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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

His son is in boarding school back in the states with a maid looking after him.

Wants you to promise him you trust him. But he wants you to love him, be honest and loyal. Only interested in people with personality not looks.

Always asked if you have eaten. And says its because he cares about you.

Hi, this sounds really familiar. Did he say he’s a doctor?

Mine always asks if I've eaten

Ugh! Yes! Must be a script.

Says he lost a patient and is really upset.

Mine is Italian, he is in Germany as an Army doctor and he left his contract to go home, but they did not let him travel with his dog and then he had to put a lawyer because they do not let him give up his contract, first he told me $ 4000
to travel his dog and now it's $ 40,000 that he wants to transfer to my bank account to pay his lawyer! He is an attractive Ulisses and divine tattoos, I
He sent photos of his childhood, and of his daughter, and of his passport, he has a beautiful dog and in short nothing matches anywhere, is he a ghost in the U.S.A. and has been living here for 20 years??

He is a catfish impersonating Doctor Bradley. He says he loves pop and hip hop. Loves the song unbreakable from westlife.

And loves reading novel.

Says he has plans and wants to own a hospital. Says his birthday is Dec 11.

Says he's on leave from Yemen in Dec to April and is going back to the states. And its just him and his son.

Had a friend's request from Facebook from a "doctor" supposedly from New Zealand with a son. This "doctor" is on a contract with the Yemeni military. His "contract" is done in April, 2021. The son is supposedly living in New Zealand with his nephew.

He says he plays soccer and golf.

Says he drinks scotch, sings and plays the guitar.

I have a friend who has been talking to a guy who supposedly in Ohio for several months now. He says he is a construction engineer and works overseas quite frequently. Recently he had a cell phone sent to her and asked her to send it to a coworker friend in Nigeria. He had her set up a PayPal account and deposited money into it to cover the shipping cost and a little extra for her trouble. But I am worried that this is a scam. The When she first started talking to him, I suspected he was not who he said he was. She was upset that I questioned his intentions and pretty much told me to mind my own business. But I have this sick feeling he's going to try to take her for her money and she doesn't have much money.

Please try and get through to your friend.
This is definitely a scam!! Believe me I know, someone tried to get money from me but alarm bells were ringing very loudly.....they have a way of making you feel your so special but they only want money!!

Has anyone been in contact with a supposed Jewish man named Roy Alon Hunt who claims he is a diamond setter from Miami but working in China and Ghana buying diamonds and gold. Has a daughter that lives in the UK by the name of Millicent. He is always asking for money to complete his so called jobs and has no one else to ask. He can’t access his accounts in Miami because he forgot his account numbers and has to be there in person to get his money. For one year he has been begging for money.

Has anyone talked to a, Steven Sims? Says he lives in North Carolina. Had to go to Oman, Asia for a engineer job.

I think I might be getting scammed? His name is Jason, originally from Poland but works as petroleum engineer off coast of Alabama, wife killed 5 years ago, son died in car accident, he’s really smooth sending love songs and poems- Hasn’t asked for money yet though, sound familiar to anyone?

Used the name James but same story line. It’s a scam. They will be patient and play the long game just to hook you. Block him.

Same situation here. Orthopedic surgeon working with MSF/DWB. He’s also widowed and lives in California. Checked everywhere and he is not practicing anywhere. He apparently has a 15yr old daughter in boarding school. Started chatting on Twitter. He’s just asked for a favor. I’m shutting it all down right now. Scam artists.

I have caught out two guys Recently one on tic toc and one on LinkedIn hilarious when you know the pattern - one tried the gift card idea - the other one well he was deleted and reported by me in 30 minutes honestly seeing more of the Doctors thing than the Defence widower these days lol they didn’t get a cent out of me Stay alert to them when they provide a CV with a sad story attached ‘oh lost my wife from breast cancer’ or ‘oh my best friend killed my wife‘ - I so laugh that they think they can get away with these stories it’s all fiction to draw you in

