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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

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

October 27, 2020
Anybody been scammed by a barry christian rolf?
James P.
October 27, 2020
I'm chatting with a woman who fits the profile of a scammer but she hasn't asked for money "Yet". We did a video chat over Skype, but her audio wasn't working. Over the phone, audio call, her voice doesn't seem to match her. Gut feeling something is rotten. I'm google-ing like crazy to find out if there are similar situations. This is becoming more of a puzzle or challenge, not so much of a romance.. Any comments?
November 15, 2020

In reply to by James P.

Ive been scammed big time and finally woke up. This has happened several times with different women, sending raunchy photos or videos and creating a crisis. The give away is that video chats don’t work or they are deaf so will only text. They always want you to move to hangouts or WhatsApp and then the demands for money as they tell you your gods gift to women and want to come and live with you! Just be careful guys and girls.
James P.
October 27, 2020
I'm chatting with a woman who fits the profile of a scammer but she hasn't asked for money "Yet". We did a video chat over Skype, but her audio wasn't working. Over the phone, audio call, her voice doesn't seem to match her. Gut feeling something is rotten. I'm google-ing like crazy to find out if there are similar situations. This is becoming more of a puzzle or challenge, not so much of a romance.. Any comments?
October 28, 2020
Hi there I believe I'm being scammed out of money there is this lady she says her name is
I’m on to him,…
October 28, 2020
I’ve been talking with a guy by the name of “Jeffery Forsberg “ who I met on POF. He says he is a green restorative architect from Sweden. He grew up in Utah has no children and is divorced from a 10 year marriage. We talk text and we did this K one time but it was a “bad connection”so it only lasted moments. He is working on his last project and will be retiring at the end of the year. He claims to live in Paradise Valley Arizona and he has an Arizona phone number. He is leaving this week to go to Cyprus for this last project. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I am on to him but still want to see what he does while he’s out of the country.
June 04, 2021

In reply to by I’m on to him,…

Hi there! my friend is also speaking with this guy from POF - how did this end up for you?
Also Scammed b…
June 10, 2021

In reply to by I’m on to him,…

Thank you for posting this information here...I have been talking to Jeffrey for the last month and his story is very much the same....until I saw your message I very much believed he was a real person and everything was legit. I did a bit more digging and found his profile with different names and occupations on various dating sites around the world. Emotionally this is tough to recover from but you saved me from getting dragged through the mud any longer than I needed to be. I'm very grateful and I sincerely hope me responding can in turn help someone else...
I’m so stupid
October 28, 2020
Has anyone encountered these two men, morrison Aldelbert Gilbert and Morgan Russell. I met these two men on Scrabble Go. Total scammers. Please let me know. I know the gentlemen who own these real names probably have no idea they are being used. Thank you
October 28, 2020
If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS! I have only fell for ONE romantic scammer back in Feb 2016, a very handsome, wealthy man that only wanted me and no one else, he even sent me poetry! When I asked him why he always messaged me at 3am when he lived in the same time zone, he disappeared. Then he resurfaced with no explanation and I bluntly said if he wouldn't reveal his name, phone number or anything personal then this is not a relationship and it is a scam. I gave him the opportunity to prove me wrong and instead he vanished. I reported him on the dating app and he had been reported by several other women during the same period. I completely avoid anyone who looks too handsome and has too much money now!!
October 28, 2020
I had a guy dm me on instagram saying he was from Paris and lives in Florida and works as a independent contractor for the oil and gas companies. He did have pics of his son on his page and multiple pictures of him, but something felt off the whole time. We only talked for 3 weeks off and on and he kept wanting a picture of me so I asked him to go to the bathroom with a pen and paper and I told him what I wanted him to write on the paper and then take a selfie that way he couldn't photoshop it. He told me he was in the bathroom I told him what to write and then silence, waited 10 minutes and sent him a message still nothing, then I told that's what I thought nothing but a scam. He blocked me. The problem I have is, I think someone is using this guys photo and his kid is in it and I have no idea who the real person is and to let him know his identity is being used to fraud people. Cause I did a reverse photo search and the one that is used as his main picture is the one that I found being used over and over again. I did a reverse search for the pic of him and his kid and couldn't find any other versions of it, Thank God.
November 15, 2020

