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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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May 06, 2018

In reply to by paevere

My scanner sounds just like yours! He sent a facebook friend request and I accepted. Said he was an oil rig engineer and there was a fire and could I send him $300 in iTune cards. Said his wife was dead and had a daughter Alandre in boarding school. After a week he "loved me" called me babe. This guy went by the name of Antonio Giovanni from Italy and now living in Delaware. Said his wallet fell into the sea and lost his credit card. (lol) said he needed $3500 to buy a drill so he could finish his contract. He was very convincing at first but I am no longer naive. I didn't send it and he blew up saying I had broken his heart and he went away mad. Accused me of not trusting him. Wanted me once to send his daughter a birthday gift. This all happened over a period of about 5 weeks. He was a looker and sexy as could be. Sweet and he also sent me a description of a "dream" he had that would be the envy of a writer for dirty paperbacks. Ladies, beware of these scanners. I lost about $900 to this crook. What a shame that people CA.n do these things!
May 09, 2018

In reply to by Tangosmom

Oh my god, I think I am being scammed, I read Tangosmoms blog on here, same desctiption as my guy. Oil Rigger, told me he had so much preparation that he got got to load his phone with minutes, asked me to send mon y cards iTunes also or from amazon, so sweet, said he loved me, text me everyday and night, said he is Frenvh, talked to him on the phone and he is french, but also told me he had investors that send their money to nigeria, which is where he is at now for 3 months, supposedly, wife died of heart disease 4 yrs ago and has a son in boarding school. He sent a pic from the airport, same pic he first sent, I wanted so much to believe him, I fell in love with him, but it is too similar to everyone's stories on here, oh god, I am sick to my stomach, he is so sweet and kind, I am going to try and do a background check. This guys name is James Markson, if anyone knows of him please send me a message back on here. Thanks, this is unbelievable.said he loved in Baltimore maryland, with a 10yr old son in a boarding school and has 1 sister.
May 13, 2018

In reply to by MomD313

Hi MomD313. The same story and name. He is James Markson from Houston Texas. He told me he is 54 and his birthday is on Sept 24. He first was in Syria and th3n to Kabul Afghanistan. He told me to have a 14 yrs old son and he was exactly as you said onboarding school in Nigeria. He fiest asked me money cause his son lost his credit card. And I badly sent him almost 200 euro through western union to a lady in Spain. ANNE WITT was her name. He told me that he had a lot of money but due to conduct zone his bank account was locked and he could it use his money from there. As you told he was texting me day and night. He told me he loves me too much I was his darling wife a s his queen. He told me his wife passed away 3 yrs ago for cancer. The second time when he asked no at it was his son always on Nigeria lost his mobile and he asked me to send money for buying an iPhone X. I told him I could afford that expense so he asked me to send whatever I could send him. Always through same woman in Spain. After that his son had a car crash and he was brought to st. Mary hospital in Lagos Nigeria. He was in coma and the doctor was asking 850 euro for blood transfusion. I didn't send this money since I had no more. He told me he could fix this expense with a contact he could find. He never told me who he was. At very end he asked me to help for paying the rest of hospital bill of 500 euros. A d that was the last money I sent him always through western union but not anymore to Anne Witt but to Belgium to his son teacher. Then when he asked me to pay his document retirement of 1850 usd it was when I told him I didn't have anywhere else to look for money. Up to him he had his compensation fund of 700,000 usd and he asked his bank to transfer that money to my account but I first had to pay the 1850 usd. I refused to use a western union name this time and asked for a real bank account. When I definitely told me I found nobody borrowing me that money he just deseappear and said no more. No what app no hangouts no Skype no Instagram Vanished.
Almost fell for it
June 23, 2018

In reply to by TLL2007

He used james lee. He dropped his phone in the water. He needed money to pay the fee to shell corp for emergency leave to come home to be with me.
October 10, 2018

