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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.

 

Comments

As you know online dating can be risky and dangerous. Never give into the asking of money on any occasion.Save yourself time and aggravated tension.
Be safe.

I've been scammed by a love interest of over 10,000 before I realized it was a scam.

Me too. Don't beat yourself up......like I have a thousand times, over and over again. I'd love to be there when they have to answer to the Big Guy upstairs.

i live in seattle washington and my man scammed me for three years . his name is Michael Bernard Dugaw very attractive charming trickster. i am embarassed that i could experience this at my age 49 i want to warn every one about this liar. be careful .

My sister is being scammed by a Joshua Williams who claims to be in the military. He says he’s from Florida. She sends him 25 dollars a week in iTunes cards for his phone bill! We had he ask him what branch he was and he didn’t know! We convinced her not to send money and he has her crying all day now! Please help!,

May I ask where in Florida he says he is from and also what name he is using. I have a guy that I believe is trying to scam me. I’m trying to see if it’s possibly the same person. He even gave me a Florida cell phone number.

Hey I'm being scammed by a chick who says she lives in Florida. Hihali. Her name is Marieny Diaz. I asked how she says that and she didn't answer.

I was also scammed by a man claimed to be from Florida but working in Africa claiming to be a contractor making a large sum of money. Asking for money for his flight to get home.

What did he say his name was? I bet its the same guy that tried scamming me??

I have a man who claims to be a doctor working for the US in Syria . Says he needs money until he gets states side His name that he uses is DR. Walker. Bryan. Anybody else been contacted by this guy. He says he owns a home in Jacksonville FL.

What part of Syria did he say he was from?

I’ve been talking to a Florida man (Orlando) he claim is on oil rig in Norway his name is Daniel Anderson age 56 I do have a picture of him if you want to see. Thank you

Me Too for the same amount and mt heart ripped out of my chest!

Me too. Can we get our money back ??? I reported to FTC

Ive been scammed by a military Sgt Rodriguez. Goes by different names but uses the same pictures and stories.

hey are u willing to contact me,i believe we have both been scammed by the same person

Yes I will.

I was to. His name was James Rodriguez. I knew something was up. But thank God I didn't send no money. I feel so dumb.

I didn't send him any money but he attempted to get money from me. James Rodriguez SGT. We might be talking about the same person?

I'm after some information about a James Rodrigues he has been trying to get money from me he's been telling he's in Syria but works for us army and told me he loves me etc does anybody have a picture cos I do

And is using many photo I am familiar to me.
The story also sounds very familiar to me.
Do you have any chat with him to show, so that I can compare mine with yours.

I think I was scam by the same person. Sgt James Rodriguez. I would like to see his photo.

Hi, days ago a person from Instagram started to follow me and his name was Sgt. James Rodriguez, cute guy, buff and had several photos on his IG account. He claims to be working for the US Army and is stationed somewhere in Kansas. I tried to be nosy about his work and asking about his work as a serviceman and he can barely say anything. He tried to ask me of my email address but I had a hint of this person being a scammer, I gave him a different email. When I had a hutch of him being shady, he got a little disappointed and unfollowed him and took him off my IG. I have this feeling this is the same person.

Can you contact me. I think it is the same person.

Dose this guy say he has a son and needs his son school payed for?

Are you able to provide a picture of this person I think I might be dealing with this same person now

I think I’m being scammed by a James Rodriguez who claims to be an Engineer on an oil rig

I think I am being scammed by a guy who said he was a petroleum engineer / rig manager on an oil rig in Saudi Arabia / Dubai. After 7 months of texting and talking he asked me for money. He said his name was Javi / Jordi. Do you have a photo?

same story, different name - robert cohn bradley...

My mom is being scammed by a dude like that. I'd like to see a pic to know if it's the same dude

Have you seen a pic yet? I think my sister is being scammed too. Gerald Castaneda says his money is tied up in Bank in New York. He’s in alaska on oil rig for Exxon. First he had damaged gear. Then he had Alaska state fines $3000 now he needs $100K. Widower, only child, dead parents. Blah blah blah.

Gerald Castaneda is definitely a scam. Same oil rig/Alaska/widower story. Already scammed a friend out of a significant amount of money. Sent to his "on-shore secretary" Edward B Lawson in shifting bank accounts. Would like to find the proper authority to nail this guy.

Gerald Castenada has been in contact with me for over a year now. Has a French accent. I have pictures. Claims to have millions tied up in banks. He says he is a Civil Engineer. Smooth talker. Will sweep you off your feet and take all your money. States he's on a rig in Alaska working for Exxon. Only child.

