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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

I did the reverse image search in google and that’s how I find out it was a scammer. He got mad and threatened me, I blocked him and I haven’t heard from him in a week.

Has anyone heard of a David Johnson,from Essex maryland?says he owns a fabric textile company..he tried to get me to go into his 1 bank acct an transfer money to another..that where he was he didn't trust it..an it was 23,000 dollars...so then he wanted me to send him a Apple card...i then said why don't u go buy it yourself he says where he is they don't sell any...yea ok I dont care where you are everywhere sells them..like target is everywhere lol...i then said u sound just like the last guy he became mad an was like in not going to beg for love,etc...claims he has a daughter named lilly......so I told he man you tried to scam me get me in trouble with the law...i said nice try I'm to smart for that..never heard from him again been 2 weeks...

Met him on Okcupid. Told me he was a Portuguese national who’s lived in the states for many years with his wife. After his divorce he moved to Sydney and then got a contract in turkey to investigate an arms dealer. Said he was a investigative journalist. First we just chatted then about 3 months in he said he needed some equipment to decode a hard drive he copied from the arms dealer. Once he did that we would be together as his contract was worth a lot of money. Then the “equipment” cost more than he thought and asked if I can help. I said why not ask your friends and family, he said he didn’t have any. I said I wouldn’t send him money so he said he would send an encryption card to my address and asked for all my personal details. I said no but did give him my address. What arrived were 2 credit cards in someone’s name. He asked for a picture of the front and back so he can use it to decode the hard drive. I asked for his passport and visa image. Still waiting. Lol. Went to the police, handed the cards in. These scammers use soother peoples images, ask them for a video chat or an image with the current newspaper with date. Don’t be aftrais to offend anyone, if someone loves you they will do everything to make sure you’re happy and feeling secure so if the guy is for real he will do it for you and you can both laugh about it in the future. If he makes you feel like crap about asking for proof, then he’s full of it and you should report it and cut any contact. Good luck ladies.

A guy going by Paul Barkley in the military even with Barkley on the uniform pretending to have money, but no access to it asking for money for flights home. And a phone because his didn’t work very well. Claimed to be at the south sea border on a peace keeping mission. Always tells about attacks they were having and how many injured and how he desperately needed to come home. That he just couldn’t make it another day there. Found his picture later a different one than the once’s he sent me in Bink with scammer Marcus Leo under it. Smh

Yes he tried to scam me March 2020 send me a package that money was owed on it He didn't ask He said Oh you want to help me. He asked me to send cash only cash He should be here in Texas in May

Ok, A man supposedly named Thomas Benson started a game of words with friends with me. He told me he was in the army (profile pic had him in army uniform) and deployed in Syria. Having 2 sons in the army he immediately had my attention and interest. He started chatting with me through the game and then very shortly after asked me to install Kik which I did. After 5 days he said he was in love with me and asked me to send him an Amazon gift card because he needed stuff he wasn't able to get while deployed. Red flags went up and I said no, i don't have it. But he kept talking to me, "grooming" me, telling me he would give me 30,000 when he returned from Syria to expedite my divorce, that he was so in love with me, etc.. then he said his commander was aware of KIk , that they weren't permitted to communicate over there and to please install hangouts. Which I did
Then he writes me this very long beautiful love letter. Immediately after writing that letter he starts saying things like how sad he was because he had nobody to help him he had told me his parents were killed in a car crash then later told me they were murdered and that he was raised in a Catholic Church compound. The long love letter did not sound like him so I put the script into Google and it popped up word-for-word. I called him out on it and he kept trying to deny it and finally now I have stopped communicating. I'm so thankful I never said Tim anything because I almost did.

