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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

It is 21st of April and I have been scammed by this same person.
This time he was Steven, David Bogdan with son Sebastian Bogdan 17 years young footballer in school on Cyprus.

I was also scammed by this man steer clear
He will ask for money when you don’t give it he blocks.
He Skypes you so is convincing with his chat but he’s not genuine beware

My sister has been talking to a Timothy Bogdan on an oil rig in Qatar with son Sebastian in a football academy in Spain. No money asked for yet but some discrepancies with photos sent. I did reverse searches on Tineye and found a lot of stuff but she has had a video call and maintains it is the man in the photos. Any ideas or similar experiences with videos?

I was in contact with John Bogdan, what a charmer wife had died she was called Martha. Said he was from Belgium and had a son at football academy in Spain whilst he was working in Quatar off shore as health and safety officer. Text messages hit and miss at first . Got his son to e mail me from South Africa where he was playing in a tournament. His son was called Sebastian ? actually he had sent the e mail it transpired later. Sadly Sebastian got his room robbed all money clothes phone all gone. So John Bogdan asked me to send his son a I phone which l said no . Next it was can you loan me money l said no . Please you know you will get it back . He did Skype pretending to be in a hotel , sent pics of his house ha ha ! He is one very , very dangerous man . Please just give him a wide berth

Jon Bach Fitzpatrick is a scammer. Frenchman in his early 50’s. On dating sites and other social media. Asks for money! Steer clear. Will keep posting until he stops or is found. Save yourself money and heartache.

Had contact with a scammer on Words With Friends. Name: William Bullock. Says he’s from Hungary originally and is an Oil Drilling Engineer. Of course in the end needs money for a problem on the rig. Very patient scammer. Said he lived in Colorado last, divorced, and his only son was killed in a car accident. Beware!!!

hello Catalina
do you have pictures of this oil rig engineer?
My bff wont believe shes being scammed, by this so called oil rig engineer wotking offshore in Texas,needs lots of $ to fix something in the rig and to be sent to a different fellows name, not his, from Colorado, mother dying with cancer .
Do you have pictures? My bff have sent me some pics of this guy, ciujd be the same scammer. Can we exchange pictures or us there a way to check those pictures on this thread.

Have been talking with David Taurus for a couple of weeks, met him onWords With Friends. He quickly started chatting with me and soon suggested we go to Hangouts. I have never done that before,but he didn’t seem like a scammer. So I got onto Hangouts after that he professed his love for me. I was smitten, love of his life lit up his life like a candle, made his heart melt etc. Called his me beloved, wanted to marry me, live happily ever after told me he had hiss own private yet 8 fantastic cars including a Bucatti a million dollar car. Never asked for anything except my love. I was waiting and ready but I spoke to him on the phone and couldn’t understand what he was saying. He was speaking English. Just asked to do FaceTime with him. Told me we would have plenty of time when we were together. Also his English is really bad but he is really good at Words. Architect Contractor in hospital in Istanbul. Very handsome 52ish ,widower and leagally separted. 6 foot tall Has any body chatted with him?

I met this girl on hangouts and I was polite and listened to her. She took is deeper then I even redid. Professor love for me and wanted our loved to be together forever. I made the mistake of giving my credit card info and she took it on her self to put 10000 in as payment for me. I am lonely and vulnerable. I did not ask for this. Now she is blackmailing me to buy he $8,000 worth of Google cards and an iPhone. She is threatening t slander me on my social media. I filed a complaint with the FBI cyber crimes division. Blocked her from contacting me. Will.neve trust a woman again.

I had a man pursue me on Instagram. I was so careful and thought I was doing the right research. His name online was Ricardo Acosta. I received several videos of him and many pictures. I really loved what I thought was him. The videos made me feel trusting until I realized how vague and nondescript. He eventually asked for an iPhone. He gave me an address in Dubai.
I blocked him immediately. He texted me 6-9 hours a day. I’m grateful I did not send the iPhone. Though I assume the videos and pictures are someone else’s I feel sad because I really thought it was him and I enjoyed him. Makes me sad. Not sure what the actual address is , in Dubai? But I’m detoxing from the addictive nature of love addiction. So disappointed. And feel so foolish.

Stephanie, don't be so hard on yourself. That scoundrel was a good sociopath, that's all. We can all fall victim to manipulators. It is sad to have your heart taken advantage of like that. We all want love and we all want that special connection that we often don't even realize we're hungry for until someone like a romance scammer comes in and touches those soft spots. I hope you will continue to want love and special connection. It's hard to trust after something like that happens. All the best to you. The best revenge is living a better life.

