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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

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.

April 14, 2021

In reply to by Mslittlesunshine

Hi multisunshine.. are you referring about this guy who was chatting me? Was his name Richard Wong with glasses? Works in an oil rig base in Saudi. He claims he’s half Chinese half American. He’s accent sounds like a Nigerian accent. He text good morning asked how was my nights, asked if I had my lunch or dinner and text good night everyday. Does this sounds like the same person to you?? Do you have picture of him? If you do we can cross check if it’s same person because this guy has had already scammed me. He profess his love, he promised to come & see me after sending him the money to help him pay his agent
August 25, 2021

In reply to by Mslittlesunshine

Hi multisunshine. I’d like to share photos or info regarding Richard Wong. He still contacting me using different numbers begging to help him out. Scammer like him should put to an end. These kind of people should put to jail & pay for their action.
March 11, 2021

In reply to by Cindy

Hi Cindy. Was his name Richard Wong? He’s wearing glasses with Nigerian accent.
July 13, 2021

In reply to by Cindy

oh my, Ive been chatting with the same guy. American Chinese who lives in London. but when he called he sounds like a black guy. but he never ask money from me, because I said I'm poor from the very start
July 24, 2021

In reply to by casper

Hi Casper sounds like we’re chatting to the same person! Does he called himself Richard Wong? What does he looks like?
December 19, 2021

In reply to by Lola

Hi Casper & Lola.. This Richard Wong guy has been chatting to for over a year. He’s Chinese looking guy with glasses. He proclaim his love & been asking me to help him out so he can get paid
April 08, 2021

In reply to by nattycatt

nattycatt, what did your guy look like? Mine was named John Mills and was supposedly from Sweden. But he went to Malaysia for a contracting job in mid March 2021.
October 03, 2020

In reply to by Ginger

This is a total scam my guys name was Jefferey Forsberg! Ask yourself if these guys are rich and successful why are they asking money from you!
November 15, 2020

In reply to by Ginger

I had the same James & he is a fake. He even faked his own death on his way to meet me.
August 02, 2020

In reply to by almost taken

Sound like the same guy that was trying to scam me by the name Albert Matthew he was in turkey cypress and need money to pay for a rental car He was a engineer He had a son who was 14 years of age wife passed on from cancer..He was building a hotel in Cypress. He was to be from Winnipeg Manitoba. But i caught on to the scam and told him up i cant and i will not help him out atall ...he keeped changing his telephone number and changing his story...But ya if you want pictures of this guy i got 2 i can share
Crusty crab
September 04, 2020

In reply to by Lyn

James, the architect in Cyprus is currently talking to me. Fortunately, I was on to him from the beginning (thanks to sites like these). He doesn’t know I know he’s a scammer. I should probably block him. I am just too fascinated by it all. I’ve reversed checked the pics he’s sent and they’re all from the internet. All the red flags are there. He hasn’t asked for money, but he’s setting it up...talks about his job and the money he had to “front”.... Anyway, I sure wish there was a way to catch this guy. If anyone else “meets” him, beware!
November 17, 2020

In reply to by Crusty crab

Hi there I wonder if it is the same guy from Sweden thick accent? Do you have photo's my email is nattycatt
April 08, 2021

In reply to by Crusty crab

I couldn't get any of my scammer's pictures to come up on either a google or bing image search. Any ideas? It's like that guy in the pictures doesn't exist! How can I find them?!
September 17, 2020

In reply to by Lyn

Do you have photo's? My name is Natalie my e-mail is Similar story his name is Jeff Forsberg from Sweden claims he is an Architect he needed money to finish project in Turkey or they were going to throw him jail. I told him if he was really rich all he had to do was sell his assets to get the money. Total scammer met him on Plenty of Fish
December 24, 2020

In reply to by Lyn

May I see pictures. my mom has been talking to someone who says he is from New Jersey and is in Egpyt for a contract. Claims he is an engineer. Said he was going to visit her for Xmas. Missed the flight, because his boss won't let him leave. Has a 14 yr old boy. Says his wife passed from covid in February this year.
September 20, 2021

In reply to by Lyn

Can you please send me photos. I believe o have a scammed by same guy
September 17, 2020

In reply to by almost taken

Same story Architect from Sweden Jefferey Forsberg came on strong. Contract in Turkey could not access funds Luckily I am connected and told him I could get him a bridge loan. His lawyer never called me back. Had another lawyer who he claimed was representing him email from Turkey. He said if I didn't email him money he was going to jail for not paying fines. I basically told him if he was really wealthy he could have sold his assets in Scottsdale where he claimed to live! Ask yourself if these if these guys are so rich why are they asking you for money? I met him on Plenty of Fish. Beware he is a total scammer!
She Knows
January 20, 2021

In reply to by almost taken

Greg David Muller is in Turkey too. Says he's going to jail if he doesn't get $20,000 for pipes to fulfill his contact. He's gotten $500 before I realized I was being scammed. He's still trying to get money but I chalk that $500 up as my temporary loss of sense lesson. He keeps asking if I'm trying to help him and I assured him I am. NOT!
feeling foolish
March 13, 2021

