Skip to main content

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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

13794 Comments


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

Hurt but caught on
February 05, 2021

In reply to by Joerene

Hi, you can download reverse images apps on your phone. I didnt realize I was being scammed until I analyzed alk the red flags. He loved me, called me continued for mths. I beleived it. He ended when I eefusedvto give money the second time. OMG after it ended, did reverse images one of the picture he used his on different sites, different names, age, and always independent job. I was shocked with all the fake profiles he had out there. If I only did that when talking too him. I would tell him off do bad for playing with emotions and thank GOD I didnt give money. Plz do tou research save yourself the pain. And DONT send money. Theybuse tge same story.stuvk...equipment broke, they love you So much, send songs etc. I've learned so much. Even ask yourself.. if they have huge contracts why do they need our money!!!! WIDOWERS sad stories etc
Joerene
February 01, 2021
I guess I am afraid to hear the truth. He seemed too good from the start and then everything went so fast. His name is Raymond Brody and he just went overseas to Turkey to head up a job. He just asked me this morning to get into his account and if I could send him the money. My heart hurts so bad. I tried to do a reverse search of his picture but I don' t know if I am doing it right. Can someone please give me some pointers.
Fleur13
February 08, 2021

In reply to by Joerene

Hi, please, can we exchange the mails or pics. I have currently the similar situation and I was so stupid to send him money to Turkey
jiltedtoo
February 17, 2021

In reply to by Joerene

I've been casually emailing to this "supposed Raymond Brody" and he has an email account associated with this name too..He just left for a job in Turkey too..Supposed 14 yr old daughter in London schooling even a dog named Blu.. Has not asked for money yet but I'm pulling the plug on him now and reporting on dating
Geneva
February 01, 2021
Someone introduced me to him as a GENERAL US ARMY assigned to Syria today and said that his wife and two daughters were dead due to a car accident and then all that was left was a man showing me the picture of his son. And I just want to ask, can I assume that he is a fake? He asked me for a load because he said that his internet data will be lost inside the campus. and he said he did not have access to any Bank account because he was still inside the camp? Is this fake just pretending?
Pallas
February 15, 2021

In reply to by Geneva

YES, this fake is pretending!! Think about it: Any General in the US army has access to Satellite Internet connections while in service.. When retired, they've got enough money to pay for it themselves, should they want it ;-)
bturbeville
February 01, 2021
Anyone have an experience with Frederic Vasseur, who contacted me on Facebook. Widowed five years, daughter in Italy, He says he’s a wine seller. Attempted to hit me up for money after 3 weeks of online romancing because he was attacked and stabbed in Ivory Coast.
Don't usBarbar…
February 01, 2021
I was scam by man George Joseph he station in Syria can help find him please he a scammer
2708ne
March 24, 2021

