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

lovrly
April 24, 2019
I chatted with a man Turki Naibil from Germany and using telephone from USA . He doesn’t show face only voice on WhatsApp
reneeg09
April 24, 2019
I started talking to a man claiming to be a doctor stationed in Syria called Alex Ray.He only chats on Google hangouts and won’t let me see him on video chat as he says it’s not allowed on his mission lol.After three weeks he asked me to send him a google play card for $50 because his phone is full and he needs it for making more space on it to make room to chat to me.I sent him stupidly only a 5$ card .After a few days he asked me for a $50 one again claiming he had no credit cards in Syria.I said no . Yes know he is fake and I wonder if anyone else has come across this person .He claims he is Dutch but grew up in Virginia.I don’t understand why he asked for google play cards.He still talks to me after I said no to him
Sounds Familiar
May 08, 2019

In reply to by reneeg09

If he's a younger guy, dark hair, handsome, tall, & has a Spanish accent. He's a scammer. Sounds like the same line of bull he tried to tell me.
Paminbama
April 24, 2019
Words with Friends on Facebook is covered up with them. I'm not looking for a relationship, don't usually like to even chat but will try to at least be cordial until they immediately start asking about relationship status and/or if I will chat with them on hangouts. I shut them down immediately.
getting-the-truth
April 24, 2019
I was on Tinder and was contacted by John Kennedy who sweet talked me and we talked for and are still talking, I want to see how far he goes. He has pledged his eternal love for me and what not. He had a business trip to Lome, Africa to help build something on the border with Ghana. Three days into his trip he says he needs a Steam card so that he could download games. I pretended to send it but never sent it as it seemed fishy. A week in a half he says that he tried to take money using his ATM and that it doesn't work. He has contacted his friends and nothing so far. He hasn't asked me for me yet and I haven't offered either. His WhatsApp is not receiving messages. I put his pictures through TinEye which is an image search and recognition company, but he did not pop up anywhere on social media which raises more red flags. So we will see what happens
asennhenn
April 24, 2019
I answered this dude on facebook after a while his request was removed. He loved me and wanted to marry him wanted money and sent him 12,000 thru a friend of his. Now he wants 4,700 for a flight ticket. Had a very loving relationship . Now I feel I was used.
getting-the-truth
April 25, 2019

In reply to by asennhenn

I am going through the same thing. Guy was totally sweet, and it seemed like we really clicked. Now that I denied sending him, he has been quiet. Hasn't blocked me on WhatsApp so we will see his next move
Another Victim
April 26, 2019

In reply to by getting-the-truth

Same story... i sent money.once .. but when refused to send - he is quiet but did not blocked me on WhatsApp. What is next?
Used at will
April 25, 2019
I have girl who is thirty telling me she will send money but wants money in exchange how do i get rid of her
getting-the-truth
April 25, 2019

In reply to by Used at will

Block her on your social media, that way she cannot get in touch with you.
djh50
April 25, 2019
Hi,beware of a Robert Petruzzi,I chatted to him on pof,then on Hangouts. He was very nice,drew me in,saying he had lost his wife and child through the delivery,lost his parents etc,was in Malaysia,going to be a millionaire,due to his inheritance,asked me to send him an Amazon gift card as he needed £100,I blocked him straight away,a very sick,nasty person
Louise
April 25, 2019
Just wondering if anyone has come across a guy that goes by johnsonmonland1111 on Instagram then soon asks to chat on hangouts. Apparently in the us army on a peace mission in Afghanistan. His parents were killed in an accident when he was 10 years old He has a 9 year old daughter but lost his wife. We started talking just as friends but he soon turned it romantic anyway to cut a long story short he said he's sent me a parcel. I then get an email of 'ups' saying i need to pay 3180 so the parcel can be released from Turkey international airport and delivered to me. When i tried the tracking number on the main ups site it didn't work, but if i followed the link i was sent by him then it work. I told him last night i had no way of paying it and he went on about me finding a way so we can start out life together. Ive had a look on Google and the same pictures go under the name Johnson Morrison.
Alessandra
April 29, 2019

In reply to by Louise

Just had a Chat with an ' American' who was on a peace keeping mission in Afghanistan . Scott . Been married 14 years, wife cheated on him , looking for a mother for his kids!! All didn't add up so blocked him , still tried to send a message and then 'someone else' tried to follow me on Instagram...almost same name Scott Williams. Funny because said I was old enough to be his grandmother and this 'new person' looks like a grandfather !
Dinnah
May 25, 2019

