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Romance scams will cost you

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It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. Last year, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams – a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC. And, according to a new FTC Data Spotlight, reports of romance scams are on the rise.

What do we mean by romance scams? We’re not talking about the person you thought was “the one” but ended up being a dud. We’re talking about people you meet online, who lavish you with attention … and then ask for money. Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Then they take your money, but there’s no surgery and no trip.

Romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media. They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person. Just like with real romances, it may take them some time to gain your trust, but the scammer’s payoff can be big. Last year, people reported a median loss of $2,600 from romance scams.

How can you avoid romance scams?

  • Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
  • Take it slowly. Ask questions and look for inconsistent answers. Check the person’s photo using your search engine’s “search by image” feature. If the same picture shows up with a different name, that’s a red flag.
  • Talk to someone about this new love interest. And pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
  • If you suspect a romance scam, cut off contact right away. Then, report to the scam to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Notify the dating site where you met the scammer, too.

For more information, read Online Dating Scams or watch this video:

 

Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

Comments

Just playing Words with Friends, this guy starts a conversation. I was suspicious right away. After a bit he says he is a widower with 3 kids. He messed up big. Next he says he has 2 kids, just barely making it. I told him he was a moron.

that seems to be the big story or that they are divorced with children. For a while, i was getting a number of messages via social media. Most of them claimed to be men in the military or doctors working abroad. It's crazy the lengths people go to scam others. I even had someone request an iTunes gift card so their sick daughter could sell it to go to the hospital.

Ladies/Gentlemen all I can say be very careful of these internet romance. Especially those International ones. I met one on tagged from Cyprus, Turkey. He was white man first then after 8 months I found out he was an African. They all scammer and I fall victim and lost Thousands of USD. Be careful of all those dating Apps. When I found out he was an African I still talk to him because he shows like he was loving and caring but he was a real scammer. He scam me for 3 yrs but I have learned my lessons. Hes Still scamming women in the USA so you all be careful. Hes not bad looking, speak with a soft voice and only call u baby. Easily get mad and always want large sum of money. He cries at all times and said he have High Blood Pressure. I start curse him out when I really realized that hes nothing but a scammer to supply him self and his families. I was gathering so much evidence on him and he don't know all what I found out. So I'm going to start work with the FBI and EFCC in Africa to get him. So please be careful of these International romance scammers.

Hi your story sounds very similar to mine and the person is also from Cyprus but sounds like an African man. Do you mind emailing me to compare evidence?

Same here, can we email to exchange information ?

I think this guy has been trying to get money out of me

The man's name is Derek Bendon I want to show you his pic. Text me

Hey I got someone going by Neal Rogers says he’s working in fahti instanbul turkey someone let me know let’s send pictures this guy messaged me for a friend looking for my grandma the guy was talking
To her and she was in the hospital dying and he never went away said
He is working left the state’s 3 weeks into our talks.

Has any of you heard of a James erkan, whose deployed in iraq? He did sent me pics of him at home and of his dog and son. He only asked for money once, he knows I'm broke but we keep talking. Real or fake?

I met someone like this and he is currently now living in Istanbul, turkey and he is trying to ask me 8600 so he can pay his lawyer to make tax clearance for the funds that are now held in the Turkish bank and the amount awarded to him is 620k. He said he needs total 30k, and he managed to get a friend to help out with 10k and all heneeds is 8600 and the balance will be deducted from the 620k and he will wire me the loan of 8600 once he has access to his funds within 30 days and he will leave Turkey to come down and start our lives together. I met him on Istagram in Feb 2019 and he is very convincing..Yes, he only address me as baby, sends me many love songs from Youtube. He claims to have high blood pressure and had been admitted to the Hospital in turkey and he couldnt pay the hospital bills and asked me to help me. Part of the payment came from his friend, Jayden and the other part, i sent him via ppal. So i am just wondering if this is the same guy, he sends me pics and i made a tint eye search, but no results. Are you able to send me a pic of this person. He calls himself Jeffery James and he said he is american, widowed with a son and lives in CA. Thank you, i will appreciate receiving the pic.

