You are here

Romance scams will cost you

Share this page

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

Definitely something in the waters with these scammers!! Contacted on POF by a “Joshua Prescott”, then asked to chat on hangouts. Chatted a couple of days. Very inconsistent and evasive answers to my questions. Claimed he had a 6 yr and mother/ex killed in a car accident. Claimed he was a Marine. The beautiful guys pics he stole has the actual persons name listed on the photos. YouTube video popped up as I was dots search on him. It said he’s a scammer. Wanted marry me and be a mother to his child, lol! He contacted me again after I told him not to contact me after about a week. So I played his game. Forgot to mention, he’s in West Africa undercover, and needs money for data so he can talk to me. Long story short he asked me to call him and I said no, but called unexpectedly and someone with an African accent answers and after he realized who I was, he quickly claimed he had to call me back. BLOCKED!! Smh...

I had this guy named Martin D Camden ask to follow me on instagram. I'm not sure why I allowed him to follow me, but I did. He send me messages, told me his wife passed in a car accident she was the love of his life they have a daughter named Emily. Then he started asking all kinds question's as in my name, if I had kids, if I was married, what I liked, what I dislike, so on. He told me that he working on a proposal for a contract ( oil rig) it would be his last one before he retired. Said it was 4.5 million. I ask him why he would tell me that not knowing me said he wanted me to know everything about him. then ask me how much I made. of course I never would tell him. We talk for a little over a week then he won the contact had to leave that Saturday. He told me he couldn't use his phone there cause it was to damager's, but he could text me on Hangouts. He would be gone for a month,everything's was fine till the last week before he was to return, his machine caught fire and he needed me to send him money that I was the only one to help him. And he tried I will give him credit for that. But I told him to start out that I didn't have a lot of money. he would send me pictures of him before he left. the first time I knew he lied was he took a picture of him at breakfast I ask him were he was, he told me the name of the restaurant it seemed off cause of the background, it looked more like a McDonald's so I searched the restaurant and they opened for lunch and it was a nice restaurant. I never said anything about that. But I did ask if he was a scammer and he said he wasn't. I told my friend about all of this and she ask to follow him and he took the bait. Even told me that I was the only one he was talking to. He replied to her that she has a pretty smile I must say. Which made me sick cause at this point I knew what he was. I told him that I could see were he wrote on a post. Said it wasn't him that he has got hacked it's not the first time and he has people emailing him all the time. I did a google search for all the pictures I had, nothing would show up then it hit me he has a picture on hangout so I search it, it came up as David Mcbean they was pictures on his page that Martin had sent me. So I ask him about it all he could say he has been hack and they got the pictures off of him and changed the date. Which doesn't make since cause some I ask him to send me a picture of him at that time. So please be careful I do have picture of him and I'm glad to show them.

This really sounds a lot like this guy calling himself Allen Braisted. I ran his photo on Google but it hit on nothing. He’s an investor so he said. He won a contract from Shell for 13 million dollars. Told me to find us a nice house because he was going to take care of me. I ran his phone number from cell and it was issued in Utah. Has daughter st boarding school and needs 3500 for books. He can’t leave the rig to send it. No I can’t send money. Tried to get me to give him my bank account so he could deposit money in my account. I wouldn’t do that so he got really mad and started cussing me. I ended it right then.

Can anyone else tell me if they have had approaches from a Tammy Morris or Jaleena Gaskin. Both of these ladies have tried to befriend me, told me how they can see a long term future with, posted supposed photos of themselves etc. Then they ask for Amazon Gift Cards for various reasons including: I have no money to feed my son, my son has dropped my phone down the toilet and I need to get it fixed or I need money to upgrade my phone to run the latest apps. One claims to be a doctor working in Yemen for Doctors Without Borders and they need a break and want to come and meet me. I have to pay an agent in Bitcoin nearly £6300 to allow this to happen. Please can anyone contacted by these two ladies let me know. Thank you

I actually have 2 photos of Jaleena in her scrubs. One was with a group of doctors and they were all in their scrubs. She is very attractive. She did the phone card bit. We had interesting conversations....talking romance. I would love to meet her in person.

