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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.

July 10, 2020

In reply to by Paula

Yep! Talking to him now! He has had about £250 in google play cards for his ‘daughter ‘ Agnes and £700 to pay Agnes’s housekeeper as he is in the Baltic’s working on a rig platform! Oh! I am his treasure! Lots of songs, poems, hearts .... got his number now! Thanks!
August 15, 2020

In reply to by Paula

sounds like the guy i was talking to.. But his name (so he say) is Smith Wood boys Ethan 12 & David 9 ....has send me pictures. But same lines, smooth with is words sends poems and love songs..
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

I’m chatting with a guy with the same name , says his in the army, nice looking , I’m worried that he could be just playing me , how do we actually get to share pictures of them so we can see if it’s the same guy ???
Frustrated daughter
June 29, 2020

In reply to by jo

Jo... Does he have a young daughter that stays with the live in nanny in Texas because he is currently stationed in Syria or Nigeria? That's the lie the man is telling my mom and she 100% believes this person! Even tho my sister and I both told her he's scamming her. She doesn't believe us. He goes by the name Robert Casselman. On Instagram his name is Rob White, and his Instagram handle is @whiterob 649. Email is whiterob649@ ... I reverse images searched his photos that I have access to from his Instagram account and found him on 2 different Russian sites where he uses the name Mark White.
scammer named Deco
June 21, 2020

In reply to by jo

Run from this guy ! He has threaten kill my daughter over not being able get money he somehow wired to acct I never gave him info on and to also send Fedex package with ck from GA on company thinking I would deposit it to be hung out dry over almost $17k . He threaten my marriage to military guy and now threatening to kill my child . He called me “My Queen , Sweetie”, etc. he is the guy in the video chat I got pic of . He in his 50’s thick accent and from Portugal he says . His story to me is he on oil rig. He now totally went so far police are involved and soon other agencies. Be careful ! When he doesn’t get his way he gets insulting then demands things like gift cards and he thinks google hangout going make him look like we having affair lol . If he can pull pics off my phone and his show me he has my Soc Sec # and address without me giving him crap he can make any conversation look crazy . My husband like this guy really crazy to think I would think your having affair. Be careful
May 13, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

I have been also texting a handsome guy who works on an oil rig in Ireland keeps calling me his queen and calling me his wife to be and I get an email from his company supposingly stating he needs 5000 to come home to me. He is an engineer and his so called company sent me an email with a bank account name and number his name he said is Raymond Patrick
June 06, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

I was contacted by a Jeffrey Brown on Twitter. He is good looking orange T-shirt, 2019 Disney 2 cup Challenge, 54, has a seven-year-old daughter Kim, in Orlando Florida and sent a picture of him and her together, they are in Gorgeous. Most likely not him . Poor grammar For US educated marine engineer. In some ways however really sharp at times, and others not, so like there’s two different people Responding. Works as a marine engineer, currently on an Oil Rig ship in the north seas. So funny it’s laughable as it’s over the top. Called me his diamond queen. Always calls me ‘babe‘. This is one week. He asked me for $400 google Play so that he could give it to his daughter. Really? Not a chance.
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Interesting

Hi can I send you a picture of the marine engineer and his daughter? I have just been scammed for over £300
July 15, 2020

In reply to by Suzie

Hi Suzie I think this guy is onto me he is using the name Marvin Brown, saying he has a son 17. He said his wife and father died 4 years ago. He is civil engineer on oil rig, fayetteville, north carolina. Asked for £300 Google play cards, after two days. Calls me his babe, queen. Keeps saying would make a good mum for his son. I made out could not get gift card. He then sent links for Bitcoin, Payment Challenge and mygiftcards. Told him dont use Bitcoin or Payment Challenge. He started saying do it for the sake if love, I am getting disconnected so will lose content. (well he has not yet). I said I would do mygift but need his name/address Form of ID. He flipped again. He then came back smooth and asked me to sent it to his son Jerry's bitcoin account. Told him not using that, he has now gone back to gift cards. I have pictures of him. Although in one his tattoo disappeared lol. Does he sound like your guy. I was playing a word game, he messaged me on that, then asked me to go on hangouts. I think its him cos he using Marvin Brown and son Jerry. Please let me know. I keep reporting him. He then makes up another gmail. I do the same with that, so google maybe able to track him.
November 16, 2020

In reply to by Suzie

Hi can u please send me a pic of them I think I have the same person Thanks
July 25, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