I feel for you , this happened to me , I understand exactly.

Was on Match.com and connected with someone named Andrew Thomas Webster. He said he worked for United Nations, stationed in Afghanistan and needed money to purchase a ticket back to the States. I didn't fall for it and blocked him ... I reported him ... Beware! Sad they use Military photos ...

Has anyone been contacted by a man claiming to be Matt Brown of Alaskan Bush People? He contacted me through Instagram and has said he loves me deeply and can never stop loving me etc.. he has asked me for money supposedly for diamonds that are being held at customs. I have asked him questions and he has good answers for every one of them.

met a girl on Tinder, wanted to meet, 1 day later she doesn't answer my texts and I get a text from a so called detective Kamal stating all sort of sexually explicit charges, and The name of the person who reported it hmmm red flag, 2nd the dad texted me and told me to call so I did we came to an agreement he wouldn't press charges if got a better paying job and paid him $1500 for the so called damages his daughter caused to his house after she hit him with a bat in the face XD. I digress thus is exactly why parents should protect their children from sending nude photos no matter the cost even adults if a guy or girl can't meet you after texting for a while ditch it ablnd block and report them to authorities A.S.A.P.!!!!! I've blocked the number and reported the profile I've yet to the police to see if I can catch them a 2nd time around

Recently had a man DM me on instagram. Very handsome man. Says that he is from Italy, but moved to the Netherlands for his job. He says that he is a civil engineer. Goes on to say that he is a widower with a 12 year old daughter, who is being raised by a nanny because he works 6 days a week, 13 hours a day. By 3 days, he is telling me that I am his angel and that he wants to marry me and build a life. He then says that he has applied for a contract to help build a bridge in India and needs prayers that he is chosen to go. Next day, he tells me that he has been chosen and that he wants to send me gifts to thank me. So I stupidly gave him my information to mail it to me. He says that there might be a small fee since it is from another country. He then flies off to India, and when I ask for picture before he leaves, he sends on but I notice that in bottom of the picture, it was taken almost 15 days prior to when he was leaving. Because when you DM an old photo it puts a date on it at the bottom. About 5 days later he tells me that customs office is calling him because they can not get ahold of me. I asked why and he says that they have detained the package until $1,500 is paid to release it. He says he is worried because he placed 25,000 euro in the package to help me with the cost. I then get a call from a number in Texas, saying they are the customs office and they have my package. They then text me the information to where I should send the money.....it’s a personal bank account in GA. I told him that I will need to get a loan for that kind of money. Since then he has been pressuring me about the loan. Today I get a call from the “customs” number in Texas 2.5 hours before they open. When he messaged me today he tells me they called him today, and when I told him something wasn’t right, he brushed it off and said the person is just trying to help. I have known for a little while at this point that it is a scam, I know that if something is detained in customs they send you mail through the post. I am just wondering how far this person is willing to take this scam. It is ridiculous how many frauds there are anymore.

how was it eventually? did they keep calling? have you blocked them? i came across the similar one but the custom warned me i will be acused by money laundry if i report to police as all money are in my name.

2 months ago started a chat with a Gabriel Weber anybody?? I sent him a phone. said he lost his on patrol in Syria while under contract with the UN now he want to abort the mission come home to me cuz ya no I am the only one he has but want me to pay 5K not happening or now just send gift cards so he can book a flight. told him no on both counts and boy is he mad!

I believe a friend of mine is falling for one of these guys. He contacted her on POF...has a very thick accent....goes by the name of Robert Perez Guffey ...is supposed to be an oil rig worker, born in South America, but who has a house about 20 miles from where she lives but is now in Gulf of Mexico till he gets 70% of the job done and can come home....she wants to buy an international calling card because his "mother" wants to talk to my friend. Claims to be a member of our church (not sure if she volunteered the info first)...Can't access his bank account for some flimsy reason so he had her give him her bank info, so his money can go to her bank
.......Nothing happened yet with her money disappearing but I fear it will....and she won't believe me till it does. She is very gullible and naive about men with a long history of picking bad ones. Anyone familiar with that name and/or do you think I'm just being paranoid ?

