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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

Sounds like the man I've met, too.
Green shirt in the gym. His dog a German Shepherd.

What's his name??

Gello
I think its the same muscular, good looking fellow that my bff is in communications too whose smoking her.
Please send me pics of him in ghost green shirt n with the dog to compare.

where did you find the photos? need to compare pls, my bff is getting scammed I think by the same guy. Shes out of some $ now.

I have the same surgeon from Syria ... I blocked him buy I would like to see pictures to see if it is the same one.

Can you share a photo?? I also have met a guy saying he's an orthopedic surgeon in Iran. Has a son in boarding school

My friend is involved with a man stating he is an orthopedic doctor working for the UN. Only seen him once. Said he was in Syria. Now says he's trapped in Greenland. Anyone can exit Greenland and Trynp stated that citizens can return.

She sent him $15,000. He told her that he was a self made millionaire. why is he asking for money from a social security disability person. Can you post his photo? I have this man's photo.

I think this man has messaged me his name is logan mason on wwf

The very same guy wrote me. Thnks for the heads up!

I had been in contact with a Mason Logan, different story...was helping another man who was stranded which is the one who messaged me on Match, WhatsApp. Many promises made, non delivered. I'd be interested in learning more about him, them. The Logan Mason identified as a lawyer, barrister from Suriname.
Called once from Paris, France phone number. The other, widowed in UK from Greece...Petroengineer. Was once on LinkedIn but deleted profile.

I met a guy on Instagram who claims to be an orthopedic surgeon working for the UN. In Afghanistan. His name is Lewis Presley. He is always asking for gift cards because his computer doesn't work properly. I was very leary of him. His photos are of a very good looking man. Asian Indian appearing. He is currently on Instagram. See if u know him. Let me know. He has given up on me. On to new women.

Just fished out a guy using a couple pictures of man and daughter. Saying from Texas, orthopedic surgeon working in Yemen for UN. Could not find any details for him and couldn't find his dead wife buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Using the Name James Ben, askedd middle name said Conrad but doesn't use it. Heard a lot of clues in his writing. Never asked for money yet, but did ask if I was financial secure. Would I accept his daughter Ella in our relationship. The pictures were priceless as I could have fallen for them both. He found me on instagram, which I only use for relatives. We chatted on gmail and hangeout. But I hit the video call button by mistake one night and all hell broke out. Saying he could be fired and then he wouldn't be able to get his benefits. So after a while and re reading things you say to yourself why would an orthopedic surgeon work a year for UN noy get paid till year up(that was his beneft). Never found any records for James Ben born in Corpus Christie, Texas or a doctor in Houston and his dead wife's Helens grave in Forest Lawn. Rest of his family dead so poor Ella (daughter) is in a safe house with U.N. cause her Nanny quit when virus came. Yup folks..... bye,bye James Ben. But loved the pictures wish I could find the real guy and his daughter. Shut him down this am after a lot of words came spilling out of my mouth. BEWARE

Way too many of the same stories being repeated....only child raising a child that is in boarding school because the "dad" is overseas working. Then all of a sudden they need money to be sent to child because their account is frozen. Cusses because I won't help "our child". Block immediately because it won't get any easier and they will continue to attempt you to send the cards. Even had the child reach out on Hangouts to get the money!. I asked for their school name and said I would contact the school to help. HUNG UP!!

This is exactly what I am going through. I think I was a fool and sent "our son" gift cards and him money to get a package to me with my engagement ring.....Everything you have said in your one sentence is exactly what I am currently going through. I never thought I would be a victim to a scam but now I believe I am. Feelings very strong very fast I mean I love you within a week. Is this really a scam or real? How do you do a picture search? Wow!!! Is all I can say....

The guy chatting with me uses the name Ben Joves. Says he was born & raised in Hawaii. Has a son in boarding school in California & he's a Dr stationed in Yemen with the UN. He says his bank account is frozen & needs money to come home so we can be married. I have pictures & we have video called. It is the same man as the pictures. Anyone want to share information & pictures please

Would someone please send me a picture of the man they're talkin to I think I'm a victim too

I have recently met a man James Ben in Facebook. In DP there was a picture of a good-looking man with two little cute daughters. Widow from Scotland. I loved the pictures, the guy and the daughters. He told that his wife died in a car accident 3 years ago. I have given him my whatsupp number and he started calling me and sending messages regularly. He has very cute Scottish accent. And starts any conversation like this: How are you doing Sweetheart, or Honey. After two weeks of communication he informed that he has been appointed Director General and asked for my full name, address since he was going to send me a gift. On the day of delivery a girl called me and asked: do you know James? Is the address correct? And informed that for customs clearance I should pay $1000. I refused. She replied: Please contact the sender. After he called himself. He told me that in secret he put 30000 pounds into the parcel and I should do my best to secure it. When I told that I would not do that, he got angry saying that I ruined his day. Started sending pictures and videos of all the items he send: hand bags, golden chains, iphone, laptop, his own picture near a plane, packed suitcase with all these things, but no air bill, no other relevant documents. I had to send his contact to blacklist. He started making plans for our happy life immediately, told that he sees me as the mother of his daughters. And send ready made love declarations typed in capital letters. In the end he always added I love you (putting my name). After that story he deleted his profile from Facebook.
Please be very careful.

