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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

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 story with me. Can you tell me his name?

Can I see a pic? Came exchange info?

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 also met a man on zoosk says he’s German and he went to Alaska to work I’ve also transferred $ from his account for materials and then it was locked and he needed to come home to take care of it in person! I’ve sent him $ On cash app and bitcoin and google cards .. it’s an endless cycle of asking for money.. I’d like to email you and exchange pics

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!

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?

Hello same here, an orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan. widowed and claims to have a daughter in Tx. asking for gift cards and money for his vacation to come to the states to get married lol. He uses the name James Carter. I have pics hes using

Please share his photos to me. He said same thing to me. He talked to me few days ago.

Please share pictures please..

Hi. I am trying to convince my auntie that she is being a victim of a scam but she is not believing. The guy said he is in Afghanistan and coming to the Uk to meet her, but he need money to buy tickets as he is not going to his country the US government refused to let him use his money to buy the plane ticket. He claims to be a surgeon too, probably is the same person, he said his name is Ray from California, she is just waiting for her wages this week to send him £2000. can you send me the pic that he sent to you please?

I think I have the same person- claims to be in the arm a CSM. He lost his parents in an airplane crash and is wife die of cancer.

The same scammer took money from my friend and used the same story , she sent him $4000

same here, i just talked to him 2 days ago...he told me that he is Orthopedic working with NATO in Afghanistan. I also have his pictures

I met a guy saying he works for NATO in Turkey! I have pics and I video!!!

Hi, his name was Mehmet Zeki??

Having the same problem this guy from Afghanistan and claim to be a doctor . So can anyone share photo he says his name is Mike David

Same here an orthopaedic surgeon working in Afghanistan in Kabul.Can you send me the photo?

I would like to share the picture with you!

Please send me a picture as soon as possible I think it's the same guy I need to see the picture please

The same happening to me too.Have got his picture too.Please can we share?

I know that guy!

Was his name Hamisi Masudi please forward me pic abd i will send you mine.

I have just been contacted through facebook by an orthopedic surgeon also working in Afghanistan. He now wants my gmail address and says due to job in military needs to cancel his facebook account. please advise

Same thing with me Orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan Dr James Randy Can we compare pics

I would love to see photos.

How can I check to see if the doctor who I've been speaking with online is the real deal and not someone scamming me for money

Same thing is happening to me as we speak please send me a photo

Hi,

I have James Pedro, an orthopedic surgeon doctor in Afghanistan.

He is also widowed, and has a teenage daughter.

I want to share picture. What ‘s his name? My “orthopedic surgeon” grey hair , 53 yo, working with UN in Sana’a Yemen, have 2 daughters, wife passed away, sent me picture with green tshirt and cap after work out at the gym. Have picture with french buldog name jasper. He said he loved outdoor activity.

What was his name? This name was 43 and he was single, no children but he was a doctor in Yemen.

Hi I may have the same person contacting me via words with friends. He days hes an orthopedic surgeon and wife died has an 11 yr old daughter who lost s leg in wife's fatal accident. How can we share photos.

I am talking to an Orthopedic surgeon stationed I Istanbul Turkey . He is a scammer as well . Says his name is Patrick Amir Adolfo. Good looking guy has a picture in scrubs and coat in doctors office . Have a feeling the pictures are stolen .

I think I’m talking to the same guy. He has a green shirt... another photo with his dog, a couple of pictures in his surgeon uniform...nice salt and pepper beard. He has a lot of pictures... please contact me

Please send pics it sounds like mine

The green shirt raised a red flag!! I was approached on Instagram by someone wearing a dark green shirt, jeans, holding a bulldog, and another dog on this left, claiming to be an orthopedic surgeon working for the UN out of Iraq. This guy wrote to me in simplified Mandarin. He also knows very fluent English. He asked for my LINE and phone number for WhatsApp right away. He said he has twin daughters attending boarding school in Great Britain. Said his wife left him when the daughters were only 4. Now the daughters are 10.

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