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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.

June 23, 2020
How do you search to see if their photo is stolen?
June 24, 2020
I believe I’m being scammed by a Dennis Park, said he’s in Scotland working on an oil rig as an engineer, from Phoenix Arizona, he’s never asked me for money used my name in the beginning but doesn’t anymore. Wants me to open a checking acct so he can wire money to it then I transfer it to another acct. Swapped phone numbers can’t find him anywhere on google but his number pops up from Texas, (said it’s a landline,)he says he’s using a satellite phone so he can’t call and can’t FaceTime. Asked questions which he answers. So beware of this character
June 24, 2020
Wondering if there is a name, Laura Sabina that is a known scammer.
June 25, 2020
has anyone heard of a wayne conor a orthopedic surgeon working with the military in Afghanistan and stays in Edinburgh and calefonia.
June 25, 2020
Oh my goodness! I just been scammed I feel so stupid Fool! Anybody Encounter by the name of Thomas Gate? A widower, freelance engineer etc. Scammers are so real and very cunning! I learned a lesson big time! He’s probably reading this but hey “you will reap what you sow” maybe not now but later. I knew that there’s something fishy going on but you really played well in my emotions. Glad my God never allow it to happen! Please, be wise you guys! I once fooled, twice never!
June 25, 2020
It happened to me as well , the problem I sent my private contents . To a scammer on Instagram . I’m so scared , my fear is he can use to create another account with my pictures and send my private content , how can I handle this situation. I’m feeling so worried . As soon as I blocked he contacted by email , for now he hasn’t blackmailed . But I’m In fear
June 26, 2020
I think they know we can't share pics. I just ended a 8 month scam relationship tonight. A bit different story. I'm a smart person. Preached against this and I got reeled in like a big catch. I'm out money. That says I'm getting it right.mine was gregorysteven. I have his Don't think it's late. I would loved to share more at another time. I'm unhookec.
June 26, 2020
Can photos be uploaded to check for scammers?
June 26, 2020
I have had this too, I'm from the UK and had a supposed US army soldier serving in Kabul start to message through Scrabble game, asked to message through Hangouts and sent me photos of himself in army uniform. Wife dies 5 years ago in car accident, no other family. His name is Fredrick Carlson and he wanted me to keep all his belongings, army documents, jewllery, precious stones!! safe for him. I ended the chat there and then.
My Love/My Queen
June 30, 2020

In reply to by VanessaR

Hi - you are the first one to have mentioned playing Scrabble. They are in full force in that game... get you to join them on whatsapp under some excuse... and then they reel you in with fake words and gestures. One week in a request for money... that wasn't met and then a week later an even bigger request for money.... thankfully I could see straight through this scammer - Mark J. on scrabble - - will want to get you on Hangouts. He is posing as a naval officer in Juba, South Sudan - fake photos and fake sentiments - just a scamming lowlife. Very convincing.
B older, and n…
January 14, 2021

In reply to by VanessaR

I am sorry to say I know Fredrick, sraff sargeant, in Kabul, deceased wife, the same assets which he wanted me to keep for him, and one thing after another to get money, including me getting money out of his Royal Bank in Scotland. That would cost me money first. I fell for all of this too long before I quit corresponding on Hangouts. My daughter found your message here and showed me. I am sure thhere are others he has scammed.
June 26, 2020
I have went with this man named Jim Derrick for 2 years , I spent all my worth for him because I was foolish from his stories which need money all the times, I'm nearly being bankrupt, now still can see different pictures & accounts of this name on FB, just want to tell other beware for this guy I really didn't know how to explain why I was on & on to believe it, maybe I really loved him & try to hope that will be real! He said be self employed engineer Jim Derrick Construction Company from UK, I sent him money by different people accounts, I really as a completed foolish woman Sometimes I want going for suicide but I need to take care my dogs, now only way is to work harding & settle all my loans! Please beware any relationship from internet because never seen & disappeared
July 12, 2020