Can you send a photo? Think I met the same one

Hi, a guy on Scrabble is claiming to be from Russia bit lived in NY. Orthopedic in Syria and working for UN. Divorced, has son in California . Antoh or Ahtoh is his name - can see straight through him - kept him chatting so I can report him.

Hi! I've been talking to a man lately woth similar story. He says he's an orthopedic surgeon who is about to leave to yemen for 6 weeks. He also has a son named owen and is widowed. We've facetimed a couple times and it's the same man from the pictures. The first time he was in his home trying to use chopsticks and the second time he was actually in the hospital. Would you mind exchanging pictures with me? I really think this might be the same man.

In Yemen? I know the same orthopedic surgeon with a beard. Widower with a son. She sent me pictures from hospital and in the orange uniform or another picture. But has not allowed videos. He is following many women. I found his pictures among scammers.

Where the same story...
With me he was Maarten Diederik.
He claims that he was living in the Netherlands . But was a orthopedisch chirurg in Yemen.
Have a daughter on a boarding school.

Hi! I think we're talking to the same person. He said he's an Opthalmologist working in Yemen for 2 years. He got 2 kids left in LA and living in a boarding school with their teacher. He sent me photos, same as the one in orange scrabsuit and some pictures with his kids. He said he can't do a videocall with me because it's prohibited but we had a videocall one time and he looks like as the same person in the picture he sent me but he was wearing N95 facemask because he said he's still on duty in the hospital.

Hello, was your experience with a slightly chubby Asian Dr in Yemen, average looking. Says he's from Las Vegas now on contract in Yemen. Mine goes by username Roger on OurTime.com

Hi Kim, I wonder it is the same guy, yes chubby Asian Korean looking guy claimed to an orthopedic surgent deployed to Afghanistan war zone for peacekeeping and saving lives! I added him on Facebook then he asked to communicate on Gmail and then progressed to Hangouts. I have his photo. How do I show it to you and check if it's the same guy?

Hi Kim.. how we can exchange his photo. I think i am talking to him now.

I’ve been talking to the same widower orthopedic surgeon in TN with a son named Owen. He knows I don’t believe him, but he still texts. Wish we could find the guy whose photos he stole. Some med student in Chicago? Who knows. Gave me the name Alexander Bradley. Has a large wolfhound but called it a German Spitz.

I've been texting to a widower orthopedic surgeon in Yemen. His sons name is different. He works with NATO and his mission was for 6 months. He lives in CA not too far from my area. My daughter said he doesn't exist. His name does not appear anywhere on Google search or CA doctor search.
We talk about our faith in God. So I trusted.
Now I am concerned because he knows my name and all about my children. Besides stop talking what should I do?

Hi Kari! I am so intrigued in your comment because I have a friend who is in the EXACT same situation with a guy named Dennis. Orthopedic surgeon with a son who lives in the UK, his wife died in child birth, Says that he wants to marry her, and he needs umpteen thousand dollars to pay the courier to get out of Yemen. Says he will be here in 2 weeks. I'm wondering if he's using the same picture? I'd love to send you a picture I have of him to see if it's the same guy.

I’m in relationship too with a “called” orthopedic doctor who serve UN in Sana’a Yemen, have 2 daughters, he said from New Jersey, his name is Dan Bradshaw, white skin, talk polite , widower, wife passed away, know him from IG. Had video calls, face same with his picture. I’ve sent him google play cards twice, i talked on hangout, still communicate with him. He said need to leave Yemen to fly to US because his contract is complete. Need to pay transport for $2800 to get him out. He said he will pay me back for the cost when he is in the state.

I think he's the same i'm talking to.
Orthosurgeon from CA, in Yemen at the moment. his wife passed away, a beautiful little boy he shares pictures of.
I haven't decided how to end this. i will probably go till the end, waiting for him to ask for money. so i will tell him that i send whatever he wants and can keep him waiting for the payment. I guess that having him busy with me can save someone else who's not lucky enough to understand it's a scam. because i was just lucky to see that after 1 week.

