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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

Hello iTunes cards big red flag. I had a young beautiful woman approach me on POF she told me she loved me in two messages then she says her phone needs to be reactivated and she needs$250 in iTunes cards. I immediately smelled a bad rat. I sent her nothing she asked about 5 more times and I stop replying. I saw her profile again same young lady different name.

Has anyone got a scam from John Walter who says he was a marine engineer that got stuck in Italy Rome and his two sons are 17 and 9 and they are in a private school in Florida , his wife died 5 years ago and he want to come back to the states but needs money !! well our family member fell for him and already sent him $5000 dollars and now he is wanting $30,000 more and she is trying to refinance her home and she will not listen to any of us that this is a scammer , please if any one is talking to John Walter on instagram or google talk please let me know , the pictures he sent of "himself" is a tall 72 yr old man wears glasses , tan and always on a boat or waters of some sort , never any video chats always calls or text , thank you all in advance

Jon Fitzpatrick claims to be an art collector, photographer, living the high life in New York. Has two children a son and a daughter. Ex- wants money from him all the time. Needs money for antiques he is bringing in from Brazil. Very smooth, has an accent and claims to be French. Asked me for a lot of money!!! But has homes in Paris, France and Austin, Texas.

A few months ago , I met a widower from IG with the name of MichealMarcon1121. He calls himself Trevor, a General in the Military on a Peace Seeking Mission in Afghanistan. He has a son who is 14 yrs.old and lives in Nevada with the Nanny . We became fondly close with one another where he professed his love to me very quickly and wanted to marry me . In order for me to continue to communicate with him I had to send $500 in Itune cards to fix his Iphone . He said I had to send the payment through a Money Gram to a woman named Kathy Hirtler . When I questioned him on this payment, he said she was the one to receive the money and send it to the engineer to fix the phone . But meanwhile he claims he was communicating with me through his friend's computer or phone until he got his phone fixed. So after I made the payment within two days later he got his phone back. But two weeks before this second payment, I sended $500 in Itune cards to fix his computer so he can file his documents for retirement and be home in July so we can be one happy family as husband and wife and I was to be a mother to his son . But being the good girl that I am with a heart I felt sorry for him and believed every word he said to me , like You can trust me , I will pay you back and I am a man of my word . I thought I met the love of my life , where we would constantly text every day where he would send me love messages , voice record of himself crying and begging me to pay for his phone and computer to be fixed along with sending photos of himself . I must say he was a handsome guy with dark hair and brown eyes. I also had asked him to Skype with me and he shut me down completely and said No due to security reasons we are not aloud . I kind of felt that was odd. Our online love relationship gotten serious were he didn't want me to go on IG nomore . He wanted me to stay focus with him . I told him sorry I communicate with my family and friends . But the asking of money didn't stop there . Just recently , he wanted me to send $2700 to a courier company where I was to pay a vat fee so he can send me his life savings which consisted of $235000 by parcel in a brief case . I completely called him out on it and said This is a Scam and No way in hell I'm not sending more money to a fake company that doesn't exist . He kept saying No I am not scamming you , this is 100% safe and the company is valid . Yeah right ... I looked up this company online and had red flags all over it . He was so mad that he called me bad names and kept saying , I love You Honey , I want to be with you etc , pay the vat fee and once you receive it you can take back your money of $1000 and also book my flight home and the rest was for my upkeep to pay off debts that I had told him . What a liar !! Now after a week not talking to him , he sends me a text and says
he is staying on in Afghanistan because he is finding it difficulty to come home now since he has no money . The money I sended you is on hold and I'm rethinking to renew my contract . So there you have it , I did not send money and he is not coming home . What a shame !!
I cannot believe what I got myself into . If I have known about this FTC site I would of NEVER sended money . This so called General had me fooled where he led me to believe that I found the love of my life and that he was coming home to me to marry me . Lesson learned and I am not engaging with a man on these social media sites no more . They are all Fakes !!

