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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:

Tagged with: imposter, online dating, scam

Comments

Just playing Words with Friends, this guy starts a conversation. I was suspicious right away. After a bit he says he is a widower with 3 kids. He messed up big. Next he says he has 2 kids, just barely making it. I told him he was a moron.

that seems to be the big story or that they are divorced with children. For a while, i was getting a number of messages via social media. Most of them claimed to be men in the military or doctors working abroad. It's crazy the lengths people go to scam others. I even had someone request an iTunes gift card so their sick daughter could sell it to go to the hospital.

Ladies/Gentlemen all I can say be very careful of these internet romance. Especially those International ones. I met one on tagged from Cyprus, Turkey. He was white man first then after 8 months I found out he was an African. They all scammer and I fall victim and lost Thousands of USD. Be careful of all those dating Apps. When I found out he was an African I still talk to him because he shows like he was loving and caring but he was a real scammer. He scam me for 3 yrs but I have learned my lessons. Hes Still scamming women in the USA so you all be careful. Hes not bad looking, speak with a soft voice and only call u baby. Easily get mad and always want large sum of money. He cries at all times and said he have High Blood Pressure. I start curse him out when I really realized that hes nothing but a scammer to supply him self and his families. I was gathering so much evidence on him and he don't know all what I found out. So I'm going to start work with the FBI and EFCC in Africa to get him. So please be careful of these International romance scammers.

Hi your story sounds very similar to mine and the person is also from Cyprus but sounds like an African man. Do you mind emailing me to compare evidence?

Same here, can we email to exchange information ?

that sounds just like a guy i meet on words with friends he is from Africa but lives in Indiana but right now he is working in Dubi and he only talks to me once in a while now because i would not give him any money. his name is William Chapman

I am working with an elderly lady who is planning on wiring a lot of money to this guy tomorrow. . I need to get some type of evidence to show her so she doesn't lose her money

Just received message yesterday from a scammer (we’ve been playing a couple of games about a week or two), I read about on here recently, Orthopedic Surgeon, widowed 6 years ago, son Owen @ boarding school in Boston.. wants to get to know me.. goes by Frank Williams.
Well I mentioned him to someone else whose been trying to scam me, told him don’t worry I deleted him (this other guy asked me?’s, that I avoided answering), but today when I went back to game to update/look at my profile information because I have been playing for several years, I had to look up Mr. Williams because he stopped the 2 games we were playing on the board. Wondering if he and the other scammer are one and the same?
Only difference is the other guy divorced his wife 6 years ago and he has a 12 year old daughter @ boarding school in Texas!

and they are only children whose parents died and no family, you are their only friend they can rely on.

New development, he’s madly in love with me and wants me to write to the UN to release him to come home for vacation. He sent me exactly what he needed the email to say. I never sent the email but yesterday I received a reply from them telling me how much money to pay at particular locations so he can return to the USA to come marry me. Then I received a document that looks real but when I zoomed in, it’s dated 2017 and signed by the UN Secretary from that time frame!
What should I do with it? Who can I turn it into! He urgently wants me to pay the money that I have repeatedly told him I do not have!
H E L P!!!

Whatvis the name of that person can you tell me I think my friend and you are talking only one person . Do you have a picture of him?

Omg! This is identical to what im dealing with! He claims to be a doctor in Yemen with the Unitednations. He wants me to send him $2750.00 for the UN so he can get his vacation or leave. He will not take no for a answer. He says to me "do you want me to die here? Please please help me i dont want to die. I want to come to the US and marry you baby please help me. I am going to die here. What about ken who will take care of ken? I absolutely dont have money like this by far! He calls me, and the conversations take place on hangouts! He has sent me pictures of himself and also does video chats. He says he is from Egypt, he didvslip up the other day and said Turkey then denied he ever said Turkey! Im so interested to know if Dr SAMUEL VEIDER IS THE ONE THATS SCAMMING YOU ALSO. He gets very angry if i mention him as a scammer! Please comment... HE SAYS HES IN YEMEN. FROM EGYPT, LIVES IN MIAMI FLORIDA, HIS SO CALLED DECEASED WIFE IS FROM SPAIN, HIS SONS NAME IS KEN, ALMOST 15 YRS OLD, HE SENT ME A PICTURE AND THE KID HAS BLACK ALL OVER HIS FACE. HE IS SAYING HE WANTS ME TO BE HIS NEW MOM! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR BACK..

