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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

Watch out for a Matthew Scott on instagram. Tells you he is an oil rig engineer, smooth talker. Loves hangouts. Says he is from the Netherlands.

I was scammed by a man in Cali I sent him $700 dollors on different things too find out he was all about the money he played me

I was scammed by a man named Javier Fong, an independent contractor. I'm sure that was not his real name and not his real job. He claims to live in Tyler, TX. He sounded Russian when I first heard his voice. Yes, he did call me various times. I even saw a video of him playing with his dog. He sent me pictures of his kids. He still has a Facebook page and yes, I do miss his chats. He claimed to be a widow. He begged me to be his friend on Facebook and I gave in when I never used to do that. I don't know why I did it. Immediately he fell in love with me and he wanted me to tell him that I loved him. He wore me down with beautiful songs and poems. I did fall in love with him! He asked me to change to the site Hangouts. That is where most of the scammers go. I tried terminating my friendship with him but he made me feel I was his lucky charm and convinced me to not leave him. He told me he got a multi-million dollar contract on a rig in England somewhere. He had to leave. (What a surprise) He even sent me a picture of him in the airplane. Videos of the rig he was in and the helicopter that was bringing his crew in. While on the rig he had a problem with his pump so, he asked me for a $100 iTunes card to get an app that he needed to get his pump working because his credit card did not work there so I sent it even though a little voice in my head said "don't do it" because this guy is a scammer. (That was all he was going to get from me!) I started reading about romance scammers and I took its advice. He would send me beautiful songs and would talk to me every day and profess his love for me continuously. We would even sing together on the phone and we would even view movies together on Netflix. I was falling in love with him because I was lonely. I wanted to believe him but I knew there was something wrong. I was 16 yrs his senior yet he didn't care! Really!! One day he began to give me his story about his pump machine not working and he needed a loan to get another one or they would cancel his contract and sue him. He needed $30,000 and he would pay me back at a 15% rate. Right!!! I gave him suggestions on other ways he can get his loan. Told him how I couldn't help him and why? Yet, he kept insisting that I could help him. If I loved him I would help him. He even wanted me to accept a check from his company so as to put it against my credit card. All I needed to do was give him my credit card information and he would get the money out and replace it with the company check. (Never ever do that!) I told him that sounded like money laundering! By the way, it is money laundering and you could get in trouble for that. I learned that from the Romance Scamming sites. He was upset that I thought that. I told him I didn't trust who he was and I needed something to help me see that he was for real. He sent me his ID from the rig and I noticed it was fake. The name of the company was misspelled. What company would misspell their name on an ID card? Really! He also sent me his driver's license from Texas and it had the same picture on his company ID. Who goes with a suit and tie to the DMV to take their picture? Most licenses expire on your birth date and his did not. I told him the information did not jive. He was upset. Our relationship lasted one month, a wk and a couple of days. He finally decided to blackmail me with pictures I sent him during an intimate moment on the internet and that was it. (Never send intimate photos via the internet to a person you have never met!) I received an email that said my site had been hacked and if I didn't text them at a certain number they would disclose to my friends and family my affair with my lover. It included the pictures I sent him and he also gave me names of people on my Facebook page. He claimed to have been hacked too! He was upset that they might find out about his off shore accounts. (Funny that he has off shore accounts when he had no money to get a new pump!) I knew it was him even though he denied it. I did not give in to his blackmail. I closed all my social accounts for a couple of days. Changed all my privacy security settings and then I came back on. I blocked him from every social network site I had including emails. You need to educate yourself to ensure you don't fall into the hands of these con artists. Listen to that little voice in your head even though you want to really believe what they are telling you. Don't do it if it sounds too good to be true. I miss him still but I know I'm in a better situation now than I would have been if I had given in to his requests.

Hi dee, looks like we got the same kind of guy trying to scam me , lol. But just curious , is it of asian descent pics he is sending u? Thanks.

Would you able to share the picture with me?

Dee, can you post the IP address from his emails to you? It sounds very similar to a scammer that scammed me

Hi I have been approach by a guy called Albert Whitney. He told me his wife died 6yrs ago & a 16 yr old that is living with his mum while he is serving in Hawaii. After a couple of days he asked me if I had some money to send to him to buy some meds to get rid of his migraine. He asked me to send the money through to western union or money gram. I didn’t send the money then he started talking about how he was falling in love with me . Now he is asking me to send him $3500 for a plane ticket to come & visit me next month . I’ve sent no money to him but he know how to pull the heart strings . I don’t know what to do do I believe him or block & move on?