In reply to by Kwaii

Same story - construction engineer from UK. Sent money to different people to help him pay for package stuck in Turkey, for his and his soon hospital bills, for visa etc. Total scammer.
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Kwaii

why you can trust him two years? can you written more about his story, let everyone know and will not scammed by him.
Stupid woman
June 27, 2020
Beware of Gilbert Joshua. Met via innocent game of Wordwars. Three days in, he nearly had me hook line and sinker, chatting on hangouts, £100 down on a steam card and I quickly backed away, blocking him on hangouts and the game. He sent nasty messages via the email connected to game. I said I had reported him and heard nothing. I think he tried to contact me today on another site by a different name but I just ignored him. Be vigilant everyone.
June 27, 2020
Has anyone heard of a Jamie Roberts from E Orange, New Jersey? He is 57, supposedly a geologist with a 15 year old daughter, Lisa. Met him on Tagged; says he is new (like 3 weeks). I am trying to discern if he is a scammer. He has not asked for money; we have been corresponding for around 2 weeks now.
June 28, 2020
I think my mom is being scammed, asking me for money to send to get him out of syria? can police help with any of this?
July 06, 2020

In reply to by ckriesel

What is the name of the guy in Syria? I've been talking to guy claiming he needs to money to come home. He goes by Jackie Moe
June 28, 2020
Hello I’m just wondering if anyone can help me. So my mum has left my stepdad for another man but the person seems really suspicious all she will tell us is his name is James and he owns his own vaccine company. She has mentioned that right now he is in Turkey for work and wants her to fly out on her own to meet him there. We all feel it’s unsafe and worrying. I have a photo but no last name if anyone has had a similar experience please let me know if you have
Ms. CorvetteDd
July 03, 2020

In reply to by Heather

Yes his name is James Powell. He says he is in instabul but I don't believe him. He has been texting and 4alkung to me for 1.5 years. Sent a, if a handsome white man. 6 years old. Grayish silver hair, beard and stash. With hazel eyes. He is a con artist . Do not send him money. He will never meet her. Backs out.
Ms. CorvetteDd
July 03, 2020

In reply to by Heather

Send photo to my phone as a text. 410.209.9615 what is your mother's name.?
June 28, 2020
Has anyone had contact with a woman named Charity Ansah? She is scamming my brother and I can’t get him to let go. She is “stuck” in Ghana with 3 trunks of gold bars. This has been going on for 2 years. They are now asking him to open a bank account, give them the numbers and then he is to wire it to her. Her uncle is Don Sanders and he can’t help because he is in Switzerland. My brother has no money and is a broken human being. I am so mad, but I can’t get him to believe me. He has also been forwarding money through the cash app
Mom 345649
June 28, 2020
Has anyone had any contact with a guy named Eric Donaldson? Turned on the "I love You" early on. Talked marriage. Unfortunately I fell for him. Then he suddenly had to leave the country for work. 5 weeks ago. Hit me up for money..which I gave. Now can't get back in the country due to his goods he went over there to get being held up in customs. Says he owes a large sum of taxes. I was waiting on him to ask me and he finally did with a sob storey. I have pictures if anyone would want to see them. I asked him for a selfie and he got angry saying he shouldn't habe to prove himself like that and I don't trust him. No more money from me.
June 28, 2020
I don’t know if I’m being scammed or real deal. I’ve done some research of this guys job of oil rig out of the coast of California and he is from New York. Phillip Daniels. Age 40. One daughter who is 21. I meet him playing a game of scrabble, I wasn’t looking for a relationship he started chatting with me and things went fast from there on out I told him wanted to go slow but it just happens to move fast. He told me one time he lost his cc and wallet. Then he tells me a few weeks after he lost his wallet that a machine on a oil rig had Broke and he’s a contractor on the rig and if he doesn’t pay for It he will be terminated. It costs 3,500$ cash only and mailed to a certain address that he gave me and the address is in Baltimore. When I told him that I didn’t have the cash he got so mad at me and told me that I’m the only one that can get it for him since he is in middle of the ocean and doesn’t have access to his bank account. He says I have until this Tuesday to send the money or he will loose his job. I’m so conflicted. He also said the other way was to get google play cards and that “ his boss “ knows how to get the money out of them. The way he talks to me he’s like a normal “ friend “ but I’ve never seen this guy in person in my life. He says we will meet after he’s out of the rig.....
Dumb blond
July 03, 2020