I'm seeing the same stories that I'm getting from a George Derrick and a Derek Kess. Fell in love practically overnight, need a gift card to stay in touch, no readily available cash, etc. And I shared so much personal information with them. I feel like a total fool, which I am. They both claim to work on oil rigs in different countries. One is divorced, the other lost his wife in an accident. Gave me an email address for his son, etc. I 'm going to tell both of them that I'm doing a background check on them.

I have talked to the one that calls him self George Derrick before and told me he lost his wife to cancer and has a son that’s 9 years old he was showing me pictures it was very believable and I also was talking to one by the name Johnson Maxwell that had me so fooled with that being said We are both foolish because I was scammed in to sending money as well but I figured it out and blocked Maxwell and Derrick as well.

What was Derek Kess, sons name? Did you send him any emails?

I encounter this kind of senario..i meet a guy in online dating site..he has a lot of plan for us we have a good conversation everyday but through chat only he call sometimes but i never saw his face even i exist that i want to see him so we can have a video col but sad thing is he always have some excuses..and it comes to a time that he went to huston for a meeting that was he said and then he has a story he ask my help to send him a money bcoz he got in trouble and all his money and credit card are gone..so he ask some money to me to send to him..but i never do it even he has a lot of talks that can convence me..lucky that i talk to my sister about the situation and she advice me not to follow what he said..so the way i did is i ignore him..and never talk to him anymore..thank God

Has anyone heard of Daniel Peter or his attorney Bryan Smith from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Posing as a retired NCO American originally from Utah.
My 72 yr old mother has wired hundred of thousands and still will not believe the persons are one in the same and fake!!

Has anyone talked to a man named William Cross. He said he is in Scotland at the moment working as an architect on a highway there. He is from Cuba and currently lives in Miami with a daughter named Ashley. He wants me to send him money for an airline ticket to come home and be with me. We gave been talking for almost a year now. He professes hos live for me and wants to.make me his wife.

Have any of y’all video chatted with these men ?

Just wondering if anyone has heard of a man called Hilton Elvis from london England. He says he's on a big ship that has broken down near malaysia. And he needs money to get his lockbox recovered from a delivery company. I have a strange feeling this giy is a professional scammer.

If a military person has said that there account has been hacked and they need a gift for there son because it is there birthday on Wednesday ! Can they still access money to send over to him

Katl Gerald lives me and eantse to send information to China to receive a suitcase of money 4.8 mil. That is wow not that dumb bit still hurts. Dating site POF lots of scammers on that site I have reported many

A man with the last name of Richie from the UK asking for money for the last 3 years first an accident than hospital bills now passport issues telling me every day that he loves me but he can't get out from his debts to get here has home in Texas and two in London say they are tied up with the government for money he owes have sent several thousands already

Been talking to a guy goes by the name of Aleks (Serbian), great looker, strong accent, cooperate type of guy (not military). On a New Zealand Dating site, living in Australia, working out in USA, developing the 5G project. Ordered $1,240,000.00 worth of equipment but the company needs $25K up-front for delivery, he said he was short of $5600.00, asks me to help him... Bam! He got a straight out … That's bad behaviour and hell no are you going to get money out of me. No matter how charming your words are. Never met him face to face... I left a message, such as preying on woman's emotions and vulnerability is disgusting.... Be Careful out there everyone... Listen to your gut instincts and the slightest doubt, check , check again and double, triple check.... Oh and he was using female names: as his PA. If I wanted to send money via Western Union - Shalonda Palms and Alicia Truesdale.

Can we post pics here, I have been tried by about 5 of em in 2 weeks. I want to help

No, this site doesn't have the capacity to let you post pictures.

Has anyone been contacted by a man named John Edwards on instagram?

I was fortunate. I'd already been scamed for a small amount of money somewhere else. So when the money factor came up I said absolutely not. I never gave him any money. We communicated for 2 weeks. But I started doing research. And then I found out there was no base where he said he was based, and one of the pictures the guy had a ring on his left hand. So anyway it's over. You said his name was Michael Johnson from Hopewell Virginia. He sent me a picture of his cars and himself. But a number of questions went unanswered. So I'm glad I did my homework.

