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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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March 10, 2021

In reply to by StarFire

I believe I know someone who has been scammed by the same person. Same story, same name. Do you have pictures of him ? We've been trying to get some information about him to prove he is indeed a scam.
October 01, 2020

In reply to by TakenBySurprise

I'd love to know as well. One has been trying to scam a member of the family and I'm trying to find out as much info as I can.
December 15, 2019

In reply to by Kimmy

Hi , I am presently chatting with someone ,good looking with his dog and said he is orthopendist surgeon doctor. I need your reply if it is the same guy we are talking please
December 29, 2019

In reply to by Senga

They man I'm talking to says hes as orthopedic doctor . Goes by Jones Peterson. He said he lost both of his children in as car accident and then his wife divorced him just was asking for gift cards but no way did I send sny
Hurt by jeff
May 13, 2020

In reply to by Sparry

The guy I’m talking to says he’s an orthopedic doctor work in Saudi Arabia. And needs to change camps. He’s afraid for his life. I have a pic.
October 01, 2020

In reply to by Hurt by jeff

I have a family member who is dealing with this same pro I believe. I have photos but I want to see if its the same person. I'd love to take a look please. I'm about to file a local and state report but trying obtain all info or as much as possible to catch this scammer. I appreyour help!
Ms Jelly Bean
March 12, 2020

In reply to by Senga

Sounds like Fred Maupin contacted me on Words with Friends claims to be Orthodepic Surgeon in US army based in Pakistan. Claims he's being posted to Afghanistan unless he puts in for special leave which will cost USD4,000-00. I've been stringing him along for 3 weeks now saying I'm trying to get it but also started asking questions about the military base which he can't answer
June 04, 2020

In reply to by Ms Jelly Bean

Sounds like robert dosier same thing wanted 700 from me not in this life time
August 01, 2020

In reply to by Karen

Have you been in touch with a Robert Dosier a Major in U.S. Army in Kabul Afghanistan?
July 03, 2021

In reply to by Carol

I am currently talking with Robert Dosier. I confronted him about what I have seen on the Internet. He claims that this is all false. I’ve ask him for his address, but he has not given it to me yet.
Words with fr…
June 30, 2020

In reply to by Ms Jelly Bean

Fred Maupin contacted me through Words with Friends too same story orthopedic surgeon for the US Army based in Pakistan (in a dangerous war zone). He said he was from California. It took him a week to ask me for a gift card to pay for a test that he was needing to take. An orthopedic surgeon asking for a gift card to take a test... give me a break! As soon as I told him I couldn’t help him. He cancelled out our game & got out of our friends group. Ladies please BEWARE of this scammer!!
April 03, 2020

In reply to by Senga

I have a good looking guy also that sent me a picture with his dog and said he was an orthopedic surgeon working in Syria. That he's a widower and has a teenage son in Italy at boarding school
April 21, 2020

In reply to by Linda

I got someone called William David thru IG who declared he is an orthopaedic surgeon.. His wife died and he has a 4yo daughter in Italy.. He wanted to chat in LINE instead but I refused... Already knew it was a scam.. How can we share photo to confirm if its the same guy..? I felt bad for the guy in the photo as his photo got stolen by scammer to do sth wrong...
August 11, 2020

In reply to by Evanna

William David from LA, stationed in Afghanistan. Military Dr. Do you have a picture?
April 28, 2020

In reply to by Linda

Hey Linda, got a guy named Dave claiming to be a doctor with the UN in Somalia. Nice looking of course, wife deserted them, two boys in boarding school in the UK. Claiming he needs money for vacation because his next assignment is Syria. Wears glasses in most pics. Birthday Jan 9th. Would love to share pics of this guy.
Sandy g
June 05, 2020

In reply to by LisaM

Hi this happened to me in the last few days although he hasn’t asked for money yet told me to get the hangout app. Saying he is a dr in Iraq working for UN. HAs daughter in boarding school and he lives in my state and will be back from Iraq in August. Very good looking man already telling he loves me and I’m the only one. Sending pics that look somewhat fake. It took me few days to realize SCAM.
September 09, 2020

