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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


hi all,
I am talking to a man whom I met on Smule. He asked me to move to hangouts or WhatsApp and he took has tried several times to ask me for money. My sister told me he was a scammer from the beginning so I kept waiting for him to ask me for money and indeed every week he comes up with a different reason for me to send him money. First, it was for his daughter's tuition for her school in Switzerland, then he said he would send me money to cover that but he had to talk to his financial advisor and asked me for my checking and routing numbers to send me the money. He claims to be from San Francisco but is now in a peacemaking mission in Gaza City. I gave him the the info but that same week he lost his wallet. Then he said that he had gone on a mission and had found a box full of gold bars and jewelry and asked for my address because he was sending it to me to keep until he gets back to the USA. He got my address to send it to me. I asked for a tracking number and he said that I would receive an email with the tracking number the next morning. I received several emails with very poor English and poor web design and soon found out it was a fake website claiming to be transporting the box from him, Michael Logan James, to me in the USA. A week later, the representative from the site sent me an email advising that the box was stuck in customs and that to retrieve it I would have to pay the company some customs fees that was in the amount of $4588.00 and that each day it was sitting in customs, it would accrue $250 per day. He bothered me so much about this box! Drove me crazy for many weeks, then as he saw that I didn't have money to send wire to a (fake Flroida address) he ceized to bother me about it. Weeks later I was asked for money for food. He kept saying that he was hungry all the time. I dont know why I fell for that I sent him $75.00 through bitcoin. He ven taught me how to use the app to send him money. The most recent request is that he was given permission to leave the base but the army is charging him 2500 dollars for the plane flight. I blocked him for good. If they ask for money it's a SCAM. BLOCK THEM IMMEDIATELY. LOVE DOESNT COST A THING.

I am in a similar situation I got a friend request from a guy named Steve who was on Facebook and ask me to move to Hangout . Claimed to be a widow for 7 years and on peace keeping mission in Kabul, Afghanistan. Professed love and marriage for about 2 weeks then was shipping a box to be with his personal valuables. The cost to get them shipped $3,270.00 . Ship money over by fedex cash money to courier . Then pkg (so called) makes its way to Turkey but stuck in customs and he needs me to pay $16,898.00 by fed ex cash money to courier. This has SCAM written all over it.

I'm going through same thing its telling me in have to pay 1,850 for a package and it has his legalegal documtnets in it

Hi I have been chatting with a man who claims to be an American surgeon in Syria working for the UN. Reading your story I see some similiarities to what he has been telling me. I am unsure what I should do. Please advise me.

I also had a guy contact me through a dating website - said he was a doctor for the UN currently in another country but lived in US. Told me how much he loved me after about a week of texting. Then started asking for money because his bank account was messed up and he had to take care of it in person and of course couldn't but I would surely get my money back when he came back to US to get me. It was his daughters bday and he HAD to make it good. Started with $6,000 and even when he went down to $500 and I said I didn't have it - his LOVE turned to hate and anger. Had to block him.

I think my aunt being scammed Same story surgeon. Military. Needs money to help him get out of war zone

U can't join the military at 40 years old either

Me too ,he don't want to use a Viber messenger or Skype because of his nature of work .he was introduced himself as architectural engineer in Scotland. He said he was a widow w/out having a child.he was said his not an Internet person.he was promised he was meet me and still always delaying flight,and his transaction not yet finish until he ask for my help that I will send money for him because the company didn't release the money of his late father until he was pay the penalty. I realized after the dating site give always a safety tips if not sending money to The person that never meet in person.ive lost money $4,000aud.sad experience that I've dream to have a life time partner but it ended into a scamm victim

Peaches212. This truly breaks my heart. I met someone on Instagram that goes by the name of Logan Preppy. He says that he is in the Navy and is incredibly gorgeous. He is currently in Libya on a "peace keeping" mission (or so he says). He says the most beautiful things to me but refuses to face time or make a phone call because he doesn't want to blow his cover. He has been asking me to purchase steam cards for him and is aslo asking for my credit card information so he can"deposit" money into my account. He says that he is an only child and that both of his parents died in a terrible accident. He also says he will be coming to see me this month and that he wants to start his new life with me. I know that he's a fraud and I want end all communication with him but I'm not sure how. So many pictures have been sent back and forth between us and I'm afraid he will use my information to get back at me. Is there a number I can call to report him? I'm so hurt and upset by this fake person. Hope to hear back from you. Thanks

Do u have a picture of him!? I think we talking to same person he asked me about amazon card for his son.... as he is away with military and can do nothing for his son?