In reply to by Epatrick02

Please please do t believe him. I have an identical scam. All roman e, then the sob story, lots of proof pics etc. Scam. Didnt pay. Next thing photo of guy in medical uni. Injured at the rig because he couldn’t concentrate because of the worry. UNconvinced I said I still couldn’t. Then the abuse started in earnest. He became very very nasty. It’s a scam. I am sorry
Emotional 50
July 04, 2020

In reply to by Epatrick02

Please be careful this same guy contact me with the same story Don’t be Fooled
July 05, 2020

In reply to by Epatrick02

Hi. I'm wondering if this is the same person who tried to scam me. Different name but same story, boken piece of equipment on an oil rig and he needs the money snet to, in my case, his agent, to pay for sending the equipment. Have you spoken to him? My person had an American accent , was very charasmatic. I did not send any money
June 28, 2020
Anyone heard of Jack Freedom, who is in Tripoli? He has sent pictures of a man and a dog.
June 29, 2020
Does anyone knows a guy from Instagram called Phillips Roland? He lives in London, first said he was an accountant and then said he was a civil engineer, he claims to be 37, divorced and has an African American daughter. He is white, blue eyes and blond hair. It looks like a scammer.
Weenie Jo use …
June 29, 2020
Any lady been contacted by a Kelvin or Kevin Clark posing to be in Yemen?
June 29, 2020
I joined POF a few weeks ago. Has anyone been scammed by a man going by the name of Joshua Miller? How about a man going by the name of Miller Waltz?
Love struck 412
June 29, 2020
My “scammer” is Cole Williams. A US Marine in Afghanistan. It’s not proven but I suspect it.
June 29, 2020
Talking to a guy on hangouts and now he wants me to open a bank account in my name for him. He has threatened me to come and do harm to me. I don't want to do it .please help me Give me some advice
July 04, 2020

In reply to by Scared

Please dont do open accounts or send money!!! He is trying to frighten you into doing it. I promise it's a scam!!
July 18, 2020

In reply to by Scared

Please don’t be scared and absolutely don’t do it. Block him immediately and report it. Then you need to move on
June 29, 2020
I have also this kind of expetience, two of them are asking itunes gift card and amazon gift card, amazon, they were both "military " man, the one is active in service I dont know if it is true, both of them are proposing me to be their wife, thats the time i search th truth of this
June 29, 2020
Just to share with all the ladies, met someone over at OkCupid and switched the chat over Viber. And boy was he a sweet talker and I the convos were interesting and he was very spontaneous. Similar plots like the rest here. Oil rig engineer in Cape Town. Lives in LA. Has a son named Jack. Brokenhearted from a 14-year relationship with model girlfriend. Has his apartment rented and can get irked when you doubt his identity. He also mentions honesty and doesnt want his heart played. Pressuring me to take the connection to the next level but I was really not into it coz I was sensing was off. And because you dont crank romance just like that. Anyway, things got weirded out when he wanted to borrow money the other day to fix bank troubles.. Good thing, I am a good researcher and found out that he has been using pics of an Italian model/ dancers.. So in case you stumble upon this man with a very big voice and a bit of think accent. Just be careful. He goes under name Charles TImbertop in FB. And he said his name is Charles Kadaver at first then corrected it and said Charles Devante. Great talker. Smooth operator. Please dont fall for this person. If anyone encountered him, please let me know so we can exchange notes. Thanks
June 30, 2020
Hi all hope you are all keeping safe. My story began in March met a guy on Instagram US army soldier i had only just downloaded it to follow my favourite band and he popped up with a message had nice conversations told me his girlfriend left him and married someone else and was rather distraught but wanted to move on. He was also part Belgium in nationality. We texted on Whats App for a while he then started to phone me and i could not really understand him he put it down to his Belgium accent so thought nothing of it he asked me everything about my life what i liked etc. He then told me how much he loved me and wanted to meet me dont get me wrong i was smitten. I was still concerned about his accent and told him numerous times that i did not understand him and to speak slowly. One day he asked me for money i said no as i did not have the funds so i started to investigate abit further. The next time he phoned i confronted him and he told me yes he was a scammer and from Nigeria he sent me his picture so i flipped at him over the phone and gave him a good telling off and hung up on him and blocked him. A minute or 2 later he phoned from another number and he was crying on the phone saying he was so sorry but he had fallen in love with me and that he would not do it again as he knew he had hurt me and that he loved me so much i asked him his age he said 27 i was 51 then which he knew as i told him the truth and i gave him the third degree and blocked him again then again he phoned using another number again i blocked him. About a month ago i was cleaning up my phone and tried to delete the blocked numbers but must not have done it correctly and unblocked him he immediately texted me sent me his photo and saying how much he loved and that he is a changed person and does not do scamming no more as now it was wrong but it is difficult in his country. He is constantly texting me phoning me when im not busy i have told him he is too young for me he tells me age is nothing he sends me lots of pictures and videos of him with his friends and also video chatted with his family in the background he has said he told his family and friends about me and that he wants to marry me and sends me pictures of older women with Nigerian younger men that look happy. I still feel very wary of him as i told him he lied to me in the first place. He has not yet asked for any money from me and wants me to go to Nigeria his family asked me too on video call (if they are his family) Im confused advise please if you dont mind.
July 05, 2020