After my third divorce I was determined to find Mr Right so I signed up on line dating sites. I never heard of romance scam before so I did what who I thought was Mr. Right. This scammer kept pushing and pushing me making feel like I was selfish if I did not buy him iTunes cards because he is doing everything for our future. The next thing I knew I found myself buying thousands worth of iTunes cards and borrowing against my credit cards to send more iTunes cards. The more I sent the more he wants. Finally I said we need to meet so I paid for his trip to Texas but never met. He seems to have excuses after excuses. It broke my heart so I stopped all contacts with him. Months later he contacted me and asked for forgiveness and wanted to know if I could send him more iTunes cards. This time I said No. Months later I tried again hoping Mr Right will find me Nope I was scammed again this time I lost over 40k. You would think I learned from the last time but stupid me determined to find Mr Right. I heard of so many successful stories and I want one of them to be me. March I met another guy on line and I have no idea how he found me but after reading about Romance scammers I understand now how he found me. These scammers are great at what they do yes they will make you feel like a queen and talk sweet to you sending you flowers by paying from your credit cards so actually you are paying for your own gifts. This last one took a huge toll on me that I tried to commit suicide because I was ashamed and feel stupid for letting it happen to me the third time in two years. I lost all hope and trusting people will be very hard now. Please please if you are reading this you need to get away from someone you have never met. Live and learn no matter what they say to you they don’t care about you all they want is your money you don’t have. I have God and the family from church that are helping me heal because I cannot tell my family and friends what I let happen to me again. I am too ashamed to face them because I should know better from the first time I was scammed. Now I don’t have a home or bank accounts because they took everything I had. At 55 I have to start from the bottom and claim bankruptcy so yes I am scared to death. I am taking one day at a time forcing myself to eat and enjoy life again.

I read you post and I’m so sorry you were scammed. I have been scammed by 2 different military men and they took me for $1800.00. I’m done with on line dating , i didn’t lose my home but I would have if I would have sold my home like he wanted me too. I am a devoted Christian and I will pray for you and hopefully things will get better.

Jean I understand all too well what your going through. My scam started in2016. He took me for everything I had which also left me with nothing. My kids don't know an I never want them too. I would rather be dead then have them find out,but it's getting to that point. These are ruthless an calculating men. Will do whatever they have to,to take your money. I have no house,no money,no bank account,no job an no one to help me through this ordeal. It's getting hard to keep this from my kids,I'm afraid I will soon have to end my life,I can't go on like this. So ladies beware,if it seems too good to be true,it probably is!

My friend met a woman online and they were supposed to meet in person but never did. She made excuses. She said she was originally from Idaho. He wound up sending her a large sum of money for some type of investment. The LLC she had set up was legitimate and so was the bank account. The "woman" then left the country for work in Turkey. She has contacted him again asking for money. She has made several claims that she will come meet him or come to live with him but never shows up. She also professes to be in love with him. Should we report this?

I'm lost 8800.00 to a man posing as a underwater welder. I encourage all to never send money to a stranger. I learned that lesson for you. Block and Delete all stranger friend requests.

Can you give more info on this person? Stories they said to you? What were his excuses etc?

Can you please give me more information on this person. Name? Where were they saying they were located? Story? Etc

Has anyone else been contacted on Facebook by a guy claiming he loves them and goes by the name.....Donnie kawau James?

I have a friend who may be getting scammed and will not listen to reason. Man says his name is Howard Strickland who is from Canada and works at a Fishery in Ireland. He says he has a son in boarding school in Canada and is a widower. Does anyone recognize this name? He started following her on Instagram.

Funny,,,the word with friend player stopped contacting me when I refused to send money....LOL..Supposedly a good friend with many troubles...LOL LOL

Anyone heard of Richard Harold plays Words 2
Captain of a ship seeking oil near Istanbul
First needed a helicopter to come rescue them as the ship broke down. Now they have another ship but have no food and need food airlifted but he can’t access his money and wants me to send some. He loves me madly and can’t live without me haha. Very persistent

It all began on April 30, 2019 while playing Words With Friends when I got a request to play a game with a very handsome guy named Jeffrey Richards (Richardson Rogers) - can’t really tell from his email. We began innocently enough (or so I thought) on Words then moved to Hangouts. He seemed VERY genuine- said he was from Bremen Germany and worked as a diver (hyperbaric welding); first said he was lonely and tired of being widowed - then that changed to divorced with an almost 16 year old daughter in boarding school in London, UK. Oh boy he really romanced me by telling me he was working on an oil rig in the Gulf Of Mexico and he needed Google Play or Steam cards so we could talk and communicate via internet. Then he wanted cards so that he could contact his bank (he said Chase) so he could find out why they had frozen his account after he withdrew a lot of money to fund his job on the oil rig. Then he says he wants to repay the money from the few cards I sent him. Long story short this afternoon he sends me an application asking for my SSN, home address, phone number, email, etc. You all get this picture? As soon as I saw that last message I ceased all contact. He claimed that he told bank I was his “wife to be” and how much he loved me and couldn’t bear to be without me, etc. wants to take me on an Alaskan cruise. Anyway, if anyone else sees this guy on Words beware and hold onto your money. I’m thankful I didn’t waste any more money on the scammer .

