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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 ftc.gov/complaint — click on Scams and Rip-Offs, then select Romance Scams.

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

18,207 Comments

dummy
March 08, 2019
Was anyone scammed by this guy. Posting as Wilson Hayden, widow with 14 yr old. Just need confirmation that he’s a dog. Stated lives in Dallas marine engineer
Eldon210
March 10, 2019

In reply to by dummy

What is address in Dallas I live there, I want to identify these scammer trends as to how they choose locations. Thanks
Lonely and lost
March 09, 2019
I have been scammedby two guys over the last 3 yrs. one goes by the name Scott Victor Freeman. The other is Pedro F John. One is pretending to be a marine engineer, stuck in Nigeria the other is pretending to be a surgeon with the UN in Syria. Anyone come across the names I have given?
3030rm
March 09, 2019
Does anybody know a Donald Wilson or Wilson Donald from Mrtyle Beach South Carolina ?
Don't use your…
May 29, 2019

In reply to by 3030rm

A friend has been badly scammed by a Pedro in Nigeria. Her friend spoke to Pedro on the phone and said there was no money left to send. Pedro became abusive.
Nenette
July 10, 2019

In reply to by 3030rm

Hi. I just sloke with Wilson Doland from Nigeria. I knew it's a scam but im just playing along.
Eldon210
March 19, 2019
I have a doctor claiming name is Ethan Allen from California one 9 yr old daughter , widowed and in UN, supposed to be working in Damascus Syria, sent me a video of money they found in a refugee raid by the UN and he was given a cut of 1.6 million dollars I received an email with him asking my address so that he can send his check to me and I can wait for him to arrive and cash together. A few days later I received a mail stating the following it looks legit and the website has a real person with qualifications for this type of business as president of business or something:WELCOME TO AIRTRANS EXPRESS SERVICE LTD 02/25/2019 Dear Valued Customer! Greetings Madam This is the latest update on the ongoing situation of your parcel. Our attorney spent several hours trying to buy an alternative to avoid you paying the 10% VAT Customs Duty Tax for the Issued Check of one million six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. There was a little progress, our attorney was able to prove a motion that you were wrongfully levied 10% VAT for Customs Duty Tax, he further explained that no business was carried out in USA by the owner of the check therefore you have no reason to pay 10% VAT for Customs Duty Tax. The U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has gone through this motion and found it to be true therefore they have come to a conclusion that you are going to be levied 5% VAT for Customs Duty Tax. The U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said in accordance with the Customs Duty Law No:488, any legal documents signed in Israel or another country where the beneficial interest of the parties lies in Israel or another country will be subject to Customs Duty Tax here in USA because is not valid here. Such documents includes contracts, agreements, notes payable(Check), capital contributions, letters of credit, letters of guarantee, financial statements and payrolls. Madam you are expected to pay 5% Vat for Customs Duty Tax which is a total sum of $82, 500.00 (Eigty two thousand five hundred dollars). Once payment is made you will be issued a receipt which our postal worker will present to the Customs Service at the airport for your check to be release, also upon arrival he will need to show the receipt to the Custom authorities in George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas to make sure there is no further complication. We have notified the first international bank of Israel of this update and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. NOTE!! The U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (TFIU) has ordered that you must make this payment before 03/01/2019 else you will be sued for Tax Evasion stipulated/ Money Laundry, under Art. 359 et seq which may incur a prison sentence of 18 MONTHS TO 2 Years or Court fine. We kindly await your response as to direct you on how to make payment, once again we apologize for this uncalled incident. We hope you clear this situation as soon possible so we can commence with the delivery of your parcel and make you a happy customer. Thank you, Mr, Daniel