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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.

  • 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 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.

Sounds like a scam
October 16, 2018
A guy named james wilson started trying to talk to me on words 2. Thought he just needed someone to talk to. He quickly asked me to chat on hangouts. Then the story starts wife died 5 years ago. He's raising 2 kids one 14 and one 17. He's an oil rig engineer. I have a feeling I'm chatting to 2 different people. English gets bad. He says he needs 50 I tunes card to up date his bank account software! Does this sound familiar to anyone I have photos.
Henry
October 13, 2021
En este momento me esta escribiendo mina lorence soldado americano en Afganistán y me esta pidiendo abrir una cuenta para enviarme 50.000us. Y dice que se quiere casar conmigo y apareció de un momento a otro y ya esta enamorada, donde puedo exportar el número, me envió foto de carnet de identificación del ejercito
Notdumb
October 22, 2018

In reply to by Sounds like a scam

Yes!!!!! Very familiar. Last night he asked for me to purchase 2 Itunes cards at Walmart for $100 each. I acted dumb asking questions like why, give me your credit card number, etc. Anyways, oil rig engineer, lives in NY, but in Florida right now working. Handsome guy on his profile i.d., on Words, then he insisted I download hangouts, and then emails, and on and on. He loves me, so much, never met anyone like me! Very interesting, at times I thought I was talking to different people too. At the end, he was angry and his English went sour! All his love letters, etc. were very well written, however, I thought at time they were "templates" from prior letters. I thought when he asked me for money, then I know for sure its a scam. He finally did after 2 months of love letters, and saying he would never ever hurt me. He called me last night an begged I not laugh at his Norweigen accent. He scared me when I said hello, I couldn't understand him and my heart sank. Don't send any money, just say you are poor, he'll move on I hope. His name was Thomas A. he said he was 59 with one son. I told myself when he asks for money, it's a scam. I'm sad but intact.
GB1030
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Sounds like a scam

Scammers do work together, to make more convenicing story. So you may be chatting with two different scammer working together to deceive you.
Deelboy
September 12, 2019

In reply to by Sounds like a scam

The iTunes top-up card is an old scam and all so Amazon
Rosie
October 16, 2018
I was cheated by a man named James Daniel from Washington, engineer working on a rig in Australia. Widower, one 14 year old kid, chat every morning and night for 6 months. Exactly like the same modus operandi of the ones people have been telling here. Take care of this guy.
Paola pastene
October 13, 2021
Hola yo ase una semana por una app me contacto un medico ortopédico qe trabaja por la onu en yemen me pidió ser su esposa yo le seguí con la historia...según era huérfano se crió en un orfanato y bla bla bla según es oficial y nesesita mandar una caja de yemen con sus más valiosas pertenencias...a la cual me pide tantos personales...y en negarme me bloquea...su nombre de médico james Álex
Antonieta
October 14, 2021
A todas estimadas mujeres que estamos en la misma situación, se enamoran en nos pocos dias, pero muy enamorados, y uno se las cree, a mi me pasa con un hombre de 50 años, viudo y con hijo en EEUU. internado, trabaja en una plataforma petrolera, esta muy enamorado, si necesitan el nombre me hablan nomas, a mi no me ha pedido nada todavia, pero le seguiré el juego nomas.
so fed up
October 17, 2018
is anybody dealing with a guy called Burrows Hernandez Todd, mech. engineer, at the moment stationed in Syria as a Sergeant? Apparently has one daughter with a nanny back in US and is trying to ship raw gold bars to US and needs money to cover the costs and has no access at the moment to his bank account nor enough in the base.. thank you for your answer and help..
GB1030
October 31, 2018

In reply to by so fed up

This is known as Package Scam. There is NO gold bars. A person will contact you claiming fees, taxes, duties were not paid. They will ask you to pay for it. The PACKAGE does not exist. Walk away.
Star
October 17, 2018
Anyone know of a person "Friending" ladies on Facebook or other sites..Donald Arsenault, widowed, Italian but raised by Grandmother, 12 year old daughter, Cassie being raised by a house mother? Possible scammer asking for money to finish his contract as a West Coast off shore oil rig Contractor?
Artemisa
October 16, 2021
Como puedo buscar sus fotos?
KebirNo use su…
October 16, 2021
Hola ami me paso ase unas horas me contacto un tal David fair asta me comentó en una foto y yo lo contacté pero luego luego mire que era falso
lookingforinfo
October 18, 2018
RAYMOND ERIN. CANADA. WIDOW. 3 CHILDREN. UNDERWATER WELDER. ON WWF. ANY INFO PLEASE.
GB1030
October 31, 2018

