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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 just joined twitter in Jan, no picture in my profile or any info about me. Started getting messages from a guy, said he was in Houston Texas. Wanted me to get on a chatting app , I wouldn’t . Wanted me to send him a picture via email. I wouldn’t. Said he has lived here for twenty years , from Italy, his wife divorced him and he came with his son. Then said he was in a car accident and son died, he broke his leg and out of work for 8 mos, later he said three months, I asked how old his son was he said 15, so how could he have brought his son with him twenty years ago? Also says he works with Mediterranean shipping company, and is just going back to work and needs to get to Bahamas, didn’t ask for money. Then gets there supposedly, and said he needs a beneficiary, and would I sign for him. I said no. I am feeling like this is a scam.

Just curious..has anyone met someone on WWF that claims they do something with yachts? Was just in Dubai. Deal gone bad ...needs money ...noone to help?? Originally from Ireland ..but lives in WV?? Will call and videochat ...but has an accent..not Irish though.

Hi everyone!Was a guy located himself in Cyprus military base.well photos are all of some soldier a divorced father suddenly was sent to Afghanistan.Of course he had some issue he asked me to sort out.the worst part the made his fake story about my favorite thing in the world.i believed the lies even it was lot of red flags.last all my money.Turkey was involved with the situation also.from interpol no reply yet.the guy is trackable and the person who picked up the money has the same name as one wanted person.i dont know what to do anymore.who else to contact.any advice please?thank u

Has anyone here had any contact with a man off Instagram with the username daividscott?

He added me and while chatting he told me he is originally from Greece, but living in West Virginia USA, but is working in Turkey for a private company. He tells me he lost his wife in a car accident many years ago and has a 15 yr old daughter who lives with him.

Has anyone had any contact with such a person, if so I'd love to hear from you
I'm smelling scammer a million miles away!

I met a guy named Chris Sebastien.. by he likes to be called Chris Bastian... lives in San Francisco from Germany... no siblings...no kids... met him on chatous... found him on tender singles I asked hin about it... he said im his queen... that his ex cheated on him and ran away with his money and he has a business but he doesnt have an account due to all mess her ex id... he suddenly said his phone broke cam doesnt work... I got 2 pictures only... and I have his phone number

Whats his number?

Hi, there’s a guy I met in Instagram, his a medical doctor and even has a photos on it, a dad of a 3 year old son. A physiotherapist in Manchester UK but by blood his a Italian as he says. And plus he has a another hospital in Atlanta Georgia called Emory. But if you search lots are Emory clinic there and no one Dr Lewiston registered though.
He wanted to come to Manila by following month. And what he wanted is to have a house first before he came and a car. So he likes to send money to my bank account. Or if not. He wanted to received his luggage with his stuff and money.

So please let me know how this person can do stupid stuff against to me. Or how does scammers will do such a thing on that plan.
Kindly give me some idea please. But I still don’t send any of my personal info even my real name . Only my number coz he chatted me in WhatsApp ; telling and falling me for a week .
I need to figure it out then.

Thank you in advance for the help.

Best regards

Has an Albert Greger contacted anyone? I do think a fake picture of a handsome man is being used. He is writing nice ly but I just do not trust him.

I believe I a also being scammed and have thought so since the day I starting chatting with this guy, but decided to ser how far it went before he asked me for something. He said he was from Chicago and gave a Chicago phone number but wanted to chat using WhatsApp. I work for a law firm so immediately went to work on researching his name, which he goes by Davis Morris. I couldn't find anything except for a Facebook page which matched the picture he sent to me. I still proceeded but knew something was up because he immediately proclaimed his love and that I was going to his wife. He said he was an Orthopedic Surgeon working under contract for the UN. Now I was really becoming guarded. First if you are a real doctor you would show up on the website healthgrades.com or vitals.com and he did not. He claimed he had a 14 year old son named Kelly and that he told Kelly all about me and he was excited that we were going to be a family. I proceeded (guards up) and played along just to see how long it would take. Well he finally asked tonight. He asked me to go and get a gift card or game card called Steam because he wanted to load it on his phone. I knew it. I said ok but I'm not crazy, I will do no such thing. First of all if you are a surgeon and working under contract for the UN (which by the way I don't believe the UN hires people under contract), then you shouldn't need my money at all. I have his picture and pictures of the so called house he claims to have purchased before going to Yemen in case anyone thinks they may have run into this same idiot! Beware and be careful!

