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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

This happened to my son who is in the Army. What are some resources to go after the person ie type of attorney, criminal charges ?? She is a real person, living in the U.S, found her parents.

Has anyone run into these names1:
Natan Antoni, Humphrey Lucas, David Roland?

Yes as a matter of fact Natan is in my hangouts right now. What is the deal with him? I need to know fast

Why are they all orthopedic surgeons that’s weird I had a scammer said he was from Texas went to work on oil rig and his machine broke the pic was a copy of one published in2006 what idiots I kept him going for three months he wanted me to do his banking I said no never he never gave up trying I was able to go back to work so just told him about himself and sent the pic from the news clip with the day and deleted the app met him on scrabble now I have a guy texted me on face book suppose to be a surgeon for the in same thing wife an parents dead daughter in boarding school in uk he sent me a pic of his daughter and their dog I found the same pic on another site not his daughter really

My mom's been in love with a man from India for 4 years now. He claims he is a good guy with money and a good job. He actually doesn't ask anything money related. They video called once in a blue moon and i have seen him myself on video call but what really doesn't seem right is sometimes he disappears for weeks on end. Then he finally shows up and the cycle repeats all over again. He says he wants to meet her in person but he says he can't come to America so she has to go to him in India. Has anyone else dealt with this sort of thing? I need some help protecting my mom.

Anybody been scammed by "Mark Sency", "Stephen Townsend?"

I don’t know what to do he’s noticing I’m not responding so much . I said I was back at work and couldn’t

My friend met a guy on Scrabble game named Miller S. His picture is fake. He has multiple Scrabble accts. Same name just diff pics of same guy. Says he is from San Francisco, wife died from ovarian cancer, father died, mother met some guy and is living in South America. First he wanted her to send him money because his luggage got lost and he couldn’t get home from China. Then he was going to meet her when he got back and pay her back. So she sends him money thru BitCoin. When he was coming to meet her he was in a wreck on the way to airport and is in a coma. His friend mike contacted her to let her know Miller S was in accident and it was all her fault cause he was coming to see her. He may end up having amnesia. Anyone else talk to this Miller guy?? There is nothing about him on the Internet

My friend was recently contacted by an orthopedic surgeon from Doctors without borders Yemen via Facebook and Skype. He claimed his name was Richard W. Crowder. She was deeply attracted by his profile photos especially the one in surgical gown and requested a video chat but was recommended to postpone. After reading the shared experiences posted here, I wondered if he was one of the scammers as too good to be true. He has nearly perfect profile and sounded very patient but writing skills were not consistent, at least not like someone with years of education and from a hometown in England. I am not sure how to help her but will check if anybody here knows this person. She is very naive with pure soul. God bless her not to be hurt.

Yess Orthopaedic surgeon in yemen for peace keeping mission thay have NATO logo also hope i wud posted more photos but the chat deleted when i blocked him,but i have one photoes of his u know he says surgen but pictures he send is of handosme guy who is dentist ,so illitrste people but a good scammer

I received a FB request from a Louis Flare. His pictures were that of Brian Etemad, ESQ. [see Instragram]. He then confessed this is not him and says his real name is Nicholas Greto. He says he is a widow and has a 7 year old daughter. He claims he works as a Resp. Therapy in Russia. He has sent me pictures and his uniform top says Holy Name Medical Center. That facility is located in NJ. He sent pictures of himself and his daughter. He then asked for a AMX Gift Card to be sent his "house" in Florida . He then became agitated when he asked me to send it through my phone, and I said no. He is very handsome and believable .

Supposedly a Greek neurosurgeon is working at a Yemen base. He has 3 years left there and it has gotten bad, and is asking for me to help him get leave. At first, he asked for a game card, then to do bitcoin (learn from his coworker), which I stated that I couldn’t help him due to lack of $. Now, he’s consistently been asking for me to apply for his leave to help him come to the US. 1) to escape what’s happening in Yemen, 2) to meet me. Now, he’s telling me it’s an emergency and wants my full name and address to send me his atm card. I’ve been very careful and haven’t sent him any $ or any of my personal info. But he has gotten a couple of pics. I’ve chatted on the phone but have not verified that he is the person in his pics. Wondering if anyone has encountered a Daniel

I’ve met a man they my game chat.. His name is Harun my heart says it is real but my mind says maybe not.. He has never asked for money. I am going to meet him he sends pictures and texts all day.. even some of his family and such.. My question has anyone had it be real and not fake?

