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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:

 

Tagged with: imposter, online dating, scam

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

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?

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

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!

I think the same thing is happening too me. Orthopedic surgeon dr. working at UN in Afghanistan. I have a photo he sent me. Can I send it to you?

My friend is involved with a man stating he is an orthopedic doctor working for the UN. Only seen him once. Said he was in Syria. Now says he's trapped in Greenland. Anyone can exit Greenland and Trynp stated that citizens can return.

She sent him $15,000. He told her that he was a self made millionaire. why is he asking for money from a social security disability person. Can you post his photo? I have this man's photo.

I think this man has messaged me his name is logan mason on wwf

I met a guy on Instagram who claims to be an orthopedic surgeon working for the UN. In Afghanistan. His name is Lewis Presley. He is always asking for gift cards because his computer doesn't work properly. I was very leary of him. His photos are of a very good looking man. Asian Indian appearing. He is currently on Instagram. See if u know him. Let me know. He has given up on me. On to new women.

Hi! I've been talking to a man lately woth similar story. He says he's an orthopedic surgeon who is about to leave to yemen for 6 weeks. He also has a son named owen and is widowed. We've facetimed a couple times and it's the same man from the pictures. The first time he was in his home trying to use chopsticks and the second time he was actually in the hospital. Would you mind exchanging pictures with me? I really think this might be the same man.

In Yemen? I know the same orthopedic surgeon with a beard. Widower with a son. She sent me pictures from hospital and in the orange uniform or another picture. But has not allowed videos. He is following many women. I found his pictures among scammers.

Where the same story...
With me he was Maarten Diederik.
He claims that he was living in the Netherlands . But was a orthopedisch chirurg in Yemen.
Have a daughter on a boarding school.

Hello, was your experience with a slightly chubby Asian Dr in Yemen, average looking. Says he's from Las Vegas now on contract in Yemen. Mine goes by username Roger on OurTime.com

I’ve been talking to the same widower orthopedic surgeon in TN with a son named Owen. He knows I don’t believe him, but he still texts. Wish we could find the guy whose photos he stole. Some med student in Chicago? Who knows. Gave me the name Alexander Bradley. Has a large wolfhound but called it a German Spitz.

I've been texting to a widower orthopedic surgeon in Yemen. His sons name is different. He works with NATO and his mission was for 6 months. He lives in CA not too far from my area. My daughter said he doesn't exist. His name does not appear anywhere on Google search or CA doctor search.
We talk about our faith in God. So I trusted.
Now I am concerned because he knows my name and all about my children. Besides stop talking what should I do?

Hi Kari! I am so intrigued in your comment because I have a friend who is in the EXACT same situation with a guy named Dennis. Orthopedic surgeon with a son who lives in the UK, his wife died in child birth, Says that he wants to marry her, and he needs umpteen thousand dollars to pay the courier to get out of Yemen. Says he will be here in 2 weeks. I'm wondering if he's using the same picture? I'd love to send you a picture I have of him to see if it's the same guy.

Same exactly guy! Same story! Omg. He said he was in Miami. I matched with him on Tinder.
This is terrible

I’ve met a guy in a dating app. He says he’s an orthopedic surgeon working i Yemen right now and will be there until next year. Can you send me pictures if him to compare with this guy?

thank you - same contact yesterday - I just blocked on FB message - used the name William David - surgeon doctor with UN has a 12 year old son.

Hi Angel,
I also met a guy from Instagram he sent me message his name goes with William Stephen he said he is from US and Doctor now in Yemen. He has one son I have a feeling he is a scammer. What I did I am the one who asked for money and he said he will help but needs to add WhatsApp Id number of his bank manager to transfer money which I didn’t do. I would like to send you the photo of this guy. I am not able to send here.Please send me your email address. Thanks

I met a guy on a game, James Owen. He is a UN orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan. His wife died of cancer several years ago. He has a son going to school in the UK. He hasn't asked for anything yet, but this isn't the first time I've been approached and chatted with in hangouts. I've had a petroengineer and someone in the army. This guy has chatted the longest without asking. Why would a petroengineer need money?? Lol I have given nothing. Some of these stories sound familiar.

You guys, these are all such scams. I met Dr. Edward Todd who is apparently from Mississippi but is working for the UN as an orthopedic surgeon and is currently in Somalia. You can enter that name in Instagram and find him. He wanted to message via hangouts. I googled the situation instantly, told him I did so and that he was a scammer, and he let loose on me with a bunch of slang. His English wasnt great and it sound like a second language, which was my first clue. Said he had a 14 year old son named Elvis living with his godmother in Mississippi until he gets back to the states in July. Divorced for 4 years because she cheated. He didnt have the chance to ask me for anything.

I have a very similar story and would be very thankful to get a photo of this "orthopedic surgeon" to compare!

Hi Gianna,
Please let me know where I can send you the photo to compare. Thanks

I have a similar story. Jeffrey Dennis, Age 51, Orthopedic Surgeon, was in Jacksonville, FL. Says went to med school in UK. Signed UN contract for Yemen for 5 years. Says been there 2 yrs now. Says Can’t take photos there. No money; no access to bank account. Wife Rita died during childbirth 3 yrs ago. Son Michael is 13 & in military school in NY. Email is 7777jeffreydennis@ on hangout. I deleted conversation, but started it back up. I have a new photo & copied it. He eventually asked for gift cards. Have tried to research with no results. How can I get pic verified? I’ve had a feeling it’s a scam but I want to be wrong!

How do you share a picture? I have one. Orthopedic surgeon, widow, in Yemen.

Sounds same has me doctor in Yemen but been on cam for few seconds he look sane has pic any chance I can see uf it’s him

I think it's the same one.
My daughter told me he is not real.
I have many photos.

I met him too! Around the same time as you.
I would love to see the pic of him that you got vs what I got

Do you mind sharing a photo of this person? Sounds like somebody I’m talking to

I met a Ortho doctor on line. Stated he was on a Peace Keeping mission in Yemen. He is a widower and has a son. Gorgeous with gray hair, asked for ITunes cards. Wanted to marry me. Lol. Said he needed money for an airline ticket.

Omg, same guy. How do I get to look at pictures on this site? He says that he is a neurosurgeon. He has a son named Jeremy. He told how his wife cheated on him in his (marriage bed). I was involved with a man from Egypt and (Kevin) told me how I was wrong to go out with this man. He helped me with another issue I had too. A problem I had had for about 20 years. He had a Grey beard. I know that he was in one of the Muslim countries bc it showed people there in the picture with him. I don't know how to not talk to him. I loved him so much and I was supposed to meet up with him this last Friday. I told my children that I needed a ride to Chicago and they found this site for me. My suitcase has still got clothes in it.

I have also been talking to a handsome grey haired man working in Yemen as a doctor. He has a son Eden. His wife died of cancer 5 years ago. Met him on Instagram. He wants me to chat to him on Hangouts. He has set his account to private so I can't see his pictures anymore. He had pictures with 2 dogs. His name is Rowland Philips. He is from Santa And but originally from Spain.

I'm talking to same guy. Mathew Connie. He spells bulk a flight. And call me babe & Queen.
Also spells so do.

I’m talking to similar guy, Can we exchange pictures of the guy you’re talking to?

I’ve been talking to a guy I met on Instagram. He goes by the name Kelly Roberts. He claims to be an Engineer work in Canada on an oil rig. He is trying to get money for his Weimreiner, Bruno to have back surgery He also want’s me to receive some boxes from Dubai but needs me to pay $47,000 to get the boxes released. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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