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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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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

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.

October 11, 2018
Do you know this guy? He uses Maxwell Price as his name, lives in Long Beach Ca, works in Mediterranean Shipping Co., slaking oil from an oil rig, and travels to Europe in a Shipping, has a daughter, she is 26 yrs. old and a son, he is 22 yrs. old, he is a widow, his wife died in an accident around 5 yrs. ago, paints in his free time, but I caught him when I asked his grand daughters age. I didn't give him the chance to ask for money, but ladies I'm pretty sure he was a scammer. The pic he is using is from an account on instagram maxprice777, I don't know if the instagram account is fake or real. We made video call twice I saw him (don't know how did he did that), I couldn't heard him, and he told me it was the connection. When I asked him to use video calls instead of texting he said he was not good with technology. Is it possible to make video calls without sound? anyway I didn't want to be scammed so I asked him not to text me anymore.
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Adri

Scammers can use Apps, to alter video's and use than a fake video chatts. Watch the mouth to see if it follows the persons speech pattern
October 12, 2018
Since last month Ive been talking to this guy on Instagram an his name is James Morgan . he talks of arizona an is working til January 2018 . He says hes Godly an that he has a Mother in a house of his with dementia like my Father has . He says that she always asks about me an that he wants to be with me an only me an that he wants to share every detail with me an I do the same with him. That he wont talk to no other woman but me. He sounds like a dream come true . We talk about everything . Or at least he tries to get me to tell him everything. I bought him I tunes card an he had me take a pic of the code on the back of it. He wished it was $50 an not $25 that I purchased of the card. He said he would send me his bank online info. He knows my name address phone number email . He want me to give him personal bank info so he could pay off bill debts that his Mom has. Sighs. I really wanted to be with his guy an he sounded so trueful . But now Ive talked to 3 people an they said that this is more of a scam . An he works for some engineer company. Hes 39 an very good looking . An he kept on talking about $ an I told him I didn't wanna talk about $ an that I wanted to talk to him about something else other than $. An he said no secrets an no hiding nothing. He said it was the spirit of God that lead him to my Instagram pics. An he too wanted to use Google hangout , but I told him I couldnt because my phone wont let me download any other messengers. Its breaking my heart an at the same time making me mad that I fell for a guy who messaged me an we shared so much n now it s like I'm doomed once again . An I told him Id been in 2 car accidents . Every 2am or 1 he an I would talk. Help what to do.
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Strawberrygirl

Walk away, stop chatting, delete him phone numbers. Block on all social media outlets.
NancyMP use yo…
October 12, 2018
The same story just happened to me word for word .... person claims undying love wants to marry you carries on a conversation for months asks for ituns cards. Then more money then the third time claiming they are starving on the ship. Of course I knew most of it I thought might not be real but he was very convincing with the Bible stuff all the time and make sure I say my prayers... never a bad word he was very slick. But had a temper he would get angry when he didn’t get money he sounded very young...sad they make you fall madly in love with them and break your heart that’s the hard part ....
October 12, 2018
How could we google photos? I ‘m chat with a guy, bald and a blond beard.
October 06, 2021
soy de Colombia y me esta pasando lo mismo con una sargento que es de nombre Jennifer Raymond también dice que esta en Irak y que tiene miedo de morir me dijo que pidiera sus vacaciones y me envió la carta y dirección para pedir las vacaciones. ya me respondieron y tengo que enviar 650 dólares para que le den vacaciones a ella si alguien la conoce me puede informar . gracias
October 12, 2018
Here is my story and I need a little help too. My favorite actress gave me her private number and we are talking and building a good realationship. Then after 2 weeks knowing her she ask me if I can hold on to her briefcase cause her security co. is closing. They want me to send 350.00 western union for them to ship it. This is a scam right and is not my favorite actress and I took the right approach and did not send anything. She told me she is who she is and she is mad at me. Bottom line I dont want my favorite actress to be mad at me.
October 06, 2021
Toda esta gente es bien estúpida, observan que a todo el mundo les dan el mismo cuento, en esencia, pero aún así piden fotos y más datos porque en el fondo no quieren aceptar que no se han enamorado de ellos sino de su candidez.
Maria K
October 06, 2021
Si alguna persona conoce la historia de una supuesta mujer francesa, hija de padre aleman y madre francesa que fallecieron en un accidente automobilistico y que el padre le dejo una herencia en Costa de Marfil, por favor que me anuncie. La muer es rubia de ojos verdes, hermosa, 36 años. Ahora el Notario la llamo que debe presentarse urgente para recibir su herencia pero necesita que la apoye con los costos del viaje y supuestas tasas de impuesto en Abiyan.
October 12, 2018
does anyone know a Danny Peigh, he is chatting with my friend. When they were suppose to meet he had to go to Texas. My friend was going to fly out there to hang out he said he would be busy so it didn't make sense. He will be back soon. He lives in the same area but is always busy. I think she met him on tinder. He is handsome in his profile picture. They talk on the phone all the time. But not face to face yet.
October 31, 2018