In reply to by Don't usBarbar…

Hello do you have a picture, or a mobile number
gpz5212
February 02, 2021
I recently had a "relationship" with a man named Henry Alder, he said he was an engineer and works on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. He said he is from Vienna and has a son there. His wife dies of cancer years back and is now living in Florida. He insisted on us meeting and since I live in Texas, I said I would rather wait until we knew each other better. He let it go for a little while but then asked to meet me again and I finally gave in and said let's meet in February. He sent me a copy of his airline ticket receipt and two days later he was supposed to leave on his next job and called me at 3 AM to "hear my voice" before he left. We had a terrible connection and I could hardly understand him. The next day he calls me at around 4 AM telling me he is having issues with his "Engineering Certificate" and needed $3800 to have it renewed and wanted me to send him the money. I explained I had no money to lend him and he said he was going to call his son in Vienna and ask him for help. Less than a minute later he called me back and said his son had $2000 and wanted to know if I could help with the rest and said it would be a partnership for us not just a loan. He also said he would hand me a check when he came to visit me. I stated I had no money to lend him and he said he understood and hung up. I was left shaken and did not text him the rest of the day nor did he text me. He text me the next day with a snippy remark about how funny it was that all of a sudden I stopped texting him. I told him that I was completely shaken by his request and had no idea where he got the idea that I would have money to give him. He apologized and continued texting me but them his text messages turned hurtful and he said he did not have the time to spend on a failing relationship. I then wished him a good life and blocked his contact number and blocked his emails. I have seen and heard way too many stories of scammers and thank God I had the intelligence to not give him any money and I'm only out the time I spent with him.
Donald
February 02, 2021
Has anyone had a girl by name of Jane Hillard in tamale Ghana been texting you it's a scam
Anon94
February 03, 2021
I think I’m getting scammed! I met this guy on WooPlus named Hameed. He talks to me very sweet and says he wants us to get married one day. He says he lives in New York and is currently in Cyprus, Europe getting his masters degree and will return to the states in June. Last week he asked me for my bank info so that he can move around some money because that’s how he makes money with Bitcoin and I said no. Before he asked me for this information he told me that some of the tricks and loopholes he does to get his money can be illegal. I have him on ig and we have FaceTimed as well. I’m just so unsure because his game is not your typical scammer but I’m sure he is scamming me. I have much more to this story as well
DanaC
February 03, 2021
I received a friend's request on Facebook last night from an individual by the name of Djidda Gara. His profile picture is of an Army officer. He is a "U.S. Assistant Attorney General at U.S. Army". His "profile" is SCREAMING scammer.......
Tey-Tae
February 03, 2021
Im currently talking to someone now who I feel is a scammer. I met him on Facebook and he goes by the name Nicolason Wiliams. And he says he is in us Army and that he is on mission in syria. But he was from las Angeles and lived in Houston, Texas. My gut feeling told me something was wrong because every thing felt rushed. He asked to talk on whats app, its only been 3 days but he talks about marrying me, and changing his life and everything. I mean what women doesn't want a man confessing his undying love for you and etc. I got to talk over the phone and his voice does not even match the picture and he said he was on base. He has not ask me for anything yet. But im gonna report him. I even tried to reverse trace his photo but i only saw two results from a Russian dating site and his name was slightly different and his age was 25 but he told me he was 41
Rosébloom
February 03, 2021
Glad that I’ve been praying and asking the Lord with signs. Recently someone added me and eventually got my number and we talked in whatsapp, I was impressed by his profile and told me that he wants me to be his wife since he was divorced by his drug addict wife and dont have kids and living alone. We were talking for 22 days and like the other stories here, he went for a contract to Turkey and now telling me that he need to pay the taxes for his equipments or else he will pay the penalty in breaching the contract. I almost got tricked and been inlove because of his sweet talks and endearments haha. I’m glad that I found this and read the same stories about scammers. I also emailed the company about this fraud person. Always trust your gut feelings and dont get fooled by these unworthy people.
C2000
February 03, 2021
I got a message on instagram from a "olivia Helen". She kept playing all cute and everything until every text was like "baby I'm not feeling well, buy me a google play card". or some other lame excuse to get me to send her money. I tracked her IP address using grabify and she is from Lagos, Nigeria
Sarah
February 03, 2021
I think a man is trying a romantic scam with me. Some things don’t quite add up, he hasn’t asked for money but he sure is getting very lovey.
Melissa
February 03, 2021
I have a guy name Anthony Pete he works at a oil rig and has a 9 year old daughter. He says he is divorce. I’m still talking to him. He wants money for his daughters schooling. He wants my driver license number. What am I going to do. In my heart I think he’s a scammer.
Romany
February 09, 2021
I met this man ,his name is Charles Newton,his hangouts I’D is divernewton78@ He said he is in the USN diver and mine sweeper. He sent plenty pictures and videos I am suspecting he is using stolen pictures and videos,and he said he will send me debit card with money on it,I think he is a scammer!
Miranda
February 04, 2021
How can I send pictures of Charles Newton here,so they can see if they’re chatted or being scammed by this man ,please help
mark whitworth
February 04, 2021
Told scam, Be very careful when your give one dating site your credit card, They will sell your credit card number to another dating site, Total charge was 731.18, Yes I caught it right away. I never sign up to BIGO SITE. Scam Scam Scam,
SueziQ
February 05, 2021
This guy contacted me on Twitter - @Drake78123144 - said he was an American working in Italy as an interior designer. I'm in South Africa but that didn't deter him! Within minutes he was wanting to marry me and described in detail how our lives were going to be. Said he loved older women. He's 38, I'm 53! It was so unrealistic from the get go. When the inevitable e-mail arrived, full of grammatical errors and very "unAmerican", telling me how we should meet and be together i replied saying it was a pipe dream and that his mail sounded generic, as though it was a marketing mail. He got so upset and started gaslighting me. I ignored him and now he's blocked me on Twitter. I presume his next step was to ask for money to meet. So ladies, if this Twitter user contacts you be alert. I always apply the old adage "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is". Don't let your emotions rule. Trust your instincts.
Pjw
February 05, 2021
I was scammedcby someone calling yhemselves zchris Martin, I fell hook line and sinker gor this person who said he was a Military doctor serving in Iraq. We chatted every day for 2/3 weeks until he asked me to send iTunes cards because the Military Wifi was being turned off for 2 weeks and didn't want to miss our chats. I knew then it was a scam
Tam
February 05, 2021
Looking for Information on a Michael S Smith He has been talking to my 72 yr old Mom and I cannot convince her he is a scam . Claims he is in oil business, sent to Venezuela now in Austin Texas, has home in Palm Beach Fl. Now is investing stocks & bonds Around 60+ yrs old. Met on Plenty of Fish I believe Has a friend as his partner named Steve. Some mention of a company called Ostrum. Not sure of correct spelling. I havent figured out exactly what he is doing, but he send cashiers checks to her through fed ex for her to send out to pay his bills. This is what she tells me, but I am not really sure what is going on but she has no clue!
FTC Staff
February 09, 2021