I was scamer from a person called Mark spencer he ask me for 1,900 told me that he was in dubai and he needs the money to get back to his son I meet him on Facebook elvis presley group on valentines day he lives in america West Virginia I know that I won't get the money back I never meet him only by tex and phone calls on hangouts I never heard from him again

My mother said she couldn't stop sending money, she was programmed to send money. Every week for almost a year she was wiring money somewhere in the U.S. or Nigeria. I didn't know she was sending money, i only knew that she was talking to 2 guys. She sent them both money and new iPhones. 3 thousand in iPhone and she was going to pay their phone bill. She had those numbers on her bill. I got them off of her bill . They were taking money out of her accounts. She was laundering money for them. She fought me so hard, i begged her to stop talking to them. She can't she is addicted to the attention. I shut down her bank accounts but they keep trying to break in. I hope she stops talking to them. Last time Leonard was kidnapped and needed ransom money. These people are good at picking their victims.

I am also talking to a man named Leonard. He goes by his last name of Duke. He says he lived in the states but in South Africa on business. Is this the same guy? Do you have a picture?

I have a military guy that is scamming me. I wants me to sell my house so he can pay got luggage that he send me that has money in it! I said heck no!

I met Trey Brenton on WWF a couple months ago. Professed his love for me. Supposed to live in Kentucky but had to go to Vietnam for a job for one month and then all of a sudden he is now in India for a month. He informed me that he has a box coming to me and he wants me to hold - $750,000.00 cash from a job. He said it was sent through Pathbird2express and there is a charge of $1150.00 that needs to be paid for. It is a SCAM

Again another WWF scammer. Kelvin Walter/ Kelvin Winter. Was madly in love in probably two days and was very upset when I told him it was too soon. Within two weeks his machine on the rig broke and he needed me to buy him 4 X $50.00 Steam cards to update his computer for a manual. After refusing saying don’t have it never heard from for 2 days. When he finally contacted me, he wasn’t to happy about my message saying “how could you say that, I love you”. Haven’t heard from him since. If you are on WWF BE CAREFUL too many scammers

There is a guy pretending to be an Architect who owns his own business says he lives in Nashville, TN part of the time. But, he has a daughter he will send you pics of him and his daughter very good looking man, he send you pics of them on the beach and at a wedding reception she has long dark hair beautiful little girl. He will all at once tell you he has to go to Africa to build apartments homes for his company to help with those who are less fortunate as he is, then he will all at once get to Africa he will actually call you from a number from Africa or another country of some sort number I have for him are +27 (83) 414-7742 and 1-224-904-0214.
He will fall in love with you instantly you are the women of his dreams he wants to treat you like an angel he travels supposedly from Nashville to Africa in one day, then he supposedly gets his apple computer, iPhone and other electronics stolen the best of the best stolen all he needs is 3, 000 to replace all of the above he then turn around and give you the story that is an Billionaire he has a trust fund that he will allow you access too, he will give you a bank phone number an account number and an email for you to contact the bank to get your money back immediately he just can't do it he says because he is in Africa and his money is in Europe but some how you can!! Then he tells you he will double your money then he tells you he will send you 300,000.00 if you give him your account information to your bank but, first you have to send him the 3,000.00
I DID NOT SEND HIM ANY MONEY BUT DURING THE TIME HE WAS TRYING TO SCAM ME I WAS JUST DIVORCED VERY INSECURE I WAS BEATEN DOWN FROM HEAD TO TOE MENTALLY SO SOMEONE GIVING YOU ALL OF THESE COMPLIMENTS MAKES YOU FEEL GREAT DO NOT BELIVE IT!!
AS I HAVE STATED PREVIOUSLY IF IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT IS!!! PLEASE LADIES AND GENTLMEN DO NOT FALL FOR THIS MAN!!! SEVERAL OTHERS HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT HIM AND POSTED PICTURES HIS PICS ARE FAKE AS WELL.