In reply to by SNUG

I'm mailing with a person who has a 10 years old son, this son lives in Manchester with his nanny and he is working in Ohio as an chemical technican, He is devorced and his wife don't care about the son. He asked me very soon for Whats app but I don't trust him and don't gave him. So I was google him and found him with several other names. He found me over linkedin. I don't know what I should do. Because the scamer use this picture with a other man private pictures with there son.
October 28, 2020
Very interesting reading all these post. Recently I've met someone via an online dating site, very sweet, and loving. Supposedly lived very close to me in Georgia, but within in 10 days of starting to chat with him, he left for Cape Town South Africa to renovate a beach property. Didn't have time to meet before he left. He says he will be gone for about 6 weeks. He is divorced, has a 27 year old son that lives in Texas names Harry. He is originally from France, moved to the USA when he was 30, is now 62. Mother French, Father from Texas. Still speaks with a heavy French accent. Good looking, at least in my eyes, salt and pepper hair with white temples. Claims to own several homes, in Georgia, Albany NY, Cape May NJ. He is a ghost on the internet, can't find anything on him. I've checked property records, there is no name associated with his phone number. Gave me the name Ralph Fillon. We chat several times a day via text messages, he calls every couple of days, and we've video skyped a few times. The pictures he has shared, and what he looks like via skype are the same. He hasn't asked me for any money, or talked about needing money, apparently is comfortable financially. But I'm waiting for what seems inevitable. He is using phone number is 929-227-2947. Has a skype account Ha.fink. Does he sound familiar to anyone? Very curious!!!
October 28, 2020
I have been talking to a Wilton Santiago. He claims he is in the UN Peace Military out of the states for the US Army. Yet he has an accent. I called him out on being a scammer. He had asked for money for an children's fund in Africa. I said no. He now is making threats to me. What should I do?
November 24, 2020

In reply to by apple20

I don't think there's much truth in their threats so block him and delete your profile if necessary so he can't contact you. If he's in Africa, he can't do anything anyway.
I'm No Fool
October 29, 2020
I've been talking to a guy called Mike Dave Rowe (Scott); has anyone had dealings with this one? He reckons to be in the US Military on a peace keeping mission somewhere in West Africa he doesn't know where exactly but suggested that I could send a care package to a red cross worker friend of his based in Nigeria as he couldn't give me his APO! He has sent me a parcel that I have got to pay for the shipping and it been over weight! He call's me baby, ask's me if I have eaten and tells me he love's God. I have called him out as a scammer he has yet to admit to this. He almost immediately after starting to talk to him he asked me how much I earned and has been asking for gift cards. It does sound nice hearing him call me "baby" telling me how much he loves me and everything else. However I wasn't born yesterday. I sent him an article about scammers so he know's I know his game. It's sad that people make a living from this activity. Especially when your falling head over heels in love!!!!
November 08, 2020

In reply to by I'm No Fool

This does really sound like the guy I have been talking to since August 2020. He calls me baby & his Queen. He is very smooth. But unlike you I did give money. Have you a picture please.
Tine 51
October 29, 2020
What about a white male name Antonio Evans. In Syria a surgeon.
October 29, 2020
Terry Bob on Instagram. Do anyone know him.
October 29, 2020
Anyone talk to a guy from England that is Captain of a freight ship that wants to retire? Wants you to ask for his retirement and you pay the fee to end his contract?
November 24, 2020