In reply to by hmmmm

The scammer will continue to make excuses, they will never meet. The catch is the scammer will ask her to pay for travel tickets, fees, food, transportation to meet her. There is always going to be a problem and they will never met. She will lose money if she continues to talk with him.
May 22, 2019

In reply to by GB1030

I've met a guy Robert Wilson contract worker out of Barrie Canada from the states same story
October 07, 2021
A mí me está pasando lo mismo, me dijo llamarse Luis jimenez, y durante dos meses todo bien hasta wue según me emviara un paquete de siria, con dólares y no sé que más, desafortunadamente envieyel dinero ya que recibí un correo de una compañía de transporte , pero por lo que leo, son ellos mismos
MaBe Vaca
October 07, 2021
Hola, me acaba de pasar lo mismo, pero investigue y no le di ni un centavo, decía ser un militar de Canadá y me pidió que le ayudara que le faltaban $300 dólares para venir a mi país y poder ir al suyo, se molestó mucho porque no podía darle el dinero lo reporte a todas las páginas de facebook y WhatsApp que fue por dónde nos comunicamos, mucho cuidado
October 13, 2018
I was scammed years back and did not accept any facebook invites anymore. Recentlu I was invited on a chat side by a sexy guy who's wife died 2yrs back due to cancer. Apparently he has a young son who lives with nanny in another country. Lol we had big plans. He was in Turkey and had problems transferring money to nanny for sick child's bills. He asked me to help and that is how i hot suspicious that i was catfished :-) and about to be scammed. I refused and ask if we could video call. His mood changed and he asked for thousands of $. I just pray that he does not use my pictures to scam guys.
October 13, 2018
How does a person go about an image search? I get dating offers, about three a week on instagram.
October 09, 2021
Me esta sucediendo, conocí a una persona por Twiter, no hicimos amigos, pero me dijo que prefería que platicáramos por hangouts, pero ahora me sale con que le llamararon de Texas para decirle que la empresa donde tiene su caja de segurad va a cerrar, y el no puede ir porque tiene un contrato que tiene que cumplir porque ya esta firmado, y que me la enviara a mi a México, yo ya le dije que yo no tengo dinero, le pedí una identificación y me dice que no tiene con el si identificación.
October 09, 2021
A mí escribe una tal Frank Williams no me ha q trabaja en Royal Maritime en Reino Unido no me ha pedido dinero pero se que una estafa usa el perfil de Tony baroud ,y de sus hijos escribe por wasap +1 (724) 471-0953 mucho cuidado es estafa. Espero le sirva la información.
October 13, 2018
Sorry to say, I have been talking to 2 different gentleman. Both were first introduced as players on Words With Friends. After first day they requested a move to WhatsApp or Hangouts. I reluctantly downloaded the app. Several days of limited chat happened. One was a divorced male with a 12 yr old daughter living with a nanny in Florida. He was a marine engineer working on an offshore rig under U.N. contract. On third day he responds we can no longer talk because his accounts have been frozen and he needs an iTunes card to keep chatting online. NOPE, did not happen thanks to the postings found here! Thank you all for sharing.
October 09, 2021
Hola chicas me contacto un hombre dise tener 45 años dise llamarse rosario Thompson rl me contacto por WhatsApp vio mi foto y me puso hola yo le pregunté quien era y me dijo que no me enojara y me cuenta que está cumpliendo una misión en Syria yo lo bloquie y luego otro chico me escribe k si si amigo le pidió que me dijera que lo desbloqueara de favor yo lo hise a ver qué quería luego me pide que baje la aplicación handgout yo la baje y el me escribía pero la verdad nunca me pidió nada ni dinero y siempre me trataba con dulzura luego me hizo video llamada tres veses y dos llamadas y yo sólo le contesté una llamada y sólo me saludo pero si me dijo k yo le gustaba por la foto eso sólo fueron 4 días y yo ya lo bloquie por todos lados lo encontré en FaceBook con el mismo perfil el me mando un video de el hasiendo ejercicios la verdad no se si creerle o no ya yo lo bloquie en todas partes porque me pregunto que si me pedían matrimonio que si yo me casaba no estoy pa eso lo bloquie antes que me pida dinero que no le voy a dar gracias
October 13, 2018
A man contract on oil rig completed and asked for money to have equipment sent to me till he comes home .how does a person get paid when leaving the off shore rug?
May 17, 2020