In reply to by Almost fell for it

I also have been chatting with a James Lee says he is a doctor with US army and is Syria and will be home soon is retiring..widow no one month has tried 4 times for me to send money and professes his forever love for me
November 21, 2018

In reply to by Dmeri2018

Does anyone know of a Adrian morlanne? He goes my the name Adrian Marino??
July 31, 2019

In reply to by Primabella

Adrian Rodriguez AKA Adrian Morlanne, complete scammer. Uses women, for money, plays the devoted father and the victim.
December 30, 2018

In reply to by Dmeri2018

I think I’ve been chatting with the same guy. His name is Ryan James an orthopedic surgeon assigned in Kabul. He is ready for retirement and wanted to build his Medical Center. Widower with 11 years old daughter schooled in England. He wanted me to his beneficiary of the goods the President of Afghanistan given to him as gift. And yes professed his love In just a week, we met form worlds with friends. I went along with him but I knew already he is a scam. Let us see if he still wants to corresponds after I said no to his request.
March 07, 2020

In reply to by Almost fell for it

Hi there my friend is talking someone called James lee from Nigeria who is a marine but uses a USA number but says his phone is broken to speak over it...
May 13, 2018

In reply to by MomD313

MomD313 I already post my story if same James Markson. I wish to get in contact with you to send you pictures of this guy and check if we are talking of same man. Did he send some photos of himself?
July 12, 2018

In reply to by TLL2007

I think I am in contact with the same guy. Do you have a picture that you can send? He has not asked for anything yet (it's been two weeks) but he seems a little to attached already and his name is William James Markson
September 15, 2018

In reply to by TLL2007

Oh my god same guy only his son is in boarding school in Dubai says he’s in love with me I didn’t fall for anything I deleted him quick said his name is James wife died of cancer three years ago
May 16, 2018

In reply to by MomD313

anyone know a Rowland Jackson, or a Tony Lorenzo. Same scenario kids in boarding school. wives dead. Jackson supposedly a oil man. Lorenzo supposedly lives in chicago, does construction.
I am hurt
June 24, 2018

In reply to by blondenotdumb

Hi can you send me pictures of that guy from chicago he said he is a manager of a company
May 17, 2018

In reply to by MomD313

You story seems alike to me. I met this guy on Pof named Alexandra Hernandez and he said sane thing his mom lives with his 5 yr old daughter in Maryland, Baltimore. He lost his wallet days before his travel he booked vacation to go to Baltimore and on the way he was supposed to meet me. He gave me forges tickets when I checked his tickets with airline they said no such person is travelling in that date and filght # from Sydney is wrg since he told me he wrks in Australia on contract.
July 25, 2018

In reply to by Spark

how did you get the confirmation information from the airlines about the flight schedule I tried about 2 years ago with a similar situation and I got nowhere they couldn't or wouldn't verify that the flight schedule was legitimate
Cruise babe
May 25, 2018

In reply to by MomD313

I think I have been scammed.Do you know someone out of Georgia that is working on a oil rigged
May 30, 2018

In reply to by Cruise babe

Someone is trying to scam me last week, He think im stupid thank God he didn't..
August 09, 2018

In reply to by KITTYROSE543

A guy named Alex tried to con me last week. Claimed he was in the US army. After the 2nd day he was in love with me and by the 3rd he asked me if I had a bitcoin wallet and tried to get $200 out of me...Really lol I never came of yesterday's banana boat. Lol
September 22, 2018

In reply to by JAMHANK

I was talking to someone named Randall Burkett. Who said he was in Syria. I wired him at least $3000.00 He says he will be home on the 29 of September. He caught Malaria and I have been googling about soldiers and malria. It did not add up. He is and I believe in Nigeria. I met him online I feel so stupid but it was my fault I fell for it.
December 14, 2018

In reply to by JAMHANK

Has anyone heard of a James Admiral Wade? He's pretending to be a civil engineer in South Africa.
October 08, 2020

In reply to by Snowwhite

Snowwhite: is he going by the name Ethan Gruber or Ethan James Gruber???
June 05, 2018

