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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 ftc.gov/complaint — click on Scams and Rip-Offs, then select Romance Scams.

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

18,207 Comments


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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.

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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Annoyed
July 09, 2018
Has any one came across a guy claiming to be Casper Walker, currently in Germany?
Ana María
February 04, 2021
Tengo cuatro años hablando si le envié dinero el ultimo dinero que envíe me bloquearon en money gram ahora dice que le mande tarjetas de Apple le dije en México no venden según él tiene diez meses en el hospital me pide 500dls para poder salir me mando muchas fotos se ve como persona normal pero como creerle que tiene casi un año en el hospital él dijo que era divorciado hasta según su hija habla conmigo su nombre es Justin R THOMAS no pude checar en Google imagines alguien que me diga cómo hacerlo
Tj
February 04, 2021
Una persona que conocí por WhatsApp me dijo que es de Reino Unido y me empezó a enamorar me pidió que fuéramos novios y que el es viudo y me dijo que me enviaría unos regalos y que para que lo pueda recibir tengo que pagar 500 dólares, lo raro que el supuestamente ayer hizo el envió y hoy m dice que tengo que pagar. Necesito un buen consejo. Yo le dije que no pagaría nada
Many
February 05, 2021
Hola me acaba de suceder algo parecido donde lo puedo denunciar este es un supesto.medico de Brasil q trabaja en la plataforma de golf el el océano Atlántico en México quiso q le de realizando una transferencia x $5000 pero me Di cuenta y no lo hise le bloquee la cta de la que quiso robar
Cristina
February 06, 2021
Cris. Soy de Argentina. Me contacto por Instagram un tal Mick Daniel . Dijo que era doctor cirujano en Irak. Charlamos tres meses hasta el día de hoy. La semana pasada me dijo que estuvo a punto de morir en una invasión talibana. Y que necesita estar con su hijo de 10 años y conmigo a salvo. Me dio.mucha pena por su hijo que supuestamente ya no tenía madre. Y le envíe dinero para financiar su retiro. Ayer me volvió a pedir mucho más para su vuelo a Estados Unidos y trámites de seguridad. Le dije que no tengo y me pregunto si no tengo a alguien a quien pedirle prestado.. eso ya me pareció muy raro. No me interesa el dinero que ya perdí. Me lo merezco por confiada. Pero necesito contactar con otras mujeres que les haya pasado similar porque estoy destruida. Gracias
Migdy
February 06, 2021
Como se puede enviar fotos
cew
July 10, 2018
has anyone heard of jared derson
MMH
February 07, 2021
Tengo un amigo que le piden que reciba una caja desde Siria, que sólo tiene que pagar la aduana desde inglaterra a españa y tiene que pagar 5000€, se hace llamar John Braner y le mando una foto con uniforme militar. Le ha dado su dirección de su casa. Le contacta por e-mail. Que puede hacer?
Adriana
February 07, 2021
En El mes de enero me contacto in Chico por el app Tandem, para practicar ingles y bueno me dijo que era ingeniero de barcos su nombre Alex James Carlo, 38 años Italiano que trabajaba en Londres y que economicamente era muy solvente, asi empezo casi un mes ya decia que me amaba y Todo y que gracias a mi habia ganado un prouecto que duraba cerca de 35 dias y que terminando vendria a mi pais, bueno llegado el dia de su viaje Al barco para El proyecto solo podia llevar 1 maleta de 18kg en El barco y no podia llevar la otra maleta para que venga a mi pais y que esa me la iba a mandar por delivery de puerta a puerta a mi casa, bueno me pidio mi direction y email para que see comuniquen conmigo y me.dio in link donde le puedo hacer seguimiento a la maleta, cuando estuvo por Ecuador la maleta quedo disque retenida porque habia dinero y debia pagar los impuestos, lo cual me parecio super raro nadie pone dinero en su equipaje, bueno de lo que me dijo que no podia responderme porque estaba full trabajo ese dia me exigia que pague, le dije que no tengo Plata porque la habia gastado en otras cosas y me insistia me pedia 1200 euros, bueno si El tenia mucha Plata que me la envie para pagar y bueno despues se le olvido Todo el amor que me tenia jajaj, hay que tener mucho cuidado porque se crean la pagina del courier hasta te llaman o sea invierten bastante para estafar, en mi caso pregunte a conocidos de la adunas y me dijeron que es falso y asi estafan, hasta documentos portuarios falsifican Este es El numero que me escribia +39 351 191 0774
Maria
February 07, 2021
Hola cuidado en Instagram hay un PAUL MOUNIER soldado frances de ojos verdes y lindo,pero es estafador tienen 3 perfiles y sigue mujeres..te contacta por Hangoust te enamora luego te pide dinero ..con un cuento más trucho..mucho cuidado!!!
Scarlett
July 11, 2018
Sarah Jenkinson on Instagram falls in love with you so you can send her gift cards. What beautiful female now a days has only 6 pics on her page?? Try to confront her "she" never answers back. Beware.
Rompen corazones
February 07, 2021
Ola soy rompe corazones
Ain’t got no money
July 11, 2018
Has anyone been gotten by this girl from Nigeria goes by the name amber and is looking for money to get paperwork and plane ticket outta their was believing her at first I would like to know if she is trying to pull this scam on anyone else???
Concerned_Friend
July 11, 2018
