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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 many of you have put it, just invest a little time and asks questions, and the truth - or at least the lies, will be revealed. Be Smart.

Anyone recognize the name Steve Arthur as he uses that name. Says he works for the United Nations, is a doctor, wealthy and madly in love with me. Wants to come back to bus to marry me, his adorable queen, says he's in Yemen but I traced his call to Ghana. I've sent him money for his son, iTune cards, hold chain, now he has a box full of money he wants to send to me. I had to send money to a diplomat for storage in Heathrow airport in England. He sends pics of himself but I haven't seen it on any websites. He wants more money to get home and I had to borrow. Has 2 kids in US in boarding school anyone know him?

@Mexixo49 would you mind sharing photos of him? Or at least describe what he looks like?

tall dark handsome says is a Captain in Mexico Border. born and brought up in Houston TEAXS

If it is who I think it is, he also uses the name James Arthur and says he has one son,Alex, in boarding school in Texas. Other than that his story to me is identical to yours..

Sounds like the guy trying to get ITUNES cards out of me. Dr. on a cruise line. Has a 15 year old son. Widowed lives in FL. Went by Jayden Martins Sparks. I google everything he is a ghost. He is an older man, every handsome. He should be stopped. I didn't sent him anything, but I know there are women that will

I've been scammed by a guy claims to be in hospital in Afghanistan and was hurt in a bus accident going to the airport. He claims he loves me and wants to be with me forever. He needs money to get home because the flight home was increased in price. I've already sent him $1600 for flight and at least $1000 more in iTunes cards to communicate with me. I never talked to him on phone even though he calls me,we communicate by Hangouts. Is this definitely a scammer? His name is Roger Carpenter and claims to be an engineer with the government and a captain in the Army. Beware of him

Anyone scammed by Matt Daniels. Photo of him in a khaki uniform standing in a kitchen?

Is photo of MattDaniels left arm colorful tattoos? Could be an older photo with no tattoo? Probably same half Italian, half American Orthopedic Surgeon that’s trying to scam me. Please reply. Thanks

Same one with colorful tattoos. One photo with cat and one photo with dog. Orthopedic Surgeon Doctor working for Military on contract. Exactly the same

Someone I know has been talking with a Matt Daniels the past few months, and he fits this description perfectly. How has he been scamming people? Has he asked anyone for personal info or money?

I have been emailing a Matt Daniels orthopedic Surgeon sent to Syriah, wants to send me $ to My acct to send to his son in Military school??? Pics have Tattoos met on POF he did facetime me looked real enough. says he wants to send 10.000 to my acct that I can send his son???

I've been talking with someone by the same name and profession. Hasn't asked for anything as of yet. I'm not sure how to handle. I wish there was a way to exchange more information.

Be on the lookout for a Sgt. Daniel Jason Cooper supposed to be in the U.S Army stationed in Chad and supposedly His MOS is CID 40 Years Old with a Son who's 6 Years Old and supposedly very sick with life threatening illness. He played the heartstrings and sympathy card about his son boy did I fall for his crap, but I did my own investigation . These scammed are linked here in the U.S too Don't let them fool you! I have everything I need to nail him to the wall along with his accomplices. I hope they all pay for what they've done.

I was about to be scammed when I realized what was going on I confronted the person, he was pretending to be a Army Captain based in France, when i did my research all is wrong and english is hilarious. Ive contacted and warned the real person or so at least I thought its the real person but he blocked me. Why would I get blocked unless he is a fake one as well correct?

So I Have been on this website for a couple of years, and so far nothing but scammers, from military to so called contractors. Sometimes I wished the FTC would pay me money for every scam! My latest one called himself Nathaniel Brown, supposed to be from Arizona, but is doing a million dollar contract in Cyprus! So after talking to him for a while, he asked me if I could get him 3 MacBook Air with everything, because his card was compromised. And then he wanted me to send them to a coworker named Ozay Seydali in Nicosia Cyprus. Told him right out I am not going to be scammed, he got upset and called me several names. I am pretty sure , he is talking to someone else already. Be careful, Ladies!

Sounds like my friend's "Danish contractor" who just landed a 3 million dollar deal in Cypress but needs utube cards to talk to her or some sort of nonsense. First asked for $50.00 card. Then another amount..because his card was compromised..needed to work on contract proposal..speaks with Danish accent..says he knows 6 languages. She has Skyped with him. He's in oil Riggs offshore I believe. I referred her to this site..has a daughter in boarding school- 16 years old. His wife died when she was 8. That's the story!

do you have a photo of the Cyprus scammer you can post? A friend is involved with a guy who is in Cyprus - hasn't met him yet.

