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Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.

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While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. It’s a big problem: reports to the FBI about online romance scams tripled between 2012 and 2016, and imposter scams were among the top reports to the Federal Trade Commission for both the general population and the military community.

These scams can take a military angle with imposters stealing servicemembers’ photos to create phony profiles. They might claim to be servicemembers who can’t get into their accounts overseas or who need money fast. The first sign of a scam is an online love interest who asks for money. But the Army’s Criminal Investigative Service (CIS) says that the military doesn’t charge servicemembers to go on leave, get married, communicate with their family, go online, or feed and house themselves on deployment. We have also heard of scammers re-using servicemembers’ photos again and again, so it can be helpful to do some online research on the love interest’s name, photos, and details to check the story out.

If an online love interest asks you for money:

  • Slow down and talk to someone you trust. These scammers want to rush you, often professing love right away; or pressuring you to move your conversation off the dating site.
  • Never wire money, put money on a gift card or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (wire transfer service, gift card company, or cash reload card company) and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed if possible.
  • Report your experience to the dating site and to the FTC.

For Military Consumer Month, share this video to help military consumers steer clear of online romance scams.



Scam Tags:  Romance Scams


My sister=in-law fell into the Military Romance scam through Facebook and was bilked for over $8,000.00 until we realized what was happening. I asked her for a photo of her new online love and when it arrived it was a photo of a retired military man that apparently they use over and over again. By the way...all this took place in Spain! So there are no boundaries with these scammers.

I also feel as if I have fell victim of an online romance scam from Afganistan. He is a very smooth talker. Got me to go to hangouts and talk better. He has got 6,000.00 from me to be returned home to the United States because he has been deployed to Syria soon. He is a widow (which I am too) and has a son in London in school. He has a home in Chicago Il. and is waiting for me to send him 10,000.00 more for his return home. He sent me a picture of him standing in front of his helicopter he flies. His FB profile matches everything he has told me. I guess I'm out 6,000.00 I didn't have to send him to begin with. I also told him I have been to the bank for a loan of the 10,000.00 and have not been approved yet. I was curious about a military Liberty Pass. No such thing. I have an e-mail from the UN that I have been corresponding with copied and pasted the article. I also send the article to his e-mail address. I questioned the 1st 3,000.00 I sent because I did a search on the address and it was a residential address and picture of a home. The lady I was sending the money had never lived there. The next 3,000.00 went to another state completely and different name. They were getting the money to the UN for him. He is a Sergeant First Class in the army in Kabul Afghanistan and a helicopter pilot. Anyone else out there had any dealings with anyone like this? James Curtis

Peaches212 Everything you talked about almost matches the guy I’m talking to now. This man goes by James Williams. His birthday is December 15th and he said he is 46yrs old. He lives in California and is in the Army and has been for 6yrs. He claims he’s in Kabul Afghanistan. He said he has a son who lives with his aunt in New York. He also said his wife was killed on her birthday when a car hit her 2 years ago. I met him through Facebook and he claims he’s a widow. He is a very smooth talker and he’s very persistent. He asked me last week if I would send him $100 and I told him I couldn’t and just a couple of days ago he asked me who I bank with. I asked him why he needs to know? He said he’s getting his pay soon and wanted to deposit it into my account. I haven’t gotten back to him yet. No man who is in the service is going to ask a single mom for money and he’s not going to ask for bank info.

These stories almost match what I’m going through now. I wonder if it’s the same guy?? He contacted me through Fitbit and told me to use google chat that it was much better. Upon chatting there he told me he is 47, his name is Christian, he is a surgeon for the us army and is in Afghanistan. His wife died of leukemia 5 years ago and that he has a son living with his aunt in the states. Now his son is very sick and he needs money for surgery. Can I please send the aunt 3500 for the doctor to perform surgery? This has been the craziest story and I have said many many times to “him” that this is a hoax and he isn’t real he’s just wanting my money. Then he tries calling and wants to come visit! Stories sound so much alike!

Where did he say he is from? Someone connected with me on Fitbit and we moved over to Hangouts. We've been talking for 2 months before he asked for money.

