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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 18, 2021

In reply to by Countrygirl546x

Harvey Cushing and in Syria. I do have pictures of him or the supposed person.
January 03, 2020

In reply to by Kathryn

I am talking to someone who says he’s on a mission in Turkey as well. We connected on online dating app. Wants me to only be with him and wait for him. He can’t talk to me only text since his out there as well. He hasn’t asked me for money as of now he’s saying he wants to be there for me. I tried googling him but I can’t find anything. Just sounds too good to be. Based on his pics he’s quite handsome over 6ft tall man in his late 30’s and amazing physique that’s why I find it hard he’s attached so quick. Claims his family all passed away. Could this be the same guy ? What are the names of yours ?
January 11, 2020

In reply to by confused1

I too have been scammed, the most disturbing feeling ever, God Help Us, but the guy who has done this to me his name is Roberto Matteo, the same thing Turkey project, 1 child, wife dead, his bank account frozen, is being detained in turkey for over stay on work permit so can't get back to the US w/out frist paying fine of $4550...So degrading,
April 29, 2020

In reply to by Tormented

I too got scammed by someone who said hi name was Antonio Frank Matteo 56 but he was a peacekeeper in Yemen and had to get out of there cause he would die in there if I did not get him out of there.. We had corresponded for 2mos. through Google hangouts,which he talked me into using instead of my e-mail h through yahoo or Facebook Messages..His wife had died 5 yrs. ago and he has an 11 yr. old son named Kelvin...he was a late in life dad cause they could not get pregnant till than and it just happened..He gave me all the usual Love romance dating so on and so on..He loved me so much and needed to come home to marry me and I could be at first I fell for it until he started asking me for charge cards, SS #, and all other credentials they ask for ...the whole thing was an ordeal. he even asked me to rite to UN and tell them he needed a vacation stay,i did but than got a e-mail back that I would have to send them my real name,and again all my credentials which i got scammed with when i tried to borrow money to get him home,I know it was him again that called that day and the days after that..Like a fool I gave the guy that had a heavy accent all the information and had to have all changed...yes they wanted me to buy e-bay cards and than they would give me further after I bought them with the money they sent me on the loan I borrowed to get him home $3,000 to be exact...all calls game from Florida and I was given a bank that was giving me the loan...well,My banked thank God stopped it ..Oh there were plenty more instructions and guess who was helping me end it...Antonio Frank Matteo...i done nothing more they said and drove out of the drive thru at my bank... oh my after that Antonio was on me hot and heavy to get the $2,589 to get him home kept saying the right things but buy now I had figured out it was a Scam,and wrote him off...Alot of words went on in our writing back and forth; but I am sure all of you know what that is like, i was thankful to God and blessed he stopped me that day... (God).. sure was with me...mind you I shortened the events as they happened...Hit and miss I guess one could say....My advice and take from someone who went through it don't fall for it and if to good to be true it is....God bless you all and Tormented I kinda think these guys might be one in same,mine said he was from Italy but had lived in Colorado for a few years...May not be but am wondering!!!!!
July 08, 2020

In reply to by peeved

OMG !! this sounds like the same person that is scamming me. He says his name is Wilson Antonio McCain, he is a doctor and in Afghanistan on a peace keeping mission. Divorced has an eleven year old son, only want to chat on hangouts app. Do you have any pictures of this person ??
Stardust 789
August 09, 2020

In reply to by Dontdoit

Wow,almoust same story..a military doctor, with a boy, at the moment attending a bording school in England.. I started a realionship with little boy on Hangout, her father asked me to, he is calling me Mom already, i was kind of surprised, what kid do that , so quickly?..He sent me some photos looking like a young, blond, american boy, plaing football or just relaxing.. My problem is that i would like to find out if these photos are stolen from somewhere..I mean to use kid image in order to ask money on the internet..This is heartbreaking for the family and all the love ones..if they ever will find out.. He uses the pictures of a brazilian brain surgeon, the fake names are Bernard Owens father and Jasper, the son.
September 01, 2020

In reply to by Stardust 789

The little boy will either be him or another scammer playing along to fool you. These scammers are frequently using stolen pictures with kids. They are ruthless and will do anything for a scam. The people in the photos are also victims of these scamming mongrels and it can be very traumatic for them to find out their pictures are been used. It is also very difficult to have these profiles removed from some platforms.
June 11, 2020

In reply to by Tormented

Hey! I think I met the same guy, his name ist Mateo Alberto, he lives in Maddison, Wisconsin. He says he has an 14 year old son, his ex-wife takes drugs and his son lives in a foster family and his dad is in need of care. He is currently working on an oil rig in the united Arab emirates and wants to come to me an marry me. He was asking two times for money (20.000) for his friend who has cancer. Now he wants to leave his work and I should write an E-Mail to them to submit a retirement request. He's also super religious and we Skyped once for 3 minutes. He texted me on instagram telling me he found my profile and was instantly in love with me and wanted to marry me, now we are texting on hangouts. If anyone have similar experiences, please lets exchange us and show if the pictures or the stories are similar!!!
August 30, 2020

