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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

amber
April 16, 2019

In reply to by Concerned

Every red flag.... Of course he is doing something 'honorable' with the U.N., but not in the U.S., and a pilot to boot. Of course he wants to take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course they won't fly him home and he needs her to pay for it. Of course he has 2 first names. Of course he can't give his real name. Of course he is a loving father. Did you check his facebook page? He probably only has 10 or less photos and he is probably handsome. He also probably has only a few friends there. Every bit is fraud from a real person.
barrelracer86
April 12, 2019
Has anybody heard anything from Smith Newton?
Al
April 12, 2019
Does the name David Mark sound familiar to anyone?
wifegettingscammed
April 12, 2019

In reply to by Al

Where does he say he is from? Claim to be working on job in the UK?
SMG
April 12, 2019
Does anyone know name Graham Mascott
Annabelle
April 13, 2019
Has anybody heard from Michael Pearson?
Kazbar
June 08, 2019

In reply to by Annabelle

Yes I have .what do you know about him ?
Augusta
September 28, 2019

In reply to by Annabelle

I have heard from him the first time last year in August. He contacted me via LinkedIn. He is still contacting me.
Augusta
November 16, 2019

In reply to by J

He is looking very smart, dressed Italian style. Dark eyes, thick eyebrows and bald head. Always wearing glasses.
Goff
April 13, 2019
You can’t just say he is a scammer, because he asked for phones and steam cards...
love
April 13, 2019
I have chat mate now, and he said that he is a member of Dallas Army national guard that deployed in Afghanistan now..I want to know that if they didn't allowed to send actual pictures to their chat mates? Is someone helps me to search if this man is true? His name is Anderson Donnajean James..he said he is from Dallas Texas that deployed now in Afghanistan..Thank you!
Yude
April 13, 2019
I have been also tried to be scammed.I have alwayssuspected on them and let them know about my fiercy concern for scammers. The first was either a marine ingineer in an oil rig at Venezuela.Very nice writing and very professional manners by the way. Hemeet me in POF and then send me his number and invite me to hangout app. I think this app is the favorite for scammers, either IG. He asked me for my full name and address to send me a gift after a week or more varely chatting.I have never gave it to him.He just never replied back after I said he could be an scammer. His name was Andrew Grant. He looked extremely handsome on the photos and said living here in Miami but in mission.In addition , the scammers are using phone numbers from New York and Watshington, 202 codes. The last scammer who approached me just after Andrew left the chat, and it was this week.His name is Michael and now he said is in a peace keeping mission in Turkey. He sent me all it's pictures even of his luggage and guns before departing. I don't believe in him. He had a tremendous marital history. All of them are divorced but haven't asked me for money. The MORE confusing thing is that this guy called me a many times and he said is from Germany but transferred to USA army. He also did a video call with me and it was the guy from the photos and has it's uniform and everything .He was in a truck hidden to contact with me. This is extremely extrange. His name is Michaelbound in Instagram.He has sent me many military photos of him even it's awards. Please advice
L
June 08, 2019

