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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 ?

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.

I am working with an elderly lady who is planning on wiring a lot of money to this guy tomorrow. . I need to get some type of evidence to show her so she doesn't lose her money

Hi I would be very interested in talking to you as I am also in contact with someone who is from Ottawa but told me he is in Cyprus right now working.He toid me the job is completed but they are holding his check as something went wrong with registration of his construction company.
What name is he using? Did he involve his mother?
He said on the dating sit that he is widowed with a 15 year old son who lives in Scotland with his mother.

Just received message yesterday from a scammer (we’ve been playing a couple of games about a week or two), I read about on here recently, Orthopedic Surgeon, widowed 6 years ago, son Owen @ boarding school in Boston.. wants to get to know me.. goes by Frank Williams.
Well I mentioned him to someone else whose been trying to scam me, told him don’t worry I deleted him (this other guy asked me?’s, that I avoided answering), but today when I went back to game to update/look at my profile information because I have been playing for several years, I had to look up Mr. Williams because he stopped the 2 games we were playing on the board. Wondering if he and the other scammer are one and the same?
Only difference is the other guy divorced his wife 6 years ago and he has a 12 year old daughter @ boarding school in Texas!

and they are only children whose parents died and no family, you are their only friend they can rely on.

This situation is similar to what I experienced. Anthony Wilson Senior Pilot United States Air Force only child parents deceased and he has a 13 yr old daughter Lily Wilson who is in Accra Ghana staying with a friend. Money money money.
Use the child to get money!!!!!! I borrowed money from family and friends to help and it was a scam!!!!!! How am I going to pay back ALL the money and my bills? Bad credit, behind on my bills now what can I do?

You will never be able to get your money. I was scammed 2 yrs ago and wish i had seen this information and websites that try to warn women sooner. I was naive, but learned my lesson after losing alot of money. M

New development, he’s madly in love with me and wants me to write to the UN to release him to come home for vacation. He sent me exactly what he needed the email to say. I never sent the email but yesterday I received a reply from them telling me how much money to pay at particular locations so he can return to the USA to come marry me. Then I received a document that looks real but when I zoomed in, it’s dated 2017 and signed by the UN Secretary from that time frame!
What should I do with it? Who can I turn it into! He urgently wants me to pay the money that I have repeatedly told him I do not have!
H E L P!!!

Whatvis the name of that person can you tell me I think my friend and you are talking only one person . Do you have a picture of him?

Omg! This is identical to what im dealing with! He claims to be a doctor in Yemen with the Unitednations. He wants me to send him $2750.00 for the UN so he can get his vacation or leave. He will not take no for a answer. He says to me "do you want me to die here? Please please help me i dont want to die. I want to come to the US and marry you baby please help me. I am going to die here. What about ken who will take care of ken? I absolutely dont have money like this by far! He calls me, and the conversations take place on hangouts! He has sent me pictures of himself and also does video chats. He says he is from Egypt, he didvslip up the other day and said Turkey then denied he ever said Turkey! Im so interested to know if Dr SAMUEL VEIDER IS THE ONE THATS SCAMMING YOU ALSO. He gets very angry if i mention him as a scammer! Please comment... HE SAYS HES IN YEMEN. FROM EGYPT, LIVES IN MIAMI FLORIDA, HIS SO CALLED DECEASED WIFE IS FROM SPAIN, HIS SONS NAME IS KEN, ALMOST 15 YRS OLD, HE SENT ME A PICTURE AND THE KID HAS BLACK ALL OVER HIS FACE. HE IS SAYING HE WANTS ME TO BE HIS NEW MOM! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR BACK..

Has anyone had any contact from a girl in Davao City Philipines, she hadnt ask for anything substantial yet but i have doubts she is legit and a couple red flags have appeared like her facebook profile disappeared and opened under something else and she wants all conversations in whattsapp now!!!

I am scammer free as of a few minutes ago. He is in the Military. He is not but the picture he is using is a real Staff Sgt, in the military. He was a facebook for one day. Stephen Towns is the name he used. On the uniform it read MidKiff James. From NC now stationed in Kabul Afg. widowed has 2 children living in Spain with their nanny, wants to marry me. Ask for Itune card, wanted me to pick up money to send to Nigeria for his friend that got stationed there. Now wants money for a flight to come here to be with me. I heard that (do you want me to die here) since December 2018. He sounds like the same scammer. Get rid of him. Good luck Carollee

I also have been communicating with a so called doctor in Yemen who now has a need for cash. Similar background information. I'm wondering if all is same person.

I got scammed on POF. He is extremely good looking, he asked to go on Hangouts right away. The scam goes like this: He is in Yemen, goes by the name of David Hunt, works for UNICEF as a brain surgeon. He works for 5 weeks abroad in Yemen but lives in the US, raising his 7 year old daughter by himself because his ex is a drug addict. Same bs: after a few days he started the intense messaging, he loves me, video calls, etc. Got very angry when i told him he is a scammer. He said he needed money to get home because it is not safe there but his accounts and CC don`t work there. I knew from the very beginning it`s a scam but wanted to know how far he would go. Please everyone: if something is too nice to be true, it it unreal!!!