Has anyone ever hear of Jason Konilikas? Pretty sure my friend is being scammed.
Maliana
February 08, 2021
Si es una red de chicos de Diferentes partes de Africa ellos Entran a Instagram oh Facebook oh Sitios de Chat se hacen pasar por doctores,militares ect sus perfiles son creadas con fotos tonadas de otras personas de las mismas aplicaciones y se hacen pasar por una persona muy caballerosa luego su objetivo es enamorarte y al final termina tratando de con una buena historia sacarte dinero yo supe porque le pedí su número primero pero no le di el mío y por medio de los primeros códigos de su número entré a la red y busqué de donde era ese número y me salía que era de una parte de AFRICA lo confronte antes de blokearlo y el me confesó que si que son personas en su país que se dedican a estos fraudes por la pobreza extrema que enfrentan en su país . Así que ojo y mucho cuidado en las redes que no todo lo que se ve oh se escucha bonito es como tú crees.
Madwoman
July 11, 2018
I was introduced to a man on fb messenger about a month ago looked really handsome we chat and chat everyday his name was Neal Baxter a US military form the Army deployed in Afghanistan all he told was his mother was sick and he was sick. Where he was deployed caught the mellaría I felt so bad for him we got to know each other started sending him pictures of me and my grandkids he also send pictures of him and his mother and ex wife saying he was divorced cuz his ex wife was a drug addict well then he started asking me to send him money through Red Cross or buy iTunes I spend some money on this man well a month went by I started to think this was not right I’ve deleted him and blocked when I did all that then I got a text on fb from so call John Weber his bff stating that how much he misses me and loves me so much I’m like oh no I was just trying to help him out well a few weeks later I got anoth text on fb looked up Request ppl onessenger therebhe was again Neal Baxter with a threat that he was going to send all these pictures of me half nude he did a good job on those with my face on them I’ve never posed nude for no one not my body that he was going to send them all to my family and friends demanding Money ASAP or else o got on fb and blocked him reall fast but I was so stupid not to see it good I got myself in so much trouble he had the names of all my family and friends he will forward those to them I was really upset and scared I was so depressed I cried for days and days why do I get myself into this trouble I do hope he gets caught and never does this to no one else
Ross
February 09, 2021
Hola! Me contacto un tal Jeri Brown es viudo 52 años, no tiene padres, su esposa fallecio en el parte muriendo ambos como el bebe y ella, solo tiene una hija que esta bajo la custodia del gobierno de EU, esta en Ankara Siria en una mision de Paz, en un arresto de la Isis obtuvo dinero, que habria que mandar con sus cosas personales ropa, documentos, y claro los dolares, por supuesto que ya no le crei una persona no te puede amar de ka noche a la mañana
Giovana Mamani…
February 09, 2021
Muy buenas tardes Ami me llega un mesenyer de Anderson Turner b que dice que me quiere enviar dinero 800.000 estado unidence para que se lo guarde y de ello tomaría 50.000dolares por el traba realizado el solo puede mover por diplomático y donar por inmunidad. Es cierto o falso No di ningun dato
Mari
February 10, 2021
Lo mis mo me paso me enamoro y después me dijo que me quería ver me y mandara una carta por correo electrónico para pedir permiso que lo dejaran salir de la base en Kabul ..es la mis ma istoria de todas el se ase llamar “james philips”
Helen
February 11, 2021
A mí me está pasando algo muy similar con un soldado americano que se llama Kevin max me mandas muchísimas fotos y quisiera saber cómo puedo hacer para buscar esas fotos si realmente son de él o es otro estafador más
Mbjr
February 12, 2021
Ami me pasa igual llega dos meses lo conocí por lovoo es un tal.Luis esta kerer nigeria eh hablado por wasap pero ni puede llamar ni viddollamadas que es capitan esta en una mision me pidió disculpas ero para una licencia y le dije que de eso nada que si es capitan tiene que tener dinero. Asín que mucho cuidado chicas son estafadores y lo hacen muy bien los capullos. Jajajajaj
Wanting2know
July 11, 2018
Anyone have experience with an Alex or Alan Connor? He appears to good to be true but has lots of pics abs all the right answers. However he claims to be from San Diego Diego. Leaving for Malaysia for an engineering contract. Im waiting for the "lost my wallet" or "sick child" text.
Berenice
February 12, 2021
A mí me pasó algo similar un al Remegio Frank me contacto diciendo que su esposa lo dejo por otro hombre y lo abandonó con su hija de 8 años me enviaba fotos de la niña y de el presumiendo sus me dijo que era ingeniero naval que estaba en el mar Báltico pero que el es de Nueva York, después me dijo que enviaría un paquete con un documento de su jubilación que valía Miles de dólares y con unas joyas que compro para mí, y me contacto una persona que supuestamente me llevaría el paquete a mi casa diciendo que en aduana le pedían 750 dólares aproximadamente 15,000 pedos mexicanos soy de México pues me negué y a la no ceder me envió una foto con una chica diciendo que ya no me amaba y que a ella si cabe destacar que hasta matrimonio me prometió son unas porquerías juegan horrible con las personas.
Elena
July 11, 2018
Thomas Wareen. Anyone hear of him?
Learned my lesson
July 26, 2018