Please don't be fooled by an Irish German named Victor. His mother died at birth and father brought him to Germany when he was 2. He's a construction contractor and had to go to Germany because of a building collapse. When you call him it's a Google call never goes directly to him. I have pictures but this site will not let me upload. I found out he was a scammer from this blog. Someone had the same scenario. Thank goodness for this site

My story is a girl who i met on facebook. Like a fool i said what the heck. We chatted 2 nights in a row for about 4 hrs.and she sent pictures.Said she was in Afghanistan and was a peace keeper. She always quit Chatting and i never got to reply. Night 3 asked how she was she said sad. so i asked why. Needed a Goggle card for points or something. Night 4 i got smart and Googled her picture. Well surprise surprise. A Beautiful young lady appeared. Name was Megan QT. She has like 50,000 pictures on line and Various names. So when we talked she asked about the card. I sent her one of the sites she was on. Said she knew this would happened but still persisted. so later that night after she cooled off or something got this Message:" Good morning to you baby, I wake up every morning thinking of you, On this day, I promise my undying love to you, in sickness and in health, my continuous effort to make it work, and that all my love is yours and only yours. I hope and pray that this fairytale you have made my life stays and that we're good friends to the very, very end in our minds, bodies, and spirits. I love you with all my heart and soul. I love you far, far beyond my control and I always will, because what we share is more beautiful than the colors of any rainbow and they will never fade in days or only appear in rain. I love the feeling of happy tears rolling down my face. , because it's an everyday sweetness, it's meek and it's willing. You've made my ending a new beginning. There are no other words in the dictionary to describe the very scary commentary that I am sharing. I will love you, Baby, throughout this life and beyond.".
Sent some sort of reply and haven't heard from her since. At least i was smart enough to research her and lost nothing.

Hello. Anyone know of a man Christopher Kogiri. (May also go by James Kogiri) He has a Polish accent. He messaged me on BBPeopleMeet.com back in April 2019. Says he’s from Houston Texas. In profile picture he’s Caucasian 63 years old and wearing a light blue stripped Polo shirt. He says he is a construction engineer and was working on a bridge repair contract in Hilo Hawaii. Says he’s a widower for 3 years and wife Susan was a nurse who died of breast cancer. They have one son named Fred who is in marines. He’s very smooth talking and romantic. He asked me for money several times. For taxes and customs fees on equipment he hadn’t included in his contract bid, a car accident where him and crew were out drinking. He wasn’t driving but was badly hurt and didn’t have insurance. He said all his personal money and even a bank loan were tied up in upfront money for materials for the contract. Anyway I did send him $2000 and then he started having one bad luck or sad story and all he wanted was to come home to me. Haven’t sent more. I keep seeing what he’ll come up with next. Anyway a 10 day contract has turned in to 2 months. He texts or calls multiple times a day. Always some excuse he can’t make it home. He does send pictures but he’s never in them. Just tonight I told him to send me a picture of him. I’ll see if he does

We have to denounce

I have had a few scammers over the past 8 years of being single. I fell for one but quickly recovered after 2 weeks. Never sent him money. Just recently on the "meetup" app I ran into one. claims he is widower with 2 boys, one in college to be a bariatric surgeon? Is French and is on his way to Kosovo to work on some infrastructure for his company Bechtel, that he's a contract staff. He also tried to video chat with me which was hilarious! It was a video recording on another phone and he was talking but it didn't match up with the mouth movements. Name was Christophe Lesgner Tierney from Monte Carlo. Last time this happened I was able to add the photo to a datasearch but I can't find anything like that now? It seems the websites want to charge us for being scammed??? We should be able to post these? I would like to see if someone is using my photo!!

I was also scammed by Christophe Lesgner Tierney! I never gave him money, but I can see how if someone is very lonely, they could fall for these guys!! Same scenario, only I met him on WWF, he said he was a widower and was living in LA. with his two boys, Juan and Guan. He was an oil contractor and had gotten a big contract with BP. I gave him my cell phone number, which I regretted almost immediately. He is a smooth operator!! We communicated for almost 2 months before “he had trouble with the oil rig and needed money”. I said no, and that was the end of our “relationship”.
My marriage was going through a very rough period when Tierney “came into my life”. I could’ve lost my husband over this scam!
PLEASE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BE CAREFUL!!! There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there. If it sounds too good to be true —it is!!

