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 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

Pillow
December 04, 2019

In reply to by stingrayblue88

Ohhh !!! Im currently talking to him. I met him in Meef. He said he cant use dating apps due to his nature of work. Email is much better and a faster way. You will fall with his sweet words and He even mentioned about GOD. That he wants to get married. He has a son and his wife died due breast cancer 2 yrs ago. He asked me if I can trust him because he needs someone that can receive the money they found while on duty in iraq. He will give me $500 thousand. Too bad! Im not that stupid. We need to be more extra careful.
Kuntrygirl
April 17, 2019
David Taylor? Anyone had this name pop up?
wifegettingscammed
April 26, 2019

In reply to by Kuntrygirl

Where does he say he's from? Claim to be overseas working on finishing a job and will be back in the states soon?
Stupid stupid
April 17, 2019
Does anyone know a Steve Lima? Says he was born in Brazil came to America at a young age a d list both his parents in a car accident. .has no contact with his siblings says he cant stand them....he tells me that he has to pay his airfare home from a warzone in Afghanistan after his deployment has been up for the past 3 or 4 times now...he says hes been there for 4 years now hasn't really asked for alot of money but wants me to set up an account through aspiration bank. I guess he thinks I'm completely stupid and is trying to make me feel guilty for giving some attention and importance to a dog that I have to put down in a few days he says that is my excuse for not getting him out of there...he keeps insisting that he has to pay his airfare...I have asked him for his APO and he says the rebels destroyed it so I asked for his military email address and he tells me it is against the rules because he is special missions..help
Fooled
April 17, 2019
Intoo was approached by a friend of "Donna Renman " exact same story as one posted Sad
almostscammed
April 17, 2019
I almost got scammed too..started chatting with a supposedly Air Force man in Afghanistan, widower with a 14 y/o son. Name is Teddy Doukas, but when he started to ask me to send iTunes to his son that posed a red flag. Unfortunately I didn’t screenshot his pictures.
Unhappyme
April 18, 2019
This Wilson Benjamin uses tom cheaualk profile said his wife died ha looks after granddaughter but said it’s his daughter . Think he is scamming so charming . Now wants bitcoins to pay landlord
Gypsy
April 18, 2019
It doesn’t matter if it sounds the same or not it probably is still a different person I found 13 pictures of the same man all different names some different pictures of kids some different sex of kid if your people are talking like this you have your warnings here block them. I lecture people to help them all the time but still one gave a man money. Well his kids are hungry. No real person would use their kids to get money there is government assistance for that . Please be careful out there and heed everybody’s warnings thank you.
Carmen
April 18, 2019
I am in a very simillar situation this man. Military from Iraq. He supposedly send me some gold bars and money and is asking me to pay for the package. I am sending emails to the carrier company and they want me to pay 2,570 dollars for the pacage to be deliver. I feel like a fool He is so convincing I feel for him. My red flags are coming in. He comes out as Stephen A. Henderson Wish pictures were able to share
Concerned
April 18, 2019
My veteran father has fallen prey to a woman calling herself Anna Michael in Ghana Africa whom is using Talia Shepard's photos and videos. He is going thru economic necessity because of that person. There is no way of having him see the truth he is like a dumb puppy. Using Faith and God as excuses to continue believing in that person despite of all the evidence given.
Steve smith
December 01, 2021

In reply to by Concerned

Same story I got from “Talia shepard” only using the name Veronica Samory.
April Love
April 18, 2019
I just finished being scammed by a Louis Williams. Good looking. Has grandson named Gabriel. Scammer is an “Engineer”. Now on a Rigger in Turkey. Love talks. Marriage talks. Calls you his wife. Going to buy you a new car. Blah blah blah. Needed money to pay nanny while on Rig. Needed money to pay up phone bill. Wonderful sweet talker. He got $150.00 from me before I got suspicious. Asked for $300 and I said No. wanted to know my bank account situation. On And on and on. I finally called him a liar. He blocked me. Thank goodness
No and No
April 23, 2019