In reply to by Sandy g

This are scams! Tried on me exact story. The real doctor is in Brazil and married
November 15, 2020

In reply to by Sandy g

If you don't mind me asking, what was the name he gave you? I'm hearing this same story as we speak. No money asked for yet.
December 11, 2020

In reply to by Corky93

In my version the scammer is Reed Adams, Patrick McCoy, Jorge Gaston, Paul J David, Demetrio Lopez, Jack Johnson, Joseph Olymp, etc. All of the marine engineers working on oil rigs across the high seas... I am in oil business. These guys know about oil rigs. Using different pictures of the Brazilian doctor Fernando Gomes Pinto. Actually, I think this is a whole team of scammers. The texts differ hugely in style and grammar. They write in English, Spanish and French. Similarities: widowers, son/daughter in a boarding school, all US citizens, some Australian ... All ask for huge bucks :))) There are few doctors also...
January 03, 2021

In reply to by Sandy g

Was he coco skinned dark hair dark eyes, calls you his Queen his sugar? I have pics if you do I wonder if it’s the same guy said his name is Moore
June 18, 2020

In reply to by LisaM

I am also talking to a guy that I met on IG. says his name is Dave Lucas(dav_elucas) Extremely attractive. says he's 40 and is a doctor working for the UN on a contract in Poland. Says he has a daughter named Zoe who is off in school somewhere. Said he was born in South Africa and lived in Chicago for 10 years while studying to be a Dr. Said his dad died when he was 7 and his mother died recently. He has told me that he loves me way too soon. Wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I have several pictures of him. NOw he wants me to send him a Google gift card because he claims he needs to pay for a wifi connection. He also told me his ex-wife cheated on him and they are now divorced and she is pregnant with another man's child. We've spoken many times on the phone through the hangout app. and video chatted once. He has a severe accent. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
August 05, 2020

In reply to by VLH

Yes....very you mind sharing pictures if you have any? I have lots of pictures of him and his daughter. Is he a black man?
August 21, 2020

In reply to by VLH

This sounds familiar. I would definitely be interested in pics because this sounds heart-breakingly familiar.
September 27, 2020

In reply to by G.

It sounds familiar to me too— what part rings true for you? For me it’s the South Africa, Chicago thing. I can offer more also
September 21, 2020

In reply to by VLH

does he look like the actor Tom Ellis in Lucifer? if he does, we got the same man
September 27, 2020

In reply to by VLH

Yes. Things about that guy sound familiar to me. Was he a white guy (tan) light blue eyes and curly hair? Acted like a sex addict?
Not falling for it
October 05, 2020

In reply to by VLH

I just now got contacted by this Dave Lucas. Everything is the same story except he has a daughter named Kimberly and I forgot his sons name. Dr, Military, Poland...etc. But his family was military and so on. Anyway. He kept wanting me to download the hangout app. I knew something was up. I immediately blocked him.
October 20, 2020

In reply to by Not falling for it

Ok same guy George Lucas Daughter in british schools Overseas in Damascus in Seals
November 14, 2020

In reply to by VLH

Sounds exactly like guy emailing me, he is a surgeon very good looking, uses his mother’s name. He says he is in Seattle area and he was so drawn to my profile, has a daughter that is 7 lives in Houston, sucked me right in. I tried to look his physician’s state license, doesn’t come up. He gave me his birthday and I ask for recent photos has never sent even though he gave me his phone# another flag was time on emails, we are in same time zone but his emails are 8 hours different.
January 03, 2021

In reply to by SJD

This sounds like my guy 8 hours difference birthday I got was 11-6 2976 but he writes it the foreign way also Poland decent doctor with a little girl lives In Austin Texas? In Syria for UN do you have photos??
September 19, 2020

In reply to by LisaM

Hey Linda I got somebody to try to scam me out of money can you help
April 28, 2020

In reply to by Linda

Was the dog a little Jack Russell sitting in the car with him?
September 13, 2020

In reply to by Linda

I have a really good looking man goes by Alen emon. Also found him under Duke Anthony. 14 year old son..military Dr..widower. you can Google both names on face book. Wants me to go to hangout instead of fb. Those names sound familiar?
September 26, 2020