Sounds like my guy. Very romantic, sends poems, you tube music. Calls me his queen, babe, honey. Wants to know if I’ve eaten. My guys name is Williams Theodor. Would love to see your photos. My photos show attractive man with beard and white hair. Supposedly Norwegian. Working on rig in Irish Sea. Retiring after this contract. Dead wife and son. Raising two grandchildren who are in boarding school in Oslo. Calls me his wife and I’m his only hope for ending contract. Supposed explosion on rig that he is responsible for. Needs to pay for engine. Currently trying to end his case re: explosion so he can get home and we will be together. Been with him for one year this month. Lots of heart emojis and sad faces at times.
August 09, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

Sounds like the guy I’m talking to for last 5 months. Do you have any photos ?
October 12, 2020

In reply to by Ashamed

Sounds like my guy. Says wife cheated with best friend has a son, accounts frozen and has a package withholding...seiously! All fake!
April 18, 2021

In reply to by Kog

My guys name is Poulson Erikson. Found his wife in marital bed with coworker. Has a 17 year old son in boarding school. Bank account is frozen and needs 1000 to pay for lawyer!! Haven't sent him a dime thank God!!
October 06, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

Sounds like my guy travel to Prudhoe Bay Alaska engineer had me transfer money for him locked out of his bank account in Paris and I sent him over 75,000 for materials now he states he can't finish the job and pay me back yet been dating him for 7 months online goes by the name Steven gross and I have many many pictures I think these men change their names phone numbers and pictures all the time if you want my email address to email my name is Mary marybrownsdesk
October 12, 2020

In reply to by Mjbrow1

Does he have a son named Harry? Did his wife die if cancer? Parents die in a car wreck when he was 16? I think I’m talking to him!
October 06, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

This is like definitely my man for the last 7 months Steven gross engineer soon retiring my love my queen my wife to be I will love you forever and ever I have three different phone numbers tons of pictures sent to him over $75,000 to help finished job you can contact me at marybrownsdesk
Lizzie B
March 06, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

Yes I would like to see if this is the same man and I do have a picture he says his name is Roy Barnes a physician but has a heavy accent and I have sent money now what can I do
April 27, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

Scammer for sure .. they tell you want you want to hear because your missing it in your life they are so good that they make you feel your the only one .. it’s so sad that these people hurt other people
June 10, 2019

In reply to by Brighteyes

They are more than SAD dear, they are working for the DEVIL in hell, satan himself I think. They are disgusting and the low life scum of the earth. But remember, WHAT DOES AROUND WILL COME AROUND EVENTUALLY. These CROOKS will get their due and the sooner they do the better. They'll get it, and if not in this life, in the next... KITTEN
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Kitten

Totally agree with you kitten. I have been scammed for well over £3000! I will never get it back. Part was a loan he pressured me into making. Then...... he emptied my entire bank account! I have nothing left. Said from Hamburg- Marine Engineer in the Baltic’s-1 daughter age 9. I have pictures..
May 03, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

Hi...same thinghappened to me as well ...I want to send you picture of him so you can verify
Bea246your e-m…
March 14, 2020

In reply to by Katherinecompa

I had a man from Facebook requested. He showered me with love. An oil rig engineer very handsome. Video call me once to see he is real, Then had to go to start wor5in Italy. He proposed me and thank God for connecting us. He did have parents died and was the only child. Text morning lunch and night. Very caring loving man. He earns a lot of money then I don't have to work when he comes back. He lives in Devon England. Then something happened at work iin the sea since he had only me his wife. Hus hope was on me. Broken drill needs & 30 000 to fix but hehad 25 500 and he needs 4500 to finish the job and come and meet me. I should borrow the money he will pay all of it with interest. I told him I did not have thst money and I told him noone want to borrow me. He told me to go to sharks because they are putting pressure on him he is suffering. He said he loves so much he doesn't want to loose me. I am his life and he make a vow with God he will love me until he died he will never leave me. Then he pressurise me so much that he started to blame me for hus suffering and send crying faces. I did the same saying I did not know where to get the money. I was suspicion. And I ended jup te3him I can't put myself in debt for a man I have not met. I asked him if he is one of the ojl rig scammers thst stseal money from vulnerable women in the name of Love. He blocked me on Wednesday and I didn't delete the chat but I can see he has change his profile picture. But I saved alk his photos from Facebook and his friends are all Nigerians. I can't get ti his Facebook profile now. His name is Chris ris Lloyd. I really fall in love with him. Very blind and put God in this lie. They check yiur profile before requesting you. If yiu speak about God on your Facebook. They will be Godly man who wants Gid fearing woman. They will ask prayers as well. And pray for you. IThey are devil "sons. They drive expensive cars and live in mansions in Nigeria with the stolen money.
April 19, 2020