Has anyone had any contact from a girl in Davao City Philipines, she hadnt ask for anything substantial yet but i have doubts she is legit and a couple red flags have appeared like her facebook profile disappeared and opened under something else and she wants all conversations in whattsapp now!!!

I am scammer free as of a few minutes ago. He is in the Military. He is not but the picture he is using is a real Staff Sgt, in the military. He was a facebook for one day. Stephen Towns is the name he used. On the uniform it read MidKiff James. From NC now stationed in Kabul Afg. widowed has 2 children living in Spain with their nanny, wants to marry me. Ask for Itune card, wanted me to pick up money to send to Nigeria for his friend that got stationed there. Now wants money for a flight to come here to be with me. I heard that (do you want me to die here) since December 2018. He sounds like the same scammer. Get rid of him. Good luck Carollee

I also have been communicating with a so called doctor in Yemen who now has a need for cash. Similar background information. I'm wondering if all is same person.

I got scammed on POF. He is extremely good looking, he asked to go on Hangouts right away. The scam goes like this: He is in Yemen, goes by the name of David Hunt, works for UNICEF as a brain surgeon. He works for 5 weeks abroad in Yemen but lives in the US, raising his 7 year old daughter by himself because his ex is a drug addict. Same bs: after a few days he started the intense messaging, he loves me, video calls, etc. Got very angry when i told him he is a scammer. He said he needed money to get home because it is not safe there but his accounts and CC don`t work there. I knew from the very beginning it`s a scam but wanted to know how far he would go. Please everyone: if something is too nice to be true, it it unreal!!!

Let through dating app: Hinge
Name: Alvin (Ryder)?
Went to Whatsapp

Number: +1 (267) 571-3520 Email requested for vacation leave to: Commander.leaverequest@ Story: Surgeon working in Yemen for UN. Widowed four years ago A daughter
From Dallas, Texas with Greek background. Called me daily for weeks and started telling me he loved me and missed me and pushed me to say the same. Claimed since it was Yemen he could not tell me much nor send photos from there. Progressed to asking me to send a leave request. I reported him since I worked out it was all to far-fetched and a UN administrator would not have a gmail address.

Ok so I’ve been talking to this guy that I met on Facebook ..he sent me a message via Facebook messenger he gos by the name Scott Jeffery Alan or Jeffery (Scott) Alan he says he is a is military pilot Air Force Im assuming when we met he was in Yemen parents died in car accident a while back has no family is on secret mission but says Hes back in Libya never asked me for money but I offered to get him k tunes card due to his account being inactive and his phone doesn’t have international service and a local forgein I tunes card won’t wor since he’s from New York west New Jersey New York to be exact

The similar thing w/Amazon cards because he needs them for connection to internet & calls? He is at sea in Anatolia & can’t get his money? I’d like to see the photos you all have??

Sounds like the gentlemen that tried to scam me. I asked where was he from, because he texts in broken English. Said he was born in Germany, but lives in Tampa Fl. The he wanted me to send money for his luggage, which was in ....YOU GUESSED IT.....TURKEY! Was to wire a money gram to someone by the name of Aashir Ijaza. The money was to be worth millions, but once he arrives here it would be smaller. He goes by the name of "James Raphel". He lives at "Hangout" if you type in jamesraphel83@ he will surely answer. Oh and has a 5yr ol son named Terry who wants me to be his mother. He's in boarding school, while he Works on a Oil Rig called Turmoil, which doesn't exists.

Can you post a picture

Tell him to take a hike! Plain and simple! delete his email and block him!

New development, he’s madly in love with me and wants me to write to the UN to release him to come home for vacation. He sent me exactly what he needed the email to say. I never sent the email but yesterday I received a reply from them telling me how much money to pay at particular locations so he can return to the USA to come marry me. Then I received a document that looks real but when I zoomed in, it’s dated 2017 and signed by the UN Secretary from that time frame!
What should I do with it? Who can I turn it into! He urgently wants me to pay the money that I have repeatedly told him I do not have!
H E L P!!!