In reply to by lookingforinfo

Scammers often use, widow, single parent, kids in boarding school. If he ask for money, yup Scammer.
Cathy
January 03, 2019

In reply to by lookingforinfo

Yes.Got to know him a month ago. Offering assistances on finance end up with my investment $100 He said he would add it to $2000. Sound like scammer, though!
Sagitario
October 16, 2021
Alguna conoce a un tal william James viudo con 2 hijos, trabaja para la ONU esta en Yemen segun, señor canoso 55 años, teléfono +855 69 392 153 Gracias nunca depositen nada, diviértanse pero no den sus datos sobretodo si te aman nunca te pediran dinero que clase de hombre seria si pide eso?
Concerned son
October 18, 2018
My dad passed away little over a year ago and since then my mom 59 hasnt been the same....until she met someone. She seems to be in love with this person. I love to see her happy but i find this man very suspicious. She hasnt met him and she says he is stationed at some base (military i guess) and isnt allowed to leave. Meanwhile hes making promises to buy my mom a house car and promising to moving here with my mom. I dont know much more about him because my mom doesnt tell alot worried me n brothers & sisters are mad at her for moving on.but recently she sent me this picture of him and what looks to be his name on photo.i am worried to death about her can someone give me some tips into finding out if this picture is the person he says he is. She was married to my dad for 42 yrs so shes new to the dating stuff which leaves her vulnerable to scam. Help........how do i upload pic so you can see if youve seen it b4. The name on photo is Anton Ivan
Jean
October 21, 2018

In reply to by Concerned son

Your dear mum has already been taken in. They are a group of conmen, not just one, and they steal normal people's pictures, to perpetrate their false identity and fabricated story. She has likely already wired him money, and may be getting talked into cashing out your dad's retirement, and selling house. Show her the FCC complaint form in this site! Talk to her, that these crooks use brainwashing techniques, and she is naive, not stupid. Please act assertively for your mum!
dutchgirl
January 03, 2019

