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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 was approached on jswipe, gorgeous guy, claims to be in the military, only child no parents. divorced, no kids. I actually believed a whole week, then said he is having financial problems as he isnt getting his salary. He asked for a transfer in the states when I refused he pushed for bitcoin. obviously I didnt pay, played along while I contacted fbi, waiting for them to get back to me, I continue to chat in the hope fbi will be sble to catch him through whereever he is chatting with me from .

Did he say he was born on Belgium but moved to America to find a life. Dad neglected him as child and mum died

I have someone that I met that has the same story more or less as yours. I have pictures. Can you please contact me

I receive d a friend request from Mark Donald. He's an orthopedic surgeon in Syria. Has a son in a boarding school in Africa. His wife died in child birth.
He needs 2550.00 to get his box out of Turkey. He was ambushed last week by rebels, in the hospital with a broken arm.
Has anybody else experienced this man.

Do you have picture of this scammer?
Box, rebels and amount match what’s happening to me.

I met this gentle on Pinterest of all places. I was looking up recipes and didn’t know you could be contacted on. I’m married and happy. Like everyone else. He’s a single father. He’s from Scotland. He’s parents have passed and his wife who was the love of his passed away and has 13 yr old daughter who he said last week was 9 yrs old. Well we chatted for a month when he suddenly said he hated to ask but needed 500.00 to finish a document so he could come back home to the states. Supposed loves in San Jose California. I’ve checked him out. He says his name Branson Eddings. There is no Branson Eddings in California anywhere. There is a lot of Eddings in San Jose. But he’s not one of them. He’s also just ask if I would receive a portfolio box for him from transpix logistics for700,000.00 He said he’s made me the beneficiary as I’m the only friend he’s got left. I need to give this place all my id information. Drivers license address and country also telephone number. I’ve never given him. You always hope these people aren’t evil plagues but they are. Everyone please be careful. Like all of you it happened to me but. My husband and I started digging into info he had given me. like working in oil field area in Brazil Being a contracted geographical engineer working for and oil company. All the info so for has come up blank. Oh transpix logistics is in Istanbul Turkey. So everyone be on the lookout for this scamming crook.

I met this guy Brandon Rivaldo on Hinge. He deleted his account pretty quickly after we started chatting. He was supposedly in Phoenix but all of the sudden got transferred to Africa to treat the Corona virus. He's a doctor. He has a son named Harry 9 yrs old who is being taken care of by the nanny and an ex-wife who has drug/alcohol addictions. He asked for a Steam card for $300 to help keep his phone working in Africa then asked for $700 PayPal payment to the nanny for a gift for his son's birthday. He can't get access to his money. He says all the right things...he loves me and wants to raise his son with me, get married etc. I've been chatting with him for 3 weeks only. Now he wants me to sign a form, pretending to be his fiancee, from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa to bring him home and to get a replacement for him in Africa. Has anyone had a similar experience?

I have been playing Scrabble Go with a guy for about a month. He is very charming and we have had a good chat and have quite a bit of banter over who is winning. I am very wary due to the nature in which scammers work. His Scrabble Go name is WordChamp and claims his real name is George Wilson, a Polish American from Texas. Obviously alarm bells ringing when he claims to be an orthopedic surgeon working in Syria. Anyone else come across him.

I met someone on scrabble go too—same thing: an orthopedic surgeon in Syria. Claims he is a widower and his wife died in accident. Named Malcolm and he is wearing a tux in his profile pic.

Has anyone had a friend request from Richard D Clarke He is a General stationed in Syria Sweet guy but I'm afraid I'm being romance scammed

I m also the victim of the romance scammer and had lost huge amount approx. 11000$. is it possible to recover the money i lost? can anyone help us.

Has anyone here had dealing with a guy named Samuel Sand I meet him on Word Domination and we chatted them eventually he ask me to go to Hangouts.
We have been talking since last November.
Claim he is single dad with teenage age son Joe. Says he is a Marine Engineer Contractor working on an oil rig. In the sea between Alaska and Canada. Stay away smooth talking both in text and phone calls. Only after money and will get it anyway he can

Same guy,
Samuel Adam 68, son Sean in Germany boarding school. SENT MONEY my bad
Oik rig engineer North Sea Alpha 2
Thru Apache no such rig or employee
May go by Darell Shore. Asking for money to get chopper to leave rig. Beware!