In reply to by sillysally

I have been talking with a lovely man as I thought who is out on an oil rig in the North Sea it’s gone from texting three times a day a speaking three times a week to nothing now no messages no emails no phone calls he has told me how much he loves me I have seen photos of him arriving on the rig in the helicopter I have photos of him on the platform and with his co workers for some reason he told me he couldn’t use What’s App on the rig so I was given his home number but it was costing a fortune and I don’t think he was able to get top ups for his phone so yes you have guessed it I have send him £250 in iTunes but they have run out and I haven’t even had an email is he a scammer I do hope not I only got done 6 months ago for £10,000 how can I find out look well if he has had an accident
October 10, 2021
Hola, he sido víctima de una estafa por parte de un señor que se hace llamar Raphael Peter, dice ser General del Ejército de los EEUU, destinado en Siria, contactó conmigo a través de Facebook, me prometió el oro y el moro, decía estar muy enamorado, y a los 15 días dijo que me enviaba un paquete con regalos valiosos, y caí como una estúpida, al día siguiente, un supuesto diplomático encargado de entregarme el paquete, decía estar en el aeropuerto de Estambul y que para que la aduana liberara el paquete debía pagar 2000€, al principio me negué, pero finalmente, el tal Raphael me convenció y pagué a través de una transferencia dirigida a Piat Canmala con cuenta en BBVA. Conservo los documentos del envío de dinero, no sé si con ello puedo rastrear a quien lo envié y denunciar para recuperarlo. Si alguien sabe si se puede que me lo diga. Denuncio esto con mi comentario para que no haya gente ingenua y estúpida como yo que caiga en esta trampa, realmente a esta gente habría que denunciarlos y hacer que paguen.
Joanne The Scammer
October 13, 2018
Anybody being scammed by a guy named Deniz? Working in Turkey on a construction project as an engineer.
October 14, 2018
David Hills and Steven Lannister are two scammers on pof. Like really guys?? They need a real life. All the red flags were up.....I gave them the run around while I was still with my spouse. Lol! They were entertaining until they asked for money.....within two weeks of messaging. No surprise there.
August 26, 2020