I’ve had someone similar, same amo , lots of army pics , said hes 54 , wife died has a 14 yr has no family alive , daughter lives with a nanny , asked first for a £200 Amazon voucher, now it’s progressing to they went on a in mission found money wants to send it to me etc I’ll get a share , ( I’ve know from the start it’s a scam , playing him along to see what info he can give me , again contacted me on Facebook, preferably using hangouts, I think it’s more than one person using hangouts, several things didn’t add up , first told me he was a medical surgeon, now he’s a pilot!!!

I'm probably chatting with the same man, he has a 13-year-old daughter cared for by a nanny, his wife died of cancer 5 years ago, is he on a mission in Syria now, do anyone have his photos?

I have a pic but I don’t know how to post it

So a Brent Thomas contacted me via Instragram. Anyone else? telling me is parents died when he was young and his daughters mom died in a car accident 8 months ago. Says he is in the Marines in Afghanistan. Also, his daughters are with a nanny at his home. asking for gift cards and an iphone 12XR.

I too was caught up in Twitter chats with a UN peace keeping SGT who after chatting for 2 weeks asked me to chat more via hangout, she said her parents died when she was 16, lost her child at birth and separated from husband because he cheated on her. She then went on to say via hangout that she had $1.5 million US dollars and wanted to send to my address via consignment and would give me 40% after receiving. She never asked for bank details but still raised alarm bells and stopped talking to her, was I right to stop?

I have almost the same thing happening to me, This guy message me thought Ingram and now were chatting on Whats app. I have try to video chat but, his phone drops the calls. He claims that his phone isn't working due to a buming that happened while patorling, He has send me picture of himself and have said he is Syria in the army. He has also ask for money that his bank card isn't working that it has been deactivate, and is asking for card and money for me to send to him thought some money exchange ATM. He talk about a son, and that his been in the Army for 15 years and that he is a widow. He is very charming, caring, and thoughtful. But, I see it all a scam. He talk about retiring from the Army this summer and wants to married me, after just knowing me for a month, lol. But, in all reality it isn't funny how, can the government not stop this. Please let me where can I check to see if this is real or just a scam. Which I guess I know what my is.

This sounds like this might be happening to me as well. Would anybody be able to tell me or show a picture of what this guy looks like? I'm sure that there are more people doing this and just one man. But I'm wondering this person's ethnicity and what he looks like.

I think this is same Person supposed to be a military assigned in agfhanistan, sent a message request in Messenger His photo on FB OS posing in Front of helicopter. He comes with a sad story both parents died when he was Young and wife died 6 yrs ago leaving him a Son who is Washington Was super sweet and always messaging. profess Love for me despite not talking or video calling. I let him go on with it Until he asked for money Bec he said his Son seriously sick with kidney problem and is confined at George Washington unversity hospital That is when I suspected this is a Fraud. Sent me where to send money which is a person. Not the hospital
I never sent money.

I have had the same issue with someone claiming to be in Turkey and the officers have taken ask of his machinery and equipment and even his workers, said they violated the covid restrictions wants 15,000.00 LoL

I am the same. A guy saying he was stationed in turkey. Wanted money after 3 weeks of talking.. Goes by the name james..

Destiny, did this man ever send you pictures? Does he have a daughter? Any other info you have would be much appreciated.

Anyone knows here Rutherford Matthew? Claiming a doctor in us airbase Afghanistan?

Just talked to a guys who had a daughter, went to turkey for business and talked for three weeks. Planned a date for this weekend and just asked me for money. Of course I didn’t give it and will not. Sent me pics too!

Avery Munir. Says he is in Turkey working as a hyperbaric welder. Daughter being taken care of by an aunt. Daughter is Doreen.

So I have been talking to a James Donovan. He says he is in Syria. That he is a fighter pilot and that he will be retiring soon. He has a son in the states. He is an only child.
He said he had to send his personal documents out of Syria because he was concerned about the violence. He has been full of promises and affection. He attempted to tell me he loved me, a red flag for me. He has never met me but there is love. I don’t think so. He is a pilot otherwise aswell back home. He has sent me pictures of his plane and a video of him flying it.
He told me he was from Texas originally but moved to Florida as his ex moved there with their son.
He told me about the package coming. I googled courier company. A warning message came up showing it was a imposter site and that no financial information should be given. Another huge red flag.
The fake site was then redirected to the real site. Red flags everywhere. I mentioned this too him. He was adamant that the fake site was correct. I was disheartened to see him type that. We have been taking since the start of May. He found me on Linkden, a professional site, not a dating site.
Anyway. I told him in absolutely no way or fashion was I EVER sending him money.
That was the end of the contact. Good riddance!