I got the same thing, a man standing in front of a helicopter, widowed with a son in boarding school. Saw my FB profile on line and knew I was special. He "fell in love", deployed to Iraq, has a contract with the UN and was to come home in 3 months. After two weeks of chatting on hangouts, he claimed his unit was attacked, 5 were killed and he was one of 8 who survived and was given permission to "break his contract" with the UN. The UN is demanding 10,000 to break the contract and come home. He promises to pay me back as soon as he gets home. His money is "frozen" so the Taliban cannot steal it. I have no money so he wants me to go to the bank and borrow it. To whom can we report this. He is on FB as Ray Gratz. anyone check and see if it is the same picture. To whom can we report this and stop it? Please he, or they need to be stopped. When he asked for money I deleted all his conversations. Now I wish I had them so I could show them to the FBI.

I’m pretty much thinking I have one same

I met a guy work as spine surgeon in Syria for the UN and MFS from CA. He told me he is 52 and his exwife cheated him and divorced. His ex lives in CA with his 12 years old son. He wants me to send him 2000 dollars to pay his vacation application fee to go back to the states. And he continuously asks me for itune gift cards.

Can you please show me pictures of this man

Can somebody help me please ????
A friend of mine is being catfished by someone pretending to live in Croatia and saying he's famous in his country. Same story : he was blocked in London and needed money. He had hospitalbills from his ill daughter etc.
My friend really believes it's real and has paid him twice. Over 3000 EUR.
When I explain her its a fantasy world she's living in, she's gets mad. I can't push too much, because else, she says, our friendship will be over. So I don't have more details on who this catfish is.. Anybody who recognizes this story : someone famous from Croatia ??? Thank you

Hi I really loved a baby daughter because i dont have it, oly two sons. My son showed me Ablo App and i tried browsing it without intention to find serious one. When i decided to delete app i browsed once and it landed to UK and one man messaged me.He said he is from Uk London and has daughter and son, wife died from giving birth.I was excited much and asked him to send pictures of her daughter. He was amazed to know that i loved kids so he asked my whatsApp number and sent me his pictures and kids as well. After hour of talking he decided to drove to school of his kids to show me on video call so I can see her kids and they can see me also.
It took one hour before we talked on video because of his travel time. I seen them and he they seen my kids too.
He asked me to accept him as lover after the video call because he introduced me to his kids as Future mom because he said he been looking to a good woman likes me for long time. He knew im doing charity works and helping people who in need.
It was'nt on my care about his few questions like what work i have, how much i earned and what assets i have on my name..
He said he is a project engineer working at ENI international services ltd at London branch and that time he accepted contract at Istanbul Turkey. He sent me travel ticket, certification award to him for said contract, contract agreement and etc.
After days, he told me that contract is hard, he need to invest personal money and need to complete it before he was paid in full.
He told me each steps until he said he bought materials and equipments and his credit card declined. He helpless and no one can help him except me. He borrowed me 38,000 and asked to transfer it to a bank of a woman who has same bank i have because it is lockdown no money gram.
After a day he asked my help again for plane ticket to go back at London and fix his card so he can pay me back. I offered him ticket because that is he needs and i have client who has travel agency here.
He insisted money than ticket and say many alibis and angry that I dont TRUST him.
I have doubt it was scam so I asked him a video call and promised to send him another 30,000 for plane ticket and food. I recorded whole videocall and it shows clearly that the man am dealing with and reffering to is SAME and EXACT on all pictures i have here and to video call i recorded.
I sent him the video and tell him to pay me or i expose it to tv stations because i have precise evidence.
Please someone help me to connect at TV station at UK so this serve as eye opener for scammer that still we can do actions to teach them a lesson.