I have numerous contacts from men via Fitbit. They all have the same story, they are a widower, they have a child in boarding school in the US, they either work on an oil rig or for the UN in Yemen. They start off by saying they are lonely then within a couple of conversations on hangouts they are proclaiming their undying love for me. One even pretended his kids were emailing me. They start off by asking for an amazon, i tunes or steam card and when I refuse they get angry. One also pretended to be flying to China (no destination airport on the fake tickets) and another that he had been paid by shell into a UK account and wanted me to get the money. The clues are always in the poor English and the inconsistancies in their stories

I'm playing a word game. This guys picture has a celebrities face on his. Plus on Instagram I got another guy with a celebrities face . They want to talk on hangouts. The first one .I told him if I'm not asking for money I sure as heck ain't giving you money . But he still wants to talk ...Don't they have a quota? After 30 days you can't get what you want so you move on?

The 'United Nations Orthopedic Surgeon' scam is also active on Twitter. Name: Mayer Willson. In email: James (Roland) Mayer Willson (also spelled Wilson). Details: works in Iraq, daughter (12) and son (7) who stay in Turkey, widower: his wife died in a car crash in 2017. Asked for gift card after a few days in Hangouts. After I refused politely and asked for proof he first came back what proof I needed. He apparently didn't like my response. Received some bad language messages.

Have any of You dealt with a Dr. Todd Williams from San Diego now in Somalea for 16 Months.

He claims to be at sea on cargo ship, gets paid and end of contract. Claims name is Connor Miller, but admits using anglicized name. Claims dad from UAE, parents killed in plane crash, wife dead. Has 2 daughters and building home in Phoenix. Anyone heard these lines?

I’ve been talking to a guy from Hinge goes by the name of Robert Williams. Claims he is in Norway on a contract with Nextgentel, uses number +1 (412) 903-9291. His mother is Australian but died when he was 3 and his dad lived in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where he was born. He claims he lived in Albania for 12 years. He has sent me photos and I have spoken to him in WhatsApp but he refuse to video chat. He is turning 40 in December. Has anyone else come across him?

Thank you, Queen. I found this page and your comment for a fact check on a fishy guy I matched on Hinge. Said his name was Micheal Lewis, born on 3/02/1974 at 7.04AM. Manchester born and bred to an Australian mom. 5G project developer. Couldn't do video chats because he was on a ship. The whole thing was simply odd and fishy. Thanks again for proving my intuition right.

My friend has been chatting with the same guy for 1 month and half. He Asked for money 6 times. Luckily she didn’t give to him but only a iTune card of $150. Her daughter has reported to police and Police is monitoring this guy online. He will be arrested if he steps into Canadian soil.

Yes, I think I’ve met the same person. Same story, but was using the name John Taylor.

My friend got hook up by a guy by the name of Lewis Michael. He said that he is in Norway on a contract with Nextgentel. He was born 1974 from Manchester, UK. Just arrived in Canada. He said he is on a ship laying 5G optical ocean cable from Norway to Sweden. The fact is that these two countries are connected by land. He sent to my friend buisness invoice worth of over 13 million of pay but the sum of the money is not correct. He asked my friend helped him transferred money from his account to purchase equipment. His equipment broke again so he asked my friend to do the same thing but with of transfer of money from my friend's account ($6986 USD), which my friend refused. Beware of this guy

Thanks Rocky for sharing the story!
I just came across this guy called Michael Tang on Hinge as well.
Exactly the same story, I refused to help him transfer the money from his account when my first instinct told me something is fishy.
Please be careful everyone!

I think I’ve met the same person too. Same story, but was using the name John Wilson, phone number +1 (412) 891-6270.

I got chatting to an American man who said he was on a rig in the North Sea. After a couple of months he said me a copy of a letter which stated he had been paid £2.8 million into an offshore account which was closed. He asked me to open an account with Citibank so that the money could be transferred to me. The cost of opening the account was costing in excess of £3k and, the same again to activate the account. I declined as it didn't sound genuine to me. He then asked me to help pay his sons rent which was over £4k. He said his son went to school in London and, he was unable to send it from offshore. Needless to say I didn't send money. He then made me feel guilty by saying that I'd rather see his 16yr old son evicted

Tinder scammer. Claim from Canada, lives in Texas , civil engineer. Age 54 , then wanted me wire transfer his funds from a work contract by email. I did not do. These guys do not FaceTime, escuse after excuse, make you feel bad if you catch them they turn it around on you. Girls stay away tinder Tom Gerald university of Oxford.

The man I have been speaking with contacted me on telegram. I have been searching for him on the internet also however, I could not find him. He is single, no children but works with Doctors without boarder. Have anyone had any verbal communication with him.