In reply to by Madmax any chance is Steven's email lannsprojectltdswiss@ ? Something along those lines?? If so....where was his supposed location? The one that was messaging me said he was in Malaysia, working on a project for Petronas company. I didn't believe a word he said. And he told me that his son was in a boarding school in Boston.
mummys girl
October 14, 2018
My mum has been scammed by a carl breigner she's sent over £1200 to him,( Nigeria)same story's as above needed a beneficiary for his daughters, she met him on words with friends had him on Facebook (I reported the profile and it disappeared) also on hangouts mum won't believe he's a scammer worried shes gonna end up bankrupt as she's been getting cash out on credit cards she's also been talking to a Thomas attwood
February 19, 2020

In reply to by mummys girl

Hi Mummy’s girl, tell your Mum that I have sent over 15,000.00 USD to this man! He is nothing but a scammer and a liar. He hurt me not only financially but broke my heart.
October 11, 2021
A mi me está pasando lo mismo, se hace llamar Lucas zimermmarn soldado destinado en Siria , viudo sin padre ni madre ni hermana todos fallecidos en un accidente . Me envío supuestamente un paquete con documentos , dinero y oro ya que tenía miedo de que se lo quitasen gibamos a casarnos y se Bona a instalar en España
October 11, 2021
El mio se llama Benjamin Williams de Noruega
October 14, 2018
You should be able to post the fake pictures on here so people can share them.
Silver Fox
October 14, 2018
I have been speaking with a guy, BOBBY NORMAN, that I met on Word with Friends, who quickly "fell in love with me" .. all the usual stuff .. says he is a sculptor, wife died, has a daughter being educated in Canada. Had a project that he had to take to Dubai, sent me a picture of him in the airplane, from there he went to Australia for a sculpting job. After about a month, all his tools and all the work he had done were stolen. He was homeless, moneyless etc. No, he didn't offer any money and I wouldn't have sent him any. He is still in Australia and recently said that he made a sculpture for me which he says he has shipped. The shipping allegedly cost $4,50.00 (must be a very heavy bird). Now the package is stuck in Panama at customs!!!! Guess how much is due .. $25,600.00. I'm laughing, but it's not funny. Anyone who is more gullible than I would just pay the money. NOT ME!! Oh, he is originally from Sweden .. maybe. Anyone out there have anything similar.
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Silver Fox

This is known as a Package Scam. Victims pay into the scam, as fees, taxes, duties, etc. The Package does not exist.
October 11, 2021
Hola buenos días, a mi contacto un doctor que se encuentra en una misión en siria, a través de Instagram. Tengo una semana platicando con el, y justo ayer me esta pidiendo 500 usd para una emergencia para su hijo, y muy insistente. Por supuesto le dije que NO, y fue de la misma situación a ustedes como la contactaron. Gracias que estoy informada. Pongo mi caso para otras personas también
October 11, 2021
Alguien sabe si la empresa de logística internacional defox logistic express service existe? Hay una página web pero no sé si es real. Ayúdenme por favor. Un corano me mandaba mensajes enamorándome y dice que quiere venir a México a vacacionar pero me está pidiendo mandar antes su equipaje y según tiene dinero dentro también. Pero me pide pagar la mitad del shipping
October 15, 2018
Umm what happens if you keep the money after finding out its a scam???
October 11, 2021
Hola gracias a esta pagina me permitio investigar y al ver estos comentarios y la herramienta de buscarlo en google la foto yo no tenia idea me di cuenta que casi me pasa lo mismo yo no le di ni mi. Nombre ni direccion. Lo cuestione mucho y se indigno lo reporte a facebook y si de las fotos que me mando eran bajadas de Internet. Era viudo huerfano con una hija llamada lucy queria enviarme un paquete que triste. Que hagan eso. Espero que facebok lo investigue
concerned abou…
October 15, 2018
My mother is involved with a probable scammer on FB calling himself Christopher James. Claims to be an engineer from the us working overseas. Romantic I dont think he has asked for any money, she may have sent him some small gifts. He trying to convince my mother to bring herself and her child (my elementary aged sibling)he is ADAMANT about her bringing child along. I am very very worried! My mother is not stupid but she is depressed and very very lonely and vulnerable Help, any information?!
October 31, 2018

