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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

I had a "lover boy" General fall in love on the 2nd. day. I wasn't born yesterday and went "around the block" a few times. I had some fun and waiting until the money issue to come up. Took almost 2 weeks. Up until then, I saw I love you & can't live without you. This was leading to a courier scam. Then I deleted the FB account. I'm sure these guys change their name and rank very chance they get. Good luck ladies!!

I was scammed by a guy saying he was in the army. He was deployed to Afghanistan. He had a 6 year old daughter and wasn’t married. Wanted me to buy him a new phone and iTunes cards and he got upset when I said no. I confronted him. His name is Bryan Johnson

Has anyone been scammed by Hamid Juhar, engine on an oil rig

I cant believe I've been asked to take a phone call and get money to hold onto for this guy. He said he would have his Commander talk to me. Or the paymaster. Another guy thinks I'm going to hand over 200 bucks for a Amazon card or itunes. Please I ain't stupid...

Need help has any body gotten ask to accept as a friend by a jones rogers. He told me he is in the military in adganastan. He started talking to him on messenger then asked to move to hangout. We starred talking everyday then asked if i can sen him an itines gift card for $50.00 dollars. A week later asked again for another card for same amount. Ask why said itunes only completed 50 percent so i got him another one. 3 dsys layer says he needs another one csuse only completed 80 percent. Something font seem right. I told him to but fidnt day anything. I remember thst when i gave him first card he blocked me frim facebook. I asked why he said getting to many request. He claims his parents did when he was little and his sunt in poland took care of him then went to college. He says he id devorced cause he caught his wife with his best friend. In the beginning he went by the name ajay. Then tild me that wasnt his name that he used thst for protection since he is in adganastan. Claims he loves me. I have a picture that he sent me if your story is like mine plesse let me know.

This sounds like a current situation of minedid sounds like a current situation of mine this person says his name is Corps Billy nelson. He is originally from Puerto Rico but lives in Jacksonville Florida. Now we have been chatting for some time until he started asking for an Amazon or an iTune card so we can talk over the phone. I knew that it didn't make sense because I'm pretty sure that the military have means of communication so the soldiers can talk to their loved ones. He also told me that he is a widower his wife passed away from blood leukemia cancer and his son is 10 years old and he lives in Oklahoma with family members.I knew something wasn't right when he started speaking on how much he loved me and how he would take care of me and how he wants to marry me. I even called him out one day on trying to scam me but he plead the fifth I almost fell for it because he was so consistent that he wasn't lying and I should trust him.but something doesn't seem right cuz how can you want to be with somebody so soon and wants to marry a stranger so fast. I'm glad that I didn't send any money because I'm not a fool..

I am pretty sure Im getting scammed right now .. He says he is from Pheonix, AZ and is currently deployed in West Africa. He spent all his money on food as he doesnt like the African food served ( i always assumed military food was the pre-packed kind idk anyway) and he needed $300 for 3 months of data and felt embarrassed asking me. He said there is wi-fi on base but its far from his hostel? He professed his love to me after 5 days of "hey how are you?"s and out of no where started asking really personal questions while professing his love to me more .. i was lapping it up stupidly .. He also said he is a combat engineer and when I asked what that is he said he is under weaponary and is in combat right now .. always mentioned he doesnt want to go back to his country and cant wait to see and be with me and asked what i would do once he is here .. he texted like english wasnt his forté which i let slide .. but also sent me some kind of poetic paragraph that he repeated twice lol .. damn the more i mention things the more i realise they are red flags .. massive facepalm .. glad i havent sent any money :\

Watch out for a guy posing as military his name is Ricky Lambert just tried to con me out of 700 pounds to come home from Iraq on leave Beware.

Anyone heard of Antonio Bernardo? I think I'm being scammed

if you haven't met him and he has all kinds of excuses not too, then you are. I just learned a very hard, expensive lesson.