Scammers change their name, but they will tell the similar story, no parents, wife and son died 4 years ago, no friends. A engineer working on the rig, have a big contract with oil company, after few weeks sweet words talking, his workers broke the machine, he can’t get off the rig because of the contract. Then ask me to pay for the machine to a Egypt’s company, so he can get a new machine. I just realized it’s something not right, I checked online and found it could be a scam. And track down his IP address, it’s in US, not in Italia. I didn’t send him any money, he keeps asking me to send him.

i believe this same guy is using the name Jim Snyder now. gave me the exact same story about a broken machine on the oil rig, he hurt his back really bad and his boss won't let him off the rig until he buys a new machine....but low and behold, his millions are tied up in a bank account that he can't get into bec the accounting sent his pay in full and now the bank thinks it's suspicious activity. after talking for 2 months via text and phone, he finally asked me to loan him some money. said he raised $8500 of the $12k. of course i told him no!! and just like that he's disappeared. i had bad feelings about it from the beginning. just glad i wised up!

I have been scan by a Guy says he is from Florida and used the name of John Nicholson in army. Is going to retire after 37 years. Says he has a
son West Africa got hurt in accident He uses the name as travis Patel Pate .can you help me Hes been Texting me a 1 year and 2 months. He always ask for stuff for his son. Says he is stock in West Africa and can't get out

Where was this Rodriguez stationed. What was his excuse for needing the money. I am talking with an captain Antonio Rodriguez

Do you happen to have a photo of Rodriguez?

My sister was scammed out of $600 using Amazon cards by some claiming to be a Dennis William using Shawn Booth's pictures (2015 Bachelorette show bachelor). He promised to move her from PA to TN. My sister would not believe her family when we told her, "she was being scammed."

How was she scammed by sending Amazon cards? My mom sent itune cards and amazon cards to a James.

Not being a man of hefty mean, I have learned that if woman asks for anything more than your time and in person meeting, and willing to meet you half way, then you need to be weary of them.

Watch out for those couriers. The fake courier scam is massively abused in these.

To Sandi, I used the google images and the picture I was looking for was not there. does this mean he is a scammer or not....Thanks for your time and attention.

POF is INFECTED with scammers!!! 8 out of the 10 letters a day i get r Eastern European scammers. Their MO is always the same.Watch their grammar, and how English is a second language for them. Ask them lots of ?s as they get annoyed quite quickly. Google their names and phone numbers. The phone will be in a different state than they say they r in.They will have NO friends on FB. They will have NO digital footprint on the web as they make up or steal the names. One i ran into stole the id of a guy in Wisc for 3 years. I called the landline listed to let the real guy know that he should watch his financials as his id was being used. The scammer threatened my life. Do not tell them any personal info about yourself until u r positive its a real person here. Set up a fake email because they want your email to hack into your bank acct. You can spot them by the line of bs they throw at you. Anerican guys don't talk like that. Tell them the FtC is monitoring the site, watch how fast they disappear. Check the military base they say they r from, it ususaly doesn't exist.if u talk to them by phone it will be hard to understand them as their accents r thick. They don't understand American slang, so use it. They will ask for 1,000 Iphones to use at their work "site". They r always "independent contractors" or engineers. Pictures can be photo shopped. They do not answer direct questions when asked, but will bring the conversation back to you.Do NOT be afraid of calling them out!!! They hate being called scammers and will disappear vs trying to prove you wrong

When I had Instagram, I had several men pretending to be American Servicemen trying to talk to me. I noticed the broken English and overt sexism they used when messaging me and I know American men don't speak that way. I asked questions about things going on in the US currently and they had no clue what I was talking about. They said they were on humanitarian missions in Afghanistan and when I called them out on it, they called me terrible names. One of them I busted when I told him to send me a selfie as proof and he sent me a picture of a servicemen that wasn't a selfie. On his profile, he had several pictures of a soldier, but you could tell from talking to him that he clearly wasn't American. He claimed to be from Miami, FL.

I have been talking to a guy on Instagram who said he was in the US Army his Username is Leslierichy007. We moved to chatting in Hangouts - luckily I’m very cautious online so I set up a brand new email address using my Instagram user name. The very next day he asked me for a $50 iTunes card. I looked into this as I was very suspicious about this. Lots of sites said he would be a scammer. I really want to report him and get that profile shut down as most of his followers are women,

Lala- I think I am being scammed too. I have been talking to the guy that's a Captain in the Army from Instagram. We use hangouts as well. Said he couldn't use voice or video from Afghanistan or he would get into a lot of trouble. I want to believe him as I have fallen in love with him. He just ask me to buy an itunes gift card so he could continue talking to me. Said that he used it to purchase internet service. I think I am being duped. How can I find out if he is real or not.

He can't use an iTunes card to buy internet service. That is not true.

The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

I believe we're being scammed by the same person...he said his name is Robert Johnson n stationed in Iraq. We're on hangouts now, he wants me to get him a itune card or ANY credit or gift card so he can continue to talk to me cuz his internet connections have been cut off n having to use a friends WiFi. He's very sexy n did video chat once but got disconnected immediately, he said it was a poor connection there. He sent lots of pictures n 1 video, but he said he can't send any now cuz military won't allow it.
He says he wants to meet me n move to where I'm at n claims he's deeply in love with me n wants to get married

Anita, do you have pics of this person I have shared a similar experience. Would like to see if its the same guy.

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