In reply to by Bea246your e-m…

This sounds like the same man. Calls me his queen, goddess.. and is wife.. says working on a ship on contract .. And has 2 twin girls in boarding school in Turkey.. has asked me for money once which I denied.. but then dropped it.. I’m not sure what to do about him he goes by the name Mark Ethan.. but can’t find a picture online from the ones he sent me.
August 14, 2020

In reply to by dgh9696

Yes! "Mark Ethan" an I talked on Hangouts for 6 weeks, after playing Words with Friends a few times, where he was the "match of the day." Same story about working on a ship, twin daughters in Turkey. Called me all kinds and of loving names. Sent love songs, hearts, kisses. Called me his Queen. Asked for money once. I did not bite! Asked for my address so a company in Turkey could send the $2.2 million they owed him! I cut all ties immediately and warned friends and financial folks.
June 20, 2020

In reply to by Bea246your e-m…

Hi Bea, that sounds like the story I had! I am a German living in Hamburg -Germany and I met this guy on Tinder. His “Name” was LEWIS DAVID, engineer at Cosco Container Lines, working on a ship. I have pictures from him. When I looked at his Facebook I also saw only black people! He never wanted Facetime and I was sceptical really fast, but you always hope for the best. He sent me a faked Canadien passport and stuff ID. Further faked bank account. He wanted that I send 1000€ for a logistic company, sending his goods to my home. I checked all details and sent him a message that he lost the game. So sad, that theses guys are successful sometimes... All the best, Nati
C Francine
August 13, 2020

In reply to by Nati

Dose This guy sound Familiar met on face book he is heart surgeon was in Bahamas get rob. Now in Jamaica have 2 teenager Daugther. Have a British. Accent .
June 28, 2020

In reply to by Bea246your e-m…

Does Gray Johnston ring a bell with anyone?
October 25, 2020

In reply to by Fool4Love

Yes. My scammer's name is Grey Heinrich Nelson. There's another post with the name "Heinrich" but a different variable of the name. Lives in Nashville. Met on Words with Friends and the very same day he got a call to go back to the oil rig on the Gulf of Mexico. Parents from Netherlands dead, 14 year old son who is with a nanny. Found wife in bed with another man and she stole i 70,000 from him..I really don't want to believe he's a scammer but way too many details are similar. Asked me to go on Google Hangouts, called me his Queen, soulmate, asked if I was a God-fearing woman. Became overly upset when I questioned his validity. Very handsome, had pics of his 14-year old son. Very short video call to see he is real, quickly disconnected because of internet problem. Sent me YouTube love songs etc. I blocked him after reading all of this. I feel so stupid.
May 03, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

Hi...same thinghappened to me as well ...I want to send you picture of him so you can verify
May 10, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

Is his last name Gonzalez? Is he a US Marine? Does he call you his queen?
May 10, 2019

In reply to by Gullible

My guy calls me his queen. Sounds Hispanic but says he’s Irish and Italian.
June 17, 2019

In reply to by Maui

My guy called me his queen, honey, babe, his wife etc.. he wanted apple cards, I sent one $50. He keeps telling me he needs to replenish minutes on his IPhone..load of crap. Along on a fishing trawler, needs 43k to replace a fishing robot. Keeps bugging me for it. Also said he has 3million dollars in an acct in UK, and needs to pay taxes on it before he can withdraw it..(fake acct) a real liar. He went by the name of Ben Richard. I contacted Instagram to report him as a scammer, and his profile was removed. Now goes by Wilfred James Todd. Stay away
June 23, 2019

In reply to by Nonni201

My scammers name is Gabriel Entrekin. I have all the same red flags, although this is the first comment that I’ve been searching for. Gabriel said he has 5.5 million in cash to deliver to my house. I started the process with him until he told me I had to pay the shipping charges if $550.00 before they would set up the delivery. This is where the rubber met the road. I told him it was his responsibility to pay these charges. He then turned from the sweetest charming man to a mad man. Guilting and shaming me for not helping him. I was hurt as I believed all his wonderful promises of our good life together. This man moves fast. It only took him 8 days to put the scam out there. He told me earned this money delivering hospital equipment. He was retiring and coming home the end of July. Still a scam right? I’ve never been through this before. If the box of cash was sent (from Ghana), he would be able to come to me by this coming Thursday. He said his bags were already packed. He was planning to fly into DC to pick up His 14 yr. daughter from boarding school. Stay overnight and fly them both home here to meet me. Need advise. Have not read a story similar to this one.
June 28, 2019