Met someone on a dating site claiming he worked for the UN I was lonely and fell for him believing everything he told me. In total he got me for 2200.00 before finding out he was on other sites using different names one being a doctor using the man's photos which he said were his but the doctor stole them. I broke off contact with him and now he has gotten a new number and is trying to lay a guilt trip on me saying I broke his heart and he is contemplating suicide and it is on me if anything happens to him. He has used the names George Wilson, Michael William's, Henneck, Karim Harati, Johnson Young, and Johnson that I know of. Anyone contacted by this man look out.

I've been writing back & forth w/a General James Williams, on contract w/NATO in Yemen.
He said he's been a widow for 7 yrs, has a 16 y/o son, Gavin, who was in a boarding school in San Francisco, CA. Gavin is on vacation in Russia.
James has asked for steam cards x 5, for internet communication to his son & myself.
Various comments & incorrect wording have me questioning.
We have video chatted, he's sent me pics of himself, they are almost identical.
I asked him if he liked to grill. He sent me a pic of him cooking pancakes on a gas grill.
I still don't know if he's a scammer.
He gave me an email address to write to requesting emergency leave to come to me, in VA, then send for his son in Russia to come live w/us. He has sent me a pic of Gavin, plus of himself in combat fatigues.
When I got the reply it said I had to pay $12,800 to UN/USA for my requesting James' urgent leave request. He got very adamant, saying I had to pay it, didn't I love him & son enough to do this so we could be a family??
I don't have that kind of $$ laying around...
I could go on...
I did research, No $$ is required for military leave...
Most of his info is legit, but not this request...
Help me, please...
I feel like such an idiot & a fool.

Hi. I met someone who was in the US but now in Turkey. . He professed his love right away. Heavy accent but I can’t figure it out. Born in New Zealand. Anyone experience this. Supposedly he lives in Philadelphia...

I have been of and on dating sites couple yrs now. Widow for 6yrs. Lost over $80,000. To a man who was madly in love,, boy was i taken in big time.
So like a fool i tried other dating sites. My first clue now is they ask for iTunes card and yes i helped, but as soon as you get one card,they want more money for other things.
The latest one, not sure if its a scam or not, but when you get that gut feeling. Twice now two different dating sites. They have to travel over seas to buy whatever,but then they can't activate their cards. So they ask if they gave me their acct number could I acctivate it for them.. definitely does not sound right for some reason.. especially if you have never met in person..
Some where, some how, God has a plan.
I

I have a man that has been contacting me for 2 weeks. He’s a doctor who works on a Cruise Ship. Barely has “friends” he’s an “only child”, and just went back to work since the COVID-19 situation and needs me to buy an iTunes gift card for him so he can top up his data. I am an iPhone user. I am sure you top up data by going through your provider. He claims to have a 7 year old daughter. Divorced. Been “baby” this and “baby” that. Told me he loved me less than a week after we had been talking and now is telling me he won’t be in Poland until new Week Tuesday. Also Greek/Turkish. Originally from Cyprus. He currently lives in Canada, from what he says...super handsome. We’ve video chat on several occasions....disappointing, but I’m pretty sure he’s a scammer at this point.

There's this guy who uses the name Frank Muller who claims to be 60 years old.Says his 16 yr old daughter is in private school in uk.He says he was born and raised in germany.He claims he's got immunity and he's not a doctor but like a vet that is under contract to find exotic animals.Hes supposedly got 3 of the 4 animals.Found the 4th a rare white lion but now is stuck in Egypt needing 3000 dollars to get on a ship with the lion and travel six weeks to the Dominican republic to get paid.Has anyone heard from this guy?