In reply to by Cruise babe

hi, i think i am also scanning.Sune name is Adolph Brad Alexander, Georgia Batumi, on an oil ship. He pretends to be a geologist engineer in oil demand.
Puppy dog
August 23, 2018

In reply to by Emilie

Does anyone know of a person. Thomas Kim. With little girl Or a gray Moore. Contractor with teenage daughter
August 02, 2018

In reply to by Puppy dog

I’ve been talking with a Grey Moore for months. He is a widow and works on oil rig. He has blond/ gray hair. He is coming to see me next month. He can’t send pictures from oil rig. Does it sound familiar?
September 08, 2018

In reply to by Mary

OMG same experience but says his name is Thomas Conti! Can't video bc oil rig blah blah blonde grey hair
November 14, 2018

In reply to by CP3beenhad

I have pictures too of greyand Annabella but they are sent from his phone not the rig. It is him alright!!
February 23, 2019

In reply to by Wally

Please please send pics! I think my best friend is getting scammed by the same guy! David from California, oil rig for subsea7. Has to go to UK for month. No contact while he is gone... Said he just got a contract for 4.5 million. Daughter Emily.
March 05, 2019

In reply to by glaurageo

I would love to send pictures of this guy!! He needs to be stopped
March 05, 2019

In reply to by glaurageo

I would love to send pictures of this guy!! He needs to be stopped
March 20, 2019

In reply to by glaurageo

He is also going by Martin D Camden and David Mcbean. he talks so sweet and makes you feel special until you can't sent him money, than you see a different side of him.
August 14, 2020

In reply to by glaurageo

Hi I think I was also scammed by this David guy, claimed from Oakland CA, work at oil rig for subsea 7 . I have his pics and like to send pics see if it’s the same guy
Msg asap
September 26, 2018

In reply to by Mary

Can you please send me a pic he's been using..I think this guy is scamming my mother...sounds like the same man..oil everything but this man is going by Danny moore
October 12, 2018

In reply to by Mary

Is his photo in a white suit lounging in a chair? He’s in New Orleans working on an oil rig, widowed, no kids. From Baltimore. Name is Samuel Grey. Anyone heard of him? Appears to be in 50s or early 60s.
November 14, 2018

In reply to by Mary

I have also been talking with grey Moore for months. Says he loves me etc. Really romantic messages. Daughter boarding in private school. Says he lives in brooklyn
December 01, 2018

In reply to by CP3beenhad

Yes he has rang often. Got angry when I said no to sending I tunes. Blocked him on hangouts but he still emails me. Still wants I tunes for Annabella at boarding school. Must think I am an idiot but shouts if I say no. Dont worry I havent and I wont send anything
December 10, 2018

In reply to by Mary

Same situation. His name is Rafael Anderson, widowed, 10 year old daughter, lives with mom and daughter, works on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, lives in Los Angeles, writes poetry and professes love calling me his “Queen.” Sound familiar!
January 02, 2019

In reply to by Claire

This is so sad. Anyone know Mark Romos says from Sweden with 2 girls? Single for 2 years wife passed in car accident?
February 11, 2019

In reply to by Claire

Told me his wife died 5 yrs ago car wreck, daughter named Emily and tells me he is going to treat me as his Queen but he goes by Martin D Camden
February 21, 2019

In reply to by Lee5454

Lee5454 I'm actually chatting with him now! said they was a fire on the oil rig and now needs $14,000.00 to get his work done, his family can only come up with$8000.00. he is about to loose everything and talking about ending his life. luckily I didn't fall for it. He would say these poems and quotes that would make you melt. He does know what he is doing. I have pictures of him if anyone needs to see him. And he talks about his daughter Emily and his wife passing same story with me.
March 26, 2019

In reply to by ml1234

Janet Simpson
April 11, 2019

In reply to by Ml1234

Yes, I am having the similar experience. His name is Wilson chung