Where can I see these pictures everyone is sharing?

that sounds just like a guy i meet on words with friends he is from Africa but lives in Indiana but right now he is working in Dubi and he only talks to me once in a while now because i would not give him any money. his name is William Chapman

My friend at work I think meet the same man do any 1 have a pic ?He is asking her for money something about his son got in car rack and need 1,ooo to started his surgery.He also sounds like a Africa she chats with him on hangout. tks

It sounds exactly like a scammer I talked too. He had a 12 yrs old daughter at home but had a 17 yrs old son living with his sister. They were in a head on car collision and he wanted me to send him$1200 for the son to get surgery. He said he couldnt cause his wallet was in his car when he went to church and it was stolen. If it's the same guy I think I still have his picture.

Hi Karen, I had the same scenario and he showed me pictures of the kids and him. He said he is a surgeon in the military. I met him on Bible app. He messaged me and said wants to communicate on email and hang out. Then he started opening about his son had an accident and needs operations. Need 1000usd to perform other procedure. Sounds so the same as your description here. He says his name was Mark Daniels. Is that familiar?

Hi Mary, I have the same story, do you still have a photo of him?

I have been scammed out of thousands of dollars by a scammer claiming to work for Exxon I have his picture. Someone please contact 3

Only once it was too late, I’ve realized I’ve been scammed. I’ve lost thousands of dollars. And now going to be homeless.

Met a man on Zoosk, he claimed to be on a project for Exxon in Alaska. He stated he was widowed. The worksite lost internet connection and he asked me to wire money to his supplier from dis bank account. I made one wire transfer. The next time I tried to wire money for him the site locked me out. He stated the bank required him to go to bank I. Person to unfreeze the account.

This guy told me he was not allowed to leave the job site. I immediately felt responsible and horrible for locking his account. He needed to pay for freight fees for the supplies for his project.

He had his accountant email me a copy of a wire made towards the freight fee, from this guy’s account. The combination of feeling responsible for preventing him from being successful and what I thought was proof of this guy using his own money towards the freight fee, caught me with My guard down.
I actually panicked to make it right and wired thousands of dollars to an account located tiny Turkey. I feel so stupid because , obviously not thinking, the supplier was supposedly located in China.

This guy is very smooth, we Skyped twice, constantly rings and texts me. Has had his “friends” show proof of helping his cause towards the freight fee. Has a dummy Bank website that makes it look like I was making a wire transfer, with his credentials, from his Bank account.

This has all happened in a matter of 5 weeks. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

A month ago widow surgeon contacted me while working in Yemen...skipping the love stuff...had me in account and sent orders for medical equipment...then needed me to send another but bank would not let transfer funds shipping that was at the dock...he begged to help with $8,500 and would pay me double...I am disabled but even if I had it would not happen...I have lots pictures would like to see if the match others ...

I have a man claiming to be a doctor stationed in Yemen. He is asking for $1000 to bring him home to my place so we can be married. I have pics we can compare. Please contact me

My sister is being scammed by a so called doctor in Yemen has a young daughter wants to marry her she was dealing with him earlier this summer and I know she sent money even after we had pictures of men from Nigeria who were doing this. Sorry but I am looking for the picture of Giovani I dumped everything after I thought she came to her senses but I guess not. He has hooked her again!!!!

Hi I like to send you pictures of the man I have lots of pictures of him he like to send the money for replacement for card to took to my

Can u send pic cos I have also in yemen keep in messaging me and a lit of promises

Please post picture

Send a picture

My sister in law may be scammed by the same “doctor” in Yemen. Pls provide a pic do we can compare.

I would like to see your pictures. I have been speaking with a dr. from yemen widow with 14 yr old son in boarding school needing money.

They change profile pictures but continue to use the same scenarios. This is a scammer. A Doctor in Yemen is not going to need money to get home or whatever other nonsense he is claiming. Block him before he drains you emotionally & scams you out of your life savings.

