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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

Just putting this out there in case anyone else has a similar man talk to them.

A week and a half ago, random Korean doctor adds me on FB named Michael Park. Usually I don't accept but I decided why not try anything different. Talked for a little bit on messenger before he asked to move to Kakao (it's a Korean messaging service). He says he is on an undercover mission in Yemen, waiting on his retirement so he can be with his 9 year old son Paul who is in boarding school in England. He came over from Korea when he was 5, parents were killed in an automobile accident and 12 and his son's mother is druggie. Then Yemen government had awarded him 4 million dollars for a job well done. He didn't bring up me helping him the first time he brought up the money but the second he said he was having problems taking it out of the country. The only way he could do this to send it out in a lockbox with his retirement papers, and that I needed to call the delivery company for him. He said he could not leave the base without those things being sent out. I was already wary about the situation early on, there were many red flags for me. I hope this story helps someone and saves them from being scammed.

Same story, Paul is 10...both parents passed away. Dad in mva, and mother upon hearing this news hit her head and went into coma for a week... ex-wife using drugs and ended marriage bc of it. He asked to pay for delivery fee for his package (UN award of $3 mil)

Just lost $91k to a scammer in cypriot/turkey. He said he was in construction business and had been awarded a contract (even emailed) it to me. His name is Ollie Armon, and from Finland. He said he could not pay his workers because his bank had stopped his account because of suspicious activity. I asked him to show me his bank account, which he did and the contract money was in it. I gave in and got taken for every penny I had!

I have been corresponding with a orthopedic surgeon working on a UN peacekeeping mission in Iraq working in the ER. Goes by Jordan Wylie. No family. Widower. I have pics! All pics but one are in doctor scrubs. Claims he is from Montgomery, Alabama. Born October 21, 1975. Anyone with this same story, please message me. I've wired $3,500 to pay for his vacation certificate and retirement so he can leave Iraq. Now needs money to hire a mover to get his things out of Alabama. I told him I am not sending any more money. Claims he is waiting for his flight to come here but the terrorists keep blowing things up. I really wanted to believe it was real but after reading all your stories, I know it is not. I feel like a fool. I completely fell for him.

Same story here. Dr. James Orthopedic surgeon on peacekeeping mission for NATO in Yemen. As soon as he’s confronted his polite manner gets ugly fast! What a creep!

Yesterday a guy started talking to me on Twitter, he then ask to meet at hangout. He claims to work for the UN as an orthopaedic doctor stationed in Syria. Lives in Austin Texas. Widow no children, just wants a platonic relationship. His name John Reardon. I checked his photo on google but could not find anything. I blocked him now as I wondered if a Doctor in Syria would really have time to chat with me. I read on google that the UN has no doctors in Syria at the moment. I always check people out on the internet before I get more chatting with them. I can not find anything about him on the internet. Just his Twitter account drjohreardon. Looks like a white collar man.

Anyone run into a very nice looking man from Brazil, but is working with US special forces in Africa? I have talked to him in the phone. I told him to send me a picture holding a peace sign and he did. We have been talking for awhile and just asked me to get him a $100 Google card so he could listen to his music while patrolling. Anyone run into a similar person?

Hi All, do u know this Orthopedic Doctor working in Yemen by the Name Ethan R Anderson his on hangouts

I was talking with Liyong, orthopedic surgeon widower and have 2 girls. I am not sure if he is scammer but he has some red flags. Be careful

I have a client I believe is being scammed. She says her fiancé is coming home to buy a house with her and marry her. She says he is a doctor working for the UN in Syria, but got released from his contract early. She says they'll only pay for his "diplomatic jet" from Syria to Istanbul but he needed $12,000 for commercial flight from there. She sent him a cashiers check via FedEx!
He then claimed he was being detained in Turkey because he tried bringing home millions of dollars worth of diamonds & jewels that Syrian officials gave to him as wedding gifts. He now needs $15000 to give to the crooked Turkish officials so that he can take his jewels and return to the US.
She calls him Andrew. He says he's divorced with 2 grown sons in NY. She is so obviously being scammed. Has anyone else had a similar story?