In reply to by Alessandra

For you he told you so! Damn this person is really a scam, the past few months, I have also been chatting with the same guy known as Jones Scott, who tried to steal my heart, but after then he just tried to say that he will send me some gifts I mean presents in parcel form, but their is a deficit if money to pay for the transport so as the parcel to reach to me.. But, unfortunately I wasn't able to send him, any kind of money, instead I have him different opportunities on how he will be able to send that parcel. Mmh! This person is absolutely a scam..
GGXX
April 25, 2019
Today I just talk with a sergent Melissa Roberts, from Delaware. She said to me that she is sergent right now in Afganistan and she is in love with me. I don't believe this and I will not send any money.
LoriPA
April 25, 2019
Mine wasn't match but words with friends online game. Got friendly. Was going out of country for work. His name using James Smith LOL. WAS SENDING ME A PARCEL FROM A COURIER IN Bahrain. Get an email from courier telling me I need to pay $12,750.00 for a permit to send to the USA. Told carrier no. Told me authorities will take care of me. Then Mr. Smith gets in touch with me and he has a plan to get me the money to get this parcel. He needed bank info user name password etc. Yeah right. He's also sending authorities and I will rot in jail. Come get me.
Don't use your…
April 25, 2019
Anybody know a Richard Adams oil rig guy in Lagos Nigeria????
angel
April 25, 2019
After meeting on Online Dating Site (Zoosk) and talking for about a monthPatrick Cook asked me to open an account on Coinbase which I did but never completed. He said he did very well and wanted me to. I said I did not want to do anything until I returned from a 30 day trip. Upon my return Patrick asked me to open a new bank account but not tell the bank it was for crytocurrency. I didn't open one. Then he asked me to look through my stock portfolio and see which stocks were not doing well and cash them out. I didn't and he got very angry and said I must not be serious about making money. I told him I did not want to discuss any financial information with him until we had met in person which was supposed to be this June. He said he wasn't go to waste any more of his time and hung up. He had been very kind and solicitous up until this point. I have since blocked him on my phone and on Skpe. His Skype name was Patrick.Cook34 and his Zoosk online name was fantasticsmile. He also is supposed to have a residence in Cleveland Ohio. He is supposed to be originally from the Netherlands. Has a daughter named Rosemary who is a stockbroker and a grandson named Eric. His wife died from cancer 8 years ago and of course he took care of her. (see a pattern here)Supposedly he also worked in design. I have many pictures as well as texts but really none alluding to him wanting to get money from me. He was a very attractive 61yo DOB 7/11/57. Completely gray, piercing blue eyes and supposedly about 6 ft tall. Tried to a reverse image search but never found the pictures elsewhere. He claims to have 2 homes one in Cleveland, Ohio and another in Panama City, Florida. He played me because he knew I have a strong faith but don't assume kindness as weakness. I would like to see these kind of scammers stopped before they take advantage of anyone else. At least I did not loose any money however because it was so subtle I wanted to make others aware. I think on some level I wanted to believe his profession of us being meant to be but never really did.
scam father and mama
April 25, 2019
I also have a conversation with a woman from USA she asked me to send her 80000000 million dollars God punish all of una way they here dey waste time time wasted na e be una name
tammyb808
April 25, 2019
I was followed on Ig by a guy named Austin Bryan proclaiming to be interested in me. When he asked me about buying Google cards a red flag went up!!! How you ask someone to buy something for you and you haven't ever met in person.!!! Really?Then when I didn't do what he wanted to do the communication started to decrease. I Thank GOD for clarification and confirmation.
John
April 30, 2019
Anyone hear of a scammer named GoodKendra22 @gmail .com? Apparently getting money directly deposited in Green Dot accounts?
NZGurl18
April 25, 2019
Ronald Maverick Carson, AKA Carson Ronald, AKA Roland Maverick Carson. Anyone come across this guy run, run fast and far away. I fell into the scam and I'm an idiot. Love blinds everything. I wish I could post pictures of him. So he can be found and imprisoned for life.
NYchick
July 20, 2019

In reply to by NZGurl18

Ronald Maverick Carson uses OK Cupid claiming that he’s a solar engineer on his way to Nigeria. He even sent me a fake delta airline boarding pass thinking I won’t do a simple google search. He’s definitely a scammer. Keep out!
Frustrated Relative
January 03, 2020

In reply to by NYchick

Roland Maverick is now claiming to be a car dealer and/or a businessman/contractor in China who is then imprisoned and who gets very sick. He’s taken my mom for a lot of money. I believe he targeted her on Facebook.
Frustrated Relative
January 03, 2020