In reply to by Concerned son

scammer.. military are Always alloud out of base
Sil
October 17, 2021
Hola, sabéis algo sobre David Marcos o Ángel dee Ericsson?
Lynn2018
October 18, 2018
Ive been having same problem been talking to a guy last few weeks says hes stationed in turkey from the states. Kept asking for a stream card telling me he loved me and wasent talking anyone else. come find out he was talking to another woman about sending him the card and left all his messages on facebook messenger back and forth with her. i left a comment to her about him been chatting with me about the card also and he seen it and threatended to have me killed.
Federico
October 17, 2021
Pues a mí una tal "Sargento Pages Lewis", de las Fuerzas Armadas de EEUU, me dice que necesita sacar de Irak más de 10 millones de dólares estadounidenses, y que me dará el 40% si le sigo el juego... Me pregunto quién se puede creer tamaño embuste.
Nightmare48
October 19, 2018
I believe I may be getting scammed and it has been going on for over a year. The name I know him by is Stephen Wesley an orthopedic surgeon who's wife died in childbirth with their son Jackson. Similar story as to what I have read Jack needs money but Stephen can't access his money. But when I needed money I was given it so it made me think they were legit. The son had me sending money for him and his friends so they could invest in something in Nigeria. I never put money into it but had to send it for him. No big red flags went off for me until just this last week when he demanded I send $600 to his son because he supposedly gave his dad a payment for the house he was buying for us and he had to have it back now and couldn't wait until December they his dad would be home finally! So I went back and double check the stuff I looked up before and it was all gone, everything that I had used to prove to myself that he was legit was just gone and I did a reverse pic search and came up with 6 different names he goes by. He of course claims that it is the hacker that stole his pics!! Yeah right!!
Quyllurchiwake
October 17, 2021
Hola chic@s. Conocen a un tal Jude Daniel Ugus, vive en Londres, originario de Finlandia pero tiene la ciudadania de UK, Ingeniero Civil, independiente, es Constructor y actualmente por licitacion ganada, está en Estanbul, divorciado, con un hija de nombre Linda, apuesto, con mucho dinero, se viste bien y sobre todo habla muy pero muy bonito, casi perfecto, como para ser real!... Tiene el mismo modus operandi.... te enamora, llama casi tres veces al día, para ganarse la confianza, estudia muy bien tu perfil.... pidió amistad por Facebook, lo acepté porque era amigo de una amiga. El, es el de la foto. lo llamé por video llamada para asegurarme y si, es él. El Nr. de tel. es de Inglaterra. Lo ví, como 3 veces, después la cámara de su cel. se dañó al caerse en el aeropuerto. Bueno, actualmente se encuentra en Turquía, trabajando para el gobierno Turco. Pero despues del enamoramiento... (ya saben, va a venir a visitarte, quiere casarse contigo, eres la mujer de sus sueños, que nunca fallarà, etc, etc. mejor lo esperarè sentada, porque parada me cansarè. jajaja) ... vienen los problemas: que la cuenta està bloqueada, (Lo extraño es que allí, no me pidio dinero, sino queria que habrierá su cuenta para pagarle a sus proveedores!!!que en otras partes se podía abrir menos en Estambul? le dije, si estaba lavando dinero o que? hasta ahora no entiendo bien la jugada. no accedí y no nos hablamos como un mes, estaba molesto. El era un hombre honesto por qué dudaba de él?? pero después me escribió pidiendo dinero, que se le acabo lo de la tarjeta de crédito y no tenía dinero para el alojamiento, que por favor... trabajan al sentimiento. Accedí de enviarle dinero, seguirle el juego, para ver a dónde llegan... pero siempre se presente un problema tras otro.... hasta ahora me escribe. es gracioso de una parte, tiene humor, es muy inteligente.. le traté indirectamente de hacer entender que los estafadores, se ponen ellos solos, la cuerda al cuello..pero nada. Son muy astutos. Cómo dije, estudian bien el profil de la víctima.. se las saben todas, pero las mentiras tienen patas cortas... Hasta ahora nos comunicamos. siempre le digo que no tengo dinero, pero pasado un tiempo, vuelven con lo mismo, son incistentes y no se dan por vencidos. Si alguién sabe cómo funciona lo de la cuenta bancaria, de él? me avisa por favor. Nunca le di Nr. de cuenta bancaria. Se comunica por Viber. Esperando que les haya servido de algo mi experiencia. Saludos
mpe
October 18, 2021
¡Hola! Soy periodista, estoy leyendo todas vuestras experiencias y me parece indignante que lleven tanto tiempo engañando de esta manera a la gente. Me pongo en contacto con ustedes porque estamos realizando un reportaje en España sobre este tema para que se haga justicia y no vuelva a pasar. Os dejo un contacto para que podáis escribirme o llamarme, y contarme vuestros casos. Estaré encantada de escucharles 687 910 264 ¡un saludo!
ndr
October 19, 2018
Anyone have any contact with a PATRICK MORRIS
Badoo
October 22, 2018
I have a question, I am currently texting with someone by the name of Logan Jenkins Smith, and he is stationed in" South Korea", when I asked him about calling or skyping, he said if I could send an email to departmentofdefenceus 1940@ gmail and ask for him to be allowed to call me? I am sure it is fake , but there is always the glimmer of hope! Has not asked for anything else yet.
FTC Staff
October 22, 2018

In reply to by Badoo

Email from a legitimate US government agency will end in .gov. Email from a military branch will end in .mil.

If you send email and give your personal information, someone can use it for identity theft.