In reply to by Tam

If your mother is talking with a scammer, he might be using her to - unknowingly - forward stolen money or fraudulent checks. Scammers sometimes meet people online and trick them into developing  friendships or romances. The scammers are trying to find someone to help them move money. The FBI calls this a "money mule" scam. This article explains more.

You can talk to your mother about this, and that she could get in to legal trouble. She can get into trouble for receiving and sending stolen money or checks or helping criminals. The FBI has a page about money mule scams too. 

Marc1972
February 05, 2021
Sorry to have to post here. My wife is being victimized by a man calling himself John Conn. He claims to be a doctor from Brazil who is stuck in Turkey and is trying to fly to the States to be with her. He wants to deposit money into her bank account so she can purchase a plane ticket for him because Turkey will not allow him to purchase the plane ticket due to COVID. Does anyone else know about this guy or have a similar story? I am trying to convince her it is a scam but she won't listen. I even showed her the name and Facebook page where this scammer stole these pictures. By the way, reverse-google-image-search is your best friend in finding where they stole the photos that they are using.
Concerned
February 05, 2021
Has anyone been contacted by Richard Shield he claimed to be a civil engineer in sweden with 2 daughters
Teresa
February 09, 2021
I am here reporting this man USN diver his name is Charles Newton and his google hangout ID is divernewton78@ .He told me he is sending debit card from Bank of America. I know he is a scammer.
Lostlove1061on…
February 05, 2021
I meet a woman on POF dating site. She lured me to texted by phone and then then to Hangouts. She went by the name by Janet Boadua. Said she was living in Ghana with her mom because her father had just died. She asked to send money for her 7 year old son. I did by use of a reload card. And sent her money on one other occasion. She said she was my soulmate and was in love with me. And we could be married when her dad's estate was settled and she moved back to st. Augustine Florida. When she ask for money again l suspected that she was a scammer and started to research on line about scammers and Ghana. I was amazed to find others stories that fit her profile perfectly. Luckily I wad only out 150.00. But it truly hurt that someone could do that to anyone. She knew I was a Christian and claimed to be one also. We even done Bible studies together.
Albagdaddy
February 06, 2021
Does anybody know Ruth kollie
Lwilson
February 06, 2021
Has anyone heard of an Oliver Jose from Columbia SC originally from Poland. I think he is trying to scam me.
A Polish woman
February 14, 2021