Bitton. AIRTRANS EXPRESS SERVICES LTD website: www. airtranservice. com I told.him.i have no money and still insisted he loves me. I face timed with him and he is the handsome guy in the photo with his little blonde daughter, he has black hair. He would sometimes show me the hospital he was walking.around In His surgical scrubs green. I backtrack IP to somewhere in Africa and one day his profile picture changed from a super hunkie doc to a young black male. He deleted the profile we were talking on and added me from another one , during those moments where he dint want the rouge to end but left that younng man's picture up too long I saw it and since it changed into his hunkie self again I didn't ask questions at that time, so dumb and weak lol . Didn't get a dime for me I hope this detailed story will help everyone avoid and remember to report crimes like these on FBI website or directly in the country of of origin you this your scammer is from look for their American embassy website and go to the report area. There are few place where to do this. Thank you for your time
SIH
March 10, 2019
So I met an Amy Smith off of POF and I can't tell if I'm being scammed.... She's very beautiful and sweet and says she a fashion designer. And I thought this was great finally I found some who has a job and is going in a good direction. But then seems like most of our conversations deal with how she needs money to buy the stuff for her job... And then making me feel guilty that I can't give her a large amount of money..
Molly123
March 10, 2019
Three and a half months ago I met a man on mingle, he said he was a construction engineer and went by the name McGrady I fell for him he told me he was going away from work and that he in the men that work with him were robbed. He also told me that he had to go to Africa to get his inheritance of 7.5 million dollars. While working in South Carolina he asked me to send him I toon cards he had me take pictures of them and text them to him I did this like a real fool we went to Africa was there for two months needed money to come home ask me for $1,500 he would have me send a check to somebody and then then it would get it out to him because Western Union would not do it for me I had no idea these people existed in the world any needed $750 because the old the hotel money and then he needed $350 to pay for fee to leave Africa. He supposedly came back from Africa we were supposed to admit February 7th just kept texting me all these beautiful things and I would say to him where does this all come from he goes to my head my love I wanted to be in a relationship but I never knew this was a scam.then around the time I was supposed to meet him his aunt had gotten very sick and he had to go to Florida she was raising his daughter,he would always send me pictures but never would talk long on a phone or call me I asked him what kind of exit he had and he told me that he grew up around a lot of people of color, he started not to text me as much and when I would say things I even told him but I think I was being scammed and he checked it like how can I believe that he would do this right now I am heartbroken gave him my tax money it was only like $4,000 by the time I was done with cards then he asked me for steam cards which I never knew existed 350 so I bought them took the pictures of course stupid me . Still to this day I haven't told anyone I'm glad I found this site so that I could at least get it out a little I'm very heartbroken very sad and devastated anybody has any ideas of how to get over this horrible thing that happens to us when we be a man or a woman it's a heart-wrenching disgusting thing that these people do to people who are looking for true love and I hope more people read these before they ever get into a relationship over a computer or never get to meet the person. And yes he did start telling me these stories shortly after we met they did sound like poems to me but then I think sometimes we get side blinded by the idea of falling in Love.
Pixie
March 10, 2019
I received a friend request from thomas_alex_mark, claiming to be a doctor from the US, but currently in Afganistan. He claimed to be widow and has a daughter. But he seemed to ignore the fact I am married and kept pursuing conversation with me. When I questioned things, that’s when he ended the conversation with me. Now I don’t mind male friends, but interfering with my existing relationship, that’s where I draw the line.
Don't know wha…
March 16, 2019