In reply to by Linda

Linda this sounds just like this guy that has bin trying to get me to send him money for his son. I don’t no how to contact you but would like to talk to you.
December 25, 2021

In reply to by Linda

I think I talked to you same guy. Tall, handsome, gray hair, mustache and beard, holding a dog, smiling. Said he was an orthopedic dr
April 06, 2020

In reply to by Senga

I think I've been scammed by the same guy. Gorgeous. How can we exchange photos?
April 27, 2020

In reply to by Senga

What is the name this guy is using? Does he say he is in Afghanistan?
July 11, 2020

In reply to by Senga

Once again I do believe it's the same man but with many different identities might he calls himself David but he's supposed to been in the hospital due to a car accident and that he was in ye men on the way to come here to me I think this person has many identities that he is using but I think it's the same man but I only know him as David Lee he is an Asian man supposedly
August 22, 2020

In reply to by jackie1987

I agree, I think he uses lots of different identities. Mine is called Nathan, star sign Leo. First contacted me through uk calling himself Leo then asked me to chat on watts app now Viber. Very good looking and successful just bought a house in bath, owns a construction company, arranged to meet then had to rush back to his home in Florida as his 6 year old daughter Chloe was taken Ill. Sends me loads of pics some with his daughter and white dog. Love bombs me. Then yesterday asked for my address so he could send me a watch worth £3,500 when I said I dint feel comfortable sending my address he said. What could I possibly do with your address and that he thinks it best we don’t carry on speaking. He sent me the landline number for his house in Florida saying his daughters nanny and housekeeper are aware of me and will pass any messages on to him. His account is deleted on It has been disappointing as I was enjoying chatting to him but feel really sorry for more vulnerable people he is targeting..
September 07, 2020

In reply to by Senga

I been talking to a guy who said he is a. Orthopedic Dr Who was send to irack by the U.N. He send me a picture if him with his 6 year old daughter Also his wife is dead He don't want to chat in messenger or Facebook We chat on handgout Please I need to know if this is the same guy
January 03, 2020

In reply to by Kimmy

I had a guy trying to scam me that used a photo of him and a dog. He took photos of me and photoshopped him holding a picture with four photos of me in it. Very good! It was probably an award in a frame. He used the name Malcolm Merlyn and Malcolm S (strange name). He was supposed to be from Germany and was an engineer. I finally caught on but it was heartbreaking. He was supposed to currently living in Baton Rouge. I had the address he used as his work and when I Google Maps it, it was an empty field according to the satellite picture. I did actually talk to him on the phone and he should have had a strong big voice for a tall, fit man. He sounded like a weasel! Little tiny boy voice. I had another supposed to be an Army General in Afghanistan. His name was Eric Anthony and Rich Anthony and Eric Rich. Picture of him in uniform had the name blurred. Sent pics of his 14 year old daughter putting ornaments on the tree. Both guys profess their love. When I said no to both these guys they vanish or come back later. If their Facebook page has no posts or no friends or nothing about them they are not real! Be cautious and follow your gut and not your heart. It's a horrible thing.
May 07, 2020

In reply to by Leigh

Hi I am curious about the person you met from Germany who said he was an engineer. When he first DM's me on Instagram he said he was an engineer from upstate New York and originally from Germany. He did the photoshop thing as well with a personal message and tried to do a Skype call which didn't look right at all. When we spoke his accent was so think so didn't believe him. I ended up finding the real guy whose pics he was originally using and he later confessed and started sending me pics of the "real" guy he claimed to be. Did he wear glasses late 30's early 40's? I have a lot of pics he has sent and video but still have not met him after 5 months.
May 12, 2020

In reply to by JenD0823

JenD0823 please can you send his foto or how do i find out more... I have a story to tell... i wrote a long message her... but not sure how it works here.
June 22, 2020

In reply to by JenD0823

Hi can you tell me more about this guy from Germany? Name? Story line. I have someone i meet on WWF named Sam Schmidt.
July 13, 2020

In reply to by Crazygirl

The guy I met on Coffee with Bagels. Sam Schmidt..VERY handsome. Gray hair. Has been in Atlanta (near his daughter) since COVID. From Germany...raised most of his life in New Orleans.