hey are you there".. which i didn't respond to . He then tried calling me via whatsapp, but i didn't pick up. i told him use your credit card, or just change the country setting on his ipad to "get american channel" for music. He then said he couldn't access verification from where he was, that's why he couldn't use his card. Finally he said , "this is actually the first favor he asked for from me." I was thoroughly convinced even more so by now he was not who he said he was. He kept pleading that i shouldn't leave him etc. etc. trying to say don't worry about the card. But i was done!!!!!!!!!!
If you see a guy that has green eyes, brown slick back hair, wears stylish glasses, works for an airlines - but doesn't tell you which.....5'11 but he says he is 6'11.. don't trust him. He said his name was Michael Louis Paulo Richardson. I tried to do a reverse for his pictures, but didn't get anything.

Yes I have this guy who says he is Italian by birth and was in a orphanage and adopted. Says he has a 14 yo son in a boarding school in Bali, Italy. He says he is a independent contractor for shell petroleum and got the job and is drilling a few hrs from Ireland. Has a strong accent that I can’t quite figure out. Likes to call me Babe. Was excellent to talk to. His wife died in surgery 5 yrs ago and he had a girlfriend that cheated on him with his best friend. Wanted money to go to shore to get parts for the oil rig. Kept stating his life is in danger it’s going to explode. Uses all the right lingo. When not getting money he becomes very verbally abusive in texts. Likes to blame me for the situation he’s in. Goes by name David Williams from East Tampa. Can’t find him on any searches except his photo brought up a dating site. Won’t give me dob or address or anything but will video chat . I tracked his phone to some lady in California. Unreal

I had all that happen to me! He is on an offshore oil rig with no cell phone access. We started chatting through Hangouts to cut out the middle man(app called Slowly for penpals). After a few weeks, he was in love with me and I was changing his life. He was clever with the words and the romance. When I tried to find him on the internet, I found this picture of some young kid! I asked him about it and got several excuses. I let it keep going because I liked the attention and it was nice to have someone "care". But the more I pushed, the less he told me. Finally, he said today that he was trying a team building game with his workers so they wouldn't think he was "closed off", but he needed a streaming component from Walmart. What??? He wanted me to go and get it to send it to him. All those alarm bells I had been trying to ignore blared at full blast! The instinct to run away from this fool was at level 25!(out of 10! Haha!) . I never talk to him during the day. Only early in the morning and late at night. Sometimes it's after 11pm. When I ask where he's been, he tells me he has been working all day. Including Saturdays and Sundays! All kinds of other things he said that didn't make sense or he didn't have reasonable explanations. He invested a lot of time in me because I was so reluctant. Six weeks of writing and trying to get me to "love him". That's intense and quite frankly unbelievable that people go to that kind of deception for money.

So was the guy your referring to go by David Williams?

I´ve been contacted by a David Willims as well. No parents, no friends, wife passed away and a 11 year old daugher. He is working offshore into a Rig in Scotland. He loves me after 1 week and pushing to hard for me to "love him". I haven´t find anything about him in socia media.

He only talks to you during his business hours. It's a job. He and his cohorts think Americans deserve to be cheated.

Hi, my "suitor" found me on Instagram. I fell for his good looks and charm and then started chatting with him on HangOut. His user name on IG was PaulSteyn166, but email address has different last name. I tried to do a reverse image, but his image isn't to be found anywhere. We exchanged photos, before he started asking me to do favors for him. First attempt was to contact his Government agency because he had invested on Gold and his savings and didn't have access to it and wanted it shipped to me. 2nd attempt was that he resolved his issues with the Government agency, but needed an iTunes Card to upgrade his computer and to stay in contact with me. He goes by Paul, but says that his nickname is Dan. He's from Monaco, but based in the UK. His dad died in the Military and his mom died when he was 13 and had to be raised by a local teacher. At first he claims that his 11 year old daughter is in boarding school, but all of a sudden he has a son also in the states? His dad was British and his Mom was American, but yet he didn't have dual citizenship. He claims that he's in the military and is on a ship near Korea. I've stopped communicating with him but he has pictures of me and my daughter. Does anybody know if he'll post those pics on the internet? I feel like a darn fool for falling for his good looks and charm. I don't even think any of his pics are real or current.