I was in contact with a vascular surgeon , widow, born in Sweden, working at UN in Yemen that needed emergency money to help his 14 year old son who was ill at his Sweden boarding school. Just horrible the lengths of deceiving this ppl go.

I met this guy in scrabble. Swedish surgeon working for the UN in Yemen. 14 year old son, widower , son in boarding school. Asked me for itunes card fir his birthday. After that son falls ill. Asked me for $750 to get nanny to sweden to help his son. Unbeliavable!

Hi I have some
Pictures of a man in Yemen- could we exchange them to see if he is match with yours?

Hi, I currently have a widow surgeon claiming to work with the UN in Yemen. I would love to check pictures of him with you.

Can you share picture? I may talking to the same person

Do you have a photo of this doctor? If so would you share?

Hi, what was the surgeon name in Yemen?

I have the same story . Widow surgeon working in Yemen. He has sent me his photo's with daughter. He has called me every day in the morning before he went to "health care " , during the lunch time he sent me some messages and we had talk at the evenings. He was very attent. He has told me about his wife who passed away in accident. He asked me for iTune gift for his daughter. I did it once. Then he asked me the same for the second time I have found it suspecious. I used google scan to check his pictures. They've been stolen from Facebook and LinkedIn of someone else.

Same with me.. same way he scammed me. But i post hundreds thousands dollar for this

Iv just had a very similar encounter with someone I met on
Tinder !!! very convincing thankgod I had my suspicions i never wired any money

I was approached by guy works for Exxon. He is using name Byron Markus and says he lives in Nashville, TN. He has son in school in Texas and is a widow because wife died during childbirth supposedly.

I also have a guy works for Exxon and on Facebook he is Byron Markus but found him on Twitter as Jeff Lancelot and has son he calls Sammy and under his Jeff name son is Kelley. Are any of these names familiar?

I'm a real, male senior. ?Why do these romance scammers prey on males, or do they? I've never heard of any instance. On the other hand, I would pay to do a "turn-around" scam on the scammers. It would be fun to twist the screw in the other direction for a change.

I believe someone is trying to scam my mom. She met this man on FB online dating. He said he works on oil rig. He asked her to send invoices from her email because he was loosing internet connection in the sea. She doesn’t believe me it is a scam, and she has become alienated. Can you please provide more information on how you have been scammed? His name is George William.

I have too!!! May I see the picture that you have to see if it is the same man who scammed me?

This sounds like my guy who I met in July. He supposedly be from Indiana and works in the oil fields in Australia. I'm still talking to him because he seems humble and uses prayer and christianity as a ploy to get you in. He sends me prayers, photos and even a driver's license taken in Indiana. He isn't Dubai but his colleague is right now. I'm trying to catch him up but hes stuck to me as if hes my man and promised he's not like those other people and gets a little annoyed when I doubt his word or accuse him of not being who hes represents.

I met someone online. His photo was gorgeous. He told me he was an orthopedic surgeon going to Yemen. He said his name was Phillip Regner.. He says after 6 months we will meet and get married. I told him I would fly to where he was to meet him. He made up excuses. When I FaceTime him , it’s the guy in the photo but something is amiss. Says he’s from Nashville, Tn. Anyone know or hear from this man?

Same story. Orthopedic surgeon went to Yemen.Fell in love too fast..2 kids in boarding school. From Nashville, Tn.
Got angry and distant as soon as I refused the guft cards. Stolen identity..Dr. James Norris..

Yes. I think I have met the same guy. I'm curious to know if he is using the same pictures as he used to you.

I think I'm talking to the same man, please can we share photos?

This guy was gorgeous! My favorite photo was of him in a green shirt working out in the gym. There was another photo of him with the dog. He has a picture of him at a doctors outfit also. Supposedly, he’s an orthopedic surgeon. His pictures appear on this website under fake and miss used photos. Does that sound like him?

Hello-I also want to cross reference my experience with yours. Where do I find the fake and misused photo section? Can we exchange photos to see if we were talking to the same guy? Thank you!

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