Just wanted to add more detail about Christophe L. Tierney. He comes up with an Instagram and Facebook. He has 2 pictures on FB from January of 2019 when he first created the account, at first it said he was in Fishers Indiana. Its July and he said he's been in Alabama for 9 months. I asked for a selfie and he sends me 2 pictures of "him" wearing a winter jacket in Birmingham Alabama in July! Its 90 at 6am! There's no way it was real! He also said his sons names were Guan and Dion. I wish I could post the pictures of him.
He also told me he was on "Hangouts" and used "WhatsApp". He got very creative trying to video chat with me.
I have reported him to "meetup" but I wanted to share the other apps he is on just in case someone else meets him.

Army Col Thomas Jones in Afghanistan, from wealthy family, widower, has home in L.A. Supposed to come home in July, in love and wants to get married. Requested money to buy "time" so he could continue texting.
Now he has to stay another year, and people are now wanting him dead.....
Anyone know this scammer? My friend believes he's real and has sent him at least $2500.

I was talking to this one woman who claims to be from the United States but lives in Nigeria. She started talking to me on hangouts and then starts telling me that she needs me to send money to this lawyer who claims that she inherited money from her father who passed away. First of all, I don’t believe a word that any of these so-called women say because I know that they are lying. Second, they seem to use the same photo but with a different name. I don’t believe a word that anyone says online. They are all scammers and liars.

OMG. This almost verbatim for the woman I was chatting with named Nora. Not sure where she is from but says she is in Michigan. I was pretty stupid. Her lawyer wanted access to a credit card account but I was not that stupid

Do you have her name? Sounds like something my father had gotten into.

Hey there, being on Twitter I do get literally swamped and harassed by so called Deployed US MARINES in AFGHANISTAN trying to lure me into their fake camouflage nest.. Sending on duty PICS.. One of the worst calls himself HENRY G. BRITTON he's got a secured Twitter account saying he's from Springfield, Ohio.. Literally showering you with hunky pictures and love poetry asking for Amazon and Apple iTunes gift cards after a while.. Beware!!! He's good!!!

My story is this guy contacted me through Instagram, a Pilot Ethan Schulman from Oslo, Norway working with Gentry Charter Airlines, apparently contracted to fly medical aid with Unicef out of Ukraine to Syria :/
He needs money to pay for some fee for vacation leave.
He sent me voice recordings, video, even passport. He had me so fooled!
Thank God I only sent 600 dollars,
The only reason I stopped was because I kept having a gut feeling about him that I tried to ignore. So I kept looking up articles and videos of romance scams. One day after one week of talking to him, he sent me a picture of “diamonds” he got from a senator, which finally clicked in my brain as a huge red flag.

I really wish I would have looked at this website sooner.

Praying for all the women out there falling victims to these con artists.

If I could give any advice would be to listen to your gut feeling, and try to separate your emotions from the the situation and you will see the light. Thank God I did when I did.

In the process I learned to never trust anyone online.

Hope this helps someone.

He just chat me now. Pilot from unicef. Ethan Schulm. I already know he’s fake. Just few messages in!

Michael Rodriguez is his name..chatted wirh him for a year..he promised to marry me when he returned home from his mission. Asked for cards..money..things always come up and not able to return..how many women has je been scamming at during this whole time?

Hi, I m currently chat with the same name as yours. Michael Rodriguez, 40yo, pilot and aeronautical engineer from Tennesse but live and work in Las Vegas.
He seems nice but I doubt he is real because he doesnt want to have video call, just sending me pictures and calls.
At this point he doesnt say to ask for money, we matched each other in Tinder and using LINE for chat.
Glad to see this website. I almost fall in love with his good looking and kind words. Lol

Hi, did you find out anything about him. Someone is trying the same thing with me. But he says his name is Allen Vargas

I know it's been a while since this happened but someone is trying to do the same thing with me. Did you ever find out who he was?