Just dropped this guy:
Orthopaedic surgeon, working for NATO in Kosovo, parents dead, sister dead, wife dead, daughter Tracey in boarding school. On 4 year contract. Originally from Brazil, then Chicago but took lucrative job with NATO. Rarely directly answers questions, makes excuses when called out, won’t video chat due to security and terrorists locating them. Has so many feelings for me, wants me to be his queen, calls me babe, sweetie, dear, hon within a few days. It felt wrong right away but he didn’t ask for money so couldn’t be a scam. Right? Wrong. Listen to your instincts, they’re there for a reason. Deleted hangouts. Wish I hadn’t wasted 2 weeks chatting to a fake.

I just started talking with an orthopedic surgeon currently in Damascus. Sounded rather fishy so I checked out scammers. Amazing how many orthos are in Syria etc. I pretty much insulted him, that is if he has a conscience. Doubtful. It only took me a couple of minutes to figure it out but I lead him on to see how far he would play.

I'd be very interested to know what happens here. What other info do you have on this guy?

Would be interesting to know a bit more as the same happened to me.

Beware in Words with Friends there is an Aaron Miles claiming to be a surgeon in Yemen. He will ask to go to hangouts. Profess love and claim to be widow and has a 7 yr old son. He will claim to need money for a car and then for internet. It is a scam.

Anyone been scammed by Wellington Bolt? Scammer with daughter, Sarah Guzman, in Australia. He does oil drilling. From Canada then the UK then Los Angeles. Got robbed in Mexico. Needs money to complete the job so he can come home and marry me.

I've been scammed by a man who claims to me a marine chemist.. Living in Minnesota. He is at work on the seas off of North Carolina.
Met him on a dating site. Wants to Marty me after two weeks...with nothing more than texts. Cannot talk on phone because it could compromise the network.
Tells his "son" to contact me via Google hangouts. It's actually deceased brother's son, that lives in Brazil. The boy calls and messages me.
the dad "Chris" is VERY wealthy... But needs to have $$ to complete his contract... Only 50k to collect his 4 million.
Then, when I decline that, he needs 2k to restore his international calling plan... Wants me to send via bitcom. Oh, and he's injured.
The boy keeps contacting me... Needs money for school for projects and they are running out of food...he lives with a nanny. Since dad can't contact them because I won't give him money for his calling...the boy is forced to contact dad thru me.
Chris's (the scam dater) parent's are dead. His wife was killed in a car accident, his brother is dead. His brother's son is abandoned by his mother...
People are horrible!!! Using children!!! This boy is callin me, begging me...
I could go on and on!

I’ve been communicating with a pretty RN who says she is serving in Afghanistan. Tells me she loves me and wants to marry me. In order to prove she is real I asked her to send a picture of her holding a piece of paper and write “Hello Fred”. She sent the picture holding the sign! Is this fake? Now she wants to marry me and asked if I would buy her an engagement ring to prove my trust. She wants me to send money for a ring she wants to buy in Dubai. Her Facebook is LeaSpeed6. She is very popular and her pictures show her with many weapons and other topics. Nothing vulgar or indecent. I need help. I’m excited and wish for this to be real. But I’m 63. She is much younger and very pretty. It’s hard for me to believe she would choose me over all the other younger guys.

It is easy to photoshop an image. I asked the same of my guy and he was holding a white board with my name on it saying that I mean a lot to him with the date. When I enlarge the photo it doesn't look like marker on a board, it looks like pencil on paper and blown up to fit the "white board". If you do a search online for photos of army romance scammers, you will see examples of what can be done. One soldier was holding a white paper referencing the name of their victim etc but the real photo was the soldier holding newspaper article. So the scamner made it the same size and to look like it was real. I wouldnt give money to someone I just met in person, no way I'd do it online even if they were real.

Did you guys encounter any guy with the name of Cheng Paulo Wong lim? He said he is from Singapore but he work in us North Carolina as interior exterior designer at offshore construction company. Within 3 weeks, he can confess his love. He mentioned his dad pass away and left him and his mum. He was supposed to get married last year but his gf betrayed him so he broke off. He said that he will finish his contract at Cyprus and plan to settle in Singapore. during his 14 days quarantined, one day he asked to help login to his account to transfer money to this money changer at Cyprus. I helped but after a few days he said that his mum is in hospital due to heart issues and want me to help transfer some money to a money changer so that he can send money to the hospital. This sounds so suspicious. I asked for screenshot of conversation between him and his guideman (he said that he text him all the while to get updates on his mum) , he just ask why I need that and why I don't trust him and he is sad and shocked etc. I wonder if he is really a legit person or a fraud.