In reply to by clmoz

Clmoz, Gabriel has just recently contacted me also. And I already told him that others have attempted to scam me and to not even try it. He is being charming so I am sure him asking for money will come soon. Don't send him any money. Let's both find a real man and dump this ass.
June 29, 2019

In reply to by clmoz

I have the same one but goes by a different name and used honey , Queen, babe, says he loves me so much. Been chatting for 2 months now and says he has 5 million in a UK bank, calls me his wife and made me beneficiary and needed to move the money from the off shore bank to my account and wanted to help me and wants to retire and marry me . I started the process and then I got the email from bank asking to deposit $2800 to activate to the gold account, that’s when I stopped. Asked him why should I deposit that money and he says it’s service fee. I asked him why should I pay service fee when he has so much in his bank, he can pay it. I don’t have any money. He got mad and stared to say all kinds of stuff . Saying I never really loved him and so on. Says he has a daughter with a nanny and his late wife died in a fatal car crash. Well , he ain’t getting any money now
July 07, 2019

In reply to by Chori

I just met one. He said he was a petroleum engineer and his wife cheated on him. A nanny took care of his daughter since he worked abroad. Several days after he texted me, he began to call me love, baby, queen and he said he closed online dating account for me (actually he blocked me so that I couldn't report him). He said he was an orphan and then he said his parents were retired. I found something wrong with that. And whenever I asked him for a picture, he would get mad at me. Now he is persuading me to invest bitcoin. He just sent me a link today which I didn't click. Really horrible.
October 03, 2019

In reply to by Amy

Hi Amy, this is the exact story I have been told by a guy who started messaging me on twitter and then straight away started messaging me on Google chat. His English is terrible and I have asked him to send me photos of him and his daughter and he gets so mad. I know he's a scanner and I'm just waiting to see how far he'll go. His name in this scam is Stephen Hompton from Youngstown Ohio
scammed too
January 17, 2020

In reply to by Weezer

Interesting. A guy named Matthew Alberto attempted to scam me. Said he was from Youngstown, OH. Then moved to Broomfield, CO. Said he lived most of his life in Rome, Italy. I caught on pretty quickly-didn't get scammed out of any money. Said he had two kids: Connor and Audrey.
careyDon't use…
March 15, 2020

In reply to by scammed too

Same guy is currently trying to scam me. He's an idiot if he thinks he's getting any money from. me. Sounds like this guy has been trying to scam a lot of people. Hope everyone is reporting him. It's time to shut him down.
July 01, 2020

In reply to by Amy

I think I am talking to the same go oilrig hes a petrolium engineer his wife died takes care of his son and dad he was stranded on a rig need to finish a contract first needed to get a helicopter to get off a rig so he could get a flight to go to get access to his bank in the usa even sent me bank acct info which a logged into and now I think it was a fake sight because it said Chase bank account and he had $395000 in it but he couldnt get into it. So after I stupidly sent him the money he said he was in Rome but the ticket was to expensive he used all the money for a helicopter so talked me into sending money to a Ching Debbie Lin which I did againa supposedly she is supposted to be his agent he also tried to get me to get bitcom to at first. Now yesterday he contacts me tells me he got mugged and someone took his brief case even sent me a picture of himself beatup has even hasd supposedly his son texting which has been texting me and calling me mom now this man is texting me telling me he has no money and he is too weak to fly nack to get his account fixed and he is going to lose his contract and needs my help. I havent even replied today...I feel so stupid
July 08, 2019

In reply to by Chori

That sounds like a guy with same story about the family but different name that works for government in a secret mission somewhere, but same story, can you send me the pic so I can compare, he contact me by the social media, let me know, Share pics if you can , thank you
September 16, 2019

In reply to by Cjw108

I got the same contact. Said a nanny takes care of his 8 year daughter. His story was his wife died during childbirth of his second child. Thomas Walter. Said he was born in France, and moved to D.C. when he was 7. Started with the honey, dear crap within one day. I have deleted and blocked him.
July 09, 2019

In reply to by Chori

I am talking to this guy name Chris Thomas and he said the same thing that you did about the wife and daughter and nanny. Do u have a picture. I have one and I would love to know if it's the same guy. Please reply thank you so much.
November 30, 2019

In reply to by Worried

Worried are you still talking to this Chris Thomas? Do you have any pictures
Don't use your…
December 19, 2019

In reply to by Julie

Yes I’m still talking to Chris Thomas. Does anyone have anything they can share,