In reply to by Lwilson

Oliver Jose is by no means a Polish name. Oh and btw it doesn't hurt to do some research on the Internet - your online sweethearts claim to be from abroad and give you names that cannot possibly be of this or that origin...
Ajamcike
February 06, 2021
I've known someone from Facebook a month ago..really sweet talker until I fall for him..how stupid am I..from Istanbul work at Perenco oil and Gas Gabon as supervisor..his name Mohd Ammar.. said that he send me a gift and ask for my address detail and I give it to him..haven't asked for money yet but reading all these stories make me think that he's a scammer too. Will anything happened to me coz I told him my address??
Addy4
February 10, 2021

In reply to by Ajamcike

You should be ok as long as you don’t give any bank information or anything. These guys are so far and an address doesn’t do them much help. They use the gift thing to convince you that they’re not scamming you
Ajamcike
February 10, 2021

In reply to by Addy4

But then he say that I need to pay for the shipping cost for me to get the gift..he said that the receiver need to pay for it..sender can't do that..so is he scammer or not? Cause I'm really not sure about that...someone please help me!
Holly
February 06, 2021
How can I upload photos here?
Mina
February 06, 2021
Anyone ever encounter Dave Peri? He's a hot 40 something architect who has a contract in Yemen. Says he is from Greenville, NC. His daighter is in boarding school there. I started talking to him yesterday. He is charming, but clearly doesn't always understand my questions and makes simple language mistakes like at instead of in.
Fleur13
February 08, 2021
Hello, I'm currently in touch with a man, who's story sounds similar. 48 years old, has a son Dave, 13 years old and a dog. Currently is in Turkey, at the rig and badly needs money, because he can't enter his account in the USA and to clear the cheque takes too long and he has to buy material for the rig in order to complete his job He has black hair, approx 185 cms tall, has green eyes
Beatingscammers
February 10, 2021

In reply to by Fleur13

Fleur13. It's a scam. Used to work for an oil co. No worker on a rig would be required to pay for anything! The oil companies pay those workers VERY well and they are not responsible for anything except to work and certainly shouldn't need money. Don't fall for this please! You're welcome❤
a good girl
February 28, 2021

In reply to by Beatingscammers

hi Beatingscammers, I had the same experience as Fleur13. thank you for your information.
suspiciousme
February 08, 2021
Has anyone been contacted by a Frank Raymond? Deployed in Syria, city Aleppo?
Scam Buster
February 27, 2021

In reply to by suspiciousme

In all these posts you all seem to believe the name matters. It doesn't. Since they are fake names, they make them up as they go along. The stories are all so similar. Widower. Oil rig. Engineer. One child. Always overseas somewhere. Start calling you dear immediately. Poor English. Practically order you to go to Hangout or Whats App. Profess their love and affection immediately.
heartbreaker777
February 09, 2021
I met a guy on tinder recently but I think he is a scammer. We started talking off the site. He claims that he is a geologist in Cyprus on a work assignment. He has a son in New York and he is widowed. He son needs playstation 4 giftcards and he cant get them overseas. His son is currently staying with his mon in New York who is older. He wants me to get the cards and give him the codes. His name is Floyd Christopher Knights. His son's name is Owen has anyone got scammed by him before?
Florida
November 29, 2021

In reply to by heartbreaker777

I just have been talking to the same guy. So does he claim to have money!? I did the 200 gift card. But he was mailing me a package from turkey and it got stuck in customers and now it’s gonna cost 4500 to get it out. I’m so glad I found this. And it was on tinder.
Florida
December 01, 2021

In reply to by heartbreaker777

I was talking to this person. He was sending me a package and then I was supposed to pay thousands of dollars to get it out of customs. Also he had a dl, passport and can photo shop the shit out of pics. He could call and he had an African accent NOT a Turkish. I’m sad that he has all this persons info. And like another blogger I have my address and nothing more. He could call at random times but NEVER could FaceTime or send a video. Made no sense.
SuspiciousOfSteve
February 09, 2021
Panda...is this Steve balding perhaps?
Jaylee
February 09, 2021
Watch out for Jamie Danh. Praying for my fake online love scam affair. So embarrassed
AMV
February 10, 2021
Hey everyone. I was scammed by someone named Ye Joon on facebook. A gym owner from Seoul, Korea. Very handsome. He told me to use hangouts. He asked me for an iTunes card to fix his phone camera or something like that. Never gave him money. Blocked him on facebook and uninstalled my hangouts. Did anyone else here met this guy?