Have any of you dealt with a guy calling himself Williams Lucas or Peter Paul, supposedly an orthopedic surgeon on a 5-year contract serving with the UN in Cairo, Egypt, wife killed 4 years ago in a car crash, he was orphaned when he was a kid, he was raised in Madrid, Spain, he has a 15-year old daughter named Clara who is currently studying in England? I ask questions but he's very stingy with answers. I asked him to talk about his work, and all he said was orthopedics is bones and joints. (no kidding!) He has sent pictures, one of them he said was taken of him yesterday on his way to work -- BUT there were deciduous trees in the background, it looked pretty lush for Cairo, Egypt. I was chatting away with him and then caught myself -- he wants me to go to Madrid with him when he finishes his UN contract in 8 months. Yea, right -- go to another country with a stranger? I never expressed any concern to him about the finances for the trip; but he quickly says, "I know your concern but don't worry because I will make all the arrangements and will pay all the expenses. All you need to bring is your international passport." (aren't ALL passports international???). We've been chatting for one week, and already he loves me, and dodges some of my questions, so I thought things started smelling fishy and gave myself a reality check and found all of these posts here. A lot of these other stories are sounding AWFULLY familiar! So I was right to be suspicious of this guy. He just texted me again, in Hangouts, so I'll string him along a while to see how long it takes him to start asking for more from me. His gmail address is: williamslucas570. Sound familiar to anyone? Thanks to everyone who posted their experiences here -- it's very helpful.

Hi I'm in England and has a few men contact me using Instagram claiming to be doctors
One of them said he grew up in Germany and graduated from school and then was a doctor in US
But said he only some a few words of German, I have family in Germany including a sister in law who teaches modern languages and I knew he was lying
Even when I told him using specific information about the German school system he persisted with his lies
I told him he was a liar and blocked him

The guy that I'm talking to says that he is an engineer and his job is deep-sea oil drilling. He says he has a daughter (12) , widowed and a elderly sick father. He is very handsome with silver/dark hair. He says that he is an American but he has an accent since he was raised in Thai & France.

Has anyone been scammed by Derek Maxwell or Daniel Maxwell I think he uses both names or Byron Markus. I haven’t given them money but they are asking and trying the guilt tactic. Derek/Daniel supposedly has to sons one boarding school in Australia. Byron supposedly has a son who is in Texas attending school.

Anyone come across a US soldier divorced with 12 year old daughter Sophia who is on deployment in Afghanistan....goes by name Jack Hopper Robinson?? I really really want to believe it’s for real as we’ve been messaging over 2 months now....he hadn’t asked me for money. He’s declaring undying love & is adamant t he will fly over to the U.K. to visit me as soon as he gets back...apparently in next 6 wks or so

This guy on Words messaged me...small talk. Conversation is great. Widowed, wife died during childbirth. Has 3yr old daughter. Claims to live in Anaheim, CA but born in Switzerland. Said he came to U.S. at age 17. Freelance Telecommunications Engineer. Has sent me pictures, which I've reversed searched on Google but nothing comes up. We messaged on Words for over a week and exchanged #s thereafter. Asked me about Hangouts once but I refused to download app. He didn't insist and has been texting me everyday. He's pretty consistent...I still think he's a scammer! Anyone heard a similar story??

Most these scams or on Whatsapp and live in Cyprus. All the stories I have read are just like I was seeing from a guy in Cyprus. I got on and blocked him and reported him.

Anyone meet a Jeffery Brown from Federal Way, WA? Architect with an adopted son, biological son and daughter. Huge contract in Dubai recently. Wife died in car crash 4 years ago. Says he is a believer.

I also experience this kind of scammer. Good thing i know it before its too late. He keep doing excuses if i ask him to call me via video call or doing any kinds of picture that he use..like send me a picture holding your mouth. Or raise your handa.. But he can't do it. So i know his fake..

this guy messaged me on pof said he was overseas exchanged numbers been speaking since March. Said he was in the navy Station in Kubul Af. I thought I was helping someone and he was scamming me now that I caught on he messages me threats

I was almost scammed for thousands of dollars by Emmanuel Janssens. Claimed to be from Belgium but moved to Boston area but working in Esawtini as a solar engineer. Needed money to clear materials from customs immediately. Real smooth talker. Ladies beware!

A man by the name of Dr. Ben Peterson appears to be an elaborate romance scammer. He stole pics off my account, made up messages that appeared to be from me- basically hacked into my account. He then threatened me to send him money or he would go to my husband saying I did all this stuff I didn’t do. He then attempted to follow my husband as well and although I don’t know how he got my cell, he appeared to attempt to send me a text. I blocked all communication but I’m sure he does this regularly or works with other criminals to do so by phishing or hacking accounts and the spamming people.