This guy very carefully laid out a story (for about 2 months) before the ask. It started with him being a single father after his wife died in childbirth. He is in the military and his nanny looks after the child, who is his life. (All the rest of his immediate family has died in tragic *somewhat unbelievable* circumstances). He feels like we connect so well, he can't wait to meet me, and I'm so interesting and beautiful blah blah blah. He talked about wanting to start a "new family" and retire soon. About a week before he asked me for money he told me a "secret" that he had just come into a money (numbering in the millions) that would speed up his retirement and settling down plans.
Then comes the beginning of the elaborate ask. His baby is suddenly very ill with a *previously undiagnosed* condition. He is shocked and of course scared to death of losing his only child (again, because without his kid he's all alone in the world). A couple days later, he tells me the life-saving surgery that is needed costs thousands of dollars. He and his nanny have been able to piece together most of it, but he is *JUST* missing a few hundred dollars, and he feels awkward asking but could I please wire it to her in the US? The doctors won't operate until the bill is fully paid. And he *promises* to pay me back as soon as he gets back home.(Of course it's unclear why he can't access/use any of the millions he recently came into.)
I was suspicious from the beginning because he told me he was a native English speaker but his writing said otherwise. I had also said to a friend, "Either he's had horrible luck or this story is designed to get sympathy." At that point (before the ask), I wasn't sure why, but when he asked for money all my suspicions clicked into place. I didn't give him anything (but can totally understand how and why people would be drawn into this elaborate story and manipulation) and deleted and blocked him immediately. Then I found this site. It's disgusting how people will ruthlessly play on other's emotions. Be very careful out there.

Anyone been scammed by Chris Banwin, Craig Krugar or Dan Novakova?

I am interested to know about Dan Novakova as I have been in contact but have never been asked for money etc

Since saying that I havent been asked for money----- I HAVE now and refused Dan Novakova. I have no proof that this was not a genuine reason for asking but----Its difficult to know and its better to be safe than sorry.

Yes! Dan Novakova. Spoke with him for abouT 4 months Via phone and email. Was quite romantic and could swept you off your feet. Did not send him any money so he dropped me like a hot potato.

Recently in contact with Dan Novakova. Should I be concerned? He seems so sincere but I'm very cautious.

Yes you should be concern. He is very smooth trust me he isn’t sincere.

He will tell you there has been a terrible accident and the gov has his id’s and passport. If he doesn’t get money he can’t get back to the state. I guess he is still in South Africa. He will have you worried to death about him.

Bubble have you been in contact with dan Novachova sine the last time I talk to you.

My grandmother has been talking to this man since January same story but she’s not believing he’s a scam.. Have you any contact with him?

He will make you think his life is in danger. It will worry you to death.

I fell for a scammer, but cut him off when he asked for money. He has threatened to post our conversations and photos that I sent him. Can he do this? He wrote to me and said my photos will be posted all over the internet along with our conversations. Of course that won't happen if I send money. The man's name is Franck Buys. He claims to be French and stuck in The Ivory Coast since the covid-19 crisis. We started the online affair while he was in France (or so I thought). He claims to be from Nice. I have several photos of him as well.

Please try and contact me , this sounds like a guy I have been involved with , had no idea about all this scamming going on .

There's another romance scam going around where a scammer posing as a woman says they've seen you walk by and ask to hook up. I've been getting these, which I find laughable, as their email adress indicates they live near some school which isn't even in my home town, and they clearly think I'm a guy, which I'm not, I'm a woman. Really wish these scammers would read the profiles attached to people's emails to find out the recipient's gender, so they don't make the stupid mistake of sending a male-oriented romance scam email to a woman.

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.

I think I know who you mean. Does he resemble the actor Jesse
Spencer, the guy who plays Matt Casey on Chicago Fire?

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!

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