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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

They change profile pictures but continue to use the same scenarios. This is a scammer. A Doctor in Yemen is not going to need money to get home or whatever other nonsense he is claiming. Block him before he drains you emotionally & scams you out of your life savings.

I was in contact with a vascular surgeon , widow, born in Sweden, working at UN in Yemen that needed emergency money to help his 14 year old son who was ill at his Sweden boarding school. Just horrible the lengths of deceiving this ppl go.

I met this guy in scrabble. Swedish surgeon working for the UN in Yemen. 14 year old son, widower , son in boarding school. Asked me for itunes card fir his birthday. After that son falls ill. Asked me for $750 to get nanny to sweden to help his son. Unbeliavable!

Hi I have some
Pictures of a man in Yemen- could we exchange them to see if he is match with yours?

Would love to see pictures too please!

I would like to exchange pictures.

I have pictures too. Why isn't anyone sharing pics. It would help me a lot

I think I am talking to the same guy
Please can you send pictures?

I would like to send you a picture

Hi, I currently have a widow surgeon claiming to work with the UN in Yemen. I would love to check pictures of him with you.

Can you share picture? I may talking to the same person

Same story here. Good looking blond guy. Claims his wife died from cervical cancer & he is working in Yemen but lives in Beverly Hills

That blond guy you said from Beverly Hills is he a doctor? What name did he used ? He sounds familiar . Did you just meet him this December?

General in us military. Working with Nate on peacekeeping mission. Very handsome gentleman
Knows all the right things to day. If it’s too good to be true.......well it’s not true. Red flag, if he was who he said he was he would be looking for someone half my age. These scammers have a lot to learn. Especially English grammar , incomplete sentences etcnot understanding our slang words

Is there a way for them to be identified and punished.

Never did ask for money or anything

Please send me pictures because l have a same situation

did she die in a plane crash ?

Do you have a photo of this doctor? If so would you share?

Hi, what was the surgeon name in Yemen?

I have the same story . Widow surgeon working in Yemen. He has sent me his photo's with daughter. He has called me every day in the morning before he went to "health care " , during the lunch time he sent me some messages and we had talk at the evenings. He was very attent. He has told me about his wife who passed away in accident. He asked me for iTune gift for his daughter. I did it once. Then he asked me the same for the second time I have found it suspecious. I used google scan to check his pictures. They've been stolen from Facebook and LinkedIn of someone else.

Same story with me. Can you tell me his name?

Can I see a pic? Came exchange info?

i was a sucker too this one really almost had me fooled i have pictures too

Hi! I had a guy named Harry Hendricks message me who said he was from Poole, UK and is a white Orthopedic Surgeon. He then says he’s looking for a “ good friend” and bored. Then he says he lives in Sana a Yemen. Immediately wants to know if I live alone or with someone(red flag).

His pictures on FB are of him in his “surgeons gown”. With Professor Masseen on his dr’s hat.

He must be a scammer and using a fake pic. Have you heard of this one?

Yes this felllow. Contacted. Me tonight via Instagram

Me too, a month ago widow surgeon contacted me while working in Yemen, yesterday I request me send him money to pay for his flight to come back France. Can you show me his pictures?

Same with me.. same way he scammed me. But i post hundreds thousands dollar for this

Iv just had a very similar encounter with someone I met on
Tinder !!! very convincing thankgod I had my suspicions i never wired any money

Same- can you describe him please

I also met a man on zoosk says he’s German and he went to Alaska to work I’ve also transferred $ from his account for materials and then it was locked and he needed to come home to take care of it in person! I’ve sent him $ On cash app and bitcoin and google cards .. it’s an endless cycle of asking for money.. I’d like to email you and exchange pics

Yes---Met a person back in Feb2020. We communicated almost daily. Got a job in North Turkey (Cyprus) to build a resort. Sent him money via wire 2x for supplies and taxes. He was suppose to come back in December and did not. Said he was stopped at the airport for overstaying his Visa and still owed money to a construction company. Needed to come home and take care of things. Stated he would pay back upon return. Also said people were helping him but he was short. Very smooth, calming voice with an accent. Said he grew up in Sweden and moved to US when he was in his 20's. Parent were in NYC. Has a daughter in London and was divorced 4 years ago. Do you have any pictures? I'm not sure who to contact but I want to report this.