In reply to by Yude

Oh my god seems like dejavu now I’m engage chat with someone admitted he was in navy stationed in Iraq his name is Tyler bickel he want to send his valuable item of luggage to me and i thought this is real and his not trying to scammed me cause I don’t have anything he never ask money but he is insist that he have gold in luggage to send to me for me tonkept until he finish his tour?? Weird i naively already sent him my address but different email I try my best to expose his lie but can we exchange picture maybe this man is same man as he location is in Germany I met him in dating site
M.Sharpe
April 14, 2019
My wife has been talking to a guy supposedly named Ramsey Mathews , he has no middle name , wife divorced him / left him with the 2 kids , his pic. Is like totally out of GQ of him and his wife , HE SUPPOSEDLY lives In Mass. but is working in Canada , THIS GUY HAS MY WIFE TOTALLY BRAINWASHED she wants a divorce - and we've been married for 15 years / together for 25 - HEwith 6 kids , he hasn't asked for money but all the red flags are there . My mother just died and it doesn't even faze her , I told her to ask him for a pic of him doing something requested in the pic ....... nothing ....... I NEED HELP !!!! I DON'T WANT TO LOSE MY WIFE / FAMILY !!!!! He had a Facebook profile it supposedly got hacked then he gave her his personal number and they've been communicating for about 3 months now , and they tell each other they love them ..... My heart is crushed -please help me !!!!!!
honey
April 14, 2019
TRUST YOUR GUT LADIES LADIES IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, GUESS WHAT, IT IS!!!!! Ok so my friend met a "David" on a online dating web site and he wanted to use the app hangouts to chat. After 2 weeks of him telling her he loved her and said he had so much money and made her check his fake bank account which had millions of $$ in his account he asked her for 1000 . With a fake photo of him on his bank statement top right hand corner. She refused and he said why are you saying no you have checked my accounts ect. He was supposed to fly over hear and stay with her and her family which was all organised. Then i came accross this oil rig scam which i looked into. Fortunately i had to tell her the truth. Shes absolutely shocked. He talked about marriage phone calls and messages calling her "my love" He had an accent which she couldn't make out what it was. About 55-60 ish years old, salt and pepper coloured hair woth black frame glasses. Sent a few pics to try and make her believe he was "real" Online dating is so dangerous, take a secondto think about it.
Dee
May 14, 2019

In reply to by honey

Honey, I think my friend is being scammed in the same way. Man told her he is working on an oil rig and lightning strikes have taken out his internet, so he had her log into an account and transfer six figures of money to his vendors for supplies. He’s had her walk through this twice, and she’s not questioning anything. He communicates mostly via text and phone. Driving me batty that she refuses to even hit pause investigate this man she now wants to marry. I am looking for similar scams to try to shine a light for her.
Suspiciousbynature
June 16, 2019

In reply to by Dee

Dee, same scenario for me too. Works on an oil rig off of anchorage Alaska. Asked me to order supplies for his drilling company via his yahoo email account. I logged in and ordered them. It was odd but I did because he stated the internet was down. He sent me two dozen roses this week and proclaims to be wealthy. I’ll stay away going forward. Thanks so much for sharing this info. I had read only those who were asked to send money. Not order supplies.
ScammerDetective1
May 23, 2019
A friend blocked a guy named @ jeff noah davis 985/ Jeff Noah David on IG. A widower, with 3 yr old daughter Eva. Wife died during childbirth. A communication engineer based in Sacramento,CA for 17 yrs but originally from Switzerland. Dad passed and mom had heart failure the past 2 years. He wasn’t able to ask nothing because we got his BS early but twas creepy as hell! He even sent pictures of him and his parents. So as his daughter Eva.
CuriousMindsNe…
December 11, 2019

In reply to by ScammerDetective1

So this same guy started playing Word With Friends with me 1st of October and shared same story to me after asking me to come find him on HangOuts app. What's crazy is he sent pics of current pics of him and his adorable daughter Eva. Even sent a funny video of them watching the same show I was watching. Then sent me a sweet video he said he made for me of a current hit song he sang and danced to. Next thing you know he got this huge contract in India that guaranteed him $4.2 mil after he and his workers put up a communication mast in a 3 weeks time. Well he apparently couldn't finalize the job due to final machinery problems. Now he is stranded in a desolate village needing $15k to buy this part for this machine. I've been playing along to see how far he'll actually go. He's now so broken, depressed and confused on how everything went so wrong. What the heck.... I have done image searches, and come up with no matches. I search his social media, ect and nothing there either. Very very clever..... crazy how far they take things....
Vividdreams
January 22, 2021