Played WWF and met woman goes by Mari but also goes by other names. Made me think I was the only one she was in love with, sent her money to help her family so she could meet me. Never happened.

I had a guy going by williams cube in Florida working on contract job and by 1 week he was in love with me and wants to marry me then he started asking for iTunes cards and money to pay his bills when I told him no he gets upset and tells me I should take care of my man and I told him that I would have to meet him first and then see where it goes but he tells me he don't have money until he gets his money pay when he finishes the job so I told he I would not send anything to him and now he has quit texting me so hopefully he gone for good. I never sent anything to him and he knows I'm not .so women please check them out before hand they are site's you can have them checked out.

This guy sounds alot like a guy I met from Florida, too. Exact same senario, but not a consultant...rather in the army who could not leave because he had invested all his retirement in a business (the army couln't know about) and , and, and, and....did he ever give you his name? Ed, David, or Athur by any chance?

Has anyone been contacted by Jason Owen, 2 children Son Tony and daughter Tina living in the UK.
He works in oil litigation. Wife died 5 years ago of cancer.
He's now in South Africa and wants to marry me already calls me wifey and is suppose to be very religious

I am so confused , has. Anyone been scammed by a. Granit. Schar, or Bernd Leno?

He is in Yemen , (yes). A. Gold. Dealer. And. Stuck there. As they took his passport ,
He. Wants me to receive. A lot of. Money (in the. Millions. ) for him . Yes. Receive ..... and then. Only send. 300 k. To a. Banks account , keep the. Rest till he. Comes !

I am his only hope ........
We. Have been talking for. 4 month now , and he. Does make. Me laugh. And feel. Very good .......

I read. About all scams ... no where have I come. Across. Where. The. Scammer is. Sending money
What do you think ?

I get scammers chatting to me on word with friends often, and I get the same spiel, they are widowed or divorced with a child, in the army or on an oil rig eg. They immediately start telling me how beautiful I am, and quickly ask about my job etc . Then I ask about speaking online and they surprisingly have no WhatsApp or Facebook but want to chat via HANGOUT. That is the signal for me that they are Nigerian fraudsters. I have had a few admit they are Nigerian and then state they want to be honest with me, but I just block them and move on.
Realistically, if they are working on oil rigs or in the army, why do they need anyone to send them money or iTunes cards? Please be wise and don’t send anyone money or anything else for any purpose. Neither agree to bank accounts or any such nonsense. Guard your heart and be wise please!

Checking on Joseph Smith oil rig and Benson Gordon navy man. Pearl Harbor

Stevie A. Brown is an engineer who works on a oil rig off shore. I am not sure how to share the photos- but I know they aren't him- they are of someone else... Wants to spend his life with me- loves me beyond belief...

Mine is a Danish engineer by the name of Roland Asger Moore, widowed, no kids, no parents, old phone, religious, very buffed chest, claims living in Orlando. Needs $15k to move equipment to Shell Oil rig in Gulf. On Instagram using RolandMoore761 on dating sites using Candyb98 Ladies he is so smooth. He claims he loves you, wants travel and adventure, he will protect you, make you happy, you make him happy. You know the drill. Luckily I never gave him money. I pretended to and strung him along for weeks before giving him a piece of my mind

Has anyone heard the name Mark Wilson he is Marine Engineer from Florida? He is on last job before retiring to open restaurant. Grew up in Belgium. Has daughter just turned 13 that goes to boarding school.

Maro Dino found me on Instagram. From Italy and currently working on oil rig offshore in Turkey. True love, love at first sight. Asked me to marry him almost right away. He gave his son my email and he started calling me mom immediately. Scary. Marco had documents from a company that was closing in Berlin. I couldn't send enough money so never received. Now a part on oil rig is broken. He added me to a sub account and I need to transfer funds for him. It's a fixed deposit account so I am now required to pay 5%, $60,000 to First Trust because of the type of account. Bank is in KY but since I am in NY they are asking me to wire funds to Nigeria. Bank said within 72 hours my funds will be back in the account so I lose nothing. He rents a machine and it will take 3 days to finish job and he will fly here to live with me and wants to marry me. Has a ton of money apparently. How much do I believe and not believe. All these comments are horrifying.

Does anyone know of a legitimate way to know who a person is using their phone number and email address with having to subscribe to a monthly service, which comes across as a scam itself and I hear almost impossible to get out of. I need to find out if someone is who she says she is.

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