In reply to by NYchick

I forgot to mention that he also tried the fraudulent bank account scheme on my mom as well. The car dealer/businessman in China routine was used in the fall 2019 to present.
washington
April 25, 2019
Are there any stories where scammers come back after weeks, months, or years to revisit victims?
BluedDon't use…
April 25, 2019
I have a friend who is in her 60s , living on social security, and has been talking with this guy for 3 years. I dont know tons, but he has said that he is on a secret mission and she cant tell me anything else. But, he said he was in Syria, and she helped him out. Then he made it to somewhere else, and is supposed to be in south Africa now, and needs 20,000 us to get home to Idaho. If there is a mission why cant the company get him out? I suspect a scam, but she wont listen, is there anything I can do?
Stoney13
April 26, 2019
Benson_clair on Instagram sob story of parents dying in fatal crash and about her boyfriend cheating on her. She then goes on talking about her struggling with money. So she sent me a gorgeous pic of "herself" so I did a reverse look up with her pic and found her as an escort along with other titles.
jennyfromphilly
April 26, 2019
Anyone heard of a guy Daniel Earnest.. works on pipelines widow.. wants to transfer almost a million into a friends name.. geez. These people are nuts!
simbadog1
April 27, 2019
So what's up with the iPhone cards? What are they for?
Smart girl
April 27, 2019
My friend was approached by a man on LinkedIn who called himself Engineer Alex. They communicated through linked in for a while before switching to whatsapp. They talked on the phone multiple times daily and messaged constantly. He never came out and asked for money but he did tread lightly when discussing bitcoin and of course he’s in they oil industry trying to get an independent contract valued at $1mm. He has multiple linked in profiles as a medical dr, veterinarian and oil worker. He also has several online dating profiles there are at least 100 different pictures of him and yes he’s very handsome, has a Swiss accent and is very suave. Beware ladies these cowards are predators with no qualms about defrauding you. If it sounds too good to be true it is.
Kathy
April 27, 2019
There's a military man from Turkey named John Thomson asking me for money ...5500.to get his brief case from Australia. Saying his brief case with money and personal documents are in it from a company that he says that is folding up closing business...its Hidrosecurity.com. There's a website with this business ..it all looks legit but I think it's a scam....has this happened to anyone else...
Di
April 27, 2019
Anyone talk with a David McCord....in Yemen, Peacekeeping mission? $ involved
Beingplayed19
April 28, 2019
So about 5 weeks ago this guy found me on instagram and started talking to me on there. He said he was from California and was a surgeon. After a few days he said hey let’s chat on google hangout. So we did after talking and him saying oh I love you I want to come visit you blah blah blah.We talked everyday day Morin message, midday messages and night late night messages. He they said he was having problems getting financed for his new clinic he wants to open up. I told him no and that started a huge fight. Like big so we stop talking. He got mad when I called him out about being a scammer. And was pissed. He messaged me again and made comments how easy it was for me to for and we started talking again. And now just yesterday he said he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t go to work but his service for his phone isn’t working right and neither are his apps to message or anything. But asked me to get 2-$100 iTunes cards for him. Just to get him to drop it I said I will see what I can do. Well today he is mad because I never did it and I guess I don’t care about him. At first when he asked for help with the clinic I gave him benefit of the doubt best from day one I knew what he wanted to open. But then he got pissy and then the iTunes cards. Come on. My family is mad at me for still talking to him. As of today. But no money has been sent and there won’t be.
CMC
June 17, 2019

In reply to by Beingplayed19

Uh-oh this sounds very familiar. Are you able to say his username on instagram? Please?
Shelley1234
April 28, 2019
I've been chatting with a guy for a month now, no mention of sex or money, til last night. He is a contractor in Dubai and suddenly has a bunch of fees to pay and has all but $1500. I have nothing and told him so. His tone def changed. We have been texting on google chat since we "met" on pof. We have even video chatted and his pics are the same as the video. How do you do an image search???
Lynn
June 07, 2019

In reply to by Shelley1234

SHELLEY1234..i also know a man thats stuck in dubai,does he go by the name jason? And does he have a child?
Rdy1960
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Shelley1234

What name does he go under. Is it Jeongil, or Kim, Ileuy? About 51/52 yra old from Seoul, Korea? Did he say he's been working in Dubai for 18yrs now, and has saved a ton of money? Let me know I have images of him with passport, and driver license he sent me. Also has Trustoffshore trust account. Same guy?
heartbroken in…
April 29, 2019
Ladies question anyone hear of a James Scoot James Ken or a James Calvert I’m afarid Ive been scammed dupped He’s a Private Doctor he lives out of San Diego CA He promised me a new car a house money marriage anything I want He’s stuck in Europe He’s Swedish He owes me 1400
Sounds Familiar
April 30, 2019

In reply to by heartbroken in…

Is he young, 6'0ft tall, very handsome, takes pics with a Dr. Coat, stethoscope around his neck, dark hair, Spanish looking. Honey he is a scammer. Don't waste your time.
just Me
April 29, 2019
How do I post pic of whom I believe trying scam on hangout
Betty bob
April 29, 2019
I been chatting with a soldier deployed to Nigeria from Texas on secret mission at the British tobacco company. For the past.8 weeks he goes by Raymond.
Audgar
May 02, 2019

In reply to by Betty bob

Does he say "coy" alot and says he has 2 daughters? I chatted with a Robert raymond guy says he's an officer in the army and asked me for a google card because their internet is getting expired I blocked him
Confused
April 29, 2019
Has anyone who there been scamed by a girl called Salamatu Johnson /Maddy Laura pretty sure my son is being scamed
Amethysy
April 30, 2019
Talking to a supposed detective in the military now. I cant write to him at first hood?? His number is searching as a Florida number no reverse images found and he has to register for video calling supposedly have a video call later we will see. He hasn't asked yet but have told.him do NOT ask me for money
Berryj
April 30, 2019
I've met scammers on her app and now getting scammed by millions of Facebook users and people on words with friends getting tired of them all
Star lass
April 30, 2019
Anyone tell me if they have encountered a Ralph Patrick Walters? Supposed American Air Force intelligence officer ?