I think I have just been scammed by this person. His name is Bruno Desi claims to be a petroleum engineer. He has a 6 year old daughter and has been a widow since she was 2. Asked me to access his bank account to wire money to a vendor for supplies. His account was locked because of a foreign IP address trying to access his account then he begs me to pay for the supplies until he returns from the sea. I googled him and found his LinkedIn account, business website all seem to be in order. Then he got held by customs on his way to the US by customs for traveling with the money that he was paid for his job, over 200,000 € that was not declared and is asking for me to pay for an attorney.

Do you have a pic of this man? I have a few pics to share and compare

Did you ever get into his bank account on his behalf??? Mine give me login information and everything in wiring instructions then I went in wired money from his account to his vendors and it was millions of dollars ... now he is saying because I logged in from somewhere different then where he was that the bank closed his account ... I don’t know how hard it is to fake the web page that looks just like a bank account seems difficult to me ... he apparently can’t leave to straighten things out with the bank because he’s on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean and the bank is in the UK ... I’m so heartbroken

Is it Metro bank? My case is similar to this but I did not access to his bank account. I just happened to help him placed order of material and forwarded wire confirmation because he had issues pulling his email due to poor internet connection on the rig.

He probably had you clearing out someone else's account. Had you do it so it could not be traced to him. It seems a common theme that these scammers involve their victims in money laundering and some victims have been prosecuted after "helping " their new fictitious friend. I have been doing alot of research as I have a family member being taken advantage of.

Can we compare pictures cause I think I’m talking to this person also

I think we have the same guy ... he’s an engineer doing pipeline for petroleum... l met him on fb ..!hes from Uk , does he wears a red shirt like sitting on a sofa by the hotel lobby and another picture wearing a white shirt on a kid shoe store, he also have another picture of a nexklace like the military dog tag with some arabic words... l think we have the same guy . Let’s share pictures six six one two three six nine eight three eight

That same Bruno H Desi (from Italy) tried the same trick on me. His wife died 4 years ago, he has a daughter who is 6 years old now. He wants to love again... Blah, blah, blah… But this time he was in the Netherlands getting ready to start a contract in California in Oil and gas industry. He even has a company website (Brunotech). He came at me very strong and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He was way too perfect, that's what made me suspicious. So I started googling him. Then I found this post where he had already scammed another lady. I confronted him with it. He couldn't say anything. The next day he disappeared. He changed his name on the dating website. Now he goes by Bryan from Malta. Ladies beware of this predator. He uses pictures of a good-looking middle-eastern mixed guy. Don't fall for it.

Sounds very familiar. I've been chatted with a Stewart Robert, marine engineer supposedly on an Indonesian oil rig. Same deal, widower 5 years, 2 kids. Nanny takes care of them while he is overseas. Lovess me, wants to marry me, contract ends end of April. After about 3 weeks of chatting his computer went blank and needs updating and wants gift cards. Borrowed his friends computer to tell me this. His photos are of an attract gray haired man sort of a middle eastern look. Parents dead, only child. Some things he said made sense, at other times not. Anyone hear of this guy? I'm not sending him a thing. Glad I investigated first.

I think we have the same guy he’s an engineer contractor doing oil pipeline just met him December 2018.. he’s a widow wife died of cancer, has a son on a boarding school. I met him on fb. Can we share pictures.. six six one two three six nine eight three eight... we have the same guy

Do you have his photo? I’ve been speaking with one person. He is an engineer contractor which who claims someone stolen his card. He asks e 2.500 is dollars to pay to his contractors.

Do you have pics of this man? He gave me quite a few pics that we could trade and compare. I believe he was going to try to scam me. I called him out on it and he said he would call me when he got to the US.

Holy crap, I feel so stupid. I am such a trusting person apparently :( I too did some online research and didn't find anything super fishy with Bruno up front. He waited an entire month before the money scam started, I was nieve wanting to help, thinking how awful of a situation he was in, seeemed believable at first, so yes, I only sent a fraction of the $ he was asking, but it is still mo ey I will never see again. Then the customs thing happened....This started sounding fishy, and worried about protecting him, I did my research online of the customs and immigration processes and laws, contacted the Consulate to see if they had services to help him, and checked the Bar Associations for the lawyer he was mentioning. This upset him greatly!! I am out money, that is my dumb trusting fault, but I am contacting the legitimate businesses he was fronting, and the dating app he used to connect with me to see if they are aware of him. I feel so sick that there are people like this in the world, and that they are so good at taking advantage, I am not a dumb girl, but my instincts should have triggered sooner, so so dumb.