Hi, got to know this guy from a dating site. Claims he's been in Qatar offshore with Qatar Petroleum as an instrumentation engineeer since may till now. Been chatting for 3 mths now. Forward me photos of his little son, his parents taking care if his son, mentioned wife died 4hrs after giving birth, born in Allentown, Buffalo... Raised in Oslo. Few days ago he claimed that 2 of his workers died while handling his machine and now he needs to pay for the blood money to the victims families. He is stuck there till he can pay a certain percentage to them. Informed he do not have the money as he has invested every single cents including putting his house through mortgage for this project in BulHanine. Once project reached 50% only then Qatar Petroleum will pay him. Ladies, anyone come across the same situation?

A man contacted me yesterday on Instagram Said he had been working in Yemen as orthopaedic surgeon was sent there by United Nations, a widow for 4 years with 14 year old son, said his wife died in a car crash

His name wouldn't so happen to be Dennis Anderson would it?

A man contacted me yesterday on Instagram Said he had been working in Yemen as orthopaedic surgeon was sent there by United Nations, a widow for 4 years with 14 year old son, said his wife died in a car crash

I was message by my guy on Instagram. He says he is an orthopedic surgeon from Denmark living in California. He is widowed, no children. He works for MSF and is currently in Yemen. He always asked if I ate. He’s very romantic and charming. Says the right thing, claims to love me after 3 weeks of chats. I want to believe he is genuine but I’m skeptical. He asked for an iTunes gift card which I did buy.

He's scamming you and it starts off with a card and then will keep asking for more. Quit while you are ahead. The one I'm chatting with says beautiful things and ask if I ate. Calls me babe, my queen. He loves me only after a month and I will be his wife. It's all a scam so you can send more money. Please stop before he gets more money out of you.

What was his name? Accent? Do you have a photo?

I also met a guy at catholic date site. I live outside of the United States. He said his wife died of cancer 3 years ago and that he has a 7 years old son He calim to be 43 years old. The picture at the dating site was of a very handsome white male, black hair, green eyes, he also send other pictures and we talk by video call 3 times but I'm not sure if it was him because the video calls were very short and the image was freezing a lot. He said he was born at New York and that he was an electrical engineer working independently. He's accent sounded strange not very fluid english. He was supposedly working at a project at Istambul and then he told me he flew to Pert Australia for another job. The scam was about a freight charge, he told me he bought some presents for me at istambul and that right after he finish the next job at Pert he will come to visit me. And since he was flying to Perth he send me the gifts and some clothes he bought for him self as well before living for Pert. He told me that I had to contact the courrier company and he gave me and email, I told him I needed a tracking number in order to be able to track the package, but he refused to give it to me. He said I have to write them and take care of the tracking since he was going to be at a ship with limited access to internet, and he also refused to send the receipt the parcel company gave him, he incisted that the parcel company wanted me to send them an email and that they'll give me the information if I send my drivers licence photo as prouf of my identity. Which is very weird, but I did send the email and they send me back and URL to their web page to track the package with a tracking number. But I look it up in Google and this web page can not be found by Google, you can only access the page by typing the url address. The next day the fake parcel company send and email and then call me from a UK number and told me that the package weight more than he said when we drop the package at the parcel office in Istambul and they ask me to send payment for the extra weight. I told them I was not paying the money and I told them to talk to him. After 2 days of back and forth conversations with him and the fake courrier person He was very upset and told me to send and email instructing them to delivery the package to a person of his trust at New York, and he said that this person was going to pay the extra charge. I did not even want to send that email for this change of delivery because I was not the one sending any package, and he got really mad, he threatened me and told me he had my information. At the end I send the mail telling the parcel company to contact this other person he wanted, and the contact stop there. I did not send any money but I'm pretty sure this was a scam attempt. Please be alert, he uses God and faith to trick you.

Recently I talked with a guy name Scott Khalifa, Turkey background, he said was a doctor, Wound Care Specialist, in Wichita Falls, Texas but on Facebook shows Houston Texas. He kept messaging me day and night through Whatsapp by calling me queen, baby....On Facebook, his posted his and his son's photo, they are so beautiful. I asked for vidoe call, he said OK but always couldn't see clear his face, seemed I was talking with a photo not a real person then cut off within 5 seconds. Today, he said he would be sent to Iraq for 3 months and left his son in US with a nanny. I realize he is a scammer soon, because I couldn't check his profile in any hospital's websites and story of being sent to Iraq was so ridiculous. Before he will ask me for money, I decided to block him!!!