In reply to by concerned abou…

A Scammer will learn about their victims through chatting. Then they exploit them with that information. The Scammer will take advantage of her Depressive state.
July 24, 2019

In reply to by GB1030

Do you have a picture of this Christopher James, because one with the same name tried to scam me
November 16, 2019

In reply to by Cavegirl

Names He Has Used: Christopher James Richard Bullock And a few others. My Neighbor has fallen for his lies. Says he’s deployed in Dubaii, traveling from France to Illinois, on 4 occasions but never showed up. Fake tickets and fake passports. Nice looking picture sent of him and his Sons. Says their mother passed away and that the boys travel with him, as he’s on a Government Mission. He asks neighbor for Amazon Gift Cards and she has sent him Cash Says he wants to marry her. She just keeps talking to him. Pathetic.
October 11, 2021
Nota. Unanueva modalidad. Y cito a continuacion: ""Su mensaje fue recibido y su contenido es bien entendido. Necesito explicarte esto Por favor, comprenda que esto es seguro y legal, si no, no se le ocurrirá la propuesta. Tengo una gran personalidad en el ejército de los Estados Unidos y no puedo permitirme arrastrar mi nombre al barro o al ridículo público. El proceso de entrega es muy seguro y protegido. La entrega del fondo la realizará la empresa de envío diplomático de Siria a su dirección, y este es el medio más seguro para enviarle este dinero."" Esto es por instagram
October 16, 2018
Does anyone know a Robert Smith
No useAdriana …
October 12, 2021
A mí me está pasando eso en este momento, me mando una solicitud por Facebook me contó sobre el se hace llamar Jones Erik, yo envié un correo y pidiendo su licencia y etc, hoy me llega un correo de que hay que pagar o algo así, pero yo aún no respondo nada , por favor me podrían ayudar no se que hacer
October 16, 2018
Wow Unbelivable! There is so many scams out there..There are other ways to meet people..In person on dating sites..These people on the internet ARE NOT REAL....I dont bother with them..I had a man doing that to me for a ling time..I told him i dont have any money..I didnt hear from him for months..Now he us back again trying to be friends with me..I think some of these people are from africa mexico Etc DONT BELIEVE IN THESE PEOPLE..THEH ARE NOT YOUR REAL FRIENDS ..
No useAdriana …
October 12, 2021
A mí me está pasando eso en este momento, me mando una solicitud por Facebook me contó sobre el se hace llamar Jones Erik, yo envié un correo y pidiendo su licencia y etc, hoy me llega un correo de que hay que pagar o algo así, pero yo aún no respondo nada , por favor me podrían ayudar no se que hacer
Ri Ri
October 16, 2018
I think I'm being scammed by a guy who says he is an electrical engineer and lives in delta state Nigeria he says his name is Ufuoma or Japhet
October 12, 2021
Hola me acaba de pasar algo parecido mo contacto y me pidió mi correro estuvimos charlando me mando fotos de supuestamente el y me decía muchas palabras bonitas pero llegó el momento en que me dijo que avía mandado dinero y gollas y ropa de marca como un regalo me pidió mi dirección y después me mandó la guía yñy después me contactaron diciendo que el paquete estaba en aduana que para poderlo sacar tenía que depositar 30.000 mil pesos PS el paquete tenía dinero y ropa de marca y lo querían decomisar yo le mandé msj a el susodicho y me dijo que los depositara que los consiguiera y que ya llegando aquí el paquete agarrara el dinero yo le dije que no los podía conseguir y que no los tenía a lo que insistió diciendo que no le hisera eso que el avía mandado papeles importantes de su trabajo también hay y que no me podía depositar por qué el estaba en paquikistan y hay estaban en Gerra pero ya mejor no abrir el massger ni nada y gracias adiós no caí tengan cuidado este hombre segun se llamaba Terres fylden