I think I’m getting scammed by a guy in the army. Says he is in Africa and needs $2500 by the end of the month. Told me he is going to die there if I don’t get him out. I’ve googled his number and it’s pops up in the United States. I’m at the end of my rope and don’t know what to do.

If he sent you pictures google them in the Google picture section. That is how I figured mine was a scam.

Don't ever send money.

I met a guy online, he said his name was Bernard Rosario originally from Puerto Rico but now resides in Birmingham in the UK. We chatted for about two on WhatsApp (texts and audio) and he was using a US number, claiming that he’d been in the US recently. When we spoke he sounded African. Last week he said he bought me a gift and wanted to send it to me. He then said I must pay for £450 for clearance for the package to be delivered and said I should expect a call from the courier agent. When I refused he got mad.

I was scammed by a Frank Donaldson. Does anyone here know him? This went on for 3 months . Asked me for money in two days. Was asking for $220,000 and really thought I was so in love I’d do it. I gave him money but drew the line and he knew he couldn’t get more so disappeared. When will we have law enforcement on the internet?

yes but to me he said Kelvin Oscar and said was an Orthopedic workin under military contract in syria and that to send $1,200 for his valuables to be shipped to me since the company closed due to the pandemic, I google it and this whole article came up, and I did the reverse image and found the real guy on facebook.

My 32 year old son recently met a very attractive 24 year old gal from the Phillipines who claims to be making great money as a maid in Malasia. She video chats with him regularly and says she wants to come to the US soon. She hasn't asked for money yet but her story seems a bit too sob. She claims to have 2 kids and was married at age 13. I'm just wondering if there's a way to check this out.

I just discovered a romance scammer using the "doctor working for the WHO in Yemen" identity. The profile was rather well-made, I couldn't find anything searching for his pictures or his accounts. I only found proof when I searched for doctors working in Yemen. Because of that I want to include his accounts here, so I might can help others to avoid trouble in the future:
The scammer's instagram: 333_ riccardomonte
The scammer's e-mail: riccardo monte210 @

Has anyone had any communication with a “Thomas Herzberg”! Saying he’s a German trauma surgeon currently in Syria? Has a daughter that has had leukaemia?

the experiences i have read so far seems to be what i have gone through. I have lost a lot of money to someone claiming to be a US military guy with a daughter around 14 and a ex with whom he had a messy divorce.Currently in Florida where he moved to last year from san Diego. Now as a reserve he has been diagnosed with cancer but says he is making me his successor so his ex does not get her hands on his assets. Still he needs money as after the surgery the doctor found a tumor and as he is in a private hospital, he me to access his account. even when i have not signed anything or ever gave him my passport details. But his account officer and lawyer still want to hear from me. This has gotten scary. His goes by the name of Chase but i have never seen him just have his snaps. If anyone knows about this please let me know.

I just avoided being scammed $10,500 to try and get a replacement orthopedic surgeon for a widowed "Dr. James Lee" wanting to break UN contract from India pakistan kashmir border to get to his 9 year old daughter "Mary" and move close to me. He said parents were deceased and no siblings, also didnt get along with relatives making him seem lonely. We met on FB and asked to switch to Google hangouts. He was well spoken, charming and sent pictures of a very handsome doctor. (Identity theft) He needed me to email the General with a request for replacement, thinking this was all that he would need, I complied. He said that it would be near impossible, but 3 days later I received a letter back stating they found a doctor willing to comply. To have the transaction take place the UN fee was $10,500. I was so happy for him and then he states he doesn't have access to his funds from there, for me to lend it. RED FLAG!! Went to UN website and looked at the doctors list... no James Lee. Also googled 2 of the many pictures he sent me... 100% scam!! Sent him packing. Sad that people are willing to play on others emotions. I really felt I was helping him and his daughter. Oh well lesson learned and I hope I can help others in spotting this type of crime!

I was just talking to Dr. Paul Morgan..he is widow..has son in boarding school..i would never give money...

I befriended a fellow on Facebook because he said he was an oil contractor. I am a Canadian and I thought he might be working in Northern Alberta. Turns out he is working onan oil rig off of Norway. He said he was a widower with a 9 year old son. (Now 10). We passed the time of day for a couple of months. He told me he loved me and wanted us to live together somewhere giving me a choice of where that might be. He is from Brooklyn. His son was being boarded in a private school. After 3 months of talking he told me that his son was going on a field trip and needed money but his bank account was compromised . Could I help him out? He would pay me back with interest. He needed $1000.00. Seems like a lot for a field trip. I said no and he kept asking. After I said I wouldn't send money to anyone I didn't know he deleted me. He goes by the nme of Nelson Richard

Anyone talking to a Stephen (Esteban) Sanderval? I wonder if he is still around.