Does anyone know a Josiah Medina sgt from Dubai all of these stories sound like my situation.I had never known about romance exams,but I knew something didn't feel right

Hi I think we're probably being scammed by the same guy. Only he calls him self Dennis Medina when he chats with me. But I used Google reverse images and I got pictures of him with other names and Josiah Medina is one of them. The same guy. Very handsome to its just that someone else is pretending to be him.

Been talkin with a guy named CALVIN COOPER (white male/very handsome & nice looking, 42 years old) very charming, claimed to be a contractor at first in Afghanistan. 2 weeks later he told me he got promoted to Staff Sergeant. He claimed to have a 7 year old son named Brian who lived with his Grandmother because "Brian's" Mom got remarried & no longer wanted him. He told me he wanted to find a wife & a Mother for his son. He also gave me his birth date (8/19/76), & also gave me his commanders name "JAMES MONROE". He then had his so called commander text me through google hangout so that I could confirm that he was infact a real soldier. He told me he loved me within 1 week. He asked me several times to buy him a PS Steam Wallet gift cards because he missed playing games on his computer. I stupidly purchased 5 gift cards within 1 month in the amount of $130. He promised over and over that he would pay me back. Now he says he will send me $20,000 if I give his commander my online backing information so that he can keep track of the funds & that they were delivered properly. I met this guy on the dating app. called MeetMe in Dec. of 2018. Please do NOT allow this man to fool u like he did me.

Has anyone been talking to a James Sean Eckert who claims to be in the US Navy in Guam? He said he is a chaplain and ordinary service man, divorced in 2013? He is on instagram, facebook, hangout and whatapp. I'd appreciate if someone could advise. Thank you,

Recently a family member has become a victim of one of these romance scams. There were many red flags that prompted concerns from family but she has ignored all the warning signs. I finally got her to send us the photos this man has been sending her so that I could do an image search. Low and behold I discovered that the photos are stolen and are actually photos of a doctor in Brazil. The scammer has used this poor mans photos in several fake online profiles under various names. He told my elderly relative that he was from Florida and working overseas as a contractor with a son in a US boarding school. Claimed to have been in an accident as his excuse for why he was delayed. Sent her an accident photo that turned out to be a stock photo found on numerous websites. Photos he claimed were of him were actually of someone else. Google image search was not very useful for the facial images but I was successful using a search of a site called Yandex.com. That is also how I discovered the stolen photos had also been used for several other profiles under various names. He told my relative his name was Howard Keating and he was working in Turkey. There was also a Twitter account using same stolen photos where the man claimed to be named William Scott and be a member of a UN rescue team in Syria and yet another where he claimed to be with the UN and was in Washington D.C. My relative has refused to see reason and thinks she is "in love " and that we are just trying to rain on her parade. Fortunately she doesn't have much money for this scam artist to get his hands on but we are concerned that she will give him what little she does have or that he will involve her in some illegal scheme. Sad situation when they are swindling lonely older folks who are desperate for companionship and easily susceptible.

Months ago, using a web page of dates, my sister was contacted by a person Colonel of the US Army, JONES .... He began talking her, she fall in love, they never met, he said his wife was death years ago and that had a little kid, he was in Afganisthan, they talked for some months all of the time he said she was his "wife", the nursing home in which his daughter was contacted her, and give her report of the child, she thought everything was real. The nursing home asked her for money she send it, after some weeks the Colonel, told her he was going to send her a package ( suppose to have money, that they found over there - everything was secret), someone called her and said that as the package contains money, to receive it she had to pay for some stamps, the person who contacted her worked for parcelforce world wide, they asked her to send the payment using western union and other similar places, to many people in spain, rep dominicana, and other countries. She believed in that so she send more than 5000 dollars. Someone who said works for the FBI, called her and said he knows about the package, and that she has to pay that everything was in order, also the "Colonel", works with a General, he also said that she has to pay because other wise her "husband", couldn´t get back home. My sister isn´t reach, she is divorced, has breast cancer and has 2 little kids, she get a lot of loans to send the money. We didn´t know anything until 2 weeks ago, when she told us, she couldnt deal with this anymore, with a lot of debts and sick. I know they still contact her asking for more money, my sister is still believing them, PLEASE HELP ME, we know this is a SCAM. What can I do to prove her this is a scam??