In reply to by April Love

Engineers earn 5k a month if is it not more than that and most of them get cars from the company and boarding houses including a nanny ....i can tell because my niece is married to anengineer ...A REAL ONE
R123Swe
April 19, 2019
Hi, I've just been contacted by a man on my fit bit April 5th, now we converse through Hangouts. He lives in Dallas, he's a widower of an 11 year old son who happens to be in boarding school. He is an independent contractor/engineer for an undisclosed oil company. I googled his pictures along with his son's picture and they checked out to be genuine. No other names came up. I also did a background check on his name and it was clear and good. Nothing showed up even for my name. He went to West Africa to fulfill a contract. He says now that he can't find his universal credit card to get back home. None of his workers can help him out but he needs me to Western Union or Bitcoin him $1500 for food, etc. to get back home. He politely asked me not to tell anyone of his arrival for when he comes to pick me up. He previously stated that his son needed an Amazon gift card sent to his son's email so he can do his projects at boarding school. I relunctantly bought and sent $100. This guy is very protective of his information and his son, which I'd expect any good guy to be like. He gave me his son's email but he can't give me his. Of course telling you on here this story everyone would instantly say he's a scammer. I wish I had more ways to really know if he's true or not. I want you to know these details just in case he is a scammer.
stingrayblue88
October 05, 2019

In reply to by R123Swe

When someone is telling you that you should not tell anyone about it... Trust me, its a scam... That message alone is a high raise red flag.
Don't use your…
April 19, 2019
Senior 70, Rose in Kentucky , Blue Eyes, 2 posts about Kevin's , almost sound like the same person , (Ferguson, Kerecman) , can you tell me what they look like from their profile pictures . , they sound so familiar .
meridianleeward70
April 20, 2019
Being scammed by Valetina McCurdy. Is anyone else dealing with her?
Tracy
April 21, 2019
I have a guy talking to me now that started on instagram and wanted me to switch to hangouts to talk he says he is a surgeon and has already told me he loves me just after a week and now is telling me to send his general back in the states a email saying we are to get married and that I need him here to help with the wedding. He hasn’t said anything about money . I just wondered if this isn’t some kind of scam.
Mojo
April 21, 2019
recently started to chat with one girl who claims she is in Iraq with us air forces. we dont chat often as she says its not allowed hones there, but because of her rank she can sometimes. send me loads of pictures and told me her full name. i checked her pics through google and found one in use on instagram profile. i saw even pictures of her i havent seen before. as i asked her whats up with that account she claims she had no idea and that her facebook account was stolen. tried to ask about the mission and she didnt gave me straight answer as she cant tell me. 3 days we are chatting, but no money is asked or anything like that. after reading tons of stories not sure to believe her or not
mike_martinez5039
April 21, 2019
Possibly a scammer on Instagram
Confused
April 21, 2019
I just started talking to this guy named Alex Said he was from Texas and in the marine corps. Said he will be stationed in Yemen for peace keeping. Sent me pics of a person that I figured out the guy in the pics is an actual soldier but also a fitness model named Shane. He hasn’t ask me for anything yet. Just wondering has anybody came across him. Said a nanny is taking care of his daughter and dog back home.
BB
May 24, 2019

In reply to by Confused

Did alex provide you with more information, like his last name?
KO
April 21, 2019
I have 2 people...1 I met on a dating site and wanted to use hangouts. Says he was deployed to Nigeria right before I was to see him. He said there was a clitch with the bank there and he couldn't get his money to eat or use the internet. This has been since Nov. 2nd person contact me on ig. I searched him and he had another ig account, all the names matched his uniform in both and his deployment in Syria. He says he is now in Libya and will be retiring in early May but wants me to send 3000 to a security person who works for a shipping co to transport goods to me. Says he can't get to his money and wants me to get a loan to send this money. Both men are questionable because they have done a good job with the posting of the pics and claiming to be deployed. I am trying to confirm this. You can go to the Facebook military scam page and post pics. Be careful!!
Opdrjohnethan
April 21, 2019
True scammer at military camp in Syria gets you long and gets you to fall for him. Says he’s from New York.. beware he’ll ask for money and when you refuse he gets rude and mean I blocked him from everything
Sthepanie
May 20, 2019