sounds the same modus as the scammer who contacted me. He's "from Britain" but works as a military nurse in the US. His daughter is sick in Spain, and because of COVID and because of the banks are closed and he "has not processed his father's account for wire transfer," he needed to borrow money from me. When I pointed out that his modus is of romance scammer, he got furious. why would he even ask me to send it to other accounts instead of his if he is a scammer. When I pretended to have no money, he slowly lessened his messages. He appeared convincing because he would be consistent with the time in TExas, which was 23 hours away from mine. He sticks true to his storyline. However, his glaring ungrammitcal structure is unforgivable for someone who is British. When he called, his fake British accent is noticeable. But when asked for a video chat, he would say that he needed to buy a new phone albeit his selfies used both cameras (the front and back ) of his phone. Your friend might be convinced because he also sends pictures and videos. I was just lucky that I followed by gut feel. Go ask your friend for a picture and have it checked at


I have finely met my catfish guy. He has told me so much about the operation. I’m so angry with him. He tells me the truth after a year of textin and talking by phone. His name was Larry Roberto. He had a son in the states. He was in yemmen. Then in Saudi Arrabia. I sent over $7000.00. Its awfel.

I have the same experience. I am actually chatting with one Mark Davis, only son, his parents died already, he is divorced because his wife cheated on him, he has a 14 year old son who is in a boarding school in the Philippines. Asked me to send money for his son food stuff. Also now he is asking me to help him get his contract fund from the UN. He also told me that he will come this December to marry me. He is also asking me to send him steam card or amazon card. I did not send him. He is saying a lot of beautiful things and promising so much. I think he is a scammer too.

Hi So hurt88 did you ever get answer to your question? Who do you report it too?

I was told pretty much, the exact same story, from a Micheal Ludlow... He had a friend in the Marines, supposedly, whose name was Logan, & he was very good looking... I saw a pic of him, & his fiance'

So I decided to play along and let him keep messaging me so I can take it to the cops or someone. He told me he got information from his commanding officer where to send the money. He told me it was the UN. I got the address and routing number. It is Capitol One in MD. This guy or these guys think we are all stupid.
If I had not found the people on this site I would not have realized how prevalent this was. I hope law enforcement catches these guys

Has anyone ever heard of a Ted James or a James Ted? He is in Kabul, Afghanistan. He needs money for to update his computer.

I have a guys suppose from sweden and working as a Major in afghanistan as been 2 weeks and he as ask me 2 days ago for itunes card ..he ask me 2 of 100$ and then he said only one is fine in what we are living right now ..lot a like all go you ...Thank you I almost got cut

I am in contact with a Raymond Lundstorm, he states he is in Kabul, Afghanistan and he is a special agent with the Green berets. I met him on IG & the conversation quickly moved to WhatsApp. I talk to him a few times a week - no video calls due to " Security." States he moved from Stockholm, Sweden. His mother & him left there b/c of an abusive relationship with his dad. Mom is being cared for by a nurse 24/7 due to Alzheimer's. He asked for steam cards. I tried to do a reverse google image , I am not very good on the computer. On IG his name is iamrayliam. His picture is on there & of course he is very handsome, states he was a model for a friend that does tattoos. I have several pictures of him. I need help. I'm falling for him.

I am in contact with a guy Raymond Lundstorm, from Sweden, in Kabul Afghanistan. Says his mom has Alzheimer's and has a full time nurse in Jacksonville GA. I have his cell & he gave me his home address- asked for steam gift cards - red Flag of course. I posted all about him earlier on here and want to see if anyone can help - not sure when my post will be on here.
Please help !

Would you like to exchange notes / pictures ?

I would love to share information
How do we do this - cab we exchange emails in private ?