Hi Angel, unfortunately he is still around. He tried to scam me last year around September. He did not get any money from me but broke my heart. I stop all connections, but then on December we started talking again just as "friends". I wanted to know who he really is. We had many conversations about the state of the world, racism, and COVID 19. He never asked me for any money during those six months that we continue talking. Then at the beginning of July 2020, I just stopped communication and he did not pursue any further contact. How long were you in contact with him?

I have a friend who met this guy on a dating site called zoosk. He was very sincere and went by the name of Michael. He claims to be from the Bay Area but recently is in Turkey. My friend was talking to him on the phone when all of a sudden he was arrested by the Turkey Government for tax issues. He needed my friend to send him 8000 dollars to bail him out but before this he sent my friend a check for 2.7 million claiming he has lots of money but the government has but a hold on his account. So my friend did send him the money even though I warned her it was a scam. She insist that he is the real deal and told her he will marry her when he gets back to the United States. She wanted to borrow some money from me but I advised her if it was for anything else I would but not for this scam. She refinanced her house and got the money to him. Now he told her he needs another 8000 to fly him and his agent back to the United States so he could settle his case. Again I warned her not to give him any more money and she assured me he will pay her back and not to worry about it. She is deeply in love with this scammer and at this point I don’t know want to do. She has made me promise to keep it a secret and to not tell anyone especially her family. She claims he will meet her this coming Friday when he lands in the U.S. I am tempted to go to her family who might talk some sense into her even though she feels I have betrayed her trust, I know I’m doing the right thing since she does not see what is happening to her but I do.

Yes our stories sound familiar the guy I’m talking to supposed to be in the military right now “trying to send his money to me” but I have to pay Turkish shipping 1,940 dollarz to retrieve the package.. & yes we talk on hangouts that’s all I had to hear to be a red flag along w/him calling me baby & wants marriage when he comes back to the states.. nah I’m good took pics of the package w/the money in it & all.

Has anyone heard of a Mike Hummel. Says engineer but now special forces. Based in Hamilton but lives in Scotland. Has an 8 year old daughter. Very handsome weight trains with tattoos. Asks for care package with air pod and money as not able to access his.

All military personnel have acces to their accounts online. They can pay bills etc., just like you and me. They can access Hangouts to talk to you but cant access their account ?? US Army is way better than that no matter where they are stationed. No need for money or food or help to get home. They are very well taken care of and their families. They are covered medically anywhere in the world as well as their families. Do your research!

yes, he fake, tattoos on both arms? He older now but is scamming so many. Don't fall for it. Using someone pics friend. Do u have pic

I’m talking to a guy who has an Instagram account with pictures in a hospital etc
Claims to be a doctor in Yemen from Maryland blah blah blah
Sent photos google
He’s a doll
He said send I tunes cards to his son
Doesn’t add up said son is in college at school
Yea right with covid and he’s only going to be 15 he goes by James
His son is John

Anybody hear of a guy Magnus Erickson? Works on a rig as marine engineer.

Scammer! Widow with a 14 yr old daughter? Talked to him doe 2 months before there was an 'accident" and he needed to borrow $18000. Lol

Magnus Erickson is a scammer.

Does anyone know a Nelson Richard? He says he is an oil rig contractor working off of Norway. He says his wife died and he has a 10 year old son who is in a boarding school. He is from Brooklyn.

Has anyone been scammed by a US Army Captain Surgeon on a Peace Corp stationed in Yemen, from Houston, Texas’s. Claims to have no one in the world to call his family, according to him he has been in Yemen 5 years he goes by Zick R. Magrado... please let me know ASAP thanks

I created a TikTok account for fun, this person Kelvin Oscar added me and started to send me messages, saying he is an Orthopedic working in Syria and that he is a widow and his parents died, we messaged a lot, he called me on video chat a couple of times, every time I looked pre-recorded as he moved and talked too fast, then said that he is working in Syria at the military hospital and that his accounts are frozen and that because of the pandemic that he needs to pay the company to move his valuables out of there, he asked if they can send it here, I always refused, finally I said okay at the post office and I'll pick up there, now theres a a fee of $1,200 for delivery, which he claims he can't pay, so I looked him up on TiTok and he also had another account under Kelvinoscar 20 and oscar_red52, so he was so persistant with the money and so I did the reverse image search and found the real person who is not from Canada but from Brazil! and all the pictures and videos this scammer sent are all from that page under a different name, also briefly looked on google and came across this site where apparently he has done this before!

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