In reply to by Pixie

I'm talking to someone right now under Thomas Mark. Everything is the same except he said he has a son instead of a daughter. I googled him and the pictures he has sent me aren't him. It's a Dr fernando gomez pintos. All the scammers are using his picture.
Dogma
March 10, 2019
I'll make this short and sweet Everybody's Talkin about man this man that well the women are doing it too I already have an army story from supposedly a girl but yet I can't get a live picture of her or a video but I know I'm being scammed so I have three right now that I'm playing games with but yes women are just as vicious and our doing the same b******* let me drop some names Jenny Williams works at a saloon supposedly Nancy Randa supposedly a student in Portland Oregon and then there is a Cor r i n a p i n e l supposedly in the army in Hawaii let me know if anybody has heard of these people just post it
adam sucks
March 11, 2019
I currently got a message a couple of days ago from someone on instagram, suspected it is a scam, i say it is the 3rd person that had contacted with a similar story of being a single dad in the military, child is being looked after by a nanny. i am going to keep talking to him to see where it goes.. so far he says he has completely fallen in love with me. LOL. this is definitely a scam.
Sidney Hertzberg
March 11, 2019
The scammer got nothing from me except a call yo my son in law who is a detective in New Jersey. there station gets people who complain about pch that scmmers say there from och.
akhenaton
March 11, 2019
I was scammed by a very handsome-looking man going by the name of Tito Armstrong. Lost my husband over three years ago and I fell right into the trap of feeling wanted and needed again. I am so humiliated. He supposedly owned his own Elevator Technical Services company, but of course, when I called, they don't know him. He also lied about being an alumni of UT Austin, where I got my master's. I feel so stupid. No one in my family knows and they don't understand why I'm so stressed about money. I am out $10k. I can't believe these people can sleep at night doing what they do. He even knew that I have a form of Leukemia and he still pressed me for more money. The minute he realized I wasn't going to give him anymore, he and his "lawyer" stopped calling me. I feel so stupid. It's a very tough lesson to learn and my heart goes out to everyone who has shared their story. I only wish there was a way to catch these people, but they are so slick! Sigh.
Lovelylady
March 12, 2019
Same thing was just recently happened to me,i met this guy on a dating site then he asked me my facebook account then we chatted there for a months.He said he was a CEO of his company(art gallery)and went to a military school.He sent me sweet messages then recently he went to Cypress for another project, he asked me for an assistant because he needed money for his food and bills and he will pay me back once he get his mid salary but i refuse to do it, then he get mad and threatened me that i if i won't do it he will tell the US army to track me down and arrest me and put me to jail for 25 years.
Bae Magnolia.
March 12, 2019
My scammer was so different. He is not using the oil rig or the military stories but intellectually on the Investment arena where big financial issues are involved. He has a Calif registered phone number but based in Columbia, Maryland. As the story goes, he went to London for some business negotiation but was short-lived due to the sudden death of his mother in Greece. After all the formalities of his mother's funeral in Greece went back to London to continue unfinished business only to find out that his bosses had not given his fare share of that project he was supposed to have shared with. Now he resigned from that job and wants to put up a company for himself but requires a lot of money and requires him an opening deposit of enormous value. He said he needs 100,000, dollars and hinted that his money was not enough. He didn't asked from me but I straight away told him I cannot help him. Boom he disappeared so quickly just like the speed he used to say I am his queen, I am his love, he wants to marry me and so on...So scammers are going smarter now, high profiled that we think their intentions are true.. Be safe out there...
scammers
March 12, 2019
Does anyone on here know of a Frank Cattely, Franky Harris, Frank Harris. He is also a scammer. Said his wife and son got killed in a car accident. His sons wife couldn't take the lost so she turned to drugs and has a grandson that lives in Texas with the grandparents. If you ever here this name he is a SCAMMER for sure
Jedg
March 12, 2019
I was scammed by lady called Aruba jasmine she asked me to send her couple hundreds bucks then just blocked me on all her socials peeved off but my own fault
E_GIRLS_COOL
March 13, 2019
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!
TerryB
March 13, 2019
PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS SO CALLED OIL RIG ENGINEER IN THE GULF OF MEXICO!!!! HE SAID HIS NAME IS....ALEX HUNGBRUNG AND HE PLAYS GAMES ON WORDS WITH FRIENDS. SUCH A LIAR
Sassy12B
April 18, 2019

In reply to by TerryB

GULF OF MEXICO OIL RIG ENGINEER by the name of TIMOTHY CARROLL??? sound familiar to anyone. He gave me his license (photo of license) and sounded legit for so many days & weeks. then started in on how he needed money to pay the "offshore department" for his leave and that once they had the money it would be returned to me, within 72 hours as i was named his beneficiary...HERE is where it gets crazy--he paid my credit card bill! when the payment cleared he asked me to use that money to pay the offshore department for his leave. He then said he would pay that new debt off, and he was headed straight to me in the PNW. When i didn't answer him and do as he said "he" called me however the guy on the phone was not him, when "tim" and I spoke through google hangouts later he said it was his supervisor who called and was pretending to be him, cause he can't use his phone-which he broke about 3-4 weeks into our talking. I am leaving out a bunch of stuff but this is the high points. DOES ANYONE experienced this?? Any information will help me relax, I have not sent him any money or purchased Iphone, I-tunes or wired money. I want to make sure my gut and brain are on track!
Infinitelyme365
September 20, 2019