In reply to by Elena

Yes! Stay away from him. He is smooth. Not the widower story. Divorced, wife has the kids. Photographer. But he's really a nigerian scammer. Took me for more than i care to admit. Had all the right answers.
Elena
August 21, 2018

In reply to by Learned my lesson

I contacted other women on his profile. He has been telling several that he loves them. What a fool I am. I tried to tell one that he wasn't who he said. She says he truly loves her. I told her he was taken money and account information from others, including me. He doesn't know I am onto him. I contacted the authorities.
Samantha
November 26, 2018

In reply to by Elena

He got me too. Wanted to marry me. Said he was having money trouble. Didn't have the widow story so i believed him. After I had no more money to give, he disappeared.
Rac vende
February 12, 2021
Hola a mi me contacto uno que dice llamarse Ander Stewart Ebeneharo dice que me ama que soy su hermana gemela me pidió número de teléfono correo y dirección que porque enviara un paquete que me compro un regalo por el 14 de febrero y yo muy tonta le di la información pero no ahora no le creo nada que puedo hacer ya que tiene mi información
I've Lost Everything
July 12, 2018

Hello Bridget, Sure I did receive a mail from FTC on 04 january 2018. I have the number 915xxx.. But nothing is moving on. I'm desperate.

Helen
February 13, 2021
A mi me pide una tarjeta Steam para actualizar su móvil
RHC1010
July 12, 2018
Hey guys im now talking on wechat with a girl who claims to be a medical doctor at an army base in afganisthan. Lost her parents when she was 12. She says she wants to visit me in Malaysia. Needs to apply leave and the commander for the camp is asking for $550 to find a replacement for her. Lucky thing I am educated enough not to be fooled. So i am just fooling her around. This world is a dangerous place.
eecf
February 13, 2021
Son unos sinverguenzas, son estafadores profesionales, a mi me dijo era francés, viudo, hijo de 8 años y se llamaba Joel Devon. Por suerte me di cuenta cuando me pidió dinero.
Carlos
February 13, 2021
A mi me paso lo mismo, una chica que me dijo que era militar, llamada Elena Brown, que estaba en libia, me pidio mis datos personales nombre, apellido, telefono, direccion y copia de dni por correo con el fin que supuestamente me iba a apoyar con unos dolares que iba a enviar en un paquete a mi pais y yo inocentemente lo hice, ya que se porto amorosamente conmigo y al final me bloqueo y me elimino. Esperemos que no pase nada Dios mio.
Patricia
February 14, 2021
Hola chicas,me está pasando un caso igual a sus comentarios hubo un hombre que me contacto por Instagram diciendo que buscaba a su amor en cualquier parte del mundo,todo comenzó como amigos luego dijo que yo le gustaba como mujer,me dijo que es cirujano ortopedico de los estados unidos y que actualmente está en Siria en un campamento y que debía pagar una tarifa a la ONU para regresar a su país y venir a mi país por mi.hizo que escribiera una supuesta carta para la ONU para adelantar sus vacaciones . quiero compartir fotos con ustedes a ver si es la misma persona dice que se llama williams andreas omikis yo lo busque por internet y no me aparece registrado.necesito que se pongan de acuerdo conmigo para compartir fotos por favor
ARbeard
July 12, 2018
Ok so I have not been on any dating sites. Just Instagram. I am married and have told the guys who contact me that I am married. One in particular has told me he is in love with me and wants me to leave my husband to be with him. I have told him no and stopped talking to him. He always comes back. He asked for money two times and I told him no. He got upset but still wanted to talk to me. My question is what could anyone possibly get from me leaving my husband? Why would they keep asking me to leave and be with them?
Deny 11
February 14, 2021
Pues a mí me pasó igual el domingo pasado tengo una solicitud de amistad de un chico muy bueno guapo. qué es médico cirujano ortopédico de Miami que está en Afganistán en un contrato de un año. que tiene a su hijo en Miami en un internado y que su mujer murió hace 2 años en un accidente de coche. a día de hoy ya dejé de hablar con él. Y bloqueado en whatsapp Hangouts e Instagram porque me informado aquí de pasos he leído todos los blogs y es un estafador y conservo una foto de él se llama Maxwell Rodríguez he caido pero me di cuenta a tiempo