My Friend is dealing with Rig Engineer, also from Northern Europe. Now lives in Indiana, Engineer on Rig in Texas, Wires her money, she in turn sends funds back to him via gift cards. He has sent over $10k as of today. She is going to get hurt. I was scammed out of $600 years ago, but my guy came clean with me. My Friends guy has her totally love-jacked and thinking his is coming up here to marry her. REALLY??? His photo was on channel 3 news a couple of months ago, I recognized it, she did not. How do I tell her its not real, stop sending him money and now that you 've given your bank account info, close it and open a new one. She just won't listen.

Very similar story but says he's 60 and from Poland. Sends me pics but refuses video calls bcz says phone us broken. Don't even know if the pics he sent me are him. He got very angry because I would not "loan" him thousands of dollars he needed urgently as an emergency for his engineering job overseas. He said we are getting married so his thousands of dollars would be mine too. He became very verbally abusive when I refused to give him the money, which I don't even have but he wanted me to use my credit card.

Can you tell me just his first name because also taking to guy from Poland in his 60’s.

I am talking to a guy name Anthony who say he lives in LA and is on a rig in Turkey. He says his wife cheated with hit best friend. He had 3 kids they are in Michigan with ex

I have a similar story from Evans Collins. Do you have pictures of him, I can share the pictures I have

Hi, we have similar story, only he told me he is from Canada and had a big job and send me his contract in Cyprus..and making stories like he needs laptop for his job as he need to finish his job for a month, and asked me to send him the Macbook..and after several days, he had a car accident and needs my help for the hospital bills.. But i followed my intuition that this is a real scam...he talked to me at Hangouts...

Yes, this is my guy. Goes by the name Christopher Dean. Very handsome, his wife cheated on him with his best friend, has a 15yr old daughter, he has custody of and lives with his mother who’s 86yrs old while he’s working in Germany!! I have so many pics of him that he sent! He even photoshopped my pic into a frame ( he showed me)and said, he keeps it next to his bed!! He loves me and wants to marry me after 3 weeks!
He promised to pay all my bills etc.
He’s supposed to be an engineer. His machine broke, he went to fly in helicopter to city of Germany to get part and bank to withdraw money. He got it part, but bank froze his account and he need $200 to get back. I told him, handle your business. I’m in love over the phone, but I can’t help you!! Oh we video chatted 3 times. It appeared to be him!! ( from the pics I have)
He ask me for iTunes card, bank acct info, cash app info, wanted me to change my phone to Verizon!! LOL I said, NO TO EVERYTHING!!
I was not such a good person after that..
As of yesterday he’s blocked on WhatsApp, & hangouts...Blocked everything!!

There's no need to worry, he'she will not do anything with that info. He/she only gained it from you in order to play it safe and make you feel like they weren't far away or could actually swing by your place when planned.

Exact same thing. He said he wanted to send me a surprise for our 1st month anniversary of our online relationship. He was the most sweet and wonderful man. I gave him my address! He ordered flowers but never received them. He gave me the order number so I could verify the order but I called the florist and they said he ordered but the payment didn't go thru because he used a non valid credit card! So now he has my address!

OMG; so I am corresponding with a guy right now on Instagram who has professed his love; wants to marry me and be the mother to his child. He claims to be on an oil rig on the Mediterrean and needs to upload project files. No one else can help him. He also is saying he needs data on his phone to keep texting me. He can't use Facetime because of CCTV all around.
I know; am I stupid you are thinking.
This guy is putting in the time chatting and his photos well he is gorgeous of course.
I haven't given him anything; but it's killing me. I really fell for him and kept trying to convince myself it was real.

I went through a very similar situation. Mechanical engineer, single dad, only child, dad deceased, lived all over the world, and working offshore. Quickly fell "in love" with me, stated he needed financial help. I felt foolish, falling for this person. How did your situation end?

Did he say that he is from taiwan and work offshore in johor bahru south china sea?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funny but not funny, I got the u tube songs too. He spoke my love language of affirmation. Did I mention not bad looking! I fortunately ran when he asked for money more like begged for his sick daughter. Honestly, I was ready to change my life for this man who knew what to say and how to say it. He threw in affirmations in Spanish which was so romantic. His father was from Spain and his mother American. Both deceased, also the x wife.

