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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

My sister=in-law fell into the Military Romance scam through Facebook and was bilked for over $8,000.00 until we realized what was happening. I asked her for a photo of her new online love and when it arrived it was a photo of a retired military man that apparently they use over and over again. By the way...all this took place in Spain! So there are no boundaries with these scammers.

I was scammed by a Richard Enzo Duvan who posed as a representative of Kames Capital Investment International of Edinburgh, Scotland. In researching, I discovered he had used the same "lingo" on a woman in Michigan.

You can use Google Images to search for a photo to see who it actually belongs to. Most have no idea that their photo is being used for nefarious purposes.

How do you use google to put a photo in ? I tried and I was unable to. I was scammed out of a lot of money which I’ll never get back. I reported it to the IRS, FTC and FBI. But I now have debt I am paying for b/c of it. I feel like a total fool. But I kept all of our emails, texts, transactions - his so called mugging where money I sent was taken and his wrist were slit. He was good, I very stupid. I only wish there was something I could do to protect others from him on the dating websites or in general

TO Winbell - I have copied and pasted emails, posts, pictures, messenger texts, voice mail message with voice and I have them available if FTC or any law enforcement agency wants them. I have fake documents, plane ticket, field trip forms, hospital invoice and United Kingdom contact and bank address and account number. I did a background and a reverse phone number and found a second name - maybe he is the scammer with several aliases and other phone numbers - and the Facebook picture and the Facebook name are all fake along with the kids' names and their emails.. I was very fortunate that MoneyGram had been watching and indicated to me there had been some fraud in the area(?) and called me to verify that I knew the requester and the receiver .. ----I had to say no, I couldn't lie. I had never met either one so I was able to get refund of £1000. Oh, the man was gorgeous, his voice was intriguing and he had the most flattering things to say. As lonely divorcees or widows, we are perfect prey. He was so conniving. Be skeptical and don't get wound up - cause it hurts emotionally, too.

Was his name either John Hoffman or George Gianlugi? Met him on POF and says he works for skyview Investments international and on Linkedin as Gianlugi but john Hoffman works for Capvest Capital international investments...I have a photo I recieved 2 letters identicle different names from him and saw a prayer for November where his mother in Italy and he was talking to me in Jan. when she passed in Hamburg

I have been scammed from George Gianlugi. He says he works at Skyview.
I have been speaking to him since 11/2017
Its been a roller coaster of emotion and monies.

Curious as to what your outcome was. My step-daughter was talking to a Steve Hoffman with the same story!! Worked for Capvest Capital--his mom was Italian and just passed in Hamburg in late Feb!!!!!! He then quit his job as a fund manager for Capvest and then went to Dubai to meet some oil investors and then wanted to start up his own investment company. But since he still worked for Capvest until his resignation was accepted, he couldn't have his name on the new company. Wanted my step-daughter to send him her full name and address
and then his commission would be paid thru her to him. She said NO as she was just waiting for something to happen. He then told her he would buy her a mercedes!!!! Sure he was going to need more info from her, but it didn't go any further. And I'm sure most of the emails are simply form letters to be used with however many women he is using at the same time.

I have been conversing with this guy says his name is Fred Amato. He worked at capvest. He had a large number of shares and went to Dubai to sell and meet with other investors. He sold his share and put them in my name. He quit his job at capvest to start his own company. His mom has just died but they are supposedly from Greece. I think it’s probably the same guy. I just happened to run across this site. The amount of shares has changed. The amount of money has changed. The dates keep changing. He actually called me this morning and wanted to know if I planned on abandoning him. Now I’m very nervous after reading your post. He’s told me many times how much he loves me and he wants to get married. Haven’t know him for that long. I wish I could attach a picture. Please let me know. Thanks

Winbell - I forgot to say that I tried the reverse photo trick but the photo(s) that he used were not in any data base collection. SO there wasn't anything that came up. But remember the person who is talking to you with 'that' picture is not him..

My scammer’s pics and phone #’s and other information does not come up either, very sexy voice, promises are every woman’s dream, needs medical attention but already owes the hospital so needs $ to take trip to the city to reach the hospital, $ to pay for previous expenses plus new charges he’ll incur! Mad at me for not paying for him to return to the states, did I mention I paid for his $1700 plane ticket and the day before he was supposed to come home, someone stole his passport?!! How convenient?!! Now the hotel has thrown him out on the streets because he can’t pay his room, I offered to pay that by credit card too, they won’t accept it?!

Does this person happen to be in Indonesia? I heard of that guy

I was contacted by this guy too.
UK phone # though. But his screen shot showing he’s using Indonesia XL mobile network which he said he got stuck in this country, stranded and hungry...
I did not send him anything.

I was contacted by this guy too.
UK phone # though. But his screen shot showing he’s using Indonesia XL mobile network which he said he got stuck in this country, stranded and hungry...
I did not send him anything.

I think we have the same guy... he’s into investment and an engineer from Scotland but he has a construction contract in Malaysia ... he said he got stranded in Malaysia and run out of money cuz all his money which is with millions? Went to this construction ... he got stranded in Malaysia no money for hotel and taxi... l did not send him money... his name is mark collins

This sounds like the same person who scammed me out of a lot of money. He speaks with an accent and claims to be an engineer doing construction in Indonesia. Very charming, tells you everything you need to hear and more. Has a lot of patience. Called daily and professed to be in love. These are evil people who prey on unhappy women and take advantage of them. When I told him that he's fake he got upset and said that he's fed up of me humiliating and insulting him. Got angry with me. What a joke. Had me believing him for a while that he was real and not a fake.
Gradually the communication became infrequent because I wasn't giving him any more money. I want him to pay for what he's done. If not in this life then in the after life. He used the name tomasz Igor. Said he was Polish. Had a UK cell number. Met him on Facebook.