I have the same scenario as everyone here. A surgeon in Yemen went by Keith Billy .wife died , two girls in boarding school. Wanted money to come here and make a life. I didn’t send anything. Would love to see some photos on here though to see what we all had in common!!

Afraid I'm being scammed by someone similar to what is being described here. He says his name is Mike James Miller, is an orthopedic surgeon on contract to Yemen with US Army. He says he has a daughter, Sophia. I have a picture and tried reverse image search but, nothing came if it. I really like this guy and hope he's legit, but it sounds very unlikely. The picture I have shows an attractive older gentleman of middle eastern descent with glasses and facial hair. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, a scam. Is it a picture of about a 48 ish man with greying hair and his chin resting on his hand? He is a scam. I messed with his head for so long before he mentioned money. I told him all mine is in my 403B and I cannot take any out of it, yet.

HR just tried to friend me on Facebook. Checked his page and with nothing in his interests lists he sue looked phoney to so I blocked him.

A new one goes by the name of Austin Michealson on Facebook and Austin on the dating part. On Google hangouts same name.He claim to be in the army and currently in Afghanistan. My fortune looking at one of his posts on Facebook I found the name of a lady that called him a scammer on his post. I then contact her for have a better understanding! He will make up stories to ask for money and more not legal things! I hope this will help someone!

I have been talking to a guy that says his name is Stephen White and that orthopedic surgery in Somalia. He has a picture of himself and it is a picture of a model.

The man that has been talking to me says he is in the Military and is 58 and ready to retire. He hasn't ask for money yet but I think it's coming. He has very warm intelligent conversations with me. I could see why it would be easy to fall for him. He says his name is Mark Bryant. Has a son and nice looking man himself. But... he is trying to get me to talk to him through gmail hangout. and wants my gmail address. I have no intention of giving it to him. He is so good at this you almost think he is real.

who here has met Leon Alekein from Switzerland....contract engineer...12 year old daughter names Jessie in Canada. SMOOOOOTH talker.

I'm concerned about my mom. She's been talking with a guy named Natan Antoni since later December. He's a very good sweet talker. He Shays he's a widower and his passed last year due to COVID. Now he has custody of his 2 grandsons. I'm not sure if money has been given but I know he's asked. He also put her down as the emergency contact with his employer. He lives in NC but had been working in TX for the past 3 months. She doesn't want to believe it could be a scam. Has anyone had anything similar?

I've been talking with this guy for 2 weeks. Met him on Facebook. Post said he lived in Gaston, SC and last night told me he lived in Summerville, SC. Claimed to want a lasting relationship and a future together. Same story about family and grandkids. I confronted him with your post and haven't heard from him since.

I just got Facebook dating app and a man saying he is Dr David Derrick but he is Yemen and a surgeon he showed his credentials but looking here I knew he was a scammer said he had 31 year old son on drugs and adopted and 8 year old girl from Turkey she is smart and beautiful watch out for him ladies

Anyone deal with William Gary?. Supposed to be a doctor in Yemen

Where can I locate pics of scammers in Yemen?

How about orthopedic surgeon from Dallas Texas originally from Puerto Rico. Widowed with 16 year old son at boarding school. On a mission for a friend in Gaza . He friend requested me on Facebook I accepted and said let's text on WhatsApp I said sure. something seems strange after the second quick text and I said let's talk via video and he said he can't because of security that's when I googled him and I noticed his name information now with a different picture. I asked more questions a lot of nonsense back I reported it and I blocked him. I told him that he was a hacker and he got very upset so I knew that was a red flag.

Met this guy yesterday who is claiming to have sent me something today,I gev him my post address, what should I expect next from him?He says he's a Dr in Istanbul, Turkey, Dr Fred Lowell, anyone who knows him?

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