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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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She Knows
January 20, 2021

In reply to by SusieQ Don't u…

Similar situation here! In Turkey, equipment malfunction to the tune of $65,000 but needs $20,000. He'll be a Turkish citizen if he's waiting on me to send $20,000. Goes by Greg David Muller.
February 09, 2021

In reply to by She Knows

We all are wise women... it seems that you have figured him out. Please don't send him money! If he thinks you have that kind of money, tell him you had to pay taxes or anything to appear that you are broke. Then block him on everything.
December 13, 2021

In reply to by She Knows

any one heard of Michael Smith.. he also had equipment failure on oil drilling job. ask for $20,000
Danielle d
July 21, 2021

In reply to by SusieQ Don't u…

Tell me about this person was he married did he have children and do you have a picture of him I need to know if he's the same person who been chasing me for 4 yrs
Unlucky in onl…
November 24, 2021

In reply to by SusieQ Don't u…

Mine is same exact scenario but needs 3500 from me to reach 45k to fix the drill. Convincing stories. Name is Paul Sutherland.
November 24, 2020

In reply to by Helen

Mine is on oil rig in canada, and asks me to call and pretend to be his wife to get his original contract brought to rig so he can finish the job. So he can come back to California. Kelvin Lincoln!
Sounds familiar
December 15, 2020

In reply to by Concernedgirl

Red Flags: The name Kelvin. Asks if you have eaten. Pretends to be well off. On assignment on oil rig. Boom! Financial disaster - needs your money. RUN!
January 10, 2021

In reply to by Sounds familiar

Contacted on Facebook by a guy named Kelvin Wilson. Drilling superintendent on rig off Russian coast. Says he lived in Miami and wife passed 5 yrs ago. Has young son 15. Has not requested money.
April 20, 2021

In reply to by Disappointed

He will ask. They get you hooked and then a request. I messaged 1 guy who said he was UN Doctor, Surgeon for over month and a half and thought maybe he was legit.... nope. Wanted 3k to send medical equipment home. And yes he was a widow and had daughter. Tommy Lejune. Damn handsome! Stay safe sweetie!
April 26, 2021

In reply to by Disappointed

I've been talking to a Kelvin Denero. On an oil rig off of Italy. From Atlanta, Georgia. He's trying to get me to open up a bank account so he can send me his paycheck. I'm an idiot.
Checkin it out…
April 28, 2021

In reply to by Disappointed

Sounds like someone Im talking to wife died 7 yrs.ago has a son 15 in boarding school over in the Uk is Production Engineer on an oil rig out in the gulf...lives in California..shame on these darn men they charm and next your hooked...waiting to see..gray hair, blue eyes, asks what you eat, very nice asks how was your night. Wish we had a place we could put pictures...had 2 phone numbers I left messages then the next time my number was blocked...Im on a mission now to catch him!!! Looked up his name no where to be found...grrrr!
August 25, 2021

In reply to by Checkin it out…

Sounds like the same guy I was talking to from scrabble Go and he had me get the app Hangouts. Asked all the same questions about did I eat and showed concern about me stressing myself over things. . Said he bought an $18,000 ring for me in Mexico City and didn’t claim it in customs at the airport so he needed 20% of the value sent to him or he would go to jail When I didn’t send anything he wanted Google play cards to contact his bank and he would pay me back. I sent nothing and he seemed to be getting angry. I’m blocking him NOW!
September 14, 2021

In reply to by Checkin it out…

"How was your night sounds too familiar! And did you eat and what did you have?" This is so crazy! I can't believe I got so sucked in!
September 25, 2021

In reply to by Paintedlady

Sounds like my UN neurosurgeon, widower with a young baby. Stuck in UAE at UN base for healthcare thing, kid got serious sick like in need of 100 K surgery, asked me to send money from his bank account to the doc, then account got blocked, so was asked to pay the doc some cash. Failed twice to arrive, last attempt to reach me was supposed to be few days ago but suddenly craft got broken, he had to wait at the airport for 2 days. Today I received a call from his mobile- supposedly from hospital in France - someone informed me that he fainted at the airport and he is in hospital now unconscious. I am expecting to be contacted for the hospital bill soon.
November 07, 2021