I was approached by guy works for Exxon. He is using name Byron Markus and says he lives in Nashville, TN. He has son in school in Texas and is a widow because wife died during childbirth supposedly.

I also have a guy works for Exxon and on Facebook he is Byron Markus but found him on Twitter as Jeff Lancelot and has son he calls Sammy and under his Jeff name son is Kelley. Are any of these names familiar?

I'm a real, male senior. ?Why do these romance scammers prey on males, or do they? I've never heard of any instance. On the other hand, I would pay to do a "turn-around" scam on the scammers. It would be fun to twist the screw in the other direction for a change.

I believe someone is trying to scam my mom. She met this man on FB online dating. He said he works on oil rig. He asked her to send invoices from her email because he was loosing internet connection in the sea. She doesn’t believe me it is a scam, and she has become alienated. Can you please provide more information on how you have been scammed? His name is George William.

I have too!!! May I see the picture that you have to see if it is the same man who scammed me?

This sounds like my guy who I met in July. He supposedly be from Indiana and works in the oil fields in Australia. I'm still talking to him because he seems humble and uses prayer and christianity as a ploy to get you in. He sends me prayers, photos and even a driver's license taken in Indiana. He isn't Dubai but his colleague is right now. I'm trying to catch him up but hes stuck to me as if hes my man and promised he's not like those other people and gets a little annoyed when I doubt his word or accuse him of not being who hes represents.

I met someone online. His photo was gorgeous. He told me he was an orthopedic surgeon going to Yemen. He said his name was Phillip Regner.. He says after 6 months we will meet and get married. I told him I would fly to where he was to meet him. He made up excuses. When I FaceTime him , it’s the guy in the photo but something is amiss. Says he’s from Nashville, Tn. Anyone know or hear from this man?

Same story. Orthopedic surgeon went to Yemen.Fell in love too fast..2 kids in boarding school. From Nashville, Tn.
Got angry and distant as soon as I refused the guft cards. Stolen identity..Dr. James Norris..

The doctor that was used I have not found his real name yet . when I do I would love to talk with him and let him know what has happened to him.

Yes. I think I have met the same guy. I'm curious to know if he is using the same pictures as he used to you.

I think I'm talking to the same man, please can we share photos?

This guy was gorgeous! My favorite photo was of him in a green shirt working out in the gym. There was another photo of him with the dog. He has a picture of him at a doctors outfit also. Supposedly, he’s an orthopedic surgeon. His pictures appear on this website under fake and miss used photos. Does that sound like him?

Hello-I also want to cross reference my experience with yours. Where do I find the fake and misused photo section? Can we exchange photos to see if we were talking to the same guy? Thank you!

I think the same thing is happening too me. Orthopedic surgeon dr. working at UN in Afghanistan. I have a photo he sent me. Can I send it to you?

Hello same here, an orthopedic surgeon in Afghanistan. widowed and claims to have a daughter in Tx. asking for gift cards and money for his vacation to come to the states to get married lol. He uses the name James Carter. I have pics hes using

Please share his photos to me. He said same thing to me. He talked to me few days ago.

Please share pictures please..

Hi. I am trying to convince my auntie that she is being a victim of a scam but she is not believing. The guy said he is in Afghanistan and coming to the Uk to meet her, but he need money to buy tickets as he is not going to his country the US government refused to let him use his money to buy the plane ticket. He claims to be a surgeon too, probably is the same person, he said his name is Ray from California, she is just waiting for her wages this week to send him £2000. can you send me the pic that he sent to you please?

I think I have the same person- claims to be in the arm a CSM. He lost his parents in an airplane crash and is wife die of cancer.

The same scammer took money from my friend and used the same story , she sent him $4000

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