This sounds like an Antonio Rodriguez. He claims to be an orthopedic surgeon in the army, widowed, 13 year old going to school in Turkey. First he was running out of minutes and could I get a gift card that he could use for minutes. Then calm for a couple of weeks. Then said he was on a mission, got shot and was awarded money by the Iranian Govt, 2.5 million to be sent to me because it was unsafe with Isis. Then it was their camp had been discovered and shot up but he escaped and needed 700 to get him out ASAP. Now luckily I kept saying no, and never sent him anything

Yeah, this orthopedic doctor in Africa telling me he lost wife to Cancer. this was on facebook and the page looked legit but I figured it out when he started asking for my email and ignored that I stated happily Married. His Name was Mark David. Googled and found this guy looked nothing like any Mark David and no one by that name an orthooedic doctor.

Mine goes by David Mark but a contractor in oil and gas living in Detroit and has an offshore oil pipeline project in Sarawak Malaysia. He uses photos of a Brazilian broadcast journalist by the name of Dony De Nuccio when I did reverse image search on Google with the most recent photo he sent to me on WhatsApp. Haven’t asked for money yet but I got suspicious when he called me on WhatsApp but doesn’t speak like an American at all and he claimed that because he’s mixed and avoided answering when I asked him what else is in his parentage when he claimed that his grandfather is Portuguese and his grandmother Chinese. https:// instagram .com/ donydenuccio?

Had 3 week encounter with Dr Wilson Robert in Syria through UN and NATO. Wife died 5 yrs ago while on a business trip, has son 11 yrs old. Owen just had birthday April 26th and Wilson's bday is May 4th!!

I think I am also a victim, can anyone send a picture of this guy?

Frank Williams is without a doubt a scam artist. Tried it with me but I love to investigate things...

I know what you mean. I met a guy online. He is in Afghanistan working. He is an orthopedic doctor. A widow with a daughter. He asked for an iTunes card to upgrade an Apple computer.

I probable talked to the same guy....an orthopedic doctor in Afghanistan working. A widow with a daughter. So far no money but I quit talking to him because he was 19 yrs. younger,,,,said age was not a problem, he was attracted to me!! Red flag.....stopped corresponding with him!

A lot of these "same" guys are working from a call room with the same script. It's a job, they leave at the end of their shift. Sometimes the feds can work with foreign gov't to stop this but most often not - the call room just moves. Beware of anyone that you don't know personally asking for money and even those that you do know be weary.

His name is Nicolas Hamson except now he is in solmia his daughter sonia isboarding school in cleveland because. His wife died in a horrible car accident while carrying his second child to bad he couldn't remember her name. Hes been texting me for the better part of 3 months and I am suppose to send him 500.00fir his vacation certificate but I need to send it to the un buy way of a man named gilbert in istanbule .does anyone know what this scumbags real name and photo are

Do you have a picture of what he looks like and what is his first name

Dear DrBSBFF, A ortho surgeon, Frank Hughes, was a scam. Divorced and 1 kid at Boston. Another guy, Williams Bravo did a romance scam on me. So sad. Then came the pitch, he needed $$ on a AMAZON CARD. Next came the 'consignment box'. He would send me the box-filled with $$,all I had to do was pay the delivery fee..5

I had the same experience, met through words with friends. Widower with 1 kid. Had an amazing job, but needed emergency funds. Unreal.

Sounds similar to someone I have been chatting with who is pressuring me for money. Widow with 12 year old son.

Similar story, son in catholic boarding school in Texas.
Two day before we were supposed to meet he urgently needed 2,000 sent to bitcoin to pay for contacting licensed. If I didn’t send it he’d might lose a million dollar contract