Hi Janine,
This story sounds familiar to someone I’m communicating with now. This guy is going by the name of Jaden and claims he is on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Do you happen to have any photos of him?

Janine, Do you happen to have any pictures of this guy? His story sounds very similar to someone I have been chatting with lately. I think I’m being scammed too.

I have tons of pictures of this guy that you all are talking about and we also talk on video

Can i have pics also?

How do we send pictures of these men, I've got a oil rig lover, everytime I break it off because of the money he goes to every extreme to find me, I've blo ked every thing but my phone, he had one of his workers mess .e by phone that mark is in bed sick bc I left him, he already got diamond for me,please for me to talk to him ,he fears he is going to kill himself, he is addicted to me, I've gone back 3 xs, I can't look at is pic I'm broken, I keep th I nuking what if he means it, could he have changed and then I catch him again.......he calls my adult kids his kids, wants to get married when he comes back to calif on break, keeps asking me to send money for his dog damn handsome, I cry constantly, tell me how to send you ladies his pic, or how can I check it, never speaks to me, funny way of framing his words
He's in kuwait, oil rig broke, oil spill wants me to send 10,000, he knows I have know money, I think.....but money I've sent vet for dog..1900......1200......all sent to a Michele in Texas, he lives in calif.,

Sold his house and car for this contract in kuwait so he and I can retire
Please help, I'm hiding, dont want to change my phone # had it 20 yrs
Please talk to me, I want to send his pic to see if anyone knows him...MARK graham.....profile on Facebook only has like 6 pics but he says he's bee. On 4 yrs

I accepted this man on fb where he asked me to friend him. I am a widow, so is he. Quickly he asked me to change over to whatsapp. He helped me to do it. Very patient. He is Lee Thomos, an orthopedic surgeon in Syria. Wife died 4 yrs ago has a 15 y/o daughter who lives with a nanny in Boston. Smooth, gentle, kind, loving nature, who loves me and want to be a family. He is in his 50s, I am much older. He is now asking for gift cards because his accound with the MSF is frozen and has no access to funds and internet will be cut off. Security is always watching. When I ask for any identifying information suddenly we are cut off by interference. I am so worried after saying no, no , no. But he says he will have no contact with his daughter who cannot go for one day without talking with him. He is an orphan and no friends but has collegues in Syria. I feel so badly about his child. What if all this is true and I am the only way he can use the internet to speak to us. He is very handsome and seems to send fake Dr. id pictures.

Same as the other women says , I have also a Nato surgeon name Robert Terry same story wedow with one son 12 years old Italian American working at Damascus Syria


Hi I have the same situation I have many pictures of him he took the money for my

James Alexander Cornett? If same guy he waiting 6 mo. to ask me for $300 He also told me to send it to a woman's private residence, it was a very lovely home indeed.

Where did he ask you to send the money. I can direct you all to his real website and you all will be shock

Is this man of Asian decent and needs to finish his project in Turkey on a Navy vessel? Needs money for equipment to be shipped there?

Yes Turkey, workers and a daughter, pictures and all. Scamer!!!!!

That’s what exactly I am going through.., he has a daughter.. his wife died.. no family and he ask me for sending him money cards ext I wonder if this the same guy he text me on IG then hangouts and now he move to Viber??? I have photos of him I wish share with you girls

I too and my mother harassed by widower, project manager, with a daughter, late 40s he looks like could be fake pics.