In reply to by Donna

September 20, 2021

In reply to by Checkin it out…

I have Kristian Morberg, a Swedish, grey haired man w muscles. Scientist in gulf for Petrofac. Likes pics w no shirt on. He is sexy. Wife died 6 years ago. No children. Needs me to help collect old Contract payment that he didn’t get paid during pandemic. Bottom line wants me to pay London lawyer $35,000 to prepare docs for him to receive his $925,000 final payment.
December 01, 2021

In reply to by Checkin it out…

What's his name? Mine is very similar. Met on FB dating. Nice looking man. Very nice
September 15, 2021

In reply to by Disappointed

... not yet. He will do it, a bit later. Or he will ask you to open a bank account. Be careful.
February 02, 2021

In reply to by Sounds familiar

Mine also asks have you eaten ? is his name Smith Clint ?
April 04, 2021

In reply to by cheryl

Always asks if I have eaten! I wonder if it is because they're trying to figure out what time zone they're calling. My guy is texting me at 3 am saying "it is 3 am over here" I'm thinking to myself, what do you mean over here? You're supposed to be in the same state. Big red flag.
August 11, 2021

In reply to by MizzC

I had one wanted to be friends on FB. We shared 2 mutual friends so I accepted. He wanted to leave FB messenger and go to Google hangouts. I'm not even on there. Called me queen. Now he wants me to agree to have a package sent to me because his security savings company is closing and if he doesn't get his things sent out he'll lose what he's got in his "locker." He says he's a widower. Son in boarding school. Even had his son email me calling me his mom! The guys name is John Eldric. Calls me queen, messages me often through out the day! Professes his love and he just knows I'm the one after a week. I keep it going to see if I can catch him on his scam! He says he's an Aerospace Engineer at St.George Island in Florida. He can't call out. Go out from his facility he lives and works at. Can't access his German account. Never asked for money. Asked if I had land, my cars, etc. Now he wants me to have his locker sent to my doorstep! Plus I'm a married woman. Didn't seem to bother him! Saud when his contract is over will come for me. Tells me how successful he is and to trust him because he would never lie or hurt me. He's an honest man.
October 20, 2021

In reply to by MizzC

I've got one using you will be my QUEEN, sigh. Looking for $5,700 says he is stuck in Turkey. Arts and antiquities dealer.
July 02, 2021

In reply to by Josipa

This is to ironic not to be the same person. Jason Scott. Widowed two daughters. Lives in Sacramento. Going to Turkey to work for a month. Needs for his company to send me money to buy Bitcoin and send to him.
July 28, 2021

In reply to by Josipa

I´m from Finland and I think I got scammed with a man who claimed he is from Netherlands and marine engineer. I was so stupid that I sent him money via paypal... asked me many times have I eaten or what I have eaten. claimed was working in Turkey last autumn. needed money for plane ticket etc. had 17 years old daughter. met him on dating site "okcupid".
October 12, 2021

In reply to by Taru

Hi i think i got scammed by the same man bc as i read ur story and as i see there is so much things familiar the only thing he told thats diffrent its that he told me he's from Nigeria and as he says he was working in Turkey. He also asked me for money. Do you mind telling me how old did the told u he was?Bc that would help me alot
August 26, 2021

In reply to by Josipa

Is anyone being contacted by a famous lead singer for a rock band and asks for orphanage donations and then said he will buy you a house and send you money monthly for living expenses then say you just have to pay the management fee of $5000 and pay with steam card iTunes cards, Amazon card and said he helped pay for it too, you met the agreement he is flying to see you but no show and say he was sorry for not responding but he didn’t want to upset you and he was mad at his management team because they need more money because the prices of the house and after meeting the agreement and say they only got this amount and I owe more and then more . He calls you names that you would call a guy not a girl and tell you you should die and rot and your kids don’t deserve you your dog doesn’t and psycho and sick and worse and said I am blocking you but comes back and apologize multiple times
August 28, 2021