GB1030
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Badoo

BADOO this person is a scammer. Military dose not use Gmail.
Lev
October 19, 2018
One actually fell in love with me and showed me his real photos and we met and we're actually together
Hardwood 1234
October 19, 2018
Does anyone know or talked to a Dr Anderson Rex Cooper in Iraq
Mar
October 18, 2021
Alguien conoce un tal Aaron Michel, me contactó por messenger y a los dos dias desapareció su perfil.
Hardwood 1234
October 19, 2018
I have been talking to a dr anderson rex cooper from iraq with a daughter named tracey pictures like Luka Giratti am i being scammed
Lourdes
October 18, 2021
Hola he detectado algo raro hay un hombre que dice llamarse Eric Chan supuestamente un ingeniero petrolero pero utiliza la foto de Joe deer lo cual investigué y no tiene nada que ver con esta persona esta persona dice estar en el mar Mediterráneo trabajando para la empresa Repsol en una refinería de petróleo y además coincide con los otros conocido 2 estafadores que he conocido por Facebook yo no lo busqué solo me escribieron y hay algo similar con las dos versiones de hombre que conocí en la página de citas los 4 versiones quedaron viudo por que su esposa fallecieron de cáncer he rastreado el móvil y también sus fotos y el resultado es que están en cualquier país y utilizar imágenes de persona conocida muy fasil de detectar con la información que te dan en esta página
noscammercouldfoolme
October 19, 2018
Hi Guys! I was contacted by a guy on OkCupid named "George Lucas Harrison" (Phone no.: +81345404968). Said he's a software engineer who is assigned in Samsung Japan and also owns a truck rental in Florida being run by his mom named "Amanda Betty Harrison" (Phone no. (+14076308805). After a few days of talking said he deleted his dating app profile to focus on me. After a day or two, told me he will come to the Philippines to attend a worship leader conference in Cebu City and is planning to see me after. On the day that he was supposed to come, came the problems. He called early morning to say he lost his wallet, blah blah blah. Bottomline, he needs money so that he could still change his flight details without having to leave his passport as a collateral with the airlines who will be nice enough to help adjust his flight details. His mom even joined him in sending me messages about all those stuffs that don't add up. I did not and will not send any money to someone I do not know. When he figured that out, he stopped messaging. So do not ne fooled, people. Bad people would use even the name of God just to scam innocent people.
YouCantFoolMe
October 20, 2018
ALL of these men have either lost their wives to a tragic death or the wife cheated on them. the kids are either at boarding school or with a nanny. They all fall in love right away hoping that we will do the same. I will ask questions like what time is it where you're at and when they reply I Google to see the time and most of them tell the wrong time so right then I know they're lying. If you look at some of their service uniforms they have different names on the patches or they try to Black them out so you cannot read them. I don't trust anyone anymore when it comes to online. and if any of you have money you just need to throw away let me know I have a daughter that im trying to put through college.
Sagitario
October 18, 2021
Hola chicas alguna que conozca a un hombre de 55 años dice llamarse Williams James de estados unidos pero esta en Yemen por un contrato con la ONU es viudo y dice tener 2 hijos te enamora se empieza a ganar tu confianza, y pide dinero para ir a verte porque tuvo problemas con su tarjeta. No caigan en su estafa. Su numero pertenece a Cambodia es el 85569392153
Don't use your…
October 20, 2018
A man said he had a box of money in Pakistan wants me to pay $4,900 back fees for sending it, was $900.00 I wouldn’t send the money now it’s $4, 900.00 said I go to prison for money laundering,, if I didn’t send the money, please I think he’s a scammer, I need help, has this happened to anyone else. I’m am an older lady, lost my husband, I am frightened to death
Agatha
October 19, 2021
+33 6 44 67 59 21 este numero es el de un farsante dice ser frances y militar veterano te enamora, sus textos son largos y como sacados de internet luego inventa una historia que necesita pagar las tasas militares para poder salir del país y te pide el dinero prestado. Todo es mentira es un estafador se hac e llamar Bernardo moisner con unas fotos wapisimas! No caigais por favor!
GB1030
October 31, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

Hello, this is known as a PACKAGE SCAM. The package dose not exit, there is NO money. Walk away, let him go to prison.
Don't use your…
October 20, 2018
I have a question. I filed a complaint with the 1C3 FBI site, now I was scammed for $3000, paper trail, I sent a ck to his sect. I even have the Sect.'s address, went to her house, I even have her bank acct #. This was 2 months ago, with such inform . How long does it take for something to happened. I could use this money back. I stopped talking to him realizing his cash cow dried up, yes constantly asking for different denominations of money . Thank you I had passed all this inform along. I can't believe this happened to me .
FTC Staff
October 26, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

The information on the IC3 website explains what happens after you file a complaint. It says that people at the IC3 look at complaints and send them to the appropriate enforcement agencies for criminal, civil, or administrative action, as appropriate.

The IC3 itself does not investigate your complaint. The agency that gets your complaint from the IC3 can decide whether or not to investigate and prosecute your complaint. If a law enforcement agency starts an investigation, someone will contact you.