I have been talking to a man named David Allen Darrin who claims he was on a ship in Dubai and now is trapped there with no way to get home to his son, I fell in love with this man over 8 months ago, he is saying he is in hospital needs surgery on his hand needs more money after he already got more than 5,000 off me I am refusing to send him more!

Reid Schofield Bentley. I have known he was a fraud but kept talking to him. I did not lose any money just my time. He has taken a solders pics Bentley and also used them under the name Tyler Bentley. He has pics that he states are his daughter but I have not got anything back on her reverse image searches.

Anyone get friended on Facebook by a Donald Arsenault? Is an off shore oil contactor off California coast?
11 Year old daughter, parents died, raised by Grandmother.

I did. His name is Doughlas William. Has 2 daughters. Prarents died when he’s 14. Raised by his gramma

I was talking to a man man said in was a senior leuitenant name Micheal Morgan in syria meet on Facebook book then went to hangouts said he is widow and has 7 year old son I did send money but we talked for about 9 months thought he was real he even texted me when I was out of work and did not always ask for money but it seemed like as soon as I would start back to work something would come up that he needed money but he was supposed to come home in july said he lived in California sent pictures of him and his son also one of his in uniform with another guy but anyway he did not come home from deployment said he received a promotion to general and would be in Nigeria I know is scam I can't prove for sure and I have not reported it just feel so dumb that I would believe him and put my life on hold waiting for him to come home I was supposed to move to California I am just glad I listen to that voice in my head even when my heart did not want me to I almost lost the real thing and hurt someone else I care about thank god I woke up in time but he goes by Godslove9317 @gmail. com

Kenedy Bright supposed to be from Atlanta and in business. Has lots of sad stories but is said to be in Italy and has no money cause he had a wreck and they took it all then fined by government cause his visa ran out. Etc etc etc cost a e a fortune before I wished up. Be aware of there language and if you talk on phone they sound foreign always.

While playing WORDS WITH FRIENDS, no less than 10 men have tried to rope me into one of those "romance scams" .
The script goes like this...they always work either on an oil rig or in some capacity for a drilling company. They use very general terms to describe their "jobs" like engineer or supervisor or contractor. They may have a child. Wife usually died tragically, or divorced. May be caring for a parent.
When you ask for specifics about their work, all you get is the name of an oil drilling company and a location where this company is currently working. Information easily garnered from the net. This is fairly new , however very prolific. In a matter of weeks no less than 10 fake guys have attempted to suck me in on WORDS WITH FRIENDS....ladies BEWARE. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOU PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL OR ANYTHING

Ooh, that is where I met this man, on Words, Chris Robert or Robert Chris, Just now asked for $1000, no way! told him so, he is still texting thru Hangouts, maybe he will try another way, with cards or a phone, although he said cell phones and cameras were not allowed in war zones. We'll see, expect him to drop out of sight at any time. Wow. he does come on with the love! guess they are very adept at that.

Use skype to talk with him. Or use the "video" section of messenger.

Ask him for his physical address and send a $1 check there . ask if he has a car then ask for his registration and driver's license number. Call him on the phone. Bet he has lots of excuses

The same thing happen to me just a few days ago. Texted this guy on instagram for few days all in love with big line of bull. Then asked me to do him a favor if I would get him gift card for I tunes. I said forget that you said you would anything for me. I told me no way. Find someone else . I will pass. This loser goes by martinrg568 on instagram. Beware

Ive had a man that "says" hes in the military but stationed in CA. We've been talking for awhile and he said his wife died a few years ago and hes got 2 kids. Well, he keeps confessing his love for me amd how he wants to be a family and he wants to deposit his dads inheritance into my bank account. He asked for details that you dont even need to deposit money into someones account(didnt give him any info). Said that was the only way because he'd lose it if it wasnt deposited into my account. Said he couldnt leave the military unless he had a planned future. We talk on hangouts. The name he uses to chat is either Shawn Armstrong Yepes or just Shawn Armstrong. Has anyone ever talked to this guy to. How do you put a photo on Google?

My mother's scammer told her the same story!!! Oh my! He is using the profile Ryan Torres. Apparently they predate by area. The guy is supposedly from Puerto Rico, like my mother, but raised in the US. He also used Google Hangouts.

hi! i believe im talking to the same guy but his name is John or so he says.Wants all my info and says hes retiring and wants to put a large amount of money in my account.i didnt do it

My one goes by Lt Cl James Edison serving in Iraq with peace keeping forces. Wife died leaving him with a son. Guardian in USA looking after son. Love, marriage new house, car, coming to live here. Sons birthday and he couldn't get to his bank account, would I send son a gift as I was to be his new mom. Wanted £35,000.sent in bit coins to the guardian. Address to send to was in Africa. Sorry but I'm not that stupid to fall for that con. Only used Hangouts.