In reply to by almost taken

I was scammed by this same person. It started in Feb. 2020 and I have not been in contact w/him since Jan.2021. You were lucky I was not. Do you have any photos or other info you can share? Same story about being from Long Beach Ca. and originally from Sweden. Building a hotel and sent many pictures of the hotel in process.
feeling foolish
March 13, 2021

In reply to by almost taken

do you have a phone number he calls from. Do you also have an app you used to contact him?
April 12, 2021

In reply to by almost taken

Sounds familiar. Swedish man 60 years old. Wife died in a car accident. Son of 17 years old. Building contractor. Contract in northern Cyprus for renovation of shopping mall Materials stocked in harbor because lg customers certification. Next to pay the hospital fue to recovery for a hartfailure
December 01, 2019

In reply to by Kathryn

I met this 58 yr old on ok Cupid in Sept. He had to go to turkey on a contract for a water treatment project. He says he us and Oceanographer from Poland. Lived in California, now lives in Portland Maine. Asking to send him $32,000 to pay tarriffs and taxes on equipment he needs to finish project. He goes by name of Jack Adsmczyk. Bald really handsome guy with a nice accent.Will not send him the money he is still hanging in there talking with me.
Miss D
January 18, 2020

In reply to by Curious

It sounds like the same man im currently talking to is there any kind of way you can send pictures to me please
February 10, 2020

In reply to by Miss D

How do we send pics to each other? Becz I think I'm talking to the same guy, SMH. This is insane. He's going by the name Christopher Harry Williams, from Sacramento, CA.
July 28, 2020

In reply to by Fedgovtworker

The person I’m talking w goes by Christopher G i from Alabama.
I need answers…
August 24, 2021

In reply to by Spunky32

The man you are talking to sounds just like the man i have been envolved with for two years He goes by Chris Gaberial Wong. He is in turkey trapped because his visa ran out, up to this point I believed him and have been sending him money for food and towards a new visa. I am hurting really bad. Why can't you show pictures on here? It would be very helpful.
September 12, 2021

In reply to by I need answers…

How you meet him? Can you describe his face?
April 06, 2020

In reply to by Miss D

Sounds similar .This guy bald too. How do we send picture to see
December 28, 2020

In reply to by Miss D

I’ve been talking to Richard who is an architect. Lived in Hayward, gave me a legit address. Then had to go to Overseas for a job, he call day and night sent me flowers. Then he spilled coffee on his computer and his bank card was locked. I talked to his Son supposedly who also had an accent but was suppose to be american. Then there was an accident on his job site and two workers got hurt and he is now in jail. Keeps asking me to go on different money apps or ask for my bank info. None of these things I’ve done. He is very good looking bald, blues eyes. Different picture with his son and standing in front of a Christmas Tree, sitting at a couple different desk. I asked him to send me pictures of his hotel and he did send them with him in his room. He says he is Danish and was raised in England. But his accent almost sounds German. Does he sound familiar? He also has a profile on LinkedIn. I wish we could post pictures
March 11, 2020

In reply to by Curious

Is there a way to trade pics because I am currently for last 3 weeks, talking to someone who claims to be stuck in south Africa. Claims he is there for 3 week project but 2 days ago lost his wallet and documents. Now has no money to eat or travel. I have several pictures of him. Says he lives in California. Handsome bald with strong accent.
June 22, 2020

In reply to by Angryog

Hi Angryog, Did this man in SA said his name is Greg Weber and he has a daughter staying with her aunt aunt in Texas? I am trying to figure out this guy who asks for money to survive since his bank card was stopped. Also have photos of him and daughter. Wife died few years ago. Want to help him but now I am not sure if I want anymore.
June 29, 2020

In reply to by Justwondering

Hi just wondering and Angryog I only yesterday started chatting to a man Daughter lives in Florida with aunt. He's working on oil rig in West Australia. His parents are passed. He's Iranian/Sth African. Already I'm his queen. I'm just waiting for the punch lines.
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Bewildered

Don't give him any money. Michael Oliver is out there asking for money in bitcoins. He deposits fradulant checks to people's accounts then asks to donate money somewhere or buy and send him bitcoins. He uses fradulate checks with name on it T.T. Buckhous, something like that..his email address is michael1442oliver@ Pleasebe careful people. Don't meet ppl on line.
Tracy olford
October 03, 2020

In reply to by Ok

Hi could you please send a picture of michael oliver.please .think this could be same person I'm talking to ?
October 24, 2020

In reply to by Bewildered

Did you say you're his "queen???!" Omg. Have I been scammed? Does he say his father called him King? Parents dead. He's from Nashville but originally the Netherlands. Engineer on an oil rig on the Gulf of Mexico. One son. Wife had affair with the neighbor and ran off. ?????
Daffy duck
March 10, 2021

In reply to by Bnobull

Think he’s the same one I was talking to. Is he bald ? And did he mention any other family ?
March 13, 2021