I was chatted up by a guy called "Frank M." on Scrabble Go couple of days ago. Nice picture. First he sent some very modest messages, then wanted to continue on Hangouts where he started to flood me with messages calling me "my dear" and sending me "kisses". Pretended to be an "emergency surgeon" from Los Angeles, working for the UN in the "war zone" in Kabul / Afghanistan. Salary of 30.000$ per month, but he has no access to it. Said he is a widower for three years with a 15-year old son called James who is in a boarding school while his father is in Afghanistan (from autumn 2018 to autumn 2021, even during the current pandemic in California - poor kid!!!). During his service he has no opportunity to travel home to visit his son, but his "4 bedroom twin house" is well taken care of in the meantime. Asked me if I was looking for a husband without knowing my age or having seen a picture of me. This was so weird! And he completely ignored my questions about Kabul (How is the climate? How is the landscape?)
At that point I confronted him with a link to this website and asked him to send me some proof that he is a real person. There was one more message "Are you well?" and now... silence.
I am pretty sure by now that this was scamming, only he did not get very far ;-)

Kurt Davis and Mathew Lawreance are ones to watch out for too. I thankfully haven't lost any money yet as I'm always weary of people on the internet, and they will make you feel like the bad person once you start questioning them.

The newest, most different occurrence I've come across: I've talking to a guy I met on Instagram for a couple of months, he asked me to take the conversation to Hangouts. He claimed he is cryptotrader/real estate investor/entrepreneur. Has become very wealthy off of his trading endeavors. Recently just went to China for a huge contract he was bidding for. I asked for a video chat since one of the other guys I mentioned just got a rig job in China as well. He claimed he had phone issues and was unable to do a video. He got upset with me when I asked if he was really who he said he is and he could send me a selfie of him on the job site. (never got).

Then a couple of days later, we are chatting back as normal. He hits me with a question. He and his colleagues found money buried "on the ground". They didn't tell anyone and he locked his portion ( a whopping 1.5 mil) in a security box. He asked me what I would have done with it. I told him I would have turned it over to the authorities for too many unknown variables.

He states he gave it to a UN diplomat who loaded it onto a UN cargo plane to get it out of China and if I would contact this person to get receipt of the box. I immediately and continually declined and asked if his mother could do it for him. He then said "how do you expect me to send such an amount to my mom?" like you don't trust your mom, but you'll trust a practical stranger and the same way you wanted me to take receipt of the package (duh). Sketchy!!!

I have a concern and proceeding cautiously. I have been communicating with an "Italian" who has been living in the states and is in the oil industry (pipeline engineer). He is very charming, "loves me" and calls me ALL the pet names. He is now in Dubai on a construction project and I have only met him on Skype - just before he left as I didn't really believe he was who he was in pictures. He was that guy, but audio was a problem and I could not hear him. I've been communicating by text and phone. He has asked me to help transfer a large amount of money as he was having trouble doing this oversees. I did that, but now after researching and reading - I am really worried. Thoughts?

Anyone run across an Italian gent named Jeff who resides in CA? Very romantic, affectionate, and attentive in conversations. After meeting on Match and establishing contact, he immediately won a contract and had to run off to work on a road project in Dubai. It seems like it is beginning to take on all the characteristics of a classic con as he is moving toward a melding of financial resources while he is overseas(he's quite wealthy of course). Red flags are waving.

Similar situation here. Met this guy on Hinge app, gorgeous 41 year old man originally from Madrid but living in California the last 6 years. We have not video chatted yet as he is currently stuck in the Philippines on a military base and the internet service is bad. Orthopedic surgeon, divorced with a 7 year old son. Has not asked for money or anything (yet). Has send photos of himself, his son and his dog. Have been very suspicious since the beginning. Says his name is Juan.

I've heard from multiple men on my facebook page saying they were looking up an old friend and somehow found me...want me to accept their friend request...typically engineers or orthopedic surgeons on peacekeeping missions abroad , wife has died, child lives elsewhere in boarding school...yadda yadda...WHY do they all have the same story, is what I am asking? They cannot find another creative way of trying to scam us? I DEFINITELY would not send money but honestly I block them before they can even ask. All very sad how people waste their time!

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