Yours sounds like mine but only a different name. He goes by the name of Mike Clark on Instagram his using this name on Instagram m.clark2345

Yeah Mike Clark tried hitting me up on Instagram too and he would always avoid questions I would ask him. Definitely a fraud.

I was on a dating site and was contacted by Bruce Milek. He suppose to work for Kames Capital and closing a big deal. He talked of being widowed and looking for love. He claims to be Polish and wrote beautiful email. Sent pictures of a very handsome man and spoke to me on the phone. When I looked up Kames Capital I somehow discovered email from Kevin Howard to Irene. The emails were identical to the emails sent to me from Bruce. Then I found Kevin also wrote to Carol. I believe both women were scammed out of lots of money. I would never send money or account info, set up an fake gmail account. I did give him my real phone number. When I confronted Bruce, he turned it around and how dare I question him...and he does not have to prove anything. I got out of this without even a scrape but wish I could stop him from doing it to someone else.

I too was courted by this named person. Lots of email but never a mention of money. I am interested in more testimonials, however.

Hi Metoo... thanks to your posted comment, we saved my mom from further heartache and possible financial scam from this same Bruce Milek. Do you live in the northeast? She lives in Amherst, but Bruce told her he lives in Manhattan. I wonder if there is any way to report him? It makes me so angry, that people are feeding on lonely people like this...

I get suspicion about some Guy Who i met by badoo,his name is William smart shawn he told me that he come from California stockton city, he told that he need money to fix a machine for oil drilling in alaska,he works as a contractor for ten year un this company.
He asked me for help in claiming his value and money from the security company contractor by him , he told that he has 3 million dólar in golf and $200 thousand dólar in cash,the box will be at my by shipping agent

Worried about my brother talking to a soldier in Afghanistan named "Becky". Supposedly keeps attempting to come home but gets bumped from military flight. he has sent money and now she claims to have been given gold bars totalling $5M and she asked him for $10,000 in order for customs to release the bars and he believes she will share with him. Now asking for his bank acct. info to transfer money to his acct. Anyone else know of "her"?

I met someone but never met him he was called on duty he caught me in a lie but wanted to know if it the real deal but him on the spot

The account benjamin_wilson116 is a scam account, and after countless times of me talking to him(under a fake account), showing my friend screenshots and just telling her the obvious facts, she still goes back to this guy. She's already given him money on a couple occasions, and has asked both her and myself for itunes gift cards. He's promising her the world, and told her he's coming to visit her in a few weeks

Has anyone ever spoken with a E6 Sargent in the Army claims to be a Rn. Is on deployment in the UK has been divorced for 2 years and has a daughter who lives with her grandma. Claims his ex cheated on him with his friend while he was deployment. That they r now married and have a child together. He claims to be from a military family, but both his parents have passed away. He also says that his father left him a inheritance which has left him very well off in life. He has sent pictures of himself n his daughter.

That sounds like the guy I'm talking with except as of right now is mom is between life and death if he doesn't get her money. I never sent money. So he said he is going to have to sale his phone and call me when he gets back to the states. He goes bye James brown or let it slip james McGowan middle name William. He has several Instagram accounts.

I got mail some days ago from girl called Christina Scott.
She tells me she is working for US army nurse at yemen.
She got box of money recently , they are six officer paertner.
She want to send that box at my home safely.later she will get it from me.
I asked her details
She haven't send me any mail later.

Ok i had a guy ask me the samething send boxes to my home with money in it about 7 thousand he is on instragram. We have the same person ty He goes by Michealfroome it is shipped by Dubai. You will recieve info from this company . so i been talking to a girl. Instrgram says cantnsend picture in real time like face time camera doesnt work. I think we have the same person

Have anyone talked to a man name Rogers Brown? Claims he is in the military in Syria?

Pierce Brosnan tried to steal money from me but I was smarter than him. He said he didnt trust anyone but me, and asked me to pay a clearance and delivery of a briefcase with a very important document in it and 450000 USD. I played his game until I got tired and he said to me bad names. By the way, he said he loved me so much! I had very good time playing his game and pretending I believed everything he said to me. He is on Twitter as Pierce Brosnan_1 and he chats by Hangouts. Be careful ladies!!

I have met someone but we talk on the phone a lot and video chat so he is the person that is in the photos. He is very handsome and kind. He also has 2 kids and I text with them. If the video chat and the photos match it really seems legit. He's from another country. Can anyone give me their opinion? I really care for him. Am I safe since I have seen and video chats with him? Please if you have chated with the person in the picture and then he turned out to be a scam please help me out.