Anyone know of a Charles Mickles? Says he’s a US Marine...asked for iTunes card within the first week. Also said I would be his wife within 3 days of meeting. He got off the dating site and wanted me to do the same.

My mum has been talking to this guy since January, he also sent a picture of a fake ID badge! He's also under another scammer and he's using someone else's pic. Unfortunately the guy who's pictures are being used tried to warn one woman and the woman blocked him out of fear he (the innocent guy) was trying to scam her.

The cell phone # he uses ends in 6951. Sounds familiar?

Wow... this story sounds very familiar. I also was approached by a Charles Mickels... marine... deployed in Syria... from Greensboro NC... said he was Haitian with a 2-yr. Old son... half Asian. His girlfriend died of cancer?... very suspect.

I’ve been contacted by Charles Mickles been communicating since January and met off a dating site. I should’ve known better but he claims that his ex passed away and he has a 2 year old son he has sent me pictures and says he’s deployed and retiring soon

I was contacted by Charles Mickles who is deployed and retiring soon. Has a 2 year old son. His son mom passed away. He has send me several picture in uniform however you never see the name on uniform. He is from Greensboro, NC. First asked for an ITunes card and now cash. I have not sent a thing.

He swears he’s not lying but i know he is and keeps asking for money saying he has money but can’t access his account while he’s in Syria. He claimed he would be done in June but now something else came up and now he has to wait. All of it is just lies that he thinks he can continue to tell. We only communicate through text he claims he can’t make phone calls. I really want these guys that does this to women to be caught so no more women are scammed. If anyone knows who to contact to get these guys caught let me know

Charles Mickels just contacted me again yesterday on WhatsApp after not responding to him for over 3 months. He told me he misses me and wants to start conversing again because "you're my wife" He just said he was charged with a loss ammunition charge and doesn't know when he's going home to Atlanta...lol... such a SCAMMER. Ladies BEWARE... He is stealing photos from some innocent guys account.

Wow yeah he says the same to me he’s such a liar but i only communicate through text. Do anyone ever talk to him on the phone or is it just messenger. I want to figure out how to catch this guy he’s being dishonest to a lot of women

Charles Mickels is in Nigeria... not Syria. A few months back I let him borrow my Netflix log in to watch movies. When he logged on, I received an alert with an IP address location in Lagos, Nigeria. When I confronted him about it... he said he was a secret agent....lol... device IP addresses don't lie. Unfortunately it will be extremely difficult to prosecute someone in a different country without knowing his real name or location address. Just don't be stupid enough to send money.

Yes only communication is via text. I told him to call me or video chat. He said he cannot. But is insisting that I give him my bank account information and a copy of my cc for a He wants to pay my bills for me, he said, because we are going to be together.

Certainly. I am being scammed. But I sent £800 to get him out of Syria. He’s now in Poland. Stuck with no money. Help me

Has anyone been scammed by saying give me x- amount of money in a bank of the UN and I will release my retirement funds 12 million... person is in military a general ?? Help mom is going to get scammed needing advice

I never got your reply on what i wrote to you about. I dont know how to use everything on this phone. I really need some advise as to what you think about this man. I dont want to be taken for any more money. He claims he is paying me back and extra to help me. Please respond back. I have nerve problems and worry.

Did anyone meet a guy who said he's surgeon in the military and to speak on an app called telegram?