Leo Carter Hildreth, retired from military, in antique business and needs $$ to help pay for goods, claims he had to re enlist in order to pay for his debt and needs 10,000 for a Liberty Pass, claims he's in Bangor , Maine at the military base and is on special assignment, needs to have $$ wired (or bit coin) to military account, also gave me a ""secret special command" email address to the "man in charge" who will give me the account # for the money (hahah).. US_defense_department@ . Be careful Ladies as this idiot is very persistent.

Yes he contacted me. He has twin daughters. He's an orthopedic surgeon.

One that posed as a General just tried that on me. The stupid man only waited one week to tell me he needed me to go to Walmart and get a card so he could fix his pic because he couldn't get the supplies over there to fix it. I knew it was the beginning of the scam for money and I disconnected Hangout and we won't talk again. He said he was widowed but his first name didn't sync with the General even though he used his pic.

Ive been chatting with Williams Malcom from Afghanistan. Wants money of course. 40's white attractive loves me of course just weeks in

I've found it very strange that a lot of these guys use two first names. The one I'm talking to now is Thomas Daniel. Told him at the beginning, don't ever ask me for money. Now after 4 weeks he needs $3,000 with a story that's too bizarre to go into. Tomorrow I will tell him I've exhausted every Avenue to get the money. No luck with tineye.

Hi I am May Valencia,now I cannot sleep bcus of that scammer military,I read ur message almost same that they are doing to me, now they are block mailing me,I need anyone help now,now they will use my ID to make problems to me,they want to send box to me inside of it money he told me worth 115000 dollars,
when I know the amount I said I cannot accept it big amount he want me to send to his bank account,he told me he is working U.S military in Afghanistan,now they are asking me money 700bd for shipping,and now they are black mailing me if I will not send money they will show my identity ID to the police .. .now I’m to much worried.. .plsss I need help.. .

This sounds like a scam. If they say you must pay to accept a package, but it is not your package, and you did not order the package, it is usually a scam. They might pretend to be a "Customs Official" or say they will call the police. You can stop talking to the scammers. They want to scare you and take your money. You can block a scammer and ignore him. 

OMG I have the same situation as well, but it's not the same guy... The guy I am chatting was Chris Leung, claims his wife died from cancer and has two kids and a nanny is watching him while he is on a special mission in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is really sweet and talked on Instagram for a while then he told me to go and download the app Hangouts and I did. We talked for three weeks. Soon he asked me to marry him and I told him not yet we haven't met each other and slow down. He kept convincing me so then I agreed to him. Then he said I would have to write a letter to UN for an emergency leave which I also did, and UN replied back saying that I need to choose the months of duration that I choose for him to stay with me and pay for the fee. I choose 3 months and paid over $2,000 and then after they have confirmed the payment that I sent to them. After a day or two I received another email from UN saying there is another fee of $12,450 for his flight and expenses. I was shocked then I contacted him through Hangouts and told him the situation. Then he was like I can't access my accounts here and just trust him saying all these things to me. But then I have relatives that serves in the Army too so I had asked them questions about my situation. They told everything that they can do and can't do. I am currently still chatting with me and he keeps telling me to trust him, which I don't anymore because my cousins they all told me already too. What should I do???

I would block him and delete the app
The sooner you do it the better
I am trying to find out the identification of my scammer just for my own curiosity , I am not going to do anything with the information I find out. I still have my app with our conversations .I did an image search and found the person he is using the pictures saying its him He wants steam cards. Military personal do have access to their money

This commit re Michael,Beckons he has tried to scam me we meet on another date site he says he is a qualified oil fixer he is in Afghanistan very calming very romantic I feel in love with he says he needs a vocation and am then he demands via his Agent at the finger is £261 he trys to manipulate you please beware he says he has a son aged 31 and that his wife has passed away around five years ago please dont give him anything. Janet

How do you do an image search? I think Im being scammed by a guy as well. Although he's in Military and stationes in Arkansas, he cant go live on am apparently. Ive talked ro him several timea and doesnt sound American. He's only asked me to send a gift card bc apparently he's broke til next pay. Honestly I dont care gor the $25.. but want to know if hes a scamner.