I have been talking to a very handsome man under the name jrjamesarthur. Says he's from Texas but comes from SA. Parents died when he was 5, works in construction. Hes pictures on Instagram are of a model called Kevin Lutolf. Wanted money for food as he was stuck in turkey for work and his account was frozen. I've not sent him money. He contacted me through Instagram. I was blinded by his beauty and fooled by his words. Thankfully my best mate cottoned on. Be aware of these predators

Mike Foster. live:mikefoster2441 on skype. Supposedly in the Army in Syria but his location is secret. Parents deceased and no family. Single because he is unable to have children. Was attacked in camp by a junkyard with first a bullet then a knife. ? Even sent pictures of the stabbing. Syntax of sentences change from American like to Nigerian. I guess that is when the shifts change at the scam house. First contact was on Tinder which did nothing after I reported it. I also reported it to Skype a dozen times and they did nothing. Now I am here. Good bye Mike Foster. It was real. Ooops no it wasn't.

They are of liars, deceivers, scammers of different types, I do not trust anyone of them. They have fake profiles, fake names, fake locations, fake stories about their lives. They do not look for friendship; they want one thing only: MONEY from you. I was stupid before and I have learned my lesson. These scammers should be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Men and women, watch out and protect yourselves. Nobody wants to be a victim of these dishonest scams.

Online dating sites don't do near enough to protect those who pay for their services. Especially those over 50 years old, and scammers are all over this. Stay far away from a man with a British accent going by David Walsh, David OGorman who likely last name is OCallaghan, says he is a contract working in India, on historic library project, and then his wallet is stolen, needs money and it never ends how he will lie and manipulate and of course, ends up in car accident in some hospital in India that doesnt even exist. Stay far away from these criminals....ruthless liars

Yes, met the same scammer, British accent, David M Walsh, widow, with a 6 year old daughter, contractor, states he has big contract in India, wallet gets stolen....asks for gift cards, requests of money and then it continues on and on. In love with you in the first week, sends lots of Youtube songs/videos, texts and emails daily, pouring on the attention to manipulate your emotions. Pathological liar who is complete fraud.

Albert Edwards from Oklahoma is a scammer and jonsie Edwards

Interesting really, if you accept friends requests on FB, it doesn't take long before you'll get interesting messages. I had a lady in the Philippines, who contacted me, red flags when I got 'suspicious activity on your account ', but carried on chatting to see where this was going? I actually moved this person, who was reluctant, usually other way round...they usually want you on private messaging, to WhatsApp, and gave an email address. I'd check time difference, I'm in the UK, and felt this person was actually not just one. Today, I asked then details of WhatsApp convo, actually I'd specified I did not want umpteen pics of kids on my phone, as didn't see relevance to romance, seemed to actually be a ploy didn't know where that was leading....this person sent pics, normally type not illicit, but still not happy. I challenged the person today, and said what arrangement had we made about pics I was willing to accept? This person didn't know, yet obviously another I'd spoken to had heard me when I said, no revealing pics of you, and no pics of children, unless maybe your son....she claimed to have...together. I blocked all. On plenty of fish, I've used that on occasions, you get Hey there:), always the same opening line, we say Hi there, here, and spellings different. Mum, not mom etc. I'm very grateful for American English today, if someone is using it in my local area, claiming to be local, they are indeed not! I think too, judging by confections this person had in southern Philippines, it could even be terror related, not sure. Either way, they have my pic, and it may be posted to make an account seen legitimate, but fine, let them. All interesting stuff, in an ever changing connected world.