Rachel
October 20, 2021
Y sigue sucediendo, yo conocí a un chico por una app dónde supuestamente se aprende inglés. La cosa que como todo , uno le cree, cambie teléfono, era de florida Jacksonville, estaba de misión en África que viajaría esta semana a usa. Pues si me hablo, me llamó y todo. Para mí mal intercambie fotos y video solo de saludos. Porque los comprometedor no sale mi rostro. Se hace pasar por Michael Lloyd y su número es 320 5100988. Un día después de una semana, se me ocurre buscar las fotos en el motor de búsqueda de Google imágenes y resulta que más fotos eran de un Australiano Dr. Muy conocido.. solo le dije que y sabía que era un estafador, que gracias por subirme la autoestima. Y que lo denunciaría, se enteró que me llamaría por la noche, que porque le hacía eso sí el me amaba.. Pero bloqueado, ojalá no me envíe mensaje de otro fono. Pero ya está la denuncia y gracias a lo leído se que responder.
Stampndiva
October 21, 2018
I’ve been “engaged/dating” a Daves Anderson! Knew exactly what I needed and wanted to hear. Sent him iTunes and Amazon cards! Had me set up new checking accounts because he wanted me to buy a house for us! Luckily the bank shut it down when he tried to deposit! He however managed to have a check sent to me which I cashed and wired to him! It made sense to me at the time. I’m so stupid because the check bounced and now I’m in trouble for fraud! I’m scared to death as I’m unemployed and only get spousal support right now! I don’t have $1500 to pay it back! I don’t know what to do! I took my laptop and jewelry to a pawnshop to get him money! Now I’m going to lose all of my life which was on the laptop!!! He showed me pictures of his mom and son. Is a Staff Sargent but according to the military record he gave me he should be a higher ranking officer. Went to the recruiting office and his name is no where in the system. Doesn’t exist!!! 100% fake! He’s still trying to get me to send him money! Wondering that because he is still active with me if the FBI can track him down and get my money back! I almost sold my car for him! Very, very convincing !!!!! Has tons of selfie pictures! Now he’s saying he was on his way home to be with me when his phone and passport were stolen! Kano, Nigeria airport!! Says he’s dying of malnutrition! I may be gullible but I know you cannot live in any airport for almost 2 months and survive for more than 2 weeks without food! He still insists he’s army and has no way to contact them! I was told to get his unit # and I could contact a Base and they would send somebody. He couldn’t give me his unit # and the unit # he gave me in the beginning was discontinued during WW2! All lies! He even had scammers posing as friends wire me money and I would wire it back to him! So much! I gave him my heart! I sold possessions! He was so good and convincing! It wasn’t until he was stuck in the airport that I started digging! 2 months no food? 2 months living in an airport? Can’t happen! Found his pictures under several names but always uses Anderson! Daves, James, Williams are a few I’ve found on the dating sites! Somebody has to help us! The army has to either not allow dating to happen or provide us with a way to verify these slime balls stealing our good soldiers identities!!!
Maria
October 21, 2021
Steven, de Nueva Jersey, cirujano ortopédico en Yemen. Padre soltero de gemelos. Sus niños en internado. Me escribió por Messenger y después Whatsapp. No llegó a pedirme dinero porque le dije que no me fiaba de desconocidos y me bloqueó. Antes me insultó.
Fooledtoo
June 18, 2019

In reply to by Stampndiva

I had the same thing happen to me, he said he was in the military and name is Daniel Park. He sent money to my account and it even cleared do i sent him. Then the funds were found to be fraudulent so I have to pay the bank back. I feel so stupid and know how you feel.
nine
October 21, 2021
Un tal Roland Dave de Australia diseñador, me mandó mensajes por mesenyer de hay a Whatsapp y como no quería por esas 2 plataforma por Hangouts . según era viudo y tenía un hijo, y empezó con amor , cariño , te quiero y como puede una persona que no conoces ni te conoce decir tantas cosas de amor ? ?? pues al mes me pidió 3000 dólares porque había tenido un accidente y me mandó una foto de el ojo y la cara magullada y según dijo después tenía una pierna partida de accidente de trabajo que había tenido y tenía que mandarle dinero a su hijo que él no podía donde estaba . increíble . no le mandé porque desde el principio no me parecía normal . esperaba haber cuanto iba durar asta que me pidió dinero y cuidado que su número prefijo empieza 61 de Australia, todo los rollos que se montan para robar dinero .
He loves and w…
October 21, 2018
David George Aberto an Engineer working in Canada went to Turkey on business and needed my money. Guess, Turkey is the new hotspot for scammers. This guy worked on me for 2 and a half months and then hit me up for 40k, 10k, 1k and back up to 7k. He got zero. He sent me flowers. Has a TX DL too.