In reply to by TerryB

Someone I know has been talking to a Alex Hungbrung from Words with Friends... Same story. From Texas, Widowed, works on an oil rig. Got hurt... needs money to pay workers and fly home to “see her and get married” Bank account “frozen” and just needs money to unlock bank account to send her all this money. Promised her they’ll get a house together... “Has a son in boarding schoool” mom died in childbirth and needs a mother figure... sent pictures to her, and calls and texts her ALLL the time.
Secret
March 22, 2019
Has anyone ever seen theses email address Robertquirk 2402@ gmail. com Collinsfrank 206 @ gmail. com I just need answers
Beechmom1227
March 13, 2019
Has anyone heard of Matthew Heidiman47? Originally from California but stranded in Nigeria due to construction! Very good looking, dark hair, beard, very fit! Family died in car accident.
Germantina
May 19, 2019

In reply to by Beechmom1227

I habe contact with a man in Instagram 01andresherman. Maybe you can look at this pictures. Originally from Gernany, Liveshow in California and is on construction in Nigeria. Fsther died in car accident, wife died. 13 year old daughter.
marquitj
March 14, 2019
Hello has anybody been in contact with a David wright or a David yepes????
wifegettingscammed
March 16, 2019

In reply to by marquitj

What's his story? Claim to be doing a job in the UK?
Retired
October 01, 2019

In reply to by marquitj

I have known a David Wright for two months. Sounds suspicious to me already. Asked for money, I said no. He then lectured me about not being a nice person and not having a heart
Kerry dhl
March 14, 2019
Hello I was wondering if people have had messages from someone on hangouts called Emmanuel he targets vulnerable elderly ladies claims he loves them builds up a relationship. He gets them to send him parcels via DHL to Ghana and Nigeria mostly jewellery gifts. He claims to be in the army also goes by the names mr Hickman. I work for DHL and have a lady who is completely in love with this guy I'm trying to make her realise that's it's a complete scam. He has been messaging her through another name of leon he lies and says her boyfriend Emmanuel is in trouble this poor lady has sent alot of money in bank checks to him. But via an address in Bristol under a womans name called Linda if any of this rings any bells can people please reply I'm so worried about this lady the police wont help unless she admits and helps them investigate thank you
Jenni
October 13, 2020

In reply to by Kerry dhl

I recently received messeges from a man named Leon who claims he works for the CIA. Most certain he does not.
Indu
March 15, 2019
Have you encountered a man on tinder whose name is Anderson Jesse, widower, has an 18 yo daughter in boarding school?? He said he is an orthopedic surgeon in UK and currently in Libya sent by UN?? He calls and messages me in viber and promises me a lot of money that is why I am very doubtful. I just met him a week ago and he said that he really trusts me with his money. It’s too good to be true right????
Belle belle
March 15, 2019
Hi by any chance did anybody encounter scam from samuel chang on coffee meets bagel? He sounds sincere but said his parents died in accident 15yrs ago and he’s running health equipment business! Said he’s travelling to turkey next week to source renovation material for client, i got suspicious because how would health equipment relate to renovations? He’s half American half Singaporean. But look very chinese and pictures showed he decked out in all branded wear!
Jillyn
March 15, 2019
Got the same scam saying he's a captain offshore with a son in Houston sick, wife died giving birth, should fly to his son, can't get his check cashed so needs my assistance. On Instagram with name jimmywr9660
CJ
March 15, 2019
Watch out for MartinsMorgan
Old Lady
March 15, 2019
Been talking to guy from POF said he was 58 real age 46 IAM 64 says is name is James from Bosco,La. Knows all the right words. Said he is soldier in Afghanistan. Wants me to buy and send him a phone. I no IAM being scammed he his very muscular like body builder has sent me several pictures of him. He right away wanted to talk on Google Hangout .his email is goodmaadam1010 a Gmail .com if anyone else has had contact with him let me no
TBLRLPCH
March 16, 2019
I'm really terrified for my elderly mother who has been taken in by someone on Instagram using the id patrickrobbins1122. His profile picture is actually an actor named Benjamin King. We cannot seem to get her to understand this man is a scam artist. Please post if anyone has any information about this person.
Too smart for that
March 16, 2019
I wish I would have read this blog months ago. Despite how smart I think I am, I fell hard for a new friend from Words with Friends. (I usually don’t converse, but there was something sweet and innocent about him and I truly thought he was legit). I even spoke with him on the phone, and looked up what a Norwegian accent should sound like. Thank goodness I started talking about my feelings to an adult child who is probably more aware of romance scams. She made me promise that I would never send cash to him sight unseen. And when the request came, I was devastated but prepared. Same old story. Oil rig engineer. No family. Darling and very convincing. At one point, I had to explain what a “Nigerian prince” was to him because he acted so innocent and oblivious. Definitely well scripted. Real men could learn a lot about how to woo women from following this script. Ask about her children daily. Tell her that you love to cook. Come up with a pet name for her like “sunshine.” Talk about dreams, likes, dislikes, and send her love songs that imply that you are “perfect” for each other. Cater your script to her age and place in life. Share a picture of you and your dog. Although no cash was exchanged, I still feel stupid for sharing photos of me and my children, as well as my real address, phone number, and email. I was called by “my number” the past 3 days claiming to be AT&T wanting personal information as there was suspicious activity on my line and I was about to be locked out of my phone. Reported that to AT&T and that was confirmed a scam. Oh boy. They are good. It’s time to learn from the experience, share the details, and never repeat it. My “Sam Rosenbauer” was “perfect” in my dreams. Mourned the dream and moving on.
Littleluvvy
March 16, 2019
Anybody heard of Adrian Christian Berg ? Met him through Tinder, disappeared very quickly but wants to chat through email. His email is a gmail account. He is an oil rig worker and this is his last job before he retires. He will be home from SA in 3 weeks and wants to meet. He has a property in the UK which he is returning to in a tiny little village half an hour drive from me where my best friend actually lives. This village is tiny and you couldn't make this up plus he gave me this information first. He is German and wife died 3 years ago blah blah, he has a son studying in Munich age 26. I've searched for him on social media and all I can find is LinkedIn account with no pictures but it says he works for the company which he signs off his emails with. He has now w asked me to downloads ICQ or IQC messenger says he doesn't do WhatsApp because of security.....any thoughts anyone ?
Rockchick
July 02, 2019