I had several doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neuro surgeons.. who contacted me saying they worked in Afghanistan for the UN Medical Team, asking for money, Itune card... because they were not allowed to do financial transactions in that war-torn countries. They can be very insistant, pleading for money...
Watch out and stay away from John Nguyen, Anis Tix, Larry Char... They all say they are widowed or divorced with one son or daughter in some boarding school in London, Turkey or Canada. Their wives died of cancer or some kidney disease. Their parents are dead and they are the only one in the family with no siblings. What did I do?
I unfriend them on Facebook, delete conversations in Hangout . When it's too good to be true and it's fraud.

I was scammed in the past before and still remember my pain and loss. Be ware of scammers everywhere, folks.

I was attempted to get scammed by guy met on wwf. He was supposedly from Canada but had a business started by his dad in Greece and a son in boarding school in Minnesota. He wanted 800 because mom ill in Canada and needed a procedure. I told him no healthcare system would deny care for a dying person. I did not give him the money. His fake name was Paul Hamilton.

Met a guy online, multi photos and Skype match. Thoughts?

I am pretty sure I am being scammed by a second guy that started chatting with me on WWF. Wouldn’t give money to first guy and then I Day later of blocking first one new guy talks to me. Get a vibe he may be same guy maybe trying to get back at me. Both live in same place Canada, both are Catholic, divorced with one son in boarding school in US. Both had birthdays same month and is also my birthday month. I only gave second one 40.00 iTunes card but now wants 310 for new suit to visit me. He has tried wear me down but I refuse to send money to him.

They use Hangouts, Telegram and Whatsapp because they are encrypted and are harder to trace. Which makes it harder to find and prosecute them by law enforcement. They move off of Dating apps and Instagram and other such sites as quickly as possible and delete the profiles so that you cannot report them. Which would result in the number and email they used from being flagged and potentially blocked by legitimate sites. Thus ensuring they can continue to set up new accounts with different names over and over using same contact info.

They also tend to use Voip phone numbers that are legit US phone numbers so you believe their stories that they are American, Living in America ect. You can set up Voip numbers from any internet connection in the world, and request the home number from anywhere you want without ever even actually living there.

They request gift cards again because they are untraceable. They ask for your personal account information so they can steal all the personal data, photos ect to use you to scam other people. They are also doing this with the photos they ask you to send them.

They ask for your credit card, bank account , or paypal , or set up an account for them to use under the guise that they intend to send you money either to help you or to hold for them so they can steal your actual money and potentially your financial identity. They can also use this to launder money , which can end up with you serving real time. And owing taxes on money you never had.
I use Tineye to search for their photos. I have found several of them this way.

I am polite to anyone who does this. I decline all request with legitimate excuses. I continue to converse with them to see exactly how far they will go. And i screenshot everything. Pics, phone numbers, email addresses, different platforms they use, and the conversation. I screenshot everything from the beginning so it is not lost when they delete profiles. All so that i can report them as much as possible on all the scam sites and law enforcement.

I am even considering setting up a male profile to screen dating sites to make sure the scammers are not stealing my photos from the app, messages , or my legitimate social media to scam unsuspecting men. And so I can report and shut them down ,if my pics show up on any dating sites or apps.

I hope this helps someone out there. I promise to do my best to shut them down and i hope all of you out there do too.

I used Tineye yesterday and his pic came up 2 different times in 2017 and 2018 on 2 different sites but it was supposedly new suit he purchased in September 2019 and photo taken then after purchase. Busted I would say.

Hi Valntin, Thank you so much for posting what these creeps do and why they use Hangout etc. I learned a lot from your comment. I was just scammed by one of them too by the name of Stephen Patrick, said he is a orthopedic doctor at a camp in Pakistan. Same thing about, lost both parents, has a child , child wants a new mom, etc. He said he works for the United Nations as the head doctor there. He loves me and the whole nine yards. He wants to get back home in the US but can't his accounts are frozen at the war zone. He talked me into getting steam cards saying he would fly out to meet me but never did. I want to ask you about TINEYE, I want to use it. I have several of his pictures he gave me if it is him??? I am not familiar with using it can you give me any tips on how to use it and report this creeps. I like your interest on going after them, that is great. If possible I want to go after this creep too, it was very hurtful. If you could help me with anything on how to do it I would appreciate it. Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich. Just go by Nanette.

