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Image of cupid and heartNot everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Why all of the tricks? They’re looking to steal your money.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, romance scammers are now involving their victims in online bank fraud. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims. After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account. The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country. Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.  

Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake. They ask you to:

  • chat off of the dating site immediately, using personal email, text, or phone
  • wire money using Western Union or Money Gram
  • set up a new bank account

Did you know you can do an image search of your love interest’s photo in your favorite search engine? If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer. And if the person’s online profile disappears a few days after they meet you, that’s another tip-off.

Here’s the real deal: Don’t send money to someone you met online — for any reason. If your online sweetheart asks for money, you can expect it’s a scam.

Unfortunately, online dating scams are all too common. There may be tens of thousands of victims, and only a small fraction report it to the FTC. If this happens to you, please report it at

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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August 19, 2021

In reply to by Poseylover3

Sounds similar to my John Martin. He is from Spain and moved to the US at 20 with his parents and went to Florida State. My daughter is an engineer too and looked him up and there is no certificate by that name. He was in LA and had to leave immediately for Alaska to finish a project from precovid. I would love the exchange pics. He has short sides and loose curls on top. Mostly gray but I’ve seen a pic where it looks like he may have tried to put in blonde. He is 52 and lives in Allen Tx. I did a reverse search and nothing on image. Phone or email.
miss taken
October 31, 2021

In reply to by Txgrl2008

Ladies, the pictures are stolen from some honest person account... they have many countries to steal from. internet phone numbers are used so they are in any part of the world. Hopefully the social sites and govt gets lucky and catches some.
November 17, 2021

In reply to by miss taken

I met this guy from a dating site. Very handsome with blue eyes. His name was Nicolas Stam. Very good talker that will melt your heart away. But then he started to have issues when he travel and ask for help and also ask for steam card or google play card .I really feel bad about the real guy who own the picture. He look so sweet and a good man. Lets try to find those men that alsona victims of this scammers.
October 06, 2021

In reply to by Poseylover3

Look out for Akins Davis aka Auwal Muhammad Adam. Is real good at his game. Be on the lookout ladies.
Catia Don't us…
November 02, 2021

In reply to by openedmyeyes

Does he has a bear and mustache ? Very handsome , always dress with impecable clothes or just a shirt showing his great muscles … on his 39 or 40 … jay Baris on IG …. I Block him as soon I felt something really weird….. who could think about marrying you in a week of knowing you …. Such a dumb !!!
July 24, 2021

In reply to by Janetlee64

Hi, how do this guy look? I think I many came across him.
December 07, 2021

In reply to by Rosvita70

Is there anymore info on this guy, I’ve being chatting also with a very handsome man, but I’ve being trying to see if the pictures are of him..he has video chatted with me but always hides his mouth there anyway for us to show each other photo??
December 16, 2021

In reply to by Bella5

The names don't matter. They can use any name and anyone's picture. They use scripts, so a hundred different people will say the same story. Don't give your own picture. They can use it to scam a man. You don't know if the scammer is male, female or a teenager. They also work in shifts, so you may be talking to a few different people.
December 07, 2021

In reply to by Goldengirl

Golden girl is there any way you have a picture of this guy..I am talking to a guy who says his name is Jerry and has 2 children girl and boy, his very handsome beard and moustache brown eyes …a well toned body..
Tired of wonde…
October 29, 2021

In reply to by Janetlee64

Hey, I read ur story & have a similar situation in that I met a guy thru fb dating. He goes by the name Mario. Anyway, in Brazil logging, cant access his bank acct needs my help, and his acct get frozen eat eat eat. Never met him. Problems keep arising. I'd like to see pictures of ur guy because ur story sounds so similar!
January 24, 2022

In reply to by Tired of wonde…

I started texting a man on fb dating on Feb 2020. He said he was on an oil rig in Scotland-Hawkins Lambert. We still text but I've figured out what he is and I do it because I'm bored.....he told me he's on the rig and can't get access to his money. He keeps asking, today he was in Egypt in the hospital and needs money to pay dr.bill of $850...a few weeks ago if I sent him $800 he would come see me. On & on
June 25, 2021