I'm sorry to hear, out loud, there are so many awful people out there. Preying on vulnerable women and men. I would like to see some of these photos and am curious if some of you are talking to the same person. I have some pics to share from someone who I think is trying to do the same to me. I want to stop him if that's the case. I will make it my mission to put a stop to these awful people.

Gabriel Leonardo Switzerland, 58 yrs old, teenage daughter, then said Lives in Germany orthopedic surgeon with UN NATO, stationed in Yemen saving lives. Asked for my email and to use WhatsApp. Wanted to know who I am and where I live, work, hobbies .... I was bored and typed back. I told him messenger only and waive. He said he must have email since he works hard. I said add messenger to his cell phone. He said no cell phone. If you
Ok into his frequent visit on his two photo Facebook, you can see Nigerian sites and the URL he is using is under a different name. Response time proves he was using a translation package and he would not give a phone number to call — afraid of a country code giving up his true location? Anyway, a Real scam artist. He tried to get access to my computer so we could FaceTime. Do not trust anyone you do not see as a real friend or a friend of a friend. Not a good enough scammer for me to not see through. I wasted at least two hours of his/her time on messenger while I watched The Healer on Netflix. He ran like lightning when I mentioned Washington DC and I work with data privacy and security enforcement. Never trust anyone until you know them for a year or more. Do not judge the book by its cover. Fortunately, he did not get more than messenger time out of me. Prayers to those that have been or will be scammed like this. Facebook prompted me his message might be a scam. Thank you to Facebook for the message. Made me question the individual very hard. No time to waste in the future on someone not blood with me. Stay safe

I meant someone by the name of Michael Adams on Instagram. The back-and-forth was going on since April until the first week of October. The biggest deal for me was he was a Christian man. He knew the Bible. His story was his mother fled South Africa and she died at childbirth. The man and woman that she lived with in Jacksonville adopted him. Then goes on to say he was married and found out that his wife was cheating on him and the child they had was not his and at the same time found out about his adoption and moved to Texas. So we continued our conversations/texts until the first week of October. Always asking me for money to be deposited in his bitcoin account. Like an idiot recovering from two strokes fell in love with him. Don’t even want to say how much money I lost with the deposits I made to his BitCoin account and what Uber was charging me. Calling me his baby girl, darling mi amor and how much he loved me and wanting his parents to meet me. Wanted To have a future together and settle down. We weren’t getting any younger and he was going to help me with my recovery. So after my last deposit and my paid flight to Jacksonville to meet him for the first time and his parents, I spoke with him in the morning, he said he was on the phone with the doctor? I tried calling several times, texting and nothing. So I canceled my trip because there was no one I was meeting at the airport. Game over. The most hurtful experience I ever had!

I wanted to report the romance scam to the site on Instagram, they do not have a option for that. I picked the closest thing, ddried! There is no way to report this to them!

I meet a man online, his name ia Carter Jameswil. He said he is pediatric, works in Yemen, from Sweden. He said only can use Hangouts on there ,can't used video call too. Once day, he said he need to top up steam gift. I asked him, don't you have free calling if you use hangouts, he said no we can't. Is he scammer?

My mom met a man on scrabble go. Goes by the name michael travis. He's an orthopedic surgeon from the U.S working in London. I've already caught him sending her a pic of a fake id. He says he plans on moving here to be with her and open his own practice. I know this guy is scamming her but she won't believe me. Help. Does this sound familiar to anyone? His scrabble go is michael t and in his pic he's got headphones around his neck. Help me prove he's a scammer.

Davestiller23
He claims to be a doctor for UN in Yemen

At first I also scammed, thousand of dollars, they used UN in the 1st place, he said that he is engineer and a representative from UN told me about his founds, in order to receive I need to pay, without my knowledge I've been scam web used to talk in Hangouts and he is using this email address jameslarry1803,I hope this person will be captured and return my money.

I’ve been chatting with a guy who claims to be an American pilot from new Orleans who is working with the UN and posted in Yemen. Goes by the name of George Wilson. Only chats on hangout and Facebook. Says he doesn’t have a number as it isn’t allowed. Divorced with 2 boys in boarding school and head over bees in love with me. I have a strong intuition that he is fake and I wonder if there is any way to find out. I insisted that we have a phone call. Had an audio call on hangout and he had a strangely African accent and not American. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

I've been chatting with a guy claiming to be a doctor working with the UN say he's in Syria. He keeps say he loves me and wants to marry me. But the three says he has been pushing me to get him a 100 gift card at first it was for amazon then today he said let him know what the store has if they don't have it. He says its for his internet so he can talk to me and get permission form the UN for vacation to come visit me. But some of the things he has told me don't make sense. He says he is divorced with a 14 year old son in boarding school. That he is rich has cars and houses. He had a facebook page which he took down and after asking me to just talk to him through hang out a few days ago. Said he took it down for me because he only need me now. Goes by James. He says all the right things. But if is why would he working by contract for the Un if he a US doctor though at first he said he was a military doctor working with the UN. On Hangout he goes by James B I think he's scamming me and even though i haven't given him any money I'm still feeling pretty stupid