In reply to by Opdrjohnethan

your story is similar to someone I met on Facebook let me know and I'll send you photos, I think it's the same guy
ugh
June 03, 2019

In reply to by Opdrjohnethan

Sounds like mine, met on meetme. How do we share pics? Mine has braces
Bowler
April 21, 2019
I think I may be talking with a scammer. Anyone been talking with someone who is a surgeon with the UN in Syria , wife died about 4 years ago, has a son. Says his name is Corey Levin.
Nmjlili
August 07, 2019

In reply to by Bowler

I was talking with a scammer name Henry Harrison , cardiologist with a son , working with the UN in Aleppo Syria. I believe same person with a different name and they change a bit their story. Very good looking man , video chat was same person in his Instagram pictures but video never match up with sound and always froze , they can manipulate stolen videos. Henryharrison8 is his Instagram account do not Fall for him , this man asked me for iTunes cards for his son few days after we started to talk in hangouts also had email from his son asking me for money and wanted me to wire him 180.000 to Aleppo from his friend with the excused that he wanted to terminated his contract and he not getting pay and needed money for plane tickets , permission etc. I reassure him that he was lying and he was scammer he pull the card saying , you don’t care about us and to don’t want to help me get out, I deleted the hangouts app and block him from WhatsApp. This man is scammer his contact number is from Nigeria. His Instagram pictures most of them are from profesional photographer and he looks very well financially. His grammar is poor also he professes his love immediately and lots of his messages didn’t follow hw previous one making me suspect that more than one person was replying and calling .
Nmjlili
August 07, 2019

In reply to by Bowler

I was talking with a scammer name Henry Harrison , cardiologist with a son , working with the UN in Aleppo Syria. I believe same person with a different name and they change a bit their story. Very good looking man , video chat was same person in his Instagram pictures but video never match up with sound and always froze , they can manipulate stolen videos. Henryharrison8 is his Instagram account do not Fall for him , this man asked me for iTunes cards for his son few days after we started to talk in hangouts also had email from his son asking me for money and wanted me to wire him 180.000 to Aleppo from his friend with the excused that he wanted to terminated his contract and he not getting pay and needed money for plane tickets , permission etc. I reassure him that he was lying and he was scammer he pull the card saying , you don’t care about us and to don’t want to help me get out, I deleted the hangouts app and block him from WhatsApp. This man is scammer his contact number is from Nigeria. His Instagram pictures most of them are from profesional photographer and he looks very well financially. His grammar is poor also he professes his love immediately and lots of his messages didn’t follow hw previous one making me suspect that more than one person was replying and calling .
sczoo
October 30, 2019

In reply to by Bowler

My guy is named John Prada and he says he is on a “Secret Mission” and is unable to disclose his location until December 2020! I never bought that! Come on! He says he is a widower for 4 years and his 14 y/o son is at boarding school. Started chatting me up immediately on Chess with Friends. Professed his love, etc. beware!
MSF
April 21, 2019
I found scammers named John Rios, Baron WIlliams, Williams Graham, Mac Hendry, Spencer Arthur. please check on them.
Jan
April 22, 2019
I've been talking to a Jeff Todd from Alaska for a few months. He talked and asked for money but I said no and he still wants a relationship. Is this normal for scammers? I'm trying not to think of him as one, but everyone says as soon as they ask for money they must be one. Any idea?
use your e-mai…
August 23, 2019