Sounds much like the man I’d been involved w/2+ yrs! Yes, the little green eyed monster would appear off & on while I’d been committed to only him. I was raised with 6 brothers. He was telling me that he liked my sense of humor, religion, sincererly, thoughtfulness and more. It’s not an easy lifestyle but it work out awhile.
After one year he started asking for the following: iTunes cards, google play cards n them the steam gift cards. As if those weren’t enough for 5months; along come requests for cash.. Oh not!!! Not. Then asks for a credit card so I can make purchases and hold onto his money until he gets home. I’m asking if he had money why ask me for all that stuff??? He needed cash to pay for extra equipment. Who really has to pay the suppliers for equipment? Wish we women would receive the answers that either are truthful or if not let’s us run for the hills. Where the heck can we find/get that king of infomation to keep us safe!!!!Thank Goodness for that “Pig
Scam” site or scammers (.com or .org). All the sights that can help us women stay safe, keep food on our table for our children, clothes for school etc. let’s help each other out and get educated these guys scamming us. Lets do the best to help each other remain strong for the betterment of our children & ourselves!!!
This man said he couldn’t take it if they were to loose this job; he was a few weeks (from his so called completion date. He needed 2,500k
To pay for the equipment that he needed to finish the job. I have plenty of photos. Education from a prestigious university. Oh yes, he’s claiming he’s a supervisor & works on oil rig, after oil rig, The lead Mechanical Engineer/Welder and Supervisor of maybe 5-7 men..Really? You know what; answer how many years at the same kind of job, you bid contracts to start to completetion job yet didn’t plan for

I was playing boggle. A gentleman started chatting with me, then asked for my email. I have a couple, one that I specifically use for unknown people. We chatted via email and then he asked for my number. I didn't give it to him and tried to cut off contact, but he persisted and wore me down with his "kind" words. Within 3 weeks he said he was in love with me. Was supposed to come visit but last minute change, got a job in Hong Kong. Ok. Now he's in HK, calling me every night, every morning. Telling me about the job. Today, he has a problem with the job and he has $6k but needs $4k more. When does my bank open? I said I would help and then texted him, no. too many red flags. He said i am insulting his love for him. I am crushed.

. Emma i have a problem with a scaMmer. I am scared. On 24 april i start to talk with him. Donald Patrick but email adahydouglas on houngnuts app. Just send ME message. Was very credibile and tell ME to send 200 £ on western union and have 45 years i checked on google reversile photos and its scam.i give him detail from my Surcode and Account photos but i don't have money There. What i can make to be safe i talk also now with him. I don't speak a good english. Please help me with Information

also met a great guy on WWF...played the game for months suddenly he was in love with me and wanted me to get hangouts...i eventually relented and he also had me set up a hangout with his daughter...lost his wife and parents in auto crash....i chatted with both of them...they definitely seemed to be different people. she boosted his happiness since meeting me and called me mom with which i was very uncomfortable...watch out for scammers introducing you to other family members...seemed VERY credible until i spoke with him on the phone...very eastern african accent. said he adopted it to better communicate with his workers...he was doing civil engineering project in...you guessed it...nigeria. BE CAREFUL.

I just wanted to know if anyone has heard from a scammer who calls himself Jeffrey Witcher in Ghana . He is a supposed uniformed officer and I met him on PO F. He already insinuates I have to help him out. I have looked him up he is real but I am not sure. He was in Afghanistan. He told me he had many scammers steal his pictures and info and I checked there is about 20 different facebooks. I just want to make sure he is not one of the scammers.

Hi Molly, I believe you and I are engaged in conversations with the same person only mine is in Syria. I have seen the photos of Jeffrey Witcher and coincidentally they are the same photos. Mine too claims to have had his identity stolen by "intruders". I would love to compare notes but don't know how to get a hold of you without posting personal info on a public forum.

I have tried to get him to show me a recent picture. Deleted him from WhatsApp and he called me back from a cell phone. I have talked with him since April and now I have been told he needs money to come home. Pay for a stolen weapon. I am not sending my money over there. To date his real Facebook has been deleted.

Yes, he is a scammer! Jeffery Whither from US, working as Civil Engineer in Turkey. Pretty much, same story! Be careful!

My mom may be speaking with the same person or someone with the same story..only he goes by Parker Walters, with the name Chris Walters on his email, and Chris Morgan on his Hangout. Same story, civil engineer stuck in Turkey because he owes over $50,000 in taxes. The email address he uses is Superchris 045@

He is a scammer. Trust me

OMG, I think we may have talked to the same person. What name did he use?

I think I have been talking to this guy too on Hangout. Same story....

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