Deceived
July 12, 2018
I met this guy from FB, he friend requested me. I accepted to just chat with someone new and about basic stuff. We’ve been talking for 3 months. We had gone back and forth about him being a “scammer”. All of our fights have been about money. He says he works on an oil rig ( I forget where). He said he is from New Zealand, has a 14 yo son named “Jeffery” who is wait for it....in a boarding school in the UK. He sent me “pictures” of supposedly who he is. The pictures he has sent all look mostly the same and there is even a picture of his “son”. I have called him out on so many things. His “son” has an account on Hangouts, I think and feel very strongly (and it’s hard to see what’s in front of you)especially when you have put so much time into him and the relationship you think you have. The reason I am writing this is because he is supposed to come to the US in 2.5 weeks. I wrote down the things that you ladies have heard them say to you. He says he is going to buy a house for him, me and his son to live in. I live in the state of Massachusetts where there is this beautiful place to visit and live called Cape Cod. He is wanting to buy a house on the beach. You and I both know how much those go for. I have looked at the ones where he wanted 5br and 3 baths. If there is only the 3 of us why the need for such an expensive and big house which are in the 3,000,000- 6,000.000 range. He said I could pick out ANY house I want. It hit me but am in denial and hoping he is not a scammer but it’s not looking too good. 1 month ago, he needed money for his “son” something to do with paying for exams. I don’t know about any of you but when did anyone have to “pay” for exams, I never did. The guy told me the UK and the boarding school his son was going to they do things different there. So in a nutshell regarding that I am disabled which he knows. So I am on a fixed income, he talked me into giving my WHOLE pay to this guy in Ghana. I Money Grammys it 1,150.00 I had no money to pay bills. Because of that my husband left me and I couldn’t pay rent and any bills. He said he was going to pay off my 2 credit cards, but instead the payments did not go through (there’s a shocker). I had worked so hard to keep those 2 cards up to current standing, because the payments were never replaced with another payment to cover it they put my account as suspended then delinquent and finally the company closed both accounts all because of him. I never got the 1,150.00 back. What was I thinking that I ever would. He also said he is buying me any “high end” car that I want. I have been told all the names that all of you have been called. He wants to treat me like the queen that I am, honey (overkill on that)in the beginning. Baby, princess, I love and miss you so much, that I am everything to him, his life and he can’t live without me in it. Most of the time he seems so genuine I know that’s where the conning, sweet talking and saying what he thinks I want to hear! When I ask him to take a selfie he will have an excuse about his phone and any questions most of the time I ask he will dance around them so I push the question until I get an answer I am satisfied with. It’s ironic how he says “I promise” kind of a lot but last night I boldly said to him to not make promises he’s not sure he can keep!!! If I don’t do something mostly pertaining to money he gets sooo PO. But he has put extreme pressure on me to get money even if I have to ask ppl I would never normally ask. He makes me feel so guilty and throws out the “ You don’t care, you don’t love me and don’t care about Jeffery. I really want to ride this out until July 28th. That’s when his supposed “contract” on the rig is up. I don’t back down to him and refuse to. So with all that I have read in here You know the saying, If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck... Btw, this man I have fallen in love with goes by the name Steven Douglas. Please get in touch with me if you have been scammed by him... Thanks
Fran
October 19, 2021