Hi
Has anyone one heard of a Deigo Rowell , Italian army , retiring December has a young boy called Jerry lives in lake Como

I’ve been speaking to a guy since beginning of March , he says he’s in Italian army and have photos , he is due to come out the army in December and told me he would have to do a tour before he came out , we speak for 2 to 4 hours a day though the day and evenings , he now been sent to Syria apparently before he went he asked if he could make me next of kin has he as no living relatives so I said yes he could at least this way if anything happened to him I would know I have received emails fro
The army about the change in next of kin and that is paid for it how do I know if these emails are real and if he’s real ?

There’s a guy on IG by name andrew_smith504 posing as a medical doctor in syria. Said he is orphan, no family and need money to get back to NY. He asked to send him money and will compensate me later. I said no and he disappears.

This sounds like the scammer I have been taking too as well telling me he’s in Syria for a peace mission in the Army using someone in the military’s picture he also told me his parents are both dead and asked me to help him with a package because he has no one to help him and he loved me, as well as asking me for gift cards because his commander needs him to do his job with the code to change it to help him crack some other codes. I was stupid and fell for it the 1st time now after doing my research I found out it’s a big scam and took money from me and they have it set up so well you wouldn’t know till you look in to it more and more. I don’t want others to fall for this scam like I did at 1st they need to be stopped.

I met a guy named William Sampson on zoosk. He said he is a widow and an interior architect and laid it on thick. We were talking for a couple weeks. He told me he wanted a relationship and he was going to fly here to see me after his project in the Philippines was done. I didn't hear from him for a couple days and he finally sent another message saying his permit was too much money and he needed $4,500 now or he would lose the contract. Then he asked if I could help him out. I told him no and that I would report him if he came to see me. He told me I was rude and he regretted meeting me and that he was going to block my number. So glad I didn't send the money. So many creeps.

The same person William Sampson approached me on Zoosk dating site through his friends’ account. He claimed he fell in love with me and wanted to correspond through email and phone calls. We emailed each other for 3 weeks. He even sent me a copy of his contract with the casino in the Philippines, copy of his passport, and shirtless pictures of himself (highly doubt that he’s the real person). But when I first spoke to him on the phone, he didn’t sound German as he claimed to have lived there since he was 4 yrs old. He sounded more like he was Nigerian. I knew he was scamming me after that. So I beat him to the punch and asked him for money. He told me that he couldn’t trust me and he didn’t want to be with a gold digger. But I’m glad I wasted his time.

Valuable information,Thanks lots for sharing them with us. Nowadays it is very common.

I was scammed by elvin larsson says he was working in Dubai.

Beware of Roland Erik Moore. Says he is an Electrical engineer, widowed. He is an only child and both parents are deceased. Wife died of cancer. Working at an oil rig of the Gulf of Mexico. He needed money for the mobilization of his contract.

Last week, I met a US Army sergeant named James Lewis,10 years in army, working in the Engineering department, has a monthly salary of 12,000 US Dollars per month. After a day, he professed love and told me to delete the online dating app. He said he is 33 years old born July 27, 1985. He said he is now deployed in Egypt.

He said that he put a limit to his Master Card hence, after he reached his limit he could not access his card.

He asked for a leave to visit our country. But he said I need to pay for his flight ticket. Then he will just refund.

I became suspicious so I read articles about online romance scam.

I stopped communicating to him and blocked him.