In reply to by Sometimesdumb

People never need somebody else to ask for their retirement, and you never have to pay to end a contract. It's a scam, block him.
October 29, 2020
Has anyone heard of a Mark Edward Kent in Nigeria and/or New York? I know he is a scammer but my friend is so desparate for love that she believes everything he says. She says that she has never given him money but I am 99% positive that she has. He has made plans to come to visit her several times over the past year and something ridiculous always happens to prevent him from coming. If anyone has any information on this guy, please let me know. Thank you!
October 29, 2020
I am new to the on-line dating scene, and met a gentleman (?) that supposedly live very close to me. He quickly professed to be in love with me, was very sweet and loving, good conversations, texted several times a day. Within a week of he was off to Cape Town to renovate a property into a guesthouse/B&B. He continued to text several times a day, and would often actually call to wake me up in the morning. We skyped one time. He claims his name is Ralph Fillon, has a 27 year old son named Harry. He claimed to own homes in Cumming GA, Albany NY and Cape May NJ. The phone number he is using does not have a name listed to it, I had a "deep" search done. I cannot find any record of him owning any property in any of the 3 cities. He is ghost on the internet, as is his son. How many 27 years old have no presence on the internet. When I started questioning him, he kept telling me to wait until he got home. I asked for a specific address of the homes he owned in Cumming and Albany and he would not give me the address. If he was legit, he would have been forthcoming with the information. He is using the phone number 929-277-2947, his skype sign on is ha.fink. Anyone else encounter this person?
October 29, 2020
Has anyone come across Perez Dylan Hall us Staff Sargeant was in Afghanistan and is now in Iraq? Both pare ts died. Has for young kids home with a caregiver Cecilia in Texas. Sound familiar?
October 29, 2020
Anyone run in to james w. on scrabble Picture looks like he is wearing hospital scrubs, salt and pepper beard. Can’t see his hair really since he has scrub hat on. Poor English Wants to get to know each other on another site. Hasn’t answered any of my questions.
Little goat
November 12, 2020

In reply to by Denisesd

He might be on the German dating site also or Facebook dating. I’ve seen several guys matching that description. The one in blue scrubs is on Facebook dating
November 15, 2020

In reply to by Denisesd

My wife has fallen for a scammer from Scrabble too. He quickly moved the conversation to the chat/phone app Hangouts and uses a generic gmail account. He goes by the name William Davis which I know is fake and uses an accomplice named Audrey Sydnor to pick up the money from Western Union. Apparently the Scrabble game is the new way to meet potential scam victims as she as received similar message from other guys on there too.
April 20, 2021