It is the same guy if he has an accent from Spain or Mexico still looking to get out of Indonesia claiming he needs $9000 to wire his money back to the states. He always calls me now no stop. I tell him I need $10,000 he backs off.

Check on fb under mark collins he is wearing a white shirt balding hairline, good looking, he has pictures in Hollywood and New York. He has one picture wearing a red shirt sitting on a the couch looks like in a hotel lobby. I know he’s not this person he might just using this. I read on another site about mark collins he’s a Nigerian based in Malaysia and he scammed other ladies too. He is an engineer working on oil/gas pipeline in Malaysia, he is widowed for 5 yrs. and have a son in a boarding school, he’s from Sydney but he’s been residing in Scotland, he’s parents are all dead and he supports orphanages . in 2 weeks he professed his love and wants to marry you. He calls me everyday, he has a british accent, has a beautiful voice. We talk on WhatsApp for almost 2 months then he ask for money wants the money to be sent via rhia in malaysia through another person and he even have another lady to talk to me to convince me that he will be kick out in the hotel if l will not help him pay his hotel bills . I did not give l don’t have money at all

Did this person mention the patriots certification act as part of their scam

What name did the guy use if you dont mind me asking. I have a friend who is talking with a guy and he wants money from her.

Winbell what was this guy's name ? And was he in Nigeria ? This sounds familiar to the same guy talking to my sister. Thanks

I’m talking to guy with similar story name Samuel

Is he from Ghana or Nigeria ?

how do you add a photo by my phone of a potential scamer

I tried that. What do you type in?

I need my cash as soon as possibleBecause I have a Lotta calling coming from you which is I don’t know when I need money

Is David Lester Steward a real Army SSGT ?

A David t Larry has been in touch with me promised me the world he asked me to pay for a parcel that had important documents and a cheque I believe everything he said, I totally trusted him, he told me he was a engineer contractor agent hes 48 with a son called Stephen whose 15yrs old. I've paid a so called company active oceans freight £850.00 so that David got his parcel. The police called at my home and told me this man is scamming you omg how do they get away with it especially when they are saying hes in the military in Holland, the company I paid was in the Netherlands, I feel physically sick at what's happened I had no food in, I'm in debt because of this man n the company. He phoned me on video call that's why I thought he was real. Omg how stupid was I.

Is Paul Andre Taylor the owner of a petroleum drilling ship off of Australia named the Queen?

Oh dear, I'm talking to a man claiming to be an engineer from the UK and he is asking me for money to pay for a shipment to my home here in the states. I feel like the biggest red flag for me is the fact that he claims that he has no family nor friends who can pay for the shipment. His name is Leon Logan. Had anyone ever experienced something like this? He's really laying it on thick with the guilt trip.

As you know online dating can be risky and dangerous. Never give into the asking of money on any occasion.Save yourself time and aggravated tension.
Be safe.

I've been scammed by a love interest of over 10,000 before I realized it was a scam.

Me too. Don't beat yourself up......like I have a thousand times, over and over again. I'd love to be there when they have to answer to the Big Guy upstairs.

i live in seattle washington and my man scammed me for three years . his name is Michael Bernard Dugaw very attractive charming trickster. i am embarassed that i could experience this at my age 49 i want to warn every one about this liar. be careful .

My sister is being scammed by a Joshua Williams who claims to be in the military. He says he’s from Florida. She sends him 25 dollars a week in iTunes cards for his phone bill! We had he ask him what branch he was and he didn’t know! We convinced her not to send money and he has her crying all day now! Please help!,

May I ask where in Florida he says he is from and also what name he is using. I have a guy that I believe is trying to scam me. I’m trying to see if it’s possibly the same person. He even gave me a Florida cell phone number.

Hey I'm being scammed by a chick who says she lives in Florida. Hihali. Her name is Marieny Diaz. I asked how she says that and she didn't answer.

I was also scammed by a man claimed to be from Florida but working in Africa claiming to be a contractor making a large sum of money. Asking for money for his flight to get home.

What did he say his name was? I bet its the same guy that tried scamming me??

I have a man who claims to be a doctor working for the US in Syria . Says he needs money until he gets states side His name that he uses is DR. Walker. Bryan. Anybody else been contacted by this guy. He says he owns a home in Jacksonville FL.

Me Too for the same amount and mt heart ripped out of my chest!

Ive been scammed by a military Sgt Rodriguez. Goes by different names but uses the same pictures and stories.

hey are u willing to contact me,i believe we have both been scammed by the same person

Yes I will.

I was to. His name was James Rodriguez. I knew something was up. But thank God I didn't send no money. I feel so dumb.

I didn't send him any money but he attempted to get money from me. James Rodriguez SGT. We might be talking about the same person?

I'm after some information about a James Rodrigues he has been trying to get money from me he's been telling he's in Syria but works for us army and told me he loves me etc does anybody have a picture cos I do

And is using many photo I am familiar to me.
The story also sounds very familiar to me.
Do you have any chat with him to show, so that I can compare mine with yours.

I think I was scam by the same person. Sgt James Rodriguez. I would like to see his photo.

Can you contact me. I think it is the same person.

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