I’ve been contacted by a Finnish architect/contractor now in Cyprus with the same. Needing money to ship building supplies because his bank has suspended his account due to distant and multiple logins. Very romantic past 7 weeks. Same one??

any pictures you can send to see if it’s the same one as mine?

My friend has been messaging someone she met on POF who claims to be in the Army. He has sent pics of him and pics of a girl who he has said is his daughter. He told her he needs money to come home. She had already sent him a lot of money western union before she told me about him. He told her that he can’t talk to her on the phone. They message through an app. She is holding out hope that this is not a scam but I’m sure it is. How can I help her find out if he is a scammer for sure?

Could you some send me these pictures he sent to your sister of himself n daughter I recently have been speaking to someone who began messaging me on Instagram who is also in the Army the story sound similar

I think we may have the same guy.. sounds the same... what name is he using with you????

This sounds like someone that started talking to me on Instagram under the name paulcorner244.. than asked me to get hangouts.. he hasn’t asked for anything yet.. but doesn’t like when I question him..said he’s in Afghanistan recently, said he could get in trouble for texting.. I told him not to do it than..

How can I send a pic to see if you and my sister in law have talked to same person ?

They use western union so they can't be traced. Also the man not wanting to talk on the phone is also a big red flag. I have dealt with many men that have tried ti scam me... I got scammed once and si now i have learned but they are always ciming up with new tactics. Just don't send money to anyone..period. Gift cards are very common and iTunes cards. Also western union is a top concern for big sums of cash.

Can you send me a pic of this Guy you’re talking to and his daughter? I’ve been talking for 3 months with a guy in Afghanistan who has a daughter and a son. I would love to compare pictures

Does anybody know the name of Wale Wilson? He supposedly owns a small construction business in Dubai and moving to Johannesburg South Africa. She is very private and does not tell me a lot, but from what I have heard it is BS and I am worried about her. Can someone help?

I had a guy call me and said he was from TD Canada Sercurity he said my account had been hacked and he said someone had taken 380.00 d0llers out of my account and spent it on Ebay and then he said that they had taken 1100.00 out of my account and that they where going to try and get it back from Western union but the only thing they could do was put 2100.00 in my account but I would have to go to Western Union and pay them back a thousand the kicker is that they had my account number and my debit card number he read it off to me so i called the bank and they said that nothing had happened to my account but because they had my account and debit card number they had to change my accounts i have been calling people all week to change everything over to the new accounts so after I contacted the bank i called them back because they left me there number I told them that I have just called the police and gave them there name and phone number and that they would get a call from the police to wait for there call The scamers wanted me to call them back to let them know that I had made the Western Union transfere so i did and told them that the police would contact them sounds stupid but it made me feel better you live and you learn It was a hard lesson.

I would like to inquire. If someone is scammed a big amount of money. And wants it back, a certain private agency offered help to get the money back to scammer/government of the nationality of scammer. But they are also asking a fee of 500$ , is this legit? What if after the payment is sent, then they are just another scammer?

Sometimes, after you have lost money to a scam, another scammer will contact you. He will offer to help get your money back. But the offer is really another scam. If someone wants you to pay money before they will help you, that is often a warning sign that they are not legitimate. Before you give money to someone who promises to help you, check on the person and the company. Ask questions about their experience and their business. Do they have a license or business record? Will they return your payment if they do not get your money back?

I've been talking to a guy called Robert Davidson who says he's in the waters on the Gulf of Mexico. He's got a contract with Exxon Mobile Company. Then he comes up with a story about a machine tearing up and needed $6,000 for 3drums of diesel. I told him I didn't have any money. Then he wanted to know if I could get him a iTunes card. Needless to say I didn't fall for it. He says he's a drill engineer. He started talking about loving me after a week!

This sounds very similar to a gentleman I have been chatting with. Can you describe him? Does he have children? Did he send you video of the rig he is on in the Gulf? This man has not yet asked me for money but asked me to contact an equipment company to order equipment for him.

Does this guy have 2 kids lives in NJ says He is very sensitive divorced wife cheated on him.

I have been corresponding with a man since November who has a similar story, said he caught his wife cheating on him and She chased after him and was killed in a car wreck. Said he has two children in boarding school and that he is an engineer on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He tried to get me to send money to the kids for Christmas. I know he is a scammer, and I am just screwing with him.

Yes this is the same guy just the state is different

I think my aunt is being scammed by the same guy. Name is James. Works on oil rig. Asked for cell phones, lap top, iTunes card

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