In reply to by CuriousMindsNe…

Omg. Jeffery Noah David scammed me. I’m ashamed to say how much money I’ve sent him in the last year. But It’s the same story. Widow. Eva. Sacramento. Words with friends. India. One thing after the other while there. I did find his tiktok account thebearded86 in his videos he says his name is David and is from Melbourne Australia. I feel so stupid.
Guntherkobold
April 14, 2019
I never send money i know not too. But i do enjoy playing with them. I pissed one off someone name David alen downey. I told him and sent photos of me pretending to send him money through walmart lol. I made him waste his time and gas going to his walmart for nothing lol
Nino
April 14, 2019
Be careful, on interpals, there is so many scammers last time
Elizabineon't …
April 14, 2019
A man contacted me on messenger, claiming to be a GAVIN BIERMANN, or GREISY LOPEZ , asked to go directly to hangout, started talking...claimed to be a mechanical engineer working for maersk, currently in the noth sea...sent photos of him and his daughter, claims to be separated. His daughter wanted to talk via e mail, wanted to call me mom. He wanted to be together forever when he got back from his trip to china....his daughter, in a non existent boarding school in norway, she goes on a school trip, leaves her card behind and asks me to send 3000 dollars for " books and things"....has anyone come across greisy lopez or gavin biermann.?
sczoo
October 30, 2019

In reply to by Elizabineon't …

My scammer goes by John Prada. Says he is a widower of four years and he is on a secret Military assignment for a long time (until Dec 2020). Says his 14 year old child is in boarding school. Claims to be a pilot for the military but his grammar is atrocious at times. Tries to win you over with poems and confessions of deep love. Says we are soulmates. He has pictures claiming to be him of a very handsome Caucasian military man with brown hair. He eventually admitted he is an imposter and lives in Nigeria. Met him on Chess with Friends
Caligurl
April 14, 2019
Has anyone heard of a army Sargent in afghan or Iraq goes by the name Robert Good or Robert Good-Swift?? Beware!
not sure!!
April 14, 2019
I was talking to a guy that works on the oil rig he has a contract and when it's done he will be getting a lot of money. His machines caught fire and needs money. He signed a contract and if they don't get it fixed he could lose everything and maybe jail time.. But I called a lot of oil company's and they told me they are not allowed on the oil rig unless they have insurance.. And told me that they have what they need and not to seed money. He has a daughter back at home and she wants him back which makes me feel bad for her. But he told me where he lived well city and state and I couldn't find a thing on him. and I have caught him in a lie after that I never said anything to him about it. I wished I did but I ended up blocking him cause he was getting mad at me cause I wouldn't send him money. But I'm so confused!!! he was so nice and loving and said he would never let me go. I was his queen, babe , earth angel. But he did leave, I know that I blocked him, but if he really meant everything he said then he would figure out away to talk to me. I have pictures of him if anyone wants to see if they are talking to him. I wished I could find away to add his picture to the scam list, but I'm not sure how you do it.
matts queen
May 27, 2019

In reply to by not sure!!

Similar story. Guy from Belgium with French accent. Couldn’t wire transfer for more equip to finish job on oil rig- contracted going to make a lot of money with this contract. He walked me through logging onto his acct and transferring funds. Never asked me for money but I believe he would have eventually. He had problems with his what’s app and didn’t hear from him. Just happened to be after discussing cat fishing. Did reverse image search. Tons of pics- all ones he had sent me even if his supposed daughter - he said someone must have stole his identity and when I questioned him again he got angry that I didn’t trust him. Blocked him. Sad he was funny and supposedly madly in love with me and rich but I am sure it was all scripted.
Suspiciousbynature
June 17, 2019

In reply to by matts queen

Matts Queen. Thank you for sharing your story. I must be talking to the same man. He’s intelligent, funny and charming. Even sent me flowers in week 1. Now I’m backing Off by blocking him. But dang he’s almost believable.
Johan Joy
November 15, 2019

In reply to by not sure!!