I have a friend that met a guy in Instagram, he goes by the name Wu_jongwilliams, he told her to download an app call hangout so he can text her thru there he’s name in that account is Wu jong Costa. He told her the same story that he’s deploy in Syria on a mission, that he’s wife die 3 yrs from cancer and he’s parents are dead and that he has no siblings, but he has a 5 yr old son that’s currently on the army academy under the care of the government cuz he have no one to take care of the child. they been txting almost a month in a half. He said he loves her and he will want to married her. She told him she’s pregnant by another guy that left her and he reply to her that he will be responsible for her and the unborn child so, he ask her to write a emergency paternity leave letter which she did, and had to chose from 3 options to pay for “A replacement soldier expenses to replace him on the mission” She chose option A which is $2000 to cover him for 4 moths leave, she did wireless the money thru her bank. Now she’s currently working on stopping the transaction. Your story sound similar to her it sounds to good to be true. I hope it’s not too late and you do get your money back.

don't trust him, its obviously a scammer. Sounds like a guy I met

Could you please send me the Pictures he sent you? I have a feeling I'm talking with the same Guy.

Yes , I am going through the same deal.
Kabul Afghanistan and says he is a staff sergeant named George Matthew Smith.
He’s taken me for 1000$ I m upset but it could be worse as I have read.
I m going to the police tomorrow.
I m very hurt and disappointed in myself.
I got caught up talking to him while being in lock down from covid. I believed in him totally.

Don't beat yourself up about this... I feel the same, about myself... Take it as a life lesson learned, & know that you deserve, & will meet someone better, who's real, & the love is mutual... Learn to love, & accept yourself, & put yourself, & your needs first, always, over any man... Don't give anyone that power over you... Don't settle for someone who doesn't treat u right...

Yes. I have been in the same situation, except that I’ve wired very large amounts over and over and gotten nowhere. I need to know how to retrieve everything. This guy I’ve finally did a google image search and he’s gone by a different name from his UN claimed you be doctor. Even in LinkedIn!
He lost his wife, parents, has a 10years old son living in Italy cared for by a friend, his residence is in Finland, he’s currently in Valenzuela serving as a medical doctor. Requested me to send an e-mail for his Leave. The consultant sent me an e-mail from some kind of a cruise site and called it private as they cannot use anything that ties directly to the UN. He said he can’t touch funds while in there and the consultant will wire me his vacation money once he gets approval for leave and that he actually leaves...guess what? Now there’s this Covid-19 that requires a cost for a private jet. Thereafter, a request for more funds to cover his medical clearance.
What a downfall for’s been 11 months and he’s promised he exits this July 2020. I asked him why all of these process as what has he been doing before he’s met me? He’s speechless, and of course claimed that he’s never had to go through this process before. The consultant claims there’s a new head that had fined him for insubordination but will not identify.
I am out of money...hurt, looking for someone to truly help me with filing or prosecute these people. Please please someone....

Omg I thought i was the only person being scammed . I too over nover believed this man ..In fact since October 2019 . I helped him with his passport pd the tax cuz he said he needed to pay to leave Canada .I did all that And i cant blame this COVID .. Its me . I dont know how much ive sent and its really embarresing to talk to anyone about this .. But I did report him to the FTC ..I have his ssn passport number n name ..They have told me it probably is fake. . I have had sleepless nites tell him he has no heart is just interested in my money .. I just like him decided to tell him lies too ..I told him I have no more and if he continues I will block him ..He has said he will always find me n i believe hes a dangerous mind . Please if anything ? Dont live with the stress. . stress can kill ..Contact the FTC COMMISSION and anything u know report him ...asap
Good luck n stay safe
No man is worth are money ..
Say no more n live with peace

OMG! Was his name Jonathan? This is identical to what I am going through.

yes im at the 3k mark pilot syria. Has son in military school. I'd love to swap photos with you and compare



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