In reply to by JOAN

Hi Joan. My advice is donor ever go and met this guy. Ofcourse we are all human we fell in love like others do and fall into There sweet mouth. My advice nver ever met him. Once a scammer Will always be a scammer .they will nver change. If it happen that u give him chance. And take them to your country and marry u. But they don’t really love u in pure heart only using your heart and trust. Delete him a forget him. That’s the best choice And advice I can give to u. Real man is out there and they will come without asking anything’s in return.
July 07, 2020

In reply to by JOAN

What is his name? His real name. I too fell for a "story". He got some money. Found out he was in Nigeria. He came clean. Said he's 26 is in love with me (I'm 50) and wants to change. He claims to want to be with me. He won't send a real picture though. I am beginning to feel taken again. Is this the new twist on the scam? He claims he wants to pay me back. Wants my new bank info. I refused. He fooled me once. Ive been playing along to see where it leads.
September 02, 2020

In reply to by Coulditbe

It’s another scam. I also fell for a story and sent money. Then when I called him out on it he admitted he was a scammer from Ghana. Claimed to be in love with me. Sent pics and messages and video called constantly. Then came the sob stories about how hard life is there and requests for money for food, clothes,bills etc. It was all a big lie. These people are professional conmen posing as romantic guys. Don’t give bank info he has no intention of paying you back! Delete him from social media and your life.
August 14, 2020
Beware of someone who have looks like real profile in the LINKEDIN. Fredrik Olson, mechanical engineering www. linkedin. com/ try to know you in person. First he tried to looking for investing (as he has an investor friend) with 50% 50% yield, if not succesful tried to be your friend, then admit being cashflow difficulty under his own business. Share picture with her daughter name Peggy, he is widowed with wife passed away due to cancer. I then reverse search his profile and found someone had reported him as scammer.
June 30, 2020
Jonathan Martin Albret - never ever trust& believe this guy.
June 30, 2020
I met a guy on a dating sit. Broke my heart his name was Steve Duff. States that he was a petroleum engineer. His wife died of leukemia. He has a daughter named Susan. Works on a rig in Dubai. I was worried that he was a scammer. He was suppose to be coming home.emailed me a letter from his company about his retirement. The next day he write that there was an accident on the rig and he had to pay $9,000 to replace the equipment lost. Asked if i could lend him some of it. I said no and told him that I knew this was coming. I actually fell in love with him. How stupid huh. This bunch is good. Then he disappeared.
July 01, 2020
I've been talking to a USN diver, charles newton, who wants 5k for his brother, benjamin who got in trouble with an iraqi, I have pics and videos of charles..loads. can't find anything on him. He claims to be born in portland oregon, parents deceased. Has two kids a boy and girl. Fishy? Tells me this is a secret between just us.
August 02, 2020

In reply to by Lolifever

Lolifever, I met “Charles Newton” recently. If you happen to see this we should compare photos.
February 09, 2021

In reply to by Kelly

In fact I am talking to him for about a month now,he sent me plenty pictures ,videos his hangout I’d is divernewton78@