Same exactly guy! Same story! Omg. He said he was in Miami. I matched with him on Tinder.
This is terrible

I’ve met a guy in a dating app. He says he’s an orthopedic surgeon working i Yemen right now and will be there until next year. Can you send me pictures if him to compare with this guy?

thank you - same contact yesterday - I just blocked on FB message - used the name William David - surgeon doctor with UN has a 12 year old son.

Hi Angel,
I also met a guy from Instagram he sent me message his name goes with William Stephen he said he is from US and Doctor now in Yemen. He has one son I have a feeling he is a scammer. What I did I am the one who asked for money and he said he will help but needs to add WhatsApp Id number of his bank manager to transfer money which I didn’t do. I would like to send you the photo of this guy. I am not able to send here.Please send me your email address. Thanks

I met a guy on a game, James Owen. He is a UN orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan. His wife died of cancer several years ago. He has a son going to school in the UK. He hasn't asked for anything yet, but this isn't the first time I've been approached and chatted with in hangouts. I've had a petroengineer and someone in the army. This guy has chatted the longest without asking. Why would a petroengineer need money?? Lol I have given nothing. Some of these stories sound familiar.

You guys, these are all such scams. I met Dr. Edward Todd who is apparently from Mississippi but is working for the UN as an orthopedic surgeon and is currently in Somalia. You can enter that name in Instagram and find him. He wanted to message via hangouts. I googled the situation instantly, told him I did so and that he was a scammer, and he let loose on me with a bunch of slang. His English wasnt great and it sound like a second language, which was my first clue. Said he had a 14 year old son named Elvis living with his godmother in Mississippi until he gets back to the states in July. Divorced for 4 years because she cheated. He didnt have the chance to ask me for anything.

I would appreciate a pic if you have. Thanks

I have a picture !!

I have one a picture .. same story about being a surgeon in Somalia and had the son in Mississippi ....

I just got caught up with the dr Edward Todd too ... exact story ! Started to ask for money for his son Elvis computer .. made no sense .. Did anything happen after you blocked him? Omg but the pictures on his Instagram looked real ?? Then I started to google him n now know he’s a fake !

Did anything happen when you blocked him ? I don’t want to make him think I know yet ., I said I’m back at work and busy ..

Same exact story .. but also told me his parents were assasinated by their business partners when he was 8 and was raised by a friend .. but was left very wealthy .. needed $$ though to buy his son a computer back home Bc his assets were tied up .. i was skeptical all along then saw your story and just blocked him .. I wanted to know did he try to reach you anymore?

Sounds like same guy who thought he was scamming me, his name, James Owens, days he's from Ireland but. Says he's a civil engineer in construction working on ship for 13 months on the Ivory Coast, days he had 2 sons and wife died from breast cancer...Says no one since his wife died so he's so lonely and said i sound very smart and loving and he knows he can fall in love with me and would be happy forever, hasn't asked for anything yet but I knew from begging he was a scammer, after a while I told him that wasnt his pic, by the way gorgeous, asked if he could call me honey, also say baby, does get mad when I don't believe him, very religious and thinks he's romantic and he knows he's in love with me now, I played along for short time to find where he's really at, and was trying to find out what he liked like cause that pic want him, pic on a website of guy who it actually is, and he's married, somewhat people got his photo, can we all see our photos to see off its same pic off you haven't talked to him on have chat.

I just met this James Owen as well. I confronted him with this page and I got the reply: he didn't tell me earlier because of security reasons. Blocked his number. And thanks for informing me about the petroengineer, they both approached me in a game of Yahtzee this morning!

I chatted with James Owen says he is UN orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan and his wife died of cancer years ago. Says he has 2 daughters (show on his Facebook page) and 2 dogs.

He asked me to buy phone card, then send to him (he said he will pay me back) so he can talk to his daughters that are in boarding school in Russia. Says he is a millionaire but doesn't have access to his bank account in the US. Says he is from Oklahoma City in the US. No, did not fall for any of that; be aware whenever someone asks or wants money or wants info.

Wow, these guys have a script. My guy has been chatting with me since may. He has dead wife who died from cancer. No parents. Grew up in Australia. Son lives in Manchester Named Alex . Orthopedic surgeon in Kabul. Works for the UN. I can’t find anything on him. I did find a Ghana number on his site one day while I was searching his instagram site . I have a ton of pictures

The doctor that I met in Instagram says he's a Brazilian working in Yemen and is working with the UN for 2 years now. That he has 2 kids left in LA, where he met and used to live with her ex-wife. He deactivated his IG account and we started talking on WhatsApp. I'll be glad to share his photos he sent me. How?

I have a very similar story and would be very thankful to get a photo of this "orthopedic surgeon" to compare!

Hi Gianna,
Please let me know where I can send you the photo to compare. Thanks

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