Thank you for your caring advise how to find infos about some dating men. I tried others, but just your advise was best in finding somebody by image through Tineye. Thank you so much, as I was so upset by having saying good bye to one man on some Social media. But when I started looking about his image, after reading your letter and searching through Tineye,I found out it was not the same man. Then it could be a Scammer. So I am happy about it after all.

Recently mother was scammed and she deposited over 10k in bank account for scammer. First BOA branch would not accept . Scammer told her to go to another branch. The other BOA branch accepted but we found out they are holding the money. We were told that since it was a scam to file police report and they Seoul’s return the money since it was on hold. Police report was file as well as complaint with FTC. Now BOA says they will not release funds unless police calls. Police says they won’t call. We want to make sure that money does not get released and then BOA says it’s gone.

my mom has been Romance scammed for over a year by this guy, I have advised her that she is being scammed, but to no avail, she says I don't know what I am talking about. But I have convinced her finally to say that she would work with him in the scam, and now he has given her all his REAL info, what should I do...

I wish we could compare photos. My scammer is an orthopedic surgeon in Aleppo, Syria. He needs $65,000 to pay his demurrage fee so the UN will terminate his contract so he can come home here and marry me. He is working with a security company called Less-Way, out of Ghana, Africa. He needed itunes cards, cash, ( all sent to various businesses) verizon phones...yea, I wish we could compare photos.

I also have friend (orthopedic surgeon in Aleppo Syria—- suspected scamming with Lessway Security and Delivery Co.. Ghana,Africa.. Nothing works to be able to terminate Contract... was going to Ghana cancelled several flights. Ugh

I received a fb friend request. I knew write away he was a scam. He then messenger called me confessing to scamming women and hating himself. He spoke of the corrupt gov and few jobs. he didnt want any money. Share how they scam and hack acts and many love doing this but he cannot anymore. He regrets everything but doesn't know what to do to survive. he talked about human trafficking and cocaine trafficking. very sad but to share so much and wanting help to stop. But I am not marrying someone to help them.

My sister has contact with a Lampard Scott or Scoth born in Germany now lives in Ohio as a contract jeweler. He contacted her through facebook. He says his wife also died recently.He is now on an oil rig off of Mexico he says. He calls her every morning and she calls him every evening. This has been going for about 4 months just after her husband died. He is supposedly going to come for a visit. I'm worried about my sister.

I understand why you are worried. If I had a dime for every oil rig worker who had contacted me, I'd be filthy rich.

My aunt was in contact with this person a year ago as well. He played with her emotions. She was lost without her husband and all he wanted was to gain her trust. We wanted to believe it was real but nothing made sense until it was too late. He got her to send him money “to get him a flight” over several transactions. Then before she knew it her account was drained. Unfortunately for her the bank couldn’t do anything they could do. There was no real trace of him. Please be careful.

Absolutely true! This is on going . I know the script very well. Just do not give information that they can use and never send money. Instagram I delete all request they are all fake profiles.

You are so right!! They either are on an oil rig or they are a doctor working for the UN. However, I'm talking to one now who is a diamond miner!! LOL I am just having so much fun. They tell you they love you within days of connecting with you. I have "met" all mine on Words With Friends. When they start asking for cards, I just tell them that I don't have any money, but these crazies just keep asking. I don't give them anything--no money, cards, none of my information. I just sit and laugh and play wwf until they resign!!

Anita MacAlister has received 620 in 8 days from. my ex he won't listen thinking it's true love only talks on hang outs she's 20 hrs away from us in Texas I look her name up and don't find nada she dont have no accounts but hang outs and I believe that's because it's set you can't track ppl

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