In reply to by Coldheart

Hi gals, I just had a relationship for 6 weeks...John Wilson from JohnWilsonoil !!!! Poor choices talking with him but entertaining. I did not send money.
December 02, 2020

In reply to by wisdom

I think I might have the same guy! Do you have picture? Was he waiting on a contract approval? He is trying to convince me he is legit! Wanted a card he said to update his phone!
April 04, 2021

In reply to by beware of losers

Guy named derrick Anderson claiming to go to austrailua thst is a real estate investor says hes from morrocco
December 02, 2020

In reply to by MarieLouise

I am talking to a guy who's out on an oil rig in Florida. He says he lives in Madison, Wisconsin and is a 60 yr. old widower with a 15 year old daughter (Becky). Met him while playing Dice with Friends. He asked me to talk on "Hangouts". He is moving way too fast. Attesting his love and wanting a relationship. I informed him I work in the Judiciary but that hasn't stopped him. I will be cutting him off ASAP.
January 07, 2021

In reply to by EMS

This sounds very familiar. Do you have a pic that we can compare?
February 11, 2021

In reply to by EMS

I've had an attempted scam from a guy who says he lives in madison, Wisconsin, 60 years , divorced, has a daughter but older than 15. Love bombing, then after a month,, asked me for 1500 euros for a laptop for his "granddaughter". goes by name of Peter Weber, or Peter Gottes Kand Weber. Purports to be working on an oil rig in Gulf of Mexico.... Obviously didn't send money, called him out on that, but he is hanging in with emails and messaging . I'm curious, so stringing him along. Anyone else know him?
March 01, 2021

In reply to by EMS

Gossshhh! I am talking to a guy named "David Lee" said, he is working in Oil Rig Malaysia. He is very sweet and wants me to be his wife even I told him many times that I am married. Im very thankful I came across to this website. We are also contacting each other on "Hangouts". He sent me his photos and he is so handsome.
January 19, 2020

In reply to by confused1

I am still talking to this guy in turkey. He says he is 58 yrs old with a son 19yrs. He is asking me now for 45,000 dollars to pay off his employees that he hire from turkey. says he got paid for the job but now he has to pay off the men that worked for him from turkey and cannot leave there until they get paid or he gets arrested from the Turkish union.
February 02, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

Interesting, a guy contacted me .Sats he’s wining Cyprus. Needs to pay workers because he used their payroll to pay a hospital bill
February 08, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

Hi. Your story sounds very similar to mine. He is 56 years old. One son that lives in Ohio with his mom. He left for Turkey to work on a solar panel job in August. I didn’t meet him in person but he convinced me to send him money to pay the tax on a job he received pay for. He needed to pay the non residential sales tax. The last part of his scam was last month and asked me to open an account and receive a cash shipment. I said no! After all the money I have given him I’m now struggling and he will not respond to me. Do I share his name on the site or report him?
September 16, 2021

In reply to by chocorottkennel

I have been chatting with someone claiming he is a Marine Engineer. He says he is half Dutch/ half American. Started chatting in LinkedIn, says his wife and son died in a car accident about 9? Years ago. He goes by Thomas Matteo, out of California. He is on a Cargo ship and they are docked in St. Petersburg, Russia. He wants me to give him my address, full name and such do he can put me on his Life Insurance. Professes his love for me and calls me his Queen, wants to get out of what he is doing, travel the World with me.
December 05, 2021

In reply to by Baxter1980

Do you have a picture of this guy? I have the same sort of story.
November 13, 2020

In reply to by Sissy123

Please tell me the name of the scammer you were speaking to... I am afraid my friend may be getting involved with this one now :(
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

I think this is the same guy. Age 55 -Says originally from Turin, Italy, living in Fresco, California but won a contract to build a rig off coast Istanbul. First said he had to pay bribes to executives on interview panel to beat other ‘tendons’. Then said bank account frozen - can’t pay his hired help- Turkish workers, he is hungry and can’t get back to his sick 18 yr old son. No siblings, dad died and estranged from mum who lives in France! I got scammed into sending £900 for medical bills for son who was seriously asthmatic-then was asked for money to help him get home to son- another (£500)! Wouldn’t send me a picture of the project he was working on. Very handsome, very articulate and intelligent. Very romantic, wanted to marry me very soon ( this would be his last project and make him very rich)! Wanted to buy a house by the sea and horses on a farm.. said wife died of breast cancer 5 years ago - very convincing. Got me to change bank. I gave him my bank details to put the money back into my account. As soon as I deposited a decent sum of money into my account- within HOURS my bank account was emptied - ( three Amounts taken:- £900 then another £900 then the last £450 that was in my account)! Illinois cell number- ( said used to live there). The money was taken by a Mariam Nimaga! The romeo’s name was Roberto Lorenzo Miguel. Beware, he steals your heart completely..
July 17, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

I have been talking to the same guy only he called himself Roberto Lorenzo Miquel .
August 16, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