About 2 weeks ago a man named Peterson Barkley followed me on Instagram. His profile was private and he had around 130 followers but was following around 3000 people. I got curious, followed back and then he said hello. I had access to his Instagram posts and I could see that most of the people he was following were women, a big number women over 50 years old and very few men.
Also, his pictures were few and posted in bulk: one day he posted 4 or 5 pictures but from different settings.
He told me he was 47, from Houston, Texas, works as a construction engineer ( in his pictures he looked in his 30's and when I asked him about that he said he had good genes ), a widower and has a little girl.
It was obvious that something was fishy but hours after approaching me he started asking me about what I do for a living, what's my salary, am I paid monthly or weekly,do I own a house, if I live on my own, do I have a savings account. And he asked me these questions like in 2 or 3 separate days. When I asked him how much his salary was and why he keeps asking me he told me he works with contracts and he earns thousands of dollars ( evasive ) but he has a daughter to take care of. And he was curious about my salary because he will have a project soon in my country (I am from Romania) and he needed to know for research. (He didn't say when or where in my country).
He started calling me baby, sweeetheart in like 3 days and a week later he was in love with me and apparently he told his daughter about me.
I checked his pictured online but I got no hits.
At the beginning he told me his birthday is on February 14th and the discussion went from what do you want for your birthday to do you want to buy me a present. I shut down the discussion at that moment, I am not crazy to buy gifts for people I don't know.
Meanwhile, he suggested to move the discussion on hangounts where every day we had the same discussions: did you eat, what did you eat, how was your day etc.
3 days ago he asked me what will I get him for his birthday. I was shocked but I was evasive: well you are there, I am here, I won't ship it to US. He was like, you don't have to get me anything expensive baby, something that you can afford and then I will get you something nice for your birthday. I suggested a pair of socks or toothpicks. He said no, he wanted something meaningful, that he could look at and remember of me. Well, you can wear socks and think of me.
Btw, my b-day is months from now. I said to play along and asked him what present would he like. He said that a necklace or a gadget and that there are a lot of places to get it from where he lives. I told him that I Iiked the idea of a necklace and he answered back that he would like a gadged, but something that I can afford. I told him that the only gadget I can afford at the moment is an USB cable and he told me that I can do better than that. So I asked his to send me a link to what he would like and he sent me printscreens to the following gadgets: a pair of over 300 pounds headsets, an Apple watch which also costed over 300 pounds and an expensive coffee maker that costed 699 pounds. I guess that he wasn't even in the US if the prices were in pounds and not dollars.
I could continue and even make fun of him and tell him that I will get him 2 Apple watches, one for each hand, but I just told him that I wouldn't buy a person I've never met that kind of a present and in the end I just told him that I know he is not who he says he is, that I know what a scammer and a catfish is. He just simulated being hurt by my words, didn't even try to defend himself and told me to believe what I want and he can't believe that I got like that because he asked for a birthday present.
Also after I told him this he answered me at an hour when he was supposed to be asleep because of the time difference but he was very active.
I don't know if I was right or wrong about him, but better safe than sorry. I am a cheap person because I worked hard for everything I own and I continue to do so. No one gave me anything for free so don't come to me and ask for presents.
If any of you have been approached by this person please post a comment and maybe other people won't fall for this.

I think i know him only he goes by michealfroom he ask have you ate. Do you have a picture this guy is tall black hair brown eyes.

I was scammed but caught the red flags after money was asked for Instagram user susanloma200 or susanloma2020 was the scammer she was from Nairobi and used the name Susan Johnson@ gmail.com and same email on Hangouts She was very convincing and sent beautiful pictures of a beautiful young white woman she confessed from getting off of Instagram But she is black from Nairobi a orphan she told me I wish I could advise the woman whose pictures she stole that there being used against her This is really getting bad I may get 6 woman a day with fake stories

I think I am being scam. Been talking to a guy for 3 months says he is a General that he been in the army since he was a young adult. Told me he loved me the first week we started talking. Thought that was weird. He knows how to say the right things and acts like he there for you and cares. Then started to get really weird , he started asking me for I tune cards and money to have him come to the states like a vacation leave. I said no not comfortable giving money out then he got mad and ignored me. Starting Sanhedrin was on a mission that’s why he been not available. Then asking me for a loan when I would give in, I said no then he said I’m not a good friend. Thought this was all weird , I called me out and he saids he not using me. I find it weird and Suspicious. Just be aware please , his name is Alex Schmitd from Portland Maine.