I just discovered my wife was scammed by a UN Dr in Syria needing money and a formal written request to in. Management for him to be allowed to come home to USA, claiming she was his fiancée. She had sent over $50k from her bank account to him through either W T or Bitcoin. Can you share with me any pics? He went by name of dr Thomas. I am going to police/fbi tomorrow

Hi All yeah same story when i check and blocked him within a week he came up with different number he looks so handsome but bad english,inspite of being raised in LA, dont know whose photo he uses, Orthopaedic Surgeon for peace keeping mission ready to fall in love,looking for sincere women

Hi..I have been chatting with a guy from Chicago who went to Yemen. He is an orthopedic surgeon whose first name is Philip Howard. I met him on tinder and he has a daughter. He asked once for a gift card but I ignored his request and we are still chatting. Not sure if he is who he says he is. We have never chatted except texting. Of any one has pictures I would love to see if this is him? Thanks..appreciate your time..

I had William Howard, ortho surgeon from Austin, working in Syria. He also goes by Paul Walter, ortho surgeon now in Somalia. They are such cliches.

I have been contacted by several guys on Scrabble Go. Interestingly, they are almost all widows and work overseas. Many in the oil industry or military. What a joke. I just string them along a little and then block them.

Maybe 7 days I had a communication with surgeon 55years from california and helping in syria. Daugher perry 12 years and lost wife in cancer. Im from czech republik and thank god for intuition. I checked it out with Google. robbed many women of money. he was called stephens mark. you just wanted to write through the hangout.

A so- called marine soldier reached out to me on Facebook. He’s super cute and he knows how to say all the right things to make a woman interested. Out of nowhere, a thought came into my mind to find his name on Facebook to see if he has another account ( which he said he doesn’t ) then a picture of him with different name came. I became suspicious and did a reverse image and boom!!!! His pics are all over the place as a legit scammer. He stole that navy’s photos including his daughter so he could fool women as a charming single dad looking for a life partner after his ex wife cheated on him while on deployment.

Be careful and always do a reverse image search.

Frank Davies,telling me he loves me .lives in fl. Is in London right now. Older looking man salt and black hair beard and mustache. Lost his wife and daughter in an accident 7 yrs ago.

I was on fb dating and they matched me with a ortho surgeon in Yemen has a son in Canada in boarding school wife died delivering daughter he is very handsome name is Ramon Garth also same pictures on another ones page named Josiane- he says he is half white half Spain but hasn't asked for any money but has anyone run across this one also the pictures are of him in scrubs and then photos of a black dog and him and then one with a small brown dog.

Sounds similar to a guy who recently said my profile picture is beautiful. His son is in boarding school he's an orthopedic surgeon in Yemen scheduled to come back yo in about a month. but his wife died in a car accident. quite pushy about getting email address or phone number. Facebook photo of him holding a baby. Goes by Philip Andrew

I think my 52 yr old bff is being scammed.
A young 35 yr old handsome oil rig engineer in Houston TX with a dying mother with cancer.

My Mom is being scammed by a guy who claims to be a multi millionaire working on an oil rig. His name is George Bryan and Bryan George. He says he’s from overseas, widow has a son in a boarding school in England. Has told my Mom he needs her to go claim a lockbox at a bank that has millions of dollars and jewels in it. Says it’ll cost her $20,000. to claim the box... but he’ll send her the cash to claim it. She gave him her bank account information and he deposited a $3,000. check. The bank told my Mom 3 days later the check is fraudulent. He claimed he was scammed by the bank and is sooo sorry for Mom’s troubles. He said his account has been locked and needed money to pay his cell bill, and my Mom sent him Bitcoin. He has been talking to my Mom for 5 months and knows everything about our family! My mom is poor, lives in Section 8 studio apartment and lonely. This man calls her so many times a day and prays with her, showers her in compliments and love... promises he’s coming here to marry her. Sent her pic of the 16 million dollar estate in Fla he’s going to buy her... I mean it’s just NUTS how she believes him. I did a deep dive into Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat & Linkdin and found 18 different accounts he’s got! I showed her all of them and she said it’s not him- he said someone is pretending to be him! I don’t know what to do. I’m scared he’s going to come find me or my daughter and kidnap us! We DO have a lot of exposure-

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