In reply to by 2GOOD2BTRU

I'm engaged to sergeant in the army. He's a sweetheart. always ask me "honey have you eaten anything yet." "What did you have to eat" He says he's Puerto Rican has a daughter his parents have passed away. She's an only child no brothers or sisters only uncle's I don't like him very much. We talk anytime of the day all day off and on. He says it's his duty to make his wife happy he is going be a good husband all he wants is love from his wife. He promises he is real and when he gets here he wants everybody to see him so that they can know I'm not getting med Customs has his luggage they want me to pay the customs agent and they will return this luggage with money. Very good looking very good night muscular clean shaven good looking , a little girl. Wife cheating on him. Anyone has similar Manor there's nothing to please I want to know if this is the same one because I haven't found anything on him and I don't know what to do because I do love him.
November 22, 2021

In reply to by Sounds familiar

I have been on google hangout with this guy who said he is on a big contract in Scotland on a oil rig . He tells me he loves me and wants to marry me when he gets home we have been committing for about two months he tells me he lost his wallet and passport on the way to the rig. He has ask me for apple gift cards not much 100 hear 100 there . He claims to be this great looking gentleman originally from las angles then he moved to Miami he has a daughter in boarding school in Francisco.he has sent me pictures about 59 grey hair thin on top blue eyes great smile. I believe these scammers have scammed him that’s how they got his pictures because whoever it is ask me for a picture a day. I know it isn’t him one man actually called me when I told him I didn’t believe he was the man in the picture he hung up five minutes later another man called me he was older but still had a middle eastern accent he said he had a sore throat that’s why he did not sound like himself they messed up when they sent me a video with his voice on it. DO NOT SEND THEM ANYTHING!!!!!
June 28, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

OIL RIG ENGINEER IN GULF BEWARE!!! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN WILLIARD ANTHONY CONRAY? To year weather were with twelve-year-old daughter very well educated he claims to be European from Poland Plays very romantic and says ride away starts To talk about being in love Is in a 5 month project in the Gulf of Mexico but in 2 weeks he will be ready to come back to California his parents are from Europe and CaliforniaThey passed away already Tells you a very romantic story about his parents Hes from Holand his daughters from England he put his daughter on thus another phone from California to talk to you She breaks your heart telling you their Herb father so happy and thank you for making her father happy Very soon he tells you us hes short of money to come back to California he made $7500 And ask you to help him he will pay you back as soon a Goes to land Please don't fall for this scammers if they ask you for money block them right away get a have to fight with them just block them and be more cautious the next timeDo not give them any money this guy said he was from Bellaire California and there he was ready for a serious relationship Do not fall for this stupid stories you are smarter than them They tell you to deposit money to Someone else's account you tell them I cannot deposit money unless it's your account and they will not have a bank account on their name so they will tell you to deposit on someone else's account don't do it BE AWARE!!!
October 06, 2021

In reply to by Don'tfallforit

June 30, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

I think this fuy may be the same guy Ive been talking to said hes a Petroleuom Engineer on a rid widower has a son who he has supposedly let me talk to on hangouts he says his name is Diego Luna he needed money to get from the rig and a ticket from Rome to the US becauase hes having problems with his account and now he is supposedly been beat up theres a picture of him beatup anyways saying he was robbed they took his briefcase and is in the hospital.
July 08, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

Same guy name Pic Decour. Widower of four years. Has 16 year old son in a boarding school. Needed money to get off ship arrived in Maryland hit by cab on way to airport in coma then in hospital 4 months. Needed money for treatment of legs. Got out needed flight money to Toronto. Stayed in hotel then needed money to pay hotel. Today everything ended when I refused to help him further. Lost thousands He wanted to marry me pay off all debts I fell into helping him. Today he said he would not pay back any of the money and wouldnt be talking to me anymore. Always asking for large amounts of cash and iTunes, steam and amazon cards
September 22, 2020