In reply to by Deny 11

Lo mismo, llamado Marcus williams 49 años viudo, no quiso hacer videollamada y busqué sus fotos en Sherlok, se hace pasar por el Dr Norman blanco
Cowboyup
July 12, 2018
Has anyone encountered a. Female claims to be from france and 33 by name marchal le roux
I.feel.stupid
July 12, 2018
I was contacted months ago by a Thomas through instagram. Yes i knew he was lying to me, but i was so desperate for attention i didn't care. Yes i sent him itunes cards. Even bought him things and had them shipped to his "coworker". I didn't care. I felt the attention was worth it. But now things have changed. He doesn't want anything else. He says he loves me and wants to "quit" his job. He wants to start over somewhere with me. Is it possible for a scammer to change?
Anónimo
February 15, 2021
A mi me paso algo hace poco y se hizo llamar scott charles y luego se hizo llamar scott richard que era un contratista y tenía una hija
Kingone77
July 13, 2018
I was recently contacted by a man on facebook about a money claim..His name is Carl Leon rotie. I just want to know if he is real and has anyone been contacted by him,and has any money been recieved in reference to the claim.
Espabilada
February 16, 2021
Hola a todos...ahora mismo estoy chateando con ni mas ni menos un general americano que trabaja en Afganistán...no le creí claro pero quiero saber hasta a donde llega...e guapo, viudo y tiene un hijo...le he dicho la cara que no lo creo que tiene 7 perfiles en fb y sigue con lo suyo...se llama Smith Mcconville...y es general...no se lo creé ni el...la foto de perfil me suena creo que este general existe pero creo que este con que me comunico yo es falso...así que ojo y si os enteráis de algo avisa..gracias y ahora mismo lo bloqueo
Anonymous
July 16, 2018

In reply to by Kingone77

Do not send money to anyone online without having at least, a video conversation with the person... I feel so sorry for you lovely women being a victim to online dating scams. The identity fraud cases these days are pronounced
Hanbuco18
January 01, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous

Even you have a video chat with that person... do not send any money to people you met online.
Puri
February 16, 2021
Conmigo ha contactado un doctor llamado jesse steve, viudo y con un hijo. Esta en Yemen. Alguna lo conoceis?
Aussie
July 13, 2018
I have experienced a year of aa possible military scam romance this MST SGT FRANKLIN ALEXANDER B. STONOM ALIAS JERRY B STONOM ARMY HAS ANYONE ELSE BEEN EFFECTED BY THIS BLACK MALE VERY ATTRACTIVE IN TEXAS AT ARMORY
Johana c
September 25, 2021

In reply to by Puri

Hola yo estoy hablando con un médico cirujano ortopédico que está en Yemen ,se supone que es viudo con un hijo de 6 años ,el niño está en USA?tienes fotos por fa?
tink tink
July 13, 2018
I have been talking to this guy named richard Pablo he is in kabul a widower with a 16year old daughter recently asked me to email his general so that he can leave and be with me the general emailed me back saying i needed to show him my identification to verify who i am for security reasons is it a a scam
FTC Staff
July 20, 2018

In reply to by tink tink

That sounds like a scam. A real US soldier does not need someone to ask his general if he can go on leave. If you show someone your personal information, they can use it for identity theft. They can make new identity documents, or borrow money in your name.