Let through dating app: Hinge
Name: Alvin (Ryder)?
Went to Whatsapp

Number: +1 (267) 571-3520 Email requested for vacation leave to: Commander.leaverequest@ Story: Surgeon working in Yemen for UN. Widowed four years ago A daughter
From Dallas, Texas with Greek background. Called me daily for weeks and started telling me he loved me and missed me and pushed me to say the same. Claimed since it was Yemen he could not tell me much nor send photos from there. Progressed to asking me to send a leave request. I reported him since I worked out it was all to far-fetched and a UN administrator would not have a gmail address.

Ok so I’ve been talking to this guy that I met on Facebook ..he sent me a message via Facebook messenger he gos by the name Scott Jeffery Alan or Jeffery (Scott) Alan he says he is a is military pilot Air Force Im assuming when we met he was in Yemen parents died in car accident a while back has no family is on secret mission but says Hes back in Libya never asked me for money but I offered to get him k tunes card due to his account being inactive and his phone doesn’t have international service and a local forgein I tunes card won’t wor since he’s from New York west New Jersey New York to be exact

The similar thing w/Amazon cards because he needs them for connection to internet & calls? He is at sea in Anatolia & can’t get his money? I’d like to see the photos you all have??

Sounds like the gentlemen that tried to scam me. I asked where was he from, because he texts in broken English. Said he was born in Germany, but lives in Tampa Fl. The he wanted me to send money for his luggage, which was in ....YOU GUESSED IT.....TURKEY! Was to wire a money gram to someone by the name of Aashir Ijaza. The money was to be worth millions, but once he arrives here it would be smaller. He goes by the name of "James Raphel". He lives at "Hangout" if you type in jamesraphel83@ he will surely answer. Oh and has a 5yr ol son named Terry who wants me to be his mother. He's in boarding school, while he Works on a Oil Rig called Turmoil, which doesn't exists.

Can you post a picture

I talked to a guy For four years.He worked on an oil rig he was an a engineer He was from Ohio he said but was on a ship in Nigeria He asked for money but I told him I didn’t have money to send to anyone .We talked quite a while His wife died giving birth To his youngest which is a girl he also has an older son . I finially did send money but only once in a while I told him I didn’t work and had no money So let’s say in these four years I have probably sent around 3,000 all together He was good he sent me his passport picture he sent me pictures of his friend and him He sent picture if his daughter and son of a birthday party At his house for one of his kids Showed me pictures of his mom his sister everything he or someone talked to me everyday on the phone but would text 5-6 times a day and talk said he loved me couldn’t do without means that he loved me forever more He was good at what he was doing . Then he wanted me to open a bank account for him he wanted to use mine I said no to that Stupidly I did open one a couple of months back I put 25 in it to start well it was fine Then he got to asking for the I tunes or google card a Sephora card all kinds he never said anything about the account but kept demanding I get these cardsWell I got a letter from chase bank I owed them money I called them I told Then I didn’t send any checks in to look and see
If I had gotten checks I never order checks They cancelled out the order gvv

Tell him to take a hike! Plain and simple! delete his email and block him!

New development, he’s madly in love with me and wants me to write to the UN to release him to come home for vacation. He sent me exactly what he needed the email to say. I never sent the email but yesterday I received a reply from them telling me how much money to pay at particular locations so he can return to the USA to come marry me. Then I received a document that looks real but when I zoomed in, it’s dated 2017 and signed by the UN Secretary from that time frame!
What should I do with it? Who can I turn it into! He urgently wants me to pay the money that I have repeatedly told him I do not have!
H E L P!!!

This sounds like an Antonio Rodriguez. He claims to be an orthopedic surgeon in the army, widowed, 13 year old going to school in Turkey. First he was running out of minutes and could I get a gift card that he could use for minutes. Then calm for a couple of weeks. Then said he was on a mission, got shot and was awarded money by the Iranian Govt, 2.5 million to be sent to me because it was unsafe with Isis. Then it was their camp had been discovered and shot up but he escaped and needed 700 to get him out ASAP. Now luckily I kept saying no, and never sent him anything

Yeah, this orthopedic doctor in Africa telling me he lost wife to Cancer. this was on facebook and the page looked legit but I figured it out when he started asking for my email and ignored that I stated happily Married. His Name was Mark David. Googled and found this guy looked nothing like any Mark David and no one by that name an orthooedic doctor.