In reply to by Stacy

I had this same thing happen to me recently. his name was George Herrick. claiming he had a 13 year old son in boarding school in Ventura California. he also said that he lived in Santa Monica Calif. until his wife passed away from breast cancer. Then he said he put his house up for sale because he had a contract over sea's in Poland. I asked him a bunch of questions and he answered all of them but NEVER gave me the truth about his family because he was claiming he had none. he said his 13 year old son needed some money because he had his credit card and cell phone stolen and he George had no access to his accounts until he was done with his contract. I sent him money from a Bitcoin machine and a STEAM card from Walmart. I made it very clear I wasn't sending him anymore money but he kept asking. Then I asked him for a copy of his Drivers lic. and passport. he did send it to me. when I reported him to FTC and the local police. the police said the lic. and passport were fake and all the photo's of the ship he was on was internet taken and i was dealing with fake person.
January 21, 2021

In reply to by Lisa

Was chatting to someone similar. Name was Allan Barratt
July 22, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

Sounds like what my sister is dealing with right now. His name is Bryan Mc something...
Got scammed
March 31, 2021

In reply to by Worried

If you live in bc you may know a man that goes on sites by the name of Brian Barton. He may go by “ Daniel” or other names.. claims to be from east coast but work away in the oil rigs or in California.. didn’t ask for money right away but asked for proof I owned my own home and demanded I send copies of mtg papers.. he pretended he was well off .. he disappeared in April 2018 from bc but could be using another alias in montreal area or in Alberta. This guy is a scammer .. he will try to get you to transfer money and steal your identification and take away your social connections so you have no support while he works his scam. I didn’t give in. Description : heavy build, balding, brown hair, brown eyes, talks about Costa Rica and working away. This guy may go by other names but a scammer all the same. Everyone stay safe
July 29, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

I am talking to a guy right now. He wants me to marry him. Blah blah. Family died in car crash. He’s didn’t try to extort money yet.
August 15, 2020

In reply to by Dee

I jus met a guy claiming his family died in a car crash. His name is Kevin
Heart-broken a…
September 08, 2020

In reply to by Kia

Dee and Kia I think we are all talking to the same guy. I have been talking to him for a year, everyday and video-chattted with for 2 months before he left for China for an engineering job. Name on Hangouts, James Walker, on Fitbit Enchanted and Brown C. Wife died in car accident 4 years ago, from Italy with thick accident. Has a 12 y.o staying with Godmother cause he’s traveling for work. He’s proposed 3 times and I’ve given him ALOT of money. 2 months ago got suspicious and stopped sending him anything. Now claims he has Corona and needs $40k for treatment. I just stuck with the US and the sea in China and they said American citizens I’m not charged anything for treatment for corona and if he didn’t get paid for his work, they will work with him to help him come home. I’m completely deviated as I waisted a year of my life thinking I was developing a future with him. But yes parents & Aunt & uncle all died in horrible ways. Wife killed in car accident, started off very religious, loved me quickly & convinced me to sell my home & move to CA with him. He would pay all of my bills and debt. It’s all I lie and I’m now living on a hotel lost and confused. I’m going to report him. I hope if this sounds familiar you’ll report him too. When I stopped sending money I heard less and less from him and I suspect he’s now looking for someone else to give him money. Beware! I never knew this happened on dating sites or Fitbit!
Lied to
September 13, 2020

In reply to by Heart-broken a…

I think I know this James Walker. Plays on wwf Uses hangouts Jameswalkerlife4
November 18, 2020

In reply to by Lied to

We need to be very careful with our facebook account because few days ago they hack my personal facebook account using it scam innocent once,
February 28, 2021

In reply to by Kelvin

My Facebook account has been deactivated by facebook I don't know why. I'm sure I was hacked
August 26, 2021

In reply to by Kelvin

My Facebook account was hacked and messenger and Instagram and it said Nigeria and I called him on it and then calls you names and mad you are calling him a scammer and mad if you send them proof of impersonating someone and call and it doesn’t sound like him and saying in Torrence CA and number is Nigerian