I wish I would of come across this thread before my guy scammed me! I met him on POF in June. He told me that he just wanted to be friends. After a few days texting back and forth, he told me that I was his Queen and he wanted to take me to the alter! He was too busy working on a presentation for a construction engineer job and couldn’t be distracted to meet in person. The next week we were supposed to meet, he got the job but had to go to Oman in 2 days to start, thus we couldn’t meet. The whole time he was filling my inbox with love letters how I made him feel like no other woman ever had. After a week in Oman his bank account got locked and he needed to link his Oman account but didn’t have the $15k to unlock his US bank account to transfer. He has needed gadgets such as a cell phone, iPad, I watch, and AirPods for his job. I helped him buy those but told him I didn’t have $15k just $5k. He said he would try that. He wanted for me to send cash to TN overnight in a book, which I stupidly did to some intermediate person who could instantly transfer it to him overseas through some ex patriot network. He also had me buy $1150 worth of gift cards and text him the pictures so he could feed himself because American food was so expensive and the local food made him sick. Needless to say, I was blinded by his love and words and wasn’t thinking clearly until I almost drew out my home savings of $23k for him so he could link his account. He told me that he would make me a beneficiary so I could draw out whatever I needed for me and my daughter, there was to be over $150k in there. But he would need some confidential information from me. The name he was using was Steven Sims. I had him send me a copy of his drivers license. Today I googled the address and a different Steven Sims picture popped up, not his. I did a reverse search on the pictures he sent me, but none of them showed up in google. I broke it off tonight and told him he was a scammer. He was upset at me and was blaming me for hurting him! He said he was 41, spoke with a heavy Spanish accent? Maybe something else. Claimed to be from Argentina originally but moved to the states when he was 19. His accent seemed liked he learned English a year ago. Always talked about his dead mother and how much he missed her. Sobbed many times on the phone to me how life was just so unfair to him. Anyways now I am over $10k in debt, he told me he was going to pay me back to prove that he was not a scammer and I was the crazy one! This man had my heart and soul and now I feel like the fool.

For anyone out there talking to a Josiah Medina or Nelson Medina please be aware he is a scammer. Met via Hinge and he told me he was about to retire the army and only had few weeks to go. Told me his ex lady with another man and doesn’t see there Son anymore. At first it seemed quite real until............. he asked me if I loved him? WHAT? No I don’t know you??? So then I thought OK this is weird. Then it came........ he needed money for his retirement ceremony £2000. When I called him out and said oh I see you are one of those he tried to convince me he was not. I told him I had no money and even if I did he was not getting any. Then I sent ...... so I guess I won’t hear from you again? Lol. Not that I wanted to of course, and he replied...... No. trouble is I know there will be woman out there falling for it right now and I can’t do much about it. He sent me pictures even one of a driving license, he video called me to Try and prove he was real. Still not sure if he was real but his intentions not or he was using some way of using someone else’s identity. The video call was him saying he had just finished in the gym then it cut off. Didn’t actually get to talk to him. So ladies be warned

Question has any females talk to a soldier by the name of Shane Petro in the army meet him on POF

Has anyone talked to Randy Clark Jones supposedly from Syria. Please let me know i think im being scammed

Currently talking to a woman whom I met On tinder. She goes by the name Maldonado and says she’s in the navy. She is asking for money to come home on leave to help her sick mother. Apparently her bank accounts are on hold so she can’t access money. She is quite pushy and claims she’ll repay me and cannot wait to build a home with me. She said she loved me about three weeks into our conversation. I am a Woman too. Anyone have anything similar?

My Mother has been scammed by a man by the name of James Laurentz. He is out on a rig( in water) near California. Has told her that he is in love with her and that he needs funds for retirement. He is also building a church and needs her help. Meanwhile, she is without running water and electricity. I've reported this before and got everything back on, only to find out that she is back in the same situation. I've had the police involved and no one seems to be able to help. Now she has told me that this is the Lord's plan for her. She has asked me to turn my life over to Christ right now because a big shift is about to come to the world and her situation should be the least of my worries. Does anyone have a similar event going on right now with this apparent criminal? I need help fast!

I was talking to so called marine ..using name of Harrison Robert..he was going to come see me in Scotland when on leave from ship...that was until he asked for money to help him get here...he got upset and said I should be willing to sell my belongings to get money for him...and how much he loved me??really?I had to prove my love for him by sending money!when I didn't he said I didn't love him enough...PLEASE TAKE CARE GIRLS DO NOT SEND MONEY...please...