In reply to by Jan

Yes! They just want to ware you down so you can go deeper into the rabbit whole!
Zanzra
April 22, 2019
Name Oliver Frank. He is use own photos and face, use video-calls. He is from Germany, but live in Manchester. After a month of chatting and after he said “I love you” he asked a money, because his step brother was a victim on crash in Madeira 17.04.2019 and needed a surgery. Asked 4000€ After I refuced he sent “his” photo from the hospital and continiued insist. It was a fake from the internet. Also he wanted meet in reality. But vanished after was catched. Ladies, be careful, never give money to online strangers. He said he work as a computer’s ingeneer but his english very bad. Phone number +44 7480 059894
mlee
April 22, 2019
Ive gone through this now for a number of years, I'm older and use my real photo on social media, this year it has gotten worse.. I don't get hit on facebook anylonger, I weed those out fast when they want to be friends.. but twitter, instagram . I have an old account with pof, and recently was hit twice in one week on that old account, the men claiming to be residents of my state. What I do is run the photos posted on google, and that comes up fast showing the stolen photos and different sites. If your 70 and the guy looks 20 to 55, don't buy into it.. curb your ego and realize real fast.. they are fakes, your going to loose money and your pride.
MadHousewifeDo…
April 22, 2019
Anyone know of a Miley Walla Robert that’s in the military asking for money from Instagram senior citizens being a scam artist??
Wow not the on…
April 22, 2019
Well I am on the same page as all of you. I feel like a total idiot. At first I did not believe him at all because it sounded to good to be true. And as time passed I guess I was somewhat convinced. Knowing allot about military life because my dad was in the army for 25 years i stated to ask him question and i would not get a response . His story was that his wife passed away and he has a daughter that is in New York being cared for by a friend and her grandmother. I got pictures videos but never a phone call or a video call he said its not allowed. Then he ask if I could send him a phone when I ask him the APO or FPO mailing address he said that it was not allowed to receive phone or mail that it would have to be sent to a friend in Nigeria and it would get to him soon so we could video chat (that never happen ). We would argue about me sending the phone because i did not want to send it he would tell me that i did not trust him and how would we get married if i did not believe him . We keep taking and I finally expected to send him a phone. Then he ask if i could send him money to get the phone to him i told him no i did not have it he told me he did not have access to his money and really wanted to video chat with me. I keep telling him no that i dont have the money and never got a call from him just text by hangout . He has not ask for the money anymore or anything but keeps telling me how much he loves me and missed me . Wish i could put up pictures so you can see.
Wow!!!
May 01, 2019