I met a guy on Facebook his profile says that he's in Afghanistan a fighter pilot Blackhawk pilot his name is Raymond Marsh he needed $1,000 to get a shipment send to me send it up in Georgia he sent pictures documents the shipment they wrote me on email any need of $5,000 to get it shipped to my address he says that he is real Raymond Marsh

Karen im really interested into seeing what your guy looks like here cause it sounds like my guy going by the name marsh stephen tried to get a 200.00 amazon card from me after two weeks telling me how much he loved me

Sounds just like mine , we need somewhere to post pictures , always in army , lost wife , only child either pilot or surgeon starts with a £200 Amazon gift card

Same guy - Stephen Marsh-very handsome. Black Hawk pilot stationed in Yemen. Directed me to Hangouts. I only communicated with him for 3 days. He was persistent in knowing my age. He told me told me his wife ran off with his best friend snd he had a 15 year old daughter. When I would not tell him my age, he told me he was 48 years old but the pictures were of someone in their early 30’s. He was trying to get me interested in a romantic relationship with him. It was clear from his writings that English was not his first language. Finally did some research on my own in military scammers and there was his picture. Told him he was a scammer and not to contact me again. He said he did not understand. Also, he always added “dear” at the end of his comments. I blocked him .

Karen360, Sounds like you and me have the same dude. He contacted me on facebook says he was looking for a friend and somehow came across my profile. And how I know its the same guy is because he is also claiming to be a "Blackhawk pilot " from Afghanistan. I do have pictures. He says he from Atlanta Georgia, that his wife died 3 years ago from cancer and has a 8 year old daughter who is at a daycare camp. It's gotten so bad that He took this "real persons" pictures and pictures of his daughter. He has asked me over and over for a google play store card for his daughter and then asked me to sign stuff so that way he can come back to the states. No, I didnt do it.. Also asked me for a calling card. Then sent me a video of himself getting treatment from a nose bleed. Not only is he going by Raymond Marsh hes also going by Leo Robert.. the profile picture hes using is him holding pups. Hes not the Ramyond Marsh or Leo Robert .. Whoever this person is needs to really stop stealing this man's photos.

Hi what’s his daughters name? The guy I was talking to said his name was James mabry. He’s a black guy with nice muscles and tattoos .

Same guy who message me on Facebook , James mabry , nice muscles and he have tattoos, I thought he was the real person but I realize that this must be a scam cause he keep asking me for a 100 dollars so we can keep in touch and in touch with his 2 kids . I was thinking to myself why he asking me for money don't he have it, as I'm looking at the text he sent to me I'm thinking to myself no that's werid why he asking me for money something is not right we just met and he asking for all this. By the way I Did not send him any money, it's a scam forsure .

Chris Mabry reached out to me on Facebook. Very good looking man but with no military pictures. He complimented me and ask to get to know me further with the pursuit of a long term relationship. He said his ex wife cheated on him with his best friend. He has two children, 6 and 3, and they live in Philadelphia which is where he is originally from. He eventually told me that he was in the military in Yemen. I asked if I could have a picture and he said it was top secret but did send me one photo of him in tan camo pants with a tan shirt standing in front of a truck. I dropped that picture into a search engine and it immediately came up as a scam. I sent him the picture with scam written all over it and he was like oh no this is still going on. He tried to cover up but lets face it a guy that good looking and in the military doesn't need money or help finding a woman. It's a shame men prey on women like this.

did you have a picture of this man?

HI Cloud74, do you have photos of the guy you chatted about on June 5th. He sounds very familiar to the one that is communicating currently with my mom.

I stumbled onto these comments and realized I’m caught in one of these romantic scams and boy is he good. His initial contact was through Instagram. I actually had three contacts in the same week. The first Richard kirschner, the cat daddy. He immediately intro me to a bitcoin money scheme and he sent money to pay on my credit card then wanted me to purchaseapple cards or google play cards in large amounts neither the money he put on my credit card. Once my credit card company shut the card down, this all stopped. My card was dead and I had to ask for a replacement with a new number.

Yep, Logan with tats down his left forearm. Parents left money that he couldn't get to, 15 yo daughter living with cousin and wife died in a terrible accident 4 years ago. Cel phone has a Tennessee area code. Says he was born in Florida, lived in CO. Always had a black pull on hat on in his pics. Anyone know how to post a pic here?

Hi I have been chat with this guy that I meet online same story and I should know better and after 2 weeks chat he's ask me to get him Amazon card so he can use it to exchange data so we can keep in touch. Is this true? or a scam

It is scam, the same happened to me and I have a new friend in same direction please don’t money nor gift cards nor give bank information

Exactly same with me


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