They are scammers, enough said.

I actually approached J Gaskins b/c a different woman (Sandi Leon) that was scamming me was using at least one of the same photos as Gaskins has on her instagram page. I wanted to ensure whether Gaskins was a real person. Appears, both are fakes.

My father has been in contact with Jaleena. A supposed doctor working in Yemen. She asks for google play and phone cards through google hangouts. She also states having 1.6mil that will be shared and is trying to set him up with a fake lawyer Martin Foss and fake bank in the UK. He will not give in to the fact that he is being scammed and won't believe anyone. She tells him she loves him and wants to move back to the States with him

Beware of a guy who calls himself GAVIN BIERMANN, or GREISY LOPEZ, claims to be a mechanical engineer on a cargo ship in norwegian sea bound for china. Has been separated for 5 years, with a 13 year old daughter. Claims he can only use hangouts for communicating. Because of pirates in the north sea. Never gave any specifics or details. Wanted his " daughter" to speak to me, who is in a non existent boarding school in norway. She took a trip to london for a non existent trivia competition. She forgot her credit card, he has no way of accessing his accounts, and asked me to send her 25000 euros. Unbelievable. I told her to send me all her contact info, an i would send the money right along! I got no answer yet. In the meantime i exposed him on hangouts, with every lie he ever told me, and he STILL INSISTED i was wrong. I am still letting him have it. It was kind of fun seeing how far he would go. Unbelievable. Gavin biermann. Greisy lopez. Beware.

Sarah Bell is a scammer on Google Hangouts. I have tried everything to stop this Nigerian scammers. This is a serious crime, they are abusing my disabled son emotionally and financially. This needs to stop.

My scammer goes by the name of Jackson Alexander Civil Engineer from Vancouver Canada, currently staying in Indonesia waiting for a multi-million contract. His wife passed away 2 years leaving him alone to raise two young kids. First he asked for $1980 as a birthday gift, follow by another request of $2200 to pay an old debt he had with the hotel, followed by $50K to buy a CAT for the company in order to get the contract of which he is going to to make millions of dollars. I did send him some money and because I couldn't send the rest he wanted to refund my money and was repeatedly asking for my bank account details. I did n't send it, I told him he can keep the money as a love present, delete my WASAPP. He started calling me, texting and leaving voice messages. I should just text him and let him that I know that he is a scammer.

Met 'Karl Bachmann' on a dating site 13 months ago. He has a German accent , but his English is more British than American . His voice is a 'tonic' in and of itself. I knew he was a scammer 11 days after we met online and confronted him about it. He denied it and was quite defensive.Over the 13 months I gave him about $7,000.00. We broke up a couple of times, but he begged me to accept him again and promised NEVER to ask for money again because he wanted to marry me. Well, he did ask for money again and I said NO. I have not heard from him since. He would never give me his actual photo ( he knew that I knew his pictures on line were not him), nor would he ever give me his address. He always claimed to be 'poor' due to a divorce costing him everything. He is a obsessed with his health and seems to have a lot of upper respiratory illnesses. He also suffers with depression...or so he claims. I have a tendency to believe that he does have some mental issues. He is the most sincere liar I have ever heard!! He charmed me to the point that I truly did fall for someone I had never met! He sent me a picture of his flight itinerary when he was to come visit me the first time. I checked on it and was told there was no confirmation # because he had never paid for the ticket ( money I had sent). The second time he was to come see me , I did not hear from him for one month because he said he had been arrested at TSA for tax evasion! Ladies, if you run across this guy, he is VERY smooth and convincing!!