I've been scammed by this man supposedly in the military that reached out to me on Instagram. Has a son that his elderly grandmother takes care of..first he told me that he was in Kabul.. then he went to Nigeria where he was supposed to be sent home. Then he couldnt' get on the flight so he asked me for Itunes gift cards. Unfortunately, I fell for it. Now supposedly he is back in the US, but he needs to access his account, but can't because of some lawyer that has to sign some paper in order to get his money out. The last cards I sent him, he claims are invalid so wants me to get more.. I'm done playing this game! I really feel like an idiot for falling for this!

Beware, they are also on games. I have been approached by a couple of men claiming to be out of the country for work in need of a new cell phone for his child or help with a sick child. I was expected to ship an I-Phone to a warehouse in New Jersey. When I searched the address of the warehouse, it is known for shipping to Nigeria. He got very aggressive when I said I couldn't do it. Please beware.

Antoniasmith25 is scamming now

I was called on my cell by this number (1-800-100-9009) around 12:37pm, told by Eric Lee (employee ID# EL10049) that my IP address was compromised and that it was hacked and child porn was being uploaded on it and I need to help him protect myself. He at first mentioned it would be 100$ per device protect but everything would be reimbursed by Apple Care so He then stated I needed to go to a Dollar General and buy an Apple card, deposit $500 on it, but he wanted two but I refused. My son Tyler took me to these places and witnessed the conversations since I had it on speaker phone. I bought the card, gave him the numbers on the card and he stated it didn’t work though he sent me a receipt using an address (Applecare802 @ usa. com). Another email address they use Is Applecare1801 @ usa. com. The emails looked legit by glance but I should have looked more closely at it. He knew my email address already and my son’s and nothing else as far as I know. He asked me for another $500 card and went to another Family dollar where he requested, I buy two cards of $500 each. I tried to but my bank stopped the second purchase though the money was deducted from my card. We again gave him the numbers and he stated it wasn’t enough, sent me a receipt, assured me I would be reimbursed in 3-4 hours and asked for another card. I gave him a hard time each time he asked telling him this sounded fishy but he insisted he “gave me proof by email and assurances they were legit” even though I was still not comfortable with it. He asked one last time for another $500 Apple card and we went to Walgreens (the card was rejected) and paid cash for it, once again giving him the numbers on the card. So now it is up to $2000 I gave him which he sent a receipt about and assured me I would be reimbursed in 3-4 hours. He said he had it, not to get off the phone with him and he placed me on pause telling me a lady would answer to finish the reimbursement process. She came on, stated the she needed another $500 to close the account and assign new IP address and stop the hackers. I told her Eric explained I was done with the process, that I was being transferred to her for reimbursement only, and had no more money. She argued that she could not close the case and I would not get my reimbursement.
We argued over it several times and by this time we drove home and I began charging my phone and called USAA. This lady (Jenny Parker Employee # AC20048) was very rude and threatening being in customer support. She repeatedly told us that if she did not get the money, the case would not be closed, I would not get reimbursed and I would get in trouble for the child pornography. The” Apple care” people were put on hold and waited as I talked to my bank representative about the stuff. She stated it was a fancy hoax and told us to hang up on them. The “Apple Care” people tried calling us back several times, even on a different number from Erins NY 315-629-9840 and told us to call her.

I felt so stupid, angry and embarrassed I was hoaxed into this and I am currently trying to report this to anyone in law enforcement and government. I have 4 Goggle play cards (empty of money) and receipts (Dollar General for $500 paid with card), another Dollar General for $500 paid with card), another Dollar General receipt of $1000 which $500 was reimbursed to me (with a receipt of the reimbursement) because the 2nd transaction didn’t work), a Walgreens receipt for $500 paid for in cash). Total is $2000 hoaxed. I reported all this to local authorities, the FBI IC3 branch, FTC, to the internet company that gave them these addresses, etc.