In reply to by JanetLee64

Omg- I think I’m talking to this same guy. Says he’s 52, widowed, engineer in oil . Needs me to send am ex cards because he’s in Shanghai and cannot get cards there to pay for his materials for work. Name/ James Ranking. Ugh, I’m just sick.
October 25, 2021

In reply to by Llhoney

I think is the same guy I am talking to. Can we exchange email to see if it's the same person
Wilson silva
February 22, 2021

In reply to by Cheri

Hi did u ever have video calls etc with this man
December 21, 2020

In reply to by It's bad

I am right there with you, I fell for it too and it feels pretty bad. Though knowing I’m not alone or the only one somehow will help come back stronger. We all had learned something from this. Stay strong
January 01, 2021

In reply to by It's bad

Thank you for sharing, I feel bad for having believed everything this guy I met told me. I sent him my savings now I have to work hard again and save. My heart is broken
January 02, 2021

In reply to by It's bad

I had the same thing happened to me. But his name is Marcus Miguel. I met him on POF dating site. He is still begging me for money. I didn't answer him and tried to even block him, so he told me that I was mean and cruel woman and that I didn't love him and that he was gonna kill himself. He even had his commander text me that he tried to commit suicide. It's all fake.
Paula polarbear
January 08, 2021

In reply to by Tes

Hi I think I'm probably in one at the moment. He comes across as genuine. Lives just outside Denver. His photo ive seen on different dating sites after checking him out on reverse images. Has a different name. I have 6 different pictures of him but he won't facetime/video call. He asked for money but said 8 had nonetheless give. How long can something like this last? We've been in contact for 4 weeks. He contacted me via a game called 'word wars'. How do I go about reporting 8f this is the case? Thanks for your time.
March 15, 2021

In reply to by Paula polarbear

I met felix on Bigo he is so sweet and we talk everyday he says he is a sniper in the army wife died both Parents too And he have a son. He seems real but we can never talk on the phone and no video calls when I ask for pics he takes awhile to send and it's never in the moment pics it's always something that he been took I mean he in the army I'm not stupid I asked for his MIL address he told me it's high level I know it's not true but I don't know if I'm a victim or if he's just secure with his info but he did as me abt my account saying he don't have access to his accounts he said he is in afghanistan . I really want to believe him but I'm sceptical about it I tried a reverse photo and nothing email can't be found it's like he don't exist this hurts so bad I'm scared but he always assure me it's real what can I do to find out if he's real or not his uniform says his last name so I don't know any suggestions
April 16, 2021

In reply to by Marie33

He is fake. Look at his Facebook profile does his name match? I have a military guy I am talking to gave me his military address. But wanted a phone or gc for internet. Can't ask or receive. Federal offense for both parties. I researched American phone numbers. They are getting smarter but will make a mistake eventually. Trust me. Copied messages but I know better than to send anything! Sorry
August 18, 2021

In reply to by Marie33

I think we are talking to the same guy different name. Do you have a picture that we can exchange?
December 23, 2021

In reply to by Tes

I’m in a situation much like you. He’s handsome tells me he is a rich hard worker. Photos are no ordinary photo we would take. Any as of now I’m in for 7,500$ tonight he asked me for 10,000 and 3,000 for lodging and food. His excuse he went to Australia for a job. He says it paid 17,000. It’s been put in his bank acct. because of amt he needs to pay bank 20,000 before he can access his money. I have never seen a bank account like his. I guess it’s for millionaires which he is according to bank acct he sent me. I guess I have to let him go. His name or so he saysTony Clark. Speaks with a heavy Spanish accent- it’s such a long story. My heart wants to keep him but know I’d go bankrupt. lol if he can’t access his money. He says he’s weak from hunger. He says he should just kill himself, the hotel manager will put him out because he hasn’t paid for room yet. The men that he hire say they want to kill him and on and on
October 17, 2021