Skooter3 - your guy sounds a lot like mine. He's in Turkey building a gas station, goes by donovan fennando and by nelson fennando on facebook where he initially contacted me on 6-4-20. Says he owns the company, Crest Architect CA in Victoria, B.C. Asked me for $45k to complete $200k compensation for a worker that had an accident and died. I sent him nothing and don't intend to. I am stalling him by staying at the coast with bad cell phone reception. He sent many pics of him, his 25 yr old twin sons studying in Florida, and pics of his mom, dad, brother. He turned 60 on 8/5, has grayish hair, dark eyes, says dad is Spanish and mom Irish. He was born in Spain and came to U.S. when he was 7, says he owns a helicopter and is a pilot. Very romantic with I love you's early on, constantly sends poems, says it's me or no one else. Writes a lot about God. What you'll think?
September 24, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

I have a very similar story widow lives in Scottsdale. Got stuck on a construction job in Turkey! Claimed he had to pay fines in Turkey or would be thrown in jail! Highly suspicious gave me the vin to his house and cars nothing checked out. I would never send money and totally cut him off. Jefferey Forsberg Swedish met him on POF
October 30, 2020

In reply to by Skooter3

Is his name Wayne Power? Does he have a dead wife Rosie and unborn child. He says he's 56 But I think a bit older. I just joined him on Hangouts and am wondering what his angle is. I am pretty sure he's gonna ask me for money but it is entertaining for now. Will block and uninstall of there's a whiff of a scam.
February 10, 2021

In reply to by Cat

Similar story. Michael William. Says he's a dr from Virginia Beach, wife died 3 ys ago, one son. Very handsome. Says he's a medical dr working in Syria. Texted him a few lines. He ended with a pic with the stethoscope with NO mask holding a preprinted sign that said "I love you so much." Say what? You love me? You dont even know me. Would NEVER send money to someone I don't know. Asked if I was on Hangout, probably so I wouldn't catch him with another name. Didn't fall for this crap one bit!!
February 20, 2020

In reply to by confused1

I also met a guy the same description as you've said. Can I have his name pls?
Military Fraud
March 09, 2020

In reply to by confused1

Your story is very similar to mine. The guys name is Jason Francisco Diamond, we met on IG. Very good looking, said his wife died 5 years ago and has a son in LA....
March 17, 2020

In reply to by Military Fraud

What does this guy look like. The guy I have been chatting with is bald, good looking, with a son in Long beach and his wife died 10 yrs ago. He is on a job in Turkey but now held up in the hospital from and accident he was in. Needs money to pay off hospital bills so he can get his passport back. Says the hospital is holding it till he pays off hospital bills.
June 29, 2020

In reply to by courious

I had been chatting with a guy with similar description; He is bold, from San Jose California, bald and good looking, never married and no kids. He traveled to Turkey or Cyprus supposedly since last week and needs help due to his workers' accident. He said he paid hospital expenses. I refused to give him money and he is very persuasive, he does not take no for an answer. Is there a way we can exchange pictures? maybe is the same guy.
October 04, 2020

In reply to by courious

Now the same guy By the name of Jack Adamczyk landed in Qatar. got Coronavirus. ended up in hospital. Then he was staying at airport and borrowed money for hotel from someone. He had no money to pay it back so got arrested. I paid the fine for him and he is free again. But now needs $9000.00 for overstay on his transit visa. So he is living in Qatar airport trying to get me to send him the money. Not sending the money. I have given him enough already. Not sending no more
July 29, 2020

In reply to by Military Fraud

These stories sound so familiar to me. A man who said he was a USMarine in a mission in Afghanistan has been texting me in Google hangouts. He said he lost his wife and parents and has a son in LA. He's been very kind, romantic and gentle. He sent some pictures and looks very handsome. However I found a person with a different name but same photos on the web. He makes many grammar mistakes at writing. I'm not an English Native Speaker but I know about English grammar that's why he seemed strange to me. He's just asked me to buy him a gift card.
August 12, 2020

In reply to by Rose

I think it's the same person I was talking with him for a month he ask me for a gift card but I get mad and he told me he love me and he wants to marry me his name is Octavio González I have pictures of him
Cris 80
September 09, 2020

In reply to by Aska

can u send me a picture of him because I believe I'm in the same vote
December 02, 2020

In reply to by Therese

I have been contacted by Us Army soldier Clark Austin with a daughter Hannah @ boarding school . Anyone else talking to this guy?
May 22, 2021

In reply to by Rose

Hi Rose, I think we have the same person which I was chatting right now in hangout. Hi name is David Mike lives in California but he was based on Afghanistan. He sent a decent pictures. He said his investment was approved and he asked my bank information because he will transfer the money to my bank. I was bothered now when I read all the comments here about scammed. I provided him my bank account and my email.
maybe sameguy
March 21, 2020

In reply to by confused1

Guy out for solar panel construction and asked $100 guftcard. It took 3wks he asking me money. I asked his full name and received fake id. Could not find anything about him in the web
August 26, 2020

In reply to by maybe sameguy

whats his name did he say hes's from Houston.But working in India,African American with a British accent.
May 19, 2020

In reply to by confused1

My story sounds very similar to yours I am embarrassed to admit I gave him some money and he asked for more but I deleted him I don’t know how these people became so evil