In reply to by Littleluvvy

Hi he has sent me messages on Tinder. Wants me to download icq easier to chat then email. When I asked questions he seems to elude the direct answers and seems to skim over them. Comes across as well educated too. I always go with my gut instincts and glad I have. SeemEd too good to be true,... so glad I've not gave him too much information. Cheers
Angel
June 14, 2020

In reply to by Littleluvvy

Adrian C Berg has resurfaced in AZ on Our Time. We went on email because it would be easier. He was going on a job to London and he'd be back in two weeks. He says he's an oil and gas project manager. I tried to research him. His phone and email came up blank. I found him on Facebook but entries were in German or Polish. I couldn't verify anything. He emailed lots of romantic,'poetic nonsense. When he asked me to buy a Visa gift card I was done.
Cowboy100
March 16, 2019
Just got a guy called from Afghanistan, wanted me to take possession of gold he was given by a sultan, I also sent him iTunes cards. Thank god a friend told me of a friend of hers same idea, different story. His buddy was killed by roadside bomber
Indu
March 17, 2019
+447459624948 This is the number of a man I met on Tinder. I suspect that he uses a virtual number and his information cannot be found. He uses viber in pc. He is really suspicious because his spelling is so bad for his claim that he is a medical doctor
Sterling
March 17, 2019
Man name Dave Johnson, Powerball winner wants to give people money. NY. Picture matches but ?? Hard to believe he would give random strangers money. Anyone heard of this?
to6697
March 17, 2019
Anybody been scammed by a Collins Jones. States he is Italian.
Tmn1975
March 17, 2019
I am talking to a guy right now that says he is working for the UN in Baghdad as an orthopedic surgeon. His name is John makarios. He's 60 born in San Diego on Aug 23, 1958. Has anyone else heard from himself
Puppylover
March 17, 2019
I have been talking to this guy now for almost a year, when we first started talking he said he believed that God sent him to talk to me, he said he lives in Florida, and thats where he was when we first started talking, then a few weeks later he was shipped to Afghanistan and that is still where he is, he said his facebook got hacked and that his photos are being used to scam women, and he said he has been reporting them, the reason I say this is because I have been seeing post that have supposedly been put up by him and when I confront him he gets upset, and then we have a heated discussion about it, and he tells me again it is not him, he has sent me a gift, and I sent him a gift which he took a pic of when he received it, and its the only pic I have that was not taken from his Facebook account as it was taken after he got hacked, and I just don’t know if he is the deal or not