It’s hard to tell even if you talk to him live on a video they can still scam you. Just don’t send money until you met them in person or at least get to know the person. If he is really a nice person you don’t ask money from a lady you never met in person anyway

Hey, I am currently talking too a guy from Rumson, NJ. He sends pic of him and his 2 boys. His wife dies 3 year ago in Car crash and sister died of Cancer a year later. I talk with him frequently and he travels for work. He said he forgot too get game card for his kids and asked me too help out. I told him i couldnt do but a little amount. He said dont worry about it because he found a place that carried what he needed for them but he appreciated me trying. Is this same guy you are talking about goes by the name of Matt Stovall?

I feel like I’m being scammed I’ve been talking to someone that I met on POF for months he almost right away asked for iTunes cards or money he’s also ask me to Byam a phone because something happened to his He claims he’s a captain in the army in the special delta force is based in California but was on a mission in France goes by the name Larry Collins Banes can’t find anything about him online he has a Facebook profile but nothing on there he says he never uses it or goes on there
The phone he supposedly calls me from is one of those voip phones
He claims he was born in the Netherlands but has lived in the United States since he was about 15 both parents are dead and he has a child here
Unfortunately there’s not really a way to prove that someone is in the military unless you can call someone that is willing to tell you but most the time they won’t as that’s confidential info
Does this name or story sound familiar To anyone I’m desperately trying to find out please if you have any similarities or information message

A person who is really in the US military has an email address that ends in ".mil" with no other letters after that.

A real member of the US military should be able to send you an email from his military email address.

 

 

i also fell victim to the same plots as you guys. but my case is different. i met the guy we even went out a few times. but then he told me he was deep in debt and couldnt spend alot on me. i believed him and appreciated his honesty. i also believed and trusted that he was for real. then he asked me for 400dollars to sort out an emergency which i gave to him. then the following week he asked for 200 dollars and promised it would be the last time and i obliged. things went on smoothly and soon we were talking about how we had fallen in love with each other and how we would go on holiday together etc. A month later he asked me to assist him clear some of his credit card debts that amounted to 40,000 dollars. he said he only needed 10,000 dollars from me which i gave to him willingly. shortly after, he asked me to give him 4000 dollars again claiming that he had miscalculated how much he owed. This time i declined and told him he needed to figure out how to sort out his messes since he was the man. He hasn't texted me again since. So i guess he never really loved me like he claimed he did. I am disappointed and hurt but i know i will get over it because i will not allow it to take over my sanity or my happiness in life. Am glad am alive and that is money i can always make again. I hope he never dupes anyone else again though.

I got hit up by a "Soldier on a peacekeeping mission in Syria." He was on Plenty of Fakes, lol. After 2 days he alluded to the fact that he was ready to get out. He was a widow. Attractive pics but did not look like a native, and knew nothing about natives. When I questioned about his own tribe, he had to go. Within two days his profile had been taken down . Alledgedly from Virginia but low and behold, no FB in Virginia.By now he is in love and wants to come HERE. I believe he would have quickly asked me for money.I called him on his verbage . Also on the fact that we didn't even have any troops in Syria. "Do you like to wear polo shirts and dungarees or dress up all shining for your man?"What? When I suggested he talk to other people, he was like, " How can you do this to me, life without love is like a zither without strings". Say what? 99% of American serviceman do not know that a friggin zither is, but I do. It's a Middle Eastern instrument.By Boi!

Has any been in contact with Robert Brooke Bergen nj

wife killed in car accident 3yrs ago? sister died of cancer? 2 boys? possibly the guy i met Matt

A friend is being scammed by a Roy Benjamin Allen who is suppose to be in a hospital in Syria. He said his account is frozen and needs more money for a plane ticket and food. Plus over 3000 for surgery for his kidneys or he will die. I tried to talk her out if sending more money but she's in love. Please help

Has anyone been scammed by
Jessica richard

I have a man who is trying to scam me. His name is Presley Davidson and used all of the signs of a scammer on me. Fortunately I got smart earl on but he was very hard to resist. Too good to be true kind of thing.

FB request, fast talker. I played his game and of course send me a picture of his self, He was so so no model for sure. He will sweet talk you, that he is at high sea. No contact possible with his Bank account. Started out with 200 with a itune card. Of course that amount got higher 500 Walmart card. I finally confronted him with that he was scanning me and I didn't give him money. He told me off and I told him off also. Same stories watch out ladies and guys. They dont care about your feelings. They are after your money. TIM LEVIN is the guy that contacted me.

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