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Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.

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While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. It’s a big problem: reports to the FBI about online romance scams tripled between 2012 and 2016, and imposter scams were among the top reports to the Federal Trade Commission for both the general population and the military community.

These scams can take a military angle with imposters stealing servicemembers’ photos to create phony profiles. They might claim to be servicemembers who can’t get into their accounts overseas or who need money fast. The first sign of a scam is an online love interest who asks for money. But the Army’s Criminal Investigative Service (CIS) says that the military doesn’t charge servicemembers to go on leave, get married, communicate with their family, go online, or feed and house themselves on deployment. We have also heard of scammers re-using servicemembers’ photos again and again, so it can be helpful to do some online research on the love interest’s name, photos, and details to check the story out.

If an online love interest asks you for money:

  • Slow down and talk to someone you trust. These scammers want to rush you, often professing love right away; or pressuring you to move your conversation off the dating site.
  • Never wire money, put money on a gift card or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (wire transfer service, gift card company, or cash reload card company) and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed if possible.
  • Report your experience to the dating site and to the FTC.

For Military Consumer Month, share this video to help military consumers steer clear of online romance scams.



Scam Tags:  Romance Scams


Mine used the name Felix Cheng.

Is his name David Liam? 55 and widower architect?

I think I am scammed by the same trick. He used the name Felix Cheng, 38 years old, parents dead, only child. He claimed to be a steel framing contractor. We were supposed to meet on a Sunday, but his best NY friend’s wife got diagnosed with cancer, he had to fly to NY on the Saturday before our date to be with them. Later he won a contract From a Malaysia oil company. He had to fly there to complete the contract agreement. He sent me a photo of the contract. He must start the work the next day in a oil rig because the contract was to fix an oil spill in a rig, and the oil company required the phone be switched with one without camera and anti explosive, because the company doesn’t want any photos leaked to the media. Few days later, he said the internet connection was poor that he couldn’t get to his email account or bank account. He first asked me to contact his supplier using my email to request invoice on his behalf. The invoice contained money wiring information. He then asked me to log in to his bank account on his behalf to wire the money to the supplier, which is more than 2m. The account was frozen due to unknown log in location. The bank was able to unfreeze it by answering security questions. Then the bank locked his account again because it is required to pay income tax on any deposit to the account. He asked me to pay for this income tax to unlock the account. Sadly I did it. I feel so ashamed falling for this scam.

Are you serious? This person was on hinge and I went through the exact same storyline and got scammed within 4 weeks.

My goodness I think He is at it again! I met him On Hinge. Same story only child, oil rig, pic of contract, change phone, using whats app. Wanted my full name and address but I did not give it to him. I did send him some selfies thank God nothing inappropriate. So embarrassed, thank goodness i checked on here.

I had a very very similar story. Have you added him on WhatsApp?

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.

May we change pictures. Thank you so much

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??

I just met a guy online (Lithuanian architect) who I was supposed to meet on a Saturday but 2 days prior was called to work on some project in Cyprus. 2.5 weeks later, we talk and text everyday.. yesterday he called and said his taxi driver robbed him, took his wallet and new MacBook Pro. Today he asked me to buy him a new MacBook Pro so he can finish his project and come home. He has only one friend in and he is supposedly on vacation...

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

My mother is 71 years old and being scammed it started in November 2018 with the name of Miguel Gilchrist, all these stories are the same, he was supposedly born in Romania but was living in the UK, owned his own construction company but immediately the sob stories of being so sick and needing money started same thing about his mother being dead, and he can’t keep borrowing from his father, wanting iTunes cards which she went right out in the first week of knowing him and bought the iTunes card, lying to me about what she purchased saying it was for a carnival at school, he sounds just like all these scammers saying she was his wife his true love his Queen writing a love letter with a drop of blood on it and telling her when she gets the letter to cut her finger and drop her blood in his and their bond will never be broken it goes on and on, to this day somehow she’s still invoked with a scammer and this guy used the name Jay Newnam but somehow knows Miguel and then he says he wants to be honest with her and gives her another name African with the middle name Dickson which is what he now goes by, he’s getting money an iPhone 11 a laptop etc. but he’s claiming to be some type of teacher on his Facebook profile because my mom works in education so you see how he snagged her, an then began saying he wants to come to America to go to college to finish his degree there you have it she’s now supporting a supposedly 23 year old Nigerian sending money all the time plus all the gifts and he’s telling her he needs a sponsor show we’re so far in debt we’re losing our house because she’s doing all these financial things for a scammer someone she never met but she believes 100% he’s real and she has even offered to move him here to America and asked him if he wants to bring his brother, this whole situation has caused us to be in debt possibly homeless soon. Anyone here of these names, the Miguel Gilchrist also claimed he went to China for work and his friend put fake currency in his bag and he got caught so said he was in jail and needed money to get out all that happened when my mom was telling people at work she was supposed to be going to London for vacation but she never said it to me so yeah in her mind which is already suffering from Alzheimer’s she thought she was gonna go meet this Miguel even though I told her with 100% reasoning he’s fake she was gonna attempt to go to London but he all of a sudden quit corresponding for 2 weeks that’s when he popped back up saying he was in jail in China, immediately after that the Jay Newnam came into the picture and she had told me her phone broke but I think she broke it because she didn’t want anyone seeing she was now dealing with another scammer, since she would yell at me that she’s not stupid and she’d never be used by a scammer and yeah it’s happening this is so much more weird because he’s supposed to be a 23 year old Nigerian that she’s in love with and she calls him her baby boy but he calls her mom, she lied about her age she lied about my age so he doesn’t know she’s 72, he thinks she’s 61, he knows she’s retiring and he’s expecting a big pay out I’m sure because whenever he calls for money we know it because we see her running out the door all of a sudden making up lies as to where she’s going, I pray this scammer gets caught!!! I can’t take it anymore!!