In reply to by Alex

hello so recently as of two weeks ago i met this guy Jeremy i dont remember his middle or last name he was pretty open tho air force pilot from a small county in Texas we have talked pretty often hes deployed in Sudan he speaks great English no other language we talk about our interest and hobbies goals etc seems pretty legit the only red flag is he said he loved me within the first week hasn't asked me for money till today he apparently got ambushed while on patrol he said his ops phone is down and needs a iTunes gift card didn't ask me for a certain amount or anything of that sort and showed me actual pictures of his wounded men is this really a scam ? he also hasn't mentioned marriage to me i mean we talked about possibly years down the road because he wants to do at least 2 or 3 more tours then once he retires he wants to get a house and all that is this a scam ? bc it dont seem like it to me mainly bc hes so open and its not all bogius love nothings he sent me a pic of what he looks like he looks about the age he said 36 and he actually was the first guy that i felt i wasnt being scammed
December 08, 2020

In reply to by Don't uDiannes…

I know how you feel. I have been texting with a guy on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico for 2-1/2 yrs and I think he’s a scammer. Breaks my heart too. We had some many beautiful plans. Sucks!
December 16, 2020

In reply to by sunshine

Did this man give you his name? I have been talking to a man who is on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Or so he claims.
Horse mom
December 23, 2020

In reply to by Hrob

Do you have a picture of him you can send to me? I am dating a guy who is a engineer on the Bullwinkle oil rig. He is a contractor has a French accent with a 17 year old daughter named Sandra in boarding school in California. He goes by the name is Steve Johnson and goes by PurpleClover on google hangouts
January 03, 2021

In reply to by Horse mom

I would like to know if you can send me a picture of Steve Johnson. I have been talking to someone I met on Instagram that goes by that name. I talk to him on Google Hangouts too. His profile on IG has been deleted and he told me he is German and lives in Edmonton, Canada. He has a son named David that is 7. He hasn't asked me for money yet but he just got a big million dollar contract in Turkey. He is a civil engineer but won't tell me anything about the project he is doing. He sends me lots of photos so I would like to verify if this is the same guy before I get in too deep. Can you help me out?
Horse mom
January 06, 2021

In reply to by Hatcherymom

He doesn’t have a son but a daughter and did he send you a picture of his hand that he just injured? Does he have a French accent? How do I send you a picture
January 15, 2021

In reply to by Horse mom

Oh..almost similar story. Petroleum engineer working in gulf of mexico rig, widow, daughter taken care by a nanny. Injured hand because pirate attack on the rig. Can we share photos?
March 08, 2021

In reply to by PoorMe

I too have been communicating with someone on an oil rig in Mexico with a son who is with a caregiver
April 03, 2021

In reply to by PoorMe

Does anyone know of a Jack McCane? Working on an oil rig, widower with a young son taken care of by a nanny? His pictures are from someone who looks Russian.
Catch a scamme…
April 26, 2021

In reply to by PoorMe

My sister has been scammed out of several thousand dollars by a man who goes by the name Dave Cameroon he claims to be from Houston and has a daughter 17 that is stay with friends . He claims to be a contractor on a oil rig in the Gulf. He sent her a fake Yexas DL I have pictures of him
July 17, 2021

In reply to by Catch a scamme…

Can we please share pictures, I’m talking to a guy who’ says he’s an engineer a contractor at the Gulf of Mexico, he said his internet isn’t strong and wants to transfer money to his client but can’t because his internet is slow and it will be blocked. So I helped him because i had strong connection. His account got blocked and asking me for verification payment. I was feeling bad because I don’t want him to lose his money. But now I’m realizing it’s all set up I think. He’s asking me for transport money to go to his bank ti fix the issue. But I don’t think there’s a real bank. I still talk to him but no more money. I have Nothing to give is all I can say. If we can all please share pictures. He also said he has daughter at the boarding school 14 yrs old and needs medical attention because she was in an accident.
July 25, 2021

In reply to by Atine

Did anyone hear of Paul Burris Walker? He is supposed to be a Marine Engineer. Good looking guy of 61 who is now in the oil rig in The Republic of Georgia. Has a son who is 15.
September 06, 2021