Mine goes by David Mark but a contractor in oil and gas living in Detroit and has an offshore oil pipeline project in Sarawak Malaysia. He uses photos of a Brazilian broadcast journalist by the name of Dony De Nuccio when I did reverse image search on Google with the most recent photo he sent to me on WhatsApp. Haven’t asked for money yet but I got suspicious when he called me on WhatsApp but doesn’t speak like an American at all and he claimed that because he’s mixed and avoided answering when I asked him what else is in his parentage when he claimed that his grandfather is Portuguese and his grandmother Chinese. https:// instagram .com/ donydenuccio?

Had 3 week encounter with Dr Wilson Robert in Syria through UN and NATO. Wife died 5 yrs ago while on a business trip, has son 11 yrs old. Owen just had birthday April 26th and Wilson's bday is May 4th!!

I think I am also a victim, can anyone send a picture of this guy?

Frank Williams is without a doubt a scam artist. Tried it with me but I love to investigate things...

I have been approached by the same one, I guess.. How can I share a photo with you for reassurance?

I know what you mean. I met a guy online. He is in Afghanistan working. He is an orthopedic doctor. A widow with a daughter. He asked for an iTunes card to upgrade an Apple computer.

I probable talked to the same guy....an orthopedic doctor in Afghanistan working. A widow with a daughter. So far no money but I quit talking to him because he was 19 yrs. younger,,,,said age was not a problem, he was attracted to me!! Red flag.....stopped corresponding with him!

A lot of these "same" guys are working from a call room with the same script. It's a job, they leave at the end of their shift. Sometimes the feds can work with foreign gov't to stop this but most often not - the call room just moves. Beware of anyone that you don't know personally asking for money and even those that you do know be weary.

His name is Nicolas Hamson except now he is in solmia his daughter sonia isboarding school in cleveland because. His wife died in a horrible car accident while carrying his second child to bad he couldn't remember her name. Hes been texting me for the better part of 3 months and I am suppose to send him 500.00fir his vacation certificate but I need to send it to the un buy way of a man named gilbert in istanbule .does anyone know what this scumbags real name and photo are

I had the same story that his wife got killed in a car accident in Germany on Valentine’s Day 7 years ago. He went by the name of Travis Gary and claimed to be on an Oil platform in the Black Sea. His story was that the Finance Ministry of Georgia wouldn’t let him leave the platform until taxes were paid on the supposed 4 million dollars he got paid for his contract. He told me that he lived in Rochester, NY. I did some checking and the address he gave me didn’t exist. Travis had 2 sons Bryan and James that were left without a mother and had to stay with their grandmother until he could come home. I started digging some more and found out the pic he used for his profile was stolen. I confronted him and called him a scammer and a liar. Travis also got very upset when I called him that. I also had his cell number traced and it lead right to Nigeria. He actually threatened me after I told him I had his cell number tracked. There were lots of fake documents in my scam story as well and Hangouts is where he hung out. One day I decided to enter his cell number on WhatsApp just to see if he used it as well. Not only did he use it, a real picture of him came up and I saved it.
I have a big binder bursting at the seams with information on this scammer Travis Gary. I think we are all getting the same person or group of scammers. I cannot believe how similar our stories are. If only we could all put our documents together and share with the FTC and FBI they could
open up 1 big case and apprehend these scammers. I would be happy with catching one scammer at a time just to make a small dent into this big problem. My case involved fraud and money laundering and 3 mules in the US knowingly or unknowingly aided and abetted these thieves.

I have a Sargent stationed in Afghanistan and supposedly he just returned to US on Saturday. The difference here is, 1. He has sent gifts to both my daughter and me and at times we get into big arguments about different things. I believe he is a scammer and I haven’t heard from him since he left Afghanistan 3 days ago. I am on messenger with him, he gave me his messenger ID and password and he hasn’t blocked me in messenger. I have sent him gift cards but I am not sure what is going on with him, I have over 25 pictures of him, I have been chatting with him since Thanksgiving of last year and he is divorced with a 6 yo son and his name is Allan. I will share pictures if anyone has this type of senecio.

Is his name Robert Danut?

I too was talking to a so called orthopedic Dr. who said his wife was dead and his daughter is currently quite ill in boarding school in England. I sent no money. He went by Freddy Starks.

Do you have a picture of what he looks like and what is his first name

Dear DrBSBFF, A ortho surgeon, Frank Hughes, was a scam. Divorced and 1 kid at Boston. Another guy, Williams Bravo did a romance scam on me. So sad. Then came the pitch, he needed $$ on a AMAZON CARD. Next came the 'consignment box'. He would send me the box-filled with $$,all I had to do was pay the delivery fee..5

What is the name of the game

I had the same experience, met through words with friends. Widower with 1 kid. Had an amazing job, but needed emergency funds. Unreal.

Sounds similar to someone I have been chatting with who is pressuring me for money. Widow with 12 year old son.

Similar story, son in catholic boarding school in Texas.
Two day before we were supposed to meet he urgently needed 2,000 sent to bitcoin to pay for contacting licensed. If I didn’t send it he’d might lose a million dollar contract

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