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

Sounds similar can I ask what his name is

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

I met a Steve R on Words With Friends. He lives in LA, 15 yo daughter in boarding school and had to go work an oil rig off Louisiana. He lost his credit card, cancelled it so he has no access to funds and would need gift cards so he could convert and do apps for his work.
Now after no texts for 2 days he has a hazard and I know he wants more money.
I'm done.

Sounds like a Steve Romeo from Miami that contacted me. 10 year old daughter Jaidyn who goes to boarding school in Canada. Supposedly he's now in Scotland on and oil ridge. Having trouble so he needs cash or iTunes cards. When I said I didn't have any money. Kept trying. Now his company is sending him a check but he wants my acct. number so he can put it into in my account Sent me pics of himself. I looked them up on line. These pics were of some one else. Never sent him anything. Glad I was spectacle and saw through him. Run

Sounds like Damien Anderson , states that he is a chemical engineer on an oils rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Met him on WordsWith Friends. He says his wife died in a car accident, both parents are dead, his dad was from Italy and mom from Ohio, has a 17 year old daughter in a Canadian girls boarding school, wife was killed in a car accident years ago. It only took searching the internet about oil rig scammers for me to realize this man was trying to scam me. When I confronted him with it he got extremely mad. I blocked him on WWF and What’s up app. Hopefully no one else will fall for this. It took me 24 hours to figure it out, but he will not get my money.

My mother in law is going through the exact situation, except he’s from Los Angeles and has a 9 year old daughter. He said he’s flying to Seattle to see her. Said he’s 50 and she is 70. Glad I found this to prove it’s fake

What is this person from LA name? I may be talking with him now.

So glad I stumbled on this website. Thanks for your posts.

I too have been contacted by Steven R :-

On the ‘Scrabble Go’ app, which I’d only been using a couple of weeks, ‘Steven R’ (whose profile picture is a cute little cream Labrador puppy!) challenged me to a game and immediately started sending me messages with every Scrabble turn he played. It started with a ‘Good morning’, three messages later he was asking me my marital status(!), which I didn’t reply to. A couple of messages later he’s asking if we can chat on another platform because due to the nature of his job he can’t always play the Scrabble app. By this time I’m thinking this is strange, so I ask him what’s his job, and you know what he tells me? He’s a drilling manager currently on a rig off the coast of Germany, which seems to be a recurring theme in all the other posts I’ve read on this webpage.

So, Steven R claiming to be from Happy Camp, California, who says he is a drilling manager currently working on a contract for KCA Deutag on a rig off the coast of Germany is a FAKE!!!!

Beware if he approaches you on any word game apps, or any other apps!

Get a life Steven R, and a real job!

I met a guy on ourtime dating app back in late Nov 0f 2019. Stated he was semi retired that he only did projects twice a year and this was is last one because, he did not have time enough to have a relationship so he was going to be done before Christmas and we could me. As of Dec 3rd he asked me to look up a shipment for him because he was still waiting on the last material to arrive on the rig so he could complete the job and come and meet me. Than he wanted me to wire funds from his bank account to the place where they were holding the shipment at customs. I was denied access because he told me earlier he was a victim of identity theft so asked me for money first it was 16k than he e-mailed back once I told him I did not have that kind of money and would not be able to do this for him he stated later all he needed 10k again I told him I cant now on 1/19/20 he is still asking for my support with his situation which us money. I am not going to send money to him I just want to see how far this scammer is willing to go to tell me that is how we find out how one an other cares and lives the other person. It's all B.A. dont believe a word this person tells you he goes by the name of John Frank Williams. I have conversations on record and e-mails as well and pictures he is using for his profile.

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

Phillip Anderson. Aged 50 - 60

Born in Hungary, Grew up in Texas and moved to South Africa. Wife Passed away, one son in University. Asking for money a week or two after we started chatting. Only chats on Hangouts. Nothing else, no Whatsapp, no facebook, no nothing. Sent me picture standing next to a van wearing sunglasses, Cannot find any info on him on Google.

Please send pictures. I have a similar story.

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

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

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