In reply to by Hannah

I was friended on Facebook by a Scott Walker, apparently from US, but working as a Marine Engineer on an Irish offshore oil platform (rig) He asked me some v personal questions waaaay too quickly& I smelt a rat!! I was polite& tried to ask him about his life etc, and he said he was single with a 15 year old son (with a nanny- surprise surprise!!) - I asked him where his Mama was& he didn't answer.... it seems any question he can't answer , he just ignores!!! .... anyway- I've made it clear that I don't believe he is who he says he is& have stopped all communication...... def 100% SCAMMER!
September 09, 2021

In reply to by Hannah

I had a Erik Walker. Works with oil pipeline. He’s 50 He ask me to do Bitcoin investment. He lives in London Have a daughter
Catch a scamme…
September 27, 2021

In reply to by Atine

Anyone ever heard of a man by the name Dave Cameroon says he is from Houston Texas. He is a lier and a scammer. Ladies stay away from this creep
June 28, 2021

In reply to by PoorMe

I met a guy on IG he said he was born in Guyana, raised in Cali and currently lives in Dallas but is in turkey for business .. his name is Clyde Ney Patrick… He did ask for money I didn’t give the money to him.. and he’s really cute..
Knowledge is power
February 03, 2021

In reply to by Horse mom

I guess he tells you one thing and the other woman he is scamming another. Who knows how many others he is scamming at the same time as you two? They have a story line and they use it to tug at your heart, which works a surprising number of times. He's widowed, divorced, separated, single, he has a daughter, son, they are 7, or 17, or whatever. Those "facts" he presents are just his backstory and mean nothing. They are almost always a big fat lie, anyway. The goal is to get into your wallet. These people are very good at the art of deception, and run many types of scams. If a stranger asks you for money on the street, you give him five bucks, but a stranger on the internet, you will give thousands of dollars that should be going to feed your own self and family and pay your own bills. What big strong man needs to sucker a female out of her hard earned money? He can work two or three jobs and be just fine. Change the story on him. If he told YOU he has a daughter, ask him how his SON is doing, and insist that yes, he told you he has a son. See if he gets confused and changes his story. The bottom line is, this is a scam and he is most likely not where he tells you that he is.
miss taken
November 03, 2021

In reply to by Knowledge is power

once while on a phone call with me, he left all his message prompts sounds activated on both his phone and his computer. while we were speaking he was dinged several times, and chimed on the computer several times. this was to the point of he not being able to converse with me so i stopped and said. wow you're a busy guy, he chuckled and said it was just work. lol
Bella D.
February 08, 2021

In reply to by Horse mom

I believe I too know this person. last week he sent me a picture of his injured hand from the oil rig he was working on in Turkey. Would like you to see a photo just in case it's the same person.
Betty Boop
February 19, 2021

In reply to by Bella D.

I think I'm talking to the same guy, but say's he is a General Contractor working in Manchester, England. He his so romantic, makes you feel like your in a dream. He sent me a photo of his injured foot from a Robbery after Christmas time. I've sent him Apple I tunes cards, Bitcoin payments, some through a shipping company For A package send to me. $95 k. US CUSTOMS, CBP FEE'S through a shipping company. I am single Mother, assamed to say I feel so hard I have just spent all our saving's for her car; driving fees ect. $7,000. He is tall, buff, extremely good looking.
February 21, 2021

In reply to by Betty Boop

What is his name, I have one contractor who works from London, England. He's 50, nice looking an sweet talker. He's on an oil drill ship. How can we share a picture
March 01, 2021

In reply to by Christina

Does anyone know of one Thomas Muller.said he has a daughter.wife passed away.always need money for bailing him out
March 25, 2021

In reply to by Christina

I think I may be in this same situation. From Sweden. 50. Sweet talker. On rig in Turkey.
June 06, 2021

In reply to by Confused

I was talking to a guy named Anthony Bullinger. He to is from Sweden and the same age. He's a very persuading sweet talker. He texted me every morning and at night time. Is there anyway we can send pictures to each other.
September 02, 2021

In reply to by Tes

Uses terms like you are my Queen Honey sweetheart... Wants to retire and live with you?