A man befriended me on Facebook, his profile name was Mark Wlison Philip. studied in Hargrave Military Academy in Chatam Virginia and lives in New Hartford, New York; claimed he's a commander at a military camp in Bronx, New York. He claimed he's american and asked him to call me through messenger and the way he speaks, he's not American, he sounds African. Within just a couple of days chatting, he professed that he loves me and started asking a phone and itunes card. I figured out he's a scammer and when i didnt give what he was asking, his facebook account disappeared. I just forgot to save his profile photo

I meet a guy on instagram and I was looking for help to get my divorce end so he advised me to apply for US army request for divorce and she me an email I send my information and ask it for help they email me back that it will cost me an about 2.952 so r reply to him that's to much I don’t have the money then he asked me for my bank account to send the money to me because he wants to help me and he wants me to marry him after he did send the money to my account in same day asked me to go and pay I went to Walmart to send the money by money Gram and he told me that I have to pay 500 for my card and the other amount I have to buy iTunes and amazon gift cards I send email to Us army email that he send me and they respond exactly the same way he asked me to pay I asked another guy on instagram that he always post military pictures and saying that he’s a commander and was the same I send massage to the guy his name was Sgt WOLFMAN Markson Ben I told him I don’t want to send any documents I canceled everything and going to send his money back I called my bank and they told me the transaction on pending I can’t send the money back before 5 days then he got fostered and told me I have to send his money right now by using iTunes gift cards or he going to hurt me or hurt my kids or send my conversation to my husband I blocked him but still waiting to send his money back but today I reserved an email from the same email I the guy give it to me they saying that on military guy request to report me if I didn’t send his money back in 48 hours they going to send my information to FBI and they will arrest me

My mom is being scammed by a guy who claims to be on a ship off the coast of OR. His calls traced to a land line in Texas. Says he has a son in boarding school and is always asking her for money. He tells her he wants to marry her. My sister and I have tried to explain that it is a scam. She is in way over her head and is to blind to see the truth. We are fed up. He tells her how to get around us and has her opening new bank accounts, taking out loans, buying him gift cards and God only knows what else. This is very frustrating for us because we can't make her see the truth. How can we stop this before its to late?

I have been talking to a US military soldier currently in Nigeria, he has applied for emergency leave and needs £85 towards his flight, this is the first time in 4 months of talking he has asked for anything, he said he can't get into his account until he is back home, hes told me his picture was once used to scam a US lady, I looked his name up and his picture came up under scam haters, his name is porter Gerrard

Be careful for a Donald James Champagne says he’s in Alaska at fort wainwright asked me to get an iTunes card for his son birthday got all upset when I said I couldn’t...
Spoke on hangouts has almost 10 google + accounts I found multiple women he did it to his maps said in Africa...doing it since 2015!!!
Even found a new account today ...
this one was James Champagne...
He’s good!! Feel free to contact me...

Anyone talking to Jimmy brown now in Afghanistan sister in hospital California , he says he is not being fed in us army and needs game card to swop for cash

I've been scammed by an Army soldier saying he needs money to get his "Box" from Syria. I have not yet gave him anything. Only thing I got for him was Amazon gift card for $50. I gave him my address and phone number and I'm scared what he will do with it. Anyone help me here? Please?! I really don't know if he's real or not.

Whats his name

Can you tell me what his name was?

He wanted 100 amazon card wants box sent to me 3,000 a box he cant be real or we are dating the same man if you know his name would help is it micheal froom cant take pictures cant really call. From ca. Never said he was in the service.

Jennifer, could you please mention his name because my friend she also been scammed the same your case, he ask for money to send his "box" to my friend from Syria but the true there is no box. Now this guy was disappeared after my friend send money for him. Be careful Army soldier ask for money never meet them in personal surely they are scammers.

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