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..

i have same story of the guy i am chatting with pls send him his picture.ty

Sounds like I got one too from Syria, Army Reservist needing money for Google Play card. Robert Tunis Clearwater E7. SFC Gorgeous if the photos are real. Also has son and daughter.

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

Have you got any photos think i am being scammed by the same person

I have pictures. But not sure how to send them.

Please get a hold of me. I think I'm being scammed by the same person claims to be in the military has a daughter and is over in iraq. Wife died of cancer and he was in an orphanage please help me I think he's scamming me.

My date said similar things.

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?

It’s a scam if these men were successful they wouldn’t be asking lonely women for all this money they’d be helping them sending them money!!

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?

Sounds like a scam. Anytime they ask for money, don't believe them

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

So I have also been scammed by someone name of Lynn N Dang. It was hard to let go but came to sense that this ain't realality. We tell each other how much we love each other. She calls me king, honey, love of my life , she even calls my son , our son. She avoids questions .. .and to dodge it she finds ways to go . She start her story like this, she work for Catholic relief service. She on a ship travel in Syria , Nigeria, Kenya aiding the refugees. They get attack by pirates , loses everything. Now she works on getting the first lump of money, she will lead her story into asking for me and so on. . by the way her phone got stolen her lapttop is no good , only for messenger. Constantly complaining of internet service. She is only child ,cparents are dead, and at this point she has flight book to come to me. Send me a fake iternary which I research and it was a fake. Question her she get in her shell and disappear. I finally give up . Supposedly on her way to airport one day later she still there because of custom . She got held up because she does not have documentation for her$ 50000 diamondjewel. And ask for a lump sum to pay custom 850 for a dam certificate .she disappear quick when I said no no no I don't have it and she wasn't having it she quickly disappear. She be back later to try again. They just don't stop or give up don't they?

Iam so sorry for you...
This happen with me tooo...i feel love and started trusting this man...ohhh iam so disapointed and feel no gud again...he talk of love and trust and he find the right words into my heart...and now iam so confused and depressed...

Hi. i am being scammed by a Nicholas Rodriquez, who claims to be a US soldier in Syria. Any of you ran into him?

Hi, iam being scammed bg jimmy lin136, he saud he work at drilling company in london and he sent a gift for me and he put a lot of money and the courir call me and i tranfsr 1400 usd and very stupid they didnt sent the gift,

I'm on Instagram and there are guys on there pretending to be famous person or a average person. They started following me and message me asking questions of all sorts then they ask do I use goggle hangouts told them no, they begged me to get saying its safer to message on there (whatever) so installed it and told them, after that they were telling me can send them $100.00 itunes card I said no I'm not stupid to spend my money on a stranger. Another he needed $1300 to book a flight back to the states told me a story saying his dad died leave 2million and the army won't let him leave I called bs and told him to find the money
These are the people to watch out for
Imposters of Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch, Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia line Jason Aldean Direks Bentley, then there really people who just steal pictures pretend to be you. Watch out cause they throw a guilt trip

I realized I was being scammed and was suspicious before the money came into play. His name was Robert Benjamin and his picture was of a minister from South Carolina. His cousin (older) had written me on a dating site and asked me to contact his handsome cousin. He wasn't on the dating site but had seen my profile and was impressed. Well this Rob was a phony ended up at a meeting in NY and got a contract in Cape Town, South Africa. The warnings came before he wanted money. I let him know whose picture he used. He still called from a S.African # then. He said he would explain when he came home. Finally he stopped calling. Be Aware


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