I have the same story as you. Is really difficult not to believe him. He was very sweet. I habe photos of him and his son and videos too that he send to me. He said works on a oil rig in UK originally from NY but he's accent is not American. He said his mom was from Israel and that's why. He always have an explanation for everything! How can I found out if is good?
RoseinKentucky
April 14, 2019
This good looking, but somewhat dimwitted guy calling himself Kevin Ferguson first started messaging me on instagram claiming he was a widowed member of the U.S. Army stationed in a secret mission in Iraq. His story for more and more outlandish...with him even suggesting I fly to the Ukraine to meet his rich cousin who owned a construction business....what first tipped me off to the scam was a reference made during a strictly texting session with him where he referenced a Nigerian national holiday...hamdsome on video...though slightly unintelligent ...his persons would change drastically when texting...with use of foreign slang that I found out was distinct to Nigeria....ladies beware...I hope no one actually falls for these people....I felt like they might be human traffickers or worse.
Blueeyes
April 14, 2019
I've been talking to this guy Kevin Kerecman from Houston wh I claims to be a widower whose cousin owns a construction company in Dubai, he is also a bodybuilder , millionaire , and get this...clsims to work for the C.I.A....the more outrageous his story got the more i was certain it was a scam...especially when he wanted me to fly with him to the Ukraine for vacation....isnt that where they kidnap women and sell them on the black market....guy was cute but obviously a scammer.
ooooohhhhh
April 14, 2019
I´m talking with a guy, same story, He is a doctor working for UN in Syria at military camp . He had a daughter, widower. Beautiful writing... third week, let´s see what he want to show me... Tank you for this site, it is really helping me... let see her next movement.
Sophie
June 16, 2019

In reply to by ooooohhhhh

Am talking to a doctor working for the UN in Afghanistan has a daughter a widower and have sent lots of money for her fees , He said his name is Dr.Jeffrey Skapura from Los Angeles but born n bought up in Ohio Cleveland, very nice writing and then I caught him with the stolen pictures of some other doctor now he came on Skype , hope it’s not the same person
Eve
April 14, 2019
I am talking with this man whom calles himself Sammy Austin Johnson, he claims to be a self-employed civil engineer, lives with his 19 year old daughter whos mom abondoned them, he said he was offered a thousand dollar contract byt had to go to Turkey to buy heavy equipment, and after he was coming to see me, well thats when it gets good, he was robbed in Turkey and does not have any money to return and needs me to send him $1,200.00 do get out of there with his daughter. Does this sound familiar to anyone else ?
Angry mother
April 15, 2019
My young son has been victimized by a scammer for over 1 year...I have done everything. It will not stop. They are taking advantage of his disability ...they keep depositing fake checks in different bank accounts, he keeps opening new ones...they keep telling him " she will be there to see him but she needs rent money"..its awful. I want this scam Sarah Bell to be put in jail.
Janetdotty
April 15, 2019
Anyone heard the name Christian Duru (Nigerian) living in Liverpool England as a scammer please let me know
maneypam664
April 25, 2019
There is a man name is calling Dr Samuel Locklear he in Syria. We started texting on POF and then started texting on our phone numbers. The end of November we was getting close and I was starting trusting him So he sent flowers with strawberry. Then he ask me if he could send some packages toy mom they where gifts for his Co worker s in Ghana that where he was going to be working after leaving Syria. He was going to be working out of his home in altantic Beach FL. But he would need to be going to Gahan working over surgery unit there with a Dr frank Boateng he over the hospital. I told him okay do o got them and sent to the hospital I got a necklace from him. Then he ask for me to open account so he had sponsor giving him money for his work on Syria so I did The bank notice the money was going in bit Samuel wanted me to send to this Dr Boateng over seas and it srrmoney launding so we sent the money went back to the people sent it. So I could not get in trouble. So at the end of January I had emergency neck surgery. He had a friend open bill pay site and he had friend send 679.00 in my account. So I told him I just had surgery not had time to deal with money issues. Do it cost 200.00 nail the packages and I am not going to send no money no where. I told him I was not send no money over seas. So I kept 470. Dollars and I told him to take the money back from pay pal I was not dealing with not more money. I sent his so call daughter grace Christmas gifts which I had not that much money but I did. I have the address where they where the packages where sent. He kept saying send the rest of the money to Dr Frank Boateng and I never did.i knew he was scamming me. I never heard from him again. I win this time but believe me watch out for this man. He will want you to you to send packages to Gahan and then open account. Please ladies this Nan is trouble.i have the address of which his daughter care giver is and he in Syria and he is there helping these people and he does not get payed he his helping the people. He has people there but he says he has sponers donate money.but he can not get in his account until he gets back. So he wants you to open account and you send money to this Dr frank Boateng. Because he going in to business with this doctotlr. If I can helple to n any way let me know.
devestated
April 16, 2019
I read you posts and it seems like my story.. Was anyone contacted by Captain Needham on peacekeeping mission in Syria?
Still at it
September 08, 2019

