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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

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.

Can you please share your info on the Yemen surgeon with the beard .. think he's hitting me up now.

Dr in yemen. 14 ye old son in boarding school in canada..wife died in childbirth... lost the baby girl... Always needing money. Good looking with beard and scrubs. Cute and charming.. sometimes sings songs to me

Same experience. We always talked in hangout. I send him giftcard worth $500.
Then he said he send me his documents and $500000 but i need to pay $3500 for delivery payment. I plan to send the money this tuesday.thanks God i find this site. Its a big help for me.

i'd be interested in seeing a photo if possible as this sounds very similiar to what i'm going thrugh at the moment

Does Yemen Dr always take pics in the gym or on the beach? Because I have seen one dude under about 8 different names. Reported him to POF.

What does this guy look like?

WOW...sounds like the same guy I'm getting messages from

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.

Can you email me this person I think I have the same. Thing he said he’s name is David William that he got a son 14 and that his wife died over cancer and that he’s parents died in a car accident, he also claim he is from Germany

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

I met James Owen on Yahtzee same story. Do you have pictures? I confronted him on this when I saw this site. He got upset and said he would never ask me for money. That he had plenty . Have not been able to verify ID. Still chatting with him.

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

Hey Annie I have a friend with a guy I believe he is scamming her he has this same story can you send me the pic?

I have a similar story. Jeffrey Dennis, Age 51, Orthopedic Surgeon, was in Jacksonville, FL. Says went to med school in UK. Signed UN contract for Yemen for 5 years. Says been there 2 yrs now. Says Can’t take photos there. No money; no access to bank account. Wife Rita died during childbirth 3 yrs ago. Son Michael is 13 & in military school in NY. Email is 7777jeffreydennis@ on hangout. I deleted conversation, but started it back up. I have a new photo & copied it. He eventually asked for gift cards. Have tried to research with no results. How can I get pic verified? I’ve had a feeling it’s a scam but I want to be wrong!

How do you share a picture? I have one. Orthopedic surgeon, widow, in Yemen.

Hi i met the same ortho and widow now in yemen

Hi I have a orthopedic surgeon widowed no kids working in Yemen. I wonder if it’s the same person?

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