In reply to by Daffy duck

I think i'm the same to. Man with blue eyes and a dog. working with the USA military in Tennessee and currently in Libya for a place keeping mission. Have a son 5 years old and his ex girlfriend had died on a car accident
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Justwondering

Hi your story is the same like me. Can we exchange his photo.
Imma choke him
June 08, 2021

In reply to by Justwondering

So I think I’m with this scammer y’all speak of. He’s dark. Could pass for anything from Asian to black to Hispanic but is Dominican. Wife passed away. Has two kids. Lies oh man does he lie. Uses hangouts and whastapp very secretive. Is a ethical hacker and has been all over the world. Has hazel wyes but I’ve seen him photoshop. Covers his tattoos and has a group of friends in a group on Google hangouts. Some of these names are very very familiar . He’s bald beard some grey handsome , manipulative milks the whole single dad wife thing. Is in his 40s but could pass for older or younger depending on pic. Worked over seas for rig company’s but wasn’t an actual rigger. Grew up military brat. Has a way woth words. Y’all know y’all can get info off his pictures but right clicking right? Or do a Google search on it. If you have emails you can get his IP address from header or even name. Although he probably uses proxies. Ughh
August 17, 2021

In reply to by Justwondering

I’ve been talking to a man who says he’s in Italian born in Rome, he has a tattoo with a rope or a snake around a clock. Has sent me pictures of his daughter supposedly who lives in Texas with her aunt. Yes of course he asked for money from the start, met him on POF. This is gone on for over a year now and I’d like to find some information. Says he is an engineer working in Cyprus, he will be done in November or December 2021, ( or so he says), Also photos of his contract with Exxon, shows me possible fake checks and was found to have seven other people who carry the same name. He goes by Patrick Edwin, or Mario Patrick Edwin. His daughters name is Diana supposedly. I have multiple pictures but can’t find anything in the guy. The guy in photos is 56 years old, Gray hair, blue eyes, Nice build works out. Charming,pushy , at times demanding. His claims for needing money or that he has not paid his workers due to no access to his account, which I he did allow me access to and that it was blocked due to the fact he said he was logging on and turkey and I was logging on in my home state. In the beginning I met him he had me move some money around for him but I did not take anything out nor did he give me anything. As I feel very uncomfortable doing this I refuse to do anything again. He has asked for computers than iPhone to be sent overseas. Also claims he needs money on a weekly basis to help feed his workers. You have any idea or help for me please reply on where I can find you… I already know he’s a scammer but I’d still like to find out more info. Ty
Pastor Nancy
August 07, 2020

In reply to by Dmbmie

I have pictures id love to find out who it is as I really think after reading all this I was almost scammed and my heart is broken He said he was an architect and his phone is from California his sister died in a car crash His mother died while we were chatting he has an accent claims its Italian. I am sad tonight cause we did part he has no way to show me anythung to prove who he is and he knew this I almost sent him the 320 he wanted to come here to marry me. Boy I am glad God stepped in on this but did I cry all day. He did call to say he wished I would take care of myself etc. He was always very polite and calm always talked about God and he even knew I was a minister. They have to hurt after they pull this on people They have to have feelings? He did know the bible?I want to know how I can find out who he is can anyone exchange phone nimbers if this sounds like your story? His number I can give it is a 619- Can you help me? Nancy
August 15, 2020

In reply to by Pastor Nancy

Sounds like a classic scam story line. They always appear caring and wonderful but thats how they scam people. They like to use god as well. Dont waste any more of your time trying to find out who he is just block him and move on. And no they have no feelings doing this to others they are ruthless. They use apps to make the phone number appear as if its coming from the country they say they are in.
Star Seed
November 10, 2020

In reply to by Dontsend$$

After reading SO many of these stories I can only guess either there are only a few working overtime...or many with the same general sob script. whether widowed or divorced they all have a child or 2 that has need for school supplies or something. Need money to get package thru customs with very important papers and some money to be reimbursed when it arrives, yadda-yadda. Can't video. Can't do a selfie!!? They ARE smooth and yes I got hooked. But the phone no. Is 619. How do we exchange the full no.?
December 09, 2020

In reply to by Star Seed

There’s also this guy Alexy Wilson works in oil rig says he’s from Dallas to I lost close to $70.000 from this jerk he wanted gift cards I lost my car and wrote checks in my name which I had no clue how scammers figure it I ended up basically homeless in my apartment
same story
October 02, 2020

In reply to by Pastor Nancy

I had the same story, he has found me on LinkedIn and fall in love, had to finish project in Turkey and after in Dubai but his bank account is blocked and he’s out of money. Asking bitcoins, conversion is the same: have you taken your breakfast, take care of yourself etc. Unfortunately I believed but at the same time not. He asked someone to send money to my bank account so that I transferred par bitcoins. Unfortunately I helped, but something forced me to search scammers information and thanks to God I have found your conversation. Now I see all these terrible lies. And yes he has American number, handsome, his wife betrayed him with his best friend, after she fall dead and he’s alone with his son 12 years old , which stays temporarily with his mother