In reply to by Wow not the on…

I would love to see a picture of him. Please I wished they was a web site to go and share these pictures of scammers. but can you tell me what his pro files picture looks like?
scott
April 22, 2019
Anyone chatting to Rose Merritt -US Army, mission in Iraq, single parent, etc....
algra
April 22, 2019
yeah i have a few guys that they say are in the military and over seas. they all ask for money for air far home or i tunes or money for medical bills. all of them say they are in afacia. most of them say they are in the army but one says he is a marine. and one was dumb enough to ask me to marry him. they all got mad when i did not give them the stuff they wanted. i would tell them i didnt have the money or i would say yeah i would love an i tune card too. i have also been asked for my bank info so they could send me money and i would lie and say i dont have one. all of them are very good looking guys and all say very sweet things. um some of the names that i can remember are ray ott he was the marine. tyler jesus, stephen, gibson roy. i did talk to more and once some of them realized that they were not getting anything they went away. but some kept on talking to me. when they would ask what i was doing right now i would give them some random thing or told them i was somewhere that i was not near just to make it sound like i was having fun. i hope their names ring a bell for some of you. i know it is hard to not to fall for what they say cause it is so nice to hear those things. im one of those women who have lots of padding lets say and im not use to guys talking to me and being nice to me. i just hope if you see one of those names to stay away. if i find anymore names or remember any i will post them for you guys
Facebookgames
April 23, 2019
I play Words with friends and recently blocked some guy FredFrank who immediately started chatting to me. I like to play the game not chat. I chatted back a little and he all of a sudden told me the scammer story of being a doctor from Germany and was stationed in Syria for the United Nations. Whoa, too much information right away. Asked about marital status and family. After I stated happy married. No more plays however he was able to chat. Blocked him especially after checking that there are no United Nations Doctors in Syria. Please let your friends know that they are targets in any of the games that allow chatting also. This is the second guy that got too personal right away on the same game site. The first one I told I was uncomforatble chatting, then blocked him, with in two weeks.
Stupid girl
April 23, 2019
I had been talking to a guy named Chris Porter everything was going fine, we talked about family his dreams of owning a gym someday showed me all his military credentials which looked really legit.. so since he sent me his credentials he wanted me to send my license to make sure it was me.stupid woman I did.I know better but he seemed so legit. Then asked me for iTunes cards. Didn't send them. Sent a pic of me in the shower ( nothing showing ) my face though. I'm so scared he'll identity theft me.i blocked him on hangouts and was wondering if once blocked can he still see my pics? I pray not. I'm so scared. This was 4 months ago nothing has happened so far.
Victim 22
April 23, 2019
Be careful from someone Frank Tyler Hammanh. He is a scammer. He speaks very sweet. Honey, i love you, my heart code, my life companion, my queen, i want to marry you, God believer. After 3 week's hhe bakes for money. Tàlk on houngouts. Met on Facebook and after 3 daus he closed it. Has dogs a dauther studies in Australia, wife left him 5 years ago. Nanny cleans the House and cares about the dogs. Oil gas inginieur in Russia and Mexico, lives in New York. 50 yeas old. Never spoke to him in phone only message because not good network. He bakes everyday for money. I sent him 500 Euros and dessapeared after that. I feel so bad. Be careful please.
Sarah collinson
April 23, 2019
Anyone hear of the girl Sarah collinson says she’s from Phoenix Arizona
Silly one
April 23, 2019
Has anyone heard of a Wilson j Barton?
wwfchess
April 23, 2019
John Prada is a scammer. He says he is a UN peace keeper. Likes to use hang outs app. Uses story that wife had a car accident and died 4 years ago and hasn’t dated since. His 12 year old son, Tyler lives with his old sister in law in Houston, TX. Sweet guy will charm you with romance. Than wants you to get him home soon by sending an email to the UN and pay 15 to 20 thousand.
Amanda
April 23, 2019
Thommy Wareen. He is a fraud. Contacted me on instagram. Said he is a wildlife photographer, divorced, and rich, but working out of country and can't access his accounts. Wanted itunes cards. Told him you can't buy anything with those cards except stuff from Apple. He got very upset. Promised to pay me back. Glad i didn't fall for it. I did contact others on his account who lost several thousands of dollars to him. Hope karma pays him pack double. He deserves to suffer after scamming those women.
Kind-hearted
April 23, 2019
Texting a man name Patrick Antonio. Says he is engineer and is trying to get to Italy for a job building a bridge. He says his wife died 3 years ago in car accident and has 2 children in college. Supposedly he was mugged and is now having trouble with his bank account because muggers hacked into it.
sach
April 24, 2019
Lucie Razvan she had send following request and i was accepted and then she ask me my whatsapp number. i had give it her my whatsapp number. then she chat with my whatsapp last 10 days then she just told me that she is coming to my country and she want meet me. then one day later she told me she is in india and she arrived at airport . she told me some reason she said aiport authority asking some custom duty chareges some money then she told help her to give that money to airport authority.
Cruisiegranny
April 24, 2019
My friend was scammed by James Wesley.....supposedly a marine engineer living in Florida, widower with a son in boarding school. He approached her on Instagram then quickly went to Hangouts.....his love grew etc He asked for money. She paid some and he asked for more. At that point she contacted me. I requested to follow him. The next day he started on me. Oh you are so pretty, download Hangouts etc etc. I fobbed him off till my friend completed bank paper work to hopefully retrieve her last donation to this scum bag. He told me he lived in the Bronks. Funny though, the bank account she sent the funds to were in New Zealand and in the name of Ziad Mohammed saheed. He has many profiles and jameswesley509 is one he seems to have forgotten about. When we were Instagram friends I did message him saying my account wasn't my real identity. He tried to make out I had the wrong person etc And he blocked me!