Said his name was Michael Williams with picture of him with puppies and his daughter. Said he lost his wife in a car accident 4 years ago. Scammer - thankfully I didn’t send any money.

Anyone being scammed by a patrick moravan or a brandon collins?

I was scammed with a supposed American military man named Justin Fisher saying he was in Afghanistan, I paid everything, his leave form, his replacement and the medical examination of his replacement, the last amount was lost, he mentioned to me the name of his general support of the name cliftonwastterston I also have the name of the madam who was recovered the money i all lost , yes am stupid

My Mom met a man on POF named John Martin. He has had people wire her money and then she transfers it to Bitmoney(?), no idea, and sends it to him. He is currently telling her he loves her and has never met her. He has asked her to send him money for a plane ticket to come back and meet her. I have tried to find him on-line but have had no luck. I think the money being wired to her is from other women and then she is sending it to him without her knowing it. I am very worried about her. She becomes upset anytime someone tells her it is a scam. Has anyone else ever had encounters with this guy?

Guy I have been chatting with claims he is a surgeon working for the United Nations in Somalia. He is in love with me and wants to visit me and marry him. However he claims he has no money for food! I sent $100.00 to an address in Ghana..where I was instructed to send it. Money has not been picked up now wants it changed to a money gram. Any advise. I'm on to the guy but really want to believe him. Goes by name Jason Allen.

I man pretended to be Bradley Adam contacted me on Tinder. Very charming and educated.He writes pretty well!! He says he is an engineer and has a cable car company. He traveled to Dubai on business and asked me to transfer $3,000 in bitcoins to support his daughter.I didn’t. He insisted. I blocked him.

someone heard about Justin Fisher, claims to be a captain in Afghanistan and he says he has a daughter on behalf of Chelsea, he's still in my contact list, I got scammed by him, and I have to have him a picture of another woman, I'm afraid she's doing the same thing he did to me, I want to protect this woman

Please be aware of jrjamesarthur. Scammer asking for money. Construction worker from South Africa living in Texas. Contact made from Instagram. Very attractive and convincing. Like other posts I cannot find the source of the photos

Has anyone been contacted by an Adrien Van Lepori or a James Lepori? Says he’s a sgt in the Army with the UN Peace peacekeepers. He’s not asking for money yet but I want to make sure!

Hello all, I've recently stop talking to a guy by the name of Medina Martinseen who has a son name, Josiah. I met him on Hinge and he immediately wanted to chat on Whatsapp. He is in Army and says he is a combat engineer in Ft Lewis. He just moved from Florida and wants to move his son once he buys a home. Within 5 days of chatting with him, he asked me to do him a favor because he is too busy at work and ask me to buy a Steam card for his son. I told him I was uncomfortable doing this and he was upset/disappointed. I few days later he ask again and this time I laid into him. I also sent him image about Steam card scams. He was so upset that I would excuse of him being a scammer and what kind of mother I am for not helping him out for his son. He told me not to contact him. I hoping this will anyone out there that has encounter this guy.

I am presently messaging back and forth with Roland Erik Moore. He is now living in Orlando, widowed, parents are a dead and only child. He has not asked for money because we have been messaging only a few days. Last night, he requested that I text him to move the relationship to the next level. This morning a little bug suggested that I google Roland Erik Moore' name. His name appeared on this website attempting to receive money from the young lady. I am thankful, she took the time to share her story with this site. I do not believe sending anyone money that I have never met. It does not matter how sad the story maybe.

I am going to block his name and make contact with the online dating company. This is horrible that individuals are experiencing this type of deception.

I’ve to been talking to Roland he made plans for me to come to Orlando in September now supposedly he’s coming to California in October for his birthday he’s never asked me for money I knew something was fishy about this guy I’ve been googling his name and nothing came up until today I googled and it was the first thing that popped up I am so thankful for this site he’s been exposed

Has anyone been asked to give a person your Apple ID code claiming it won’t cost you a cent?

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