In reply to by devestated

I am sure this is the same man trying to scam my mother out of money. Goes by the name Donald Needham and tried to get her to send funds to an account with the name Gregory A Dodge
pammy
April 16, 2019
Has anyone been contacted by a guy named Ray Jason who is supposedly from Warner Robins, Georgia. He states he is going to Israel to work on an oil drilling platform and then come back to the states. States his wife died of breast cancer 4 years ago.
Mdc
April 22, 2019

In reply to by pammy

Watch out cause the guy I was talking to also work in the oil drilling business and he was a scammer. Needed lots of money to get this machine fixed which got on fire. I called lots of oil company’s and they do not need money if they have a contract they have to have insurance out they can’t get the contract. He didn’t know I called and found that out. But he almost had me. He is going by David, Martin Camden & his picture are of David Mcbean not sure if that’s the real person or not. But he has lots of different names he is using
Scared
April 16, 2019
Please be careful of a guy named Terry Donford. Met him on Words with friends. Fell in love right away and when he comes back to the US he wants us to move into his new house, be a father to my kids and live happily ever after. When he asked for money and I called him on his crap and said I knew he was a scammer he turned very nasty to a point where I became afraid. If he does contact you, block him immediately!!!!
dmessdelo
April 16, 2019
Anyone hear of Dana Antrobus from Staten Island? Wife died 3 years ago. A petroleum engineer working as a contractor for Exxon Mobile. Doing a job in the Gulf Shores. Son goes to the University of Texas. Claims to be smart and wealthy. This job is worth 22 million. Yeah right. Started putting real pressure on me to be a beneficiary of his contract. Wanted to call me, talk right now, needs help, etc. He claims he is 59 years old and from Athens Greece but now resides in NY. Please let me know.
Vee
April 17, 2019
I'm talking to some guy from the UK, he says he is an engineer and that he has sent me gifts but I have to pay clearance money to the airport in order to get the luggage, but I've told him I don't have any money
Ventus135
April 17, 2019
I recently been talking to this "girl" named Ariel Falkner and I first meet her on instagram and she sent me a friend request and I look on her profile and I thought she look cute so I decided to chat with her for a bit. She was saying things like "oh I'm for someone to love and I thnk you be a good companion". Then she say that I should donload this app called hangouts and so I did. I talk with her some more and I was starting to have feelings for her. Then I notice that her instagram profile was gone and I ask her What happened to it and she just kinda push it off. I think that was my first red flag. Then she was asking me to buy her Amazon and Steam gift cards and I just got her the smallest amount and then she said oh that's not enough. My second red flag. Then she made me add her "lawer" named Smith Tayo and he said that I should open a new bank account and I was like no. She was giving some sob story about how she lost her parents and she poor and stuff. I really hate these scammers!!!
beebee
April 17, 2019
James Wesley on instagram has about 10 accts. Beware!!!
my name is Alex
April 17, 2019
There is a guy leave me a message on a dating site. His name is Ryan Murphy he said he is a US Navy. His wife died and He has a son. he's smart and has wonderful words to lure women. Then he said that he has money to blah.blah. there's an urgency in my mind that this is scam.
stingrayblue88
October 05, 2019

In reply to by my name is Alex

My sister encountered that guy too,.Ryan Murphy with his son Josh... Good looking guy, too nice, too sweet... But a total scammer. He send my sister pictures of his so-called-money that they found in Iraq along with his men, but the thing is my sister is Smart, and she's a computer wiz, and she knew the images he sent to her were fake and he was trying to scam her. He failed though... But if only he wasn't a scammer he would be the luckiest guy because my sister is wealthy enough all he has to do was be true to her but no he has to choose to be the bad guy and scam people eapecially women who he tries to woo to make them fell in love with him, the thing is my sister was beginning to get suspicious of him in their 3rd and 4th exchange of emails. What a bloody idiot he is... I hate scams like him. Also beware if any of you here also encounter a man named Tony Robertson, he is also a scammer.