Beware of Robert Petruzzi,total charmer,he says hes a widow,no parents,coming into loads of money,due to inheritance,he says hes in Malaysia,but needs £100,as he needs original death certificate,asked me to buy an Amazon gift card today,what an absolute creep,he was on pof

I'm sure i've been scammed by this guy named Gary Raymon. Claims to be a single father with a son in a boarding school in England. Found me on facebook and wanted to be my friend. chatted on messenger then demanded to write on hangout to talk. He told me he was from Maryland and also lived in England. He said he is a american military doctor in afghanistan. He confesses his love to so deeply and wanted to spent the rest of our lives together. He knew how and what to get out of the country. I had to claim i was is wife and needed him to come home. I wrote a letter to the marriage lawyer to get certificates stamped of approval then sent it to the UN Retirement Department for his release and documents. They ask for me to pay for that. Ouch! Next he asked me to send money over because his son was very ill and needed treatment fast. The UN transportation department was asking for money to move him out. Big mistake! Then the UN asked for money for landing certificates of the helicopter and doctors jet. The worst part of all getting a message from the UN saying this guy was arrested after landing in Canada for a horrible crime, claims over and over Im innocent. He told me he will pay me back for helping him. Not going to happen. The lawyer and the court are asking me to pay his fine of $96,000 dollars for bail. I repeated tolled them i have no money. I feel cheated and at a huge loss. Worst mistake ever!

Met Derrick_jakub on IG 17.2.2019 quickly moved to Whatsapp. Impersonating a weaponry Engineer from Turkey stationed in China. Due to "protocol" he can't voice note/call or video call. Proclaimed love within a week Exchanged hundreds of messages. Now he has said his supplier has increased prices & the FED's are blocking his funds. He has asked me to allow Brinks to transfer his money to me & that I send it to him bit by bit. It is clearly a scam & attempted money laundering. If anyone is chatting to this 'thing' block & report I wouldn't like to think of his next mark actually falling for his deception.

Has changed his account name to d_amazing_j along with his profile picture & bio. Same number of followers & following. It's unfair that these deceptive 'things' are able to make a few changes to their account & carry on :-(

Does anyone out there know of Steve Vega Green, US Army stationed in Syria??

Maybe not the same name but did he say he is a widow, son name Robert who is 12 living with his mom in Halifax VA

Hi does anyone one a marine soldier called James Tyler? He just started chatting to me on instagram.

I met a woman on a website who said she got an inheritance and had to go to Nigeria to collect it. Once she said she got there she said there were legal fees. She sent me documentation that looked really, so like a dummy i sent her over 14K. Later to find out she was fake. I have all the information on her. Just don't know where to send it to. Unfortunately I saw the red flags and ignored them. She said she was from Texas, but I found that her driver's license is fake also. Keep your eye out for a woman who goes by Ann Hank from El Paso Texas.

I have been talking to a man who supposedly is an engineer and had a contract in Peurto Rico. he was coming to meet me and got in a car accident on the way to the airport. the Dr. texted me and said he was in a coma but would be alright. \he had a broken leg. he said he loves me and needed to pay the taxes on the contract before he could come home. the authorities wouldn't let him leave. like an idiot I believed him and sent him money through a third party as he said he couldn't access his account My kids were concerned and called the police. It is definitely a scam even though the man promises to pay me back. I am in serious financial trouble as I maxed my cards to help him. Why do we let people scam us. I had a feeling but did not listen to my gut. I wish I were dead.

Anyone have this..he finds me on pof, says he is deployed to Bagram base in Afghanistan...no parents, girlfriend was a chronic cheater who he was going to marry after his tour in Iraq...he has not asked for a thing yet...he says he is a seargent major in the US Army...cant call me yet but will find the time to call and Skype when he is not too busy...name is Ryan Luke Quinn...age 40...says he is from Wisconsin and stationed from Fort Devens Mass...seems to know a lot about the military...we talk on kik..says he is not active on social media...but I did a Google image reverse and find an IG acct with 3 pics and that's all...I confront him..he is upset and says that someone stole his pics...
So I'm lost as some seems legit and some does not...

does any one know a John Bogdan
(sebastian) says he works off shore Qatar , has a son away in football academy in Spain or Cyprus . he says hes a widow , from dating sites , he falls in love very quickly then asks for money .

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?

Pages

Leave a Comment