In reply to by Romeo1

Tell me more. I have a William Davies from London.
October 29, 2020
Almost got me! Almost! Josh Chesterfield, birthdate given Oct 20, 1959. Lives in San Francisco. Widower for approx. 4 years. Really played up that part. Is out on a "ship" & temporarily li es in Hong Kong & says he's out there for a 6 week contract & is halfway thru. But he also talks about how they transfer oil. That would be an oil rig. I'm from Oklahoma & this is oil country. And reading thru some of these comments I see a lot of similar bs stories. He got all upset when I brought up scammers after lonely womens' money. Even used like 15 crying emojis. Accused me of making him out to be something he's not. Acted quite hurt. And that he wants us to be in a serious relationship. The one thing that set off alarms is that he asks all the questions & ignores mine. I just blocked him everywhere and cut him loose. He's on Facebook. At least for now. WATCH OUT!
October 30, 2020
I was scammed using the tinder app by a asian guy saying he is from Hong Kong but is living in LA. He claims to have an export goods company in China. He doesn’t mention cryptocurrency until like a month in. He says he will teach me. Ended up losing 25k. Ladies don’t fall for that. Be aware
October 30, 2020
Been talking to this guy for 3 months, from California, but assigned in London for a business contract. Says he is 31, blue eyes, with full sleeve tatts on right arm, and a small portion on his left shoulder. Asking me to pay for customs fee for his parcel. When I refused, he got mad.. waited for like a week or so, to tell me that he will be paying for the fee but i needed to buy him some itunes gift card. sounds familiar?
October 30, 2020
My mom is currently in a scammed relationship right now. This has been going for apparently several and I didn’t know about till a couple months ago when I had to deal with wire transfer dilemma involving her bank account where he transfer her $149,000 in stolen small business loan money. I got that situation sorted out by slipping a note to a bank teller when me and her went into the bank so she can all the money to him. It’s even shadier that he told me use the money to buy and transfer him bitcoins. I was forced to do all this because my mom is adamant that he is real but I told her many times he is not. He hasn’t even FaceTimed her once! He even lied and told the banker that was talking to him that he was a “loan officer”. I thought he told me he works with cars and oil companies but I already know that was a lie and him lying about being a “loan officer” didn’t make his situation any better. I found the real person who he his impersonating and I took that information and asked him about his hobbies and such since the real person he is impersonating does watching making as a hobby. He also works with cars but he’s a magazine editor so he drives these cars and write about them. He also does tech reviews. I asked the scammer regarding his hobbies and what activities he does in his spare time, he either doesn’t answer or gives a really vague question. As of right now, he is apparently coming to visit us today as in to see my mom or whatever but I doubt he’s ever coming. My mom got into another situation in the past where she went to Los Angeles to wait for this guy who never came and ended up wasting a ton of money on a hotel just to wait for him and she made my sister go with her. But I’m not going to lie, a part of me from my doubting side, is saying this is all real, he is really coming, and I’m taking out of proportions. I’m just worried is all. I’ve been dealing with this for a while now and it’s getting to me. Just wanted to tell you all my story. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
October 30, 2020
How about anyone with a doctor that works with drs without boarders. We have talk on the phone and text but he says he is out of the country right now for 3 months nd wanted to quit texting and go to what’s up appt. he is widowed and lost his wife don’t know when never ask and then he lost his only daughter last year in a car accident but she left behind a 6 year old granddaughter that is being raised by her other grandmother.!
Sneaky 2015
October 31, 2020
I reported a man on POF and hangout. He is using Jorge Greggory and says he is in the military. He asked me to send 50.00 steam gift card to his daughter. Liar, no conscience thief
June Williams
October 31, 2020
Im going through the same thing and the thing about it Steven Patrick is white and africans always say to u my love my honey my dear he said he graduate N Y Oxford white talk real not my Baby and the english to many typo and disappeared for almost two days I'm 58 hes42 fine as all out doors! Girl's it's someone u can eat him up. He asked me last night for 200.00 to pay his iPhone. I'm on disability and when he said I had to use steam for my phone deja vu it happen to with a marine. This is Steven Patrick says his in a contract and can't leave until next year. That Man is to be handsome man he takes selfie and we it's him how is he getting in all his picture the same day and the back ground the same his one arm is always up. Need desperately need help.
October 31, 2020
Was messaged by “Marcus” from Morris, MN, on a dating app. After 4 days of brief chats, asked to go off the site. Agreed & 2 days later he contacted me. Sent rapid fire messages and a # of pics of the man from the app. Asked for a pic of me to verify it was actually me . Immediately asked what I am looking for in a man - when told I already answered that in messages on the app site, he replied that he was looking for inconsistencies as he was in military security and this was how they interrogate. Then sent a picture dressed in military gear. Said full name is Staff Sargent Marcus w Allen. Told me he had 2 daughters - the youngest who is 13 (told me she was 14 on the app) and older daughter who lives in Texas and works at Walmart. When I asked if he minded the distance between his home town and mine (it would be 5.6 hours driving distance) he said he was actually currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan Wrote: “To be sincere I’m in the military and I’ve been deployed here in Kabul ,Afghanistan for months now and I will be coming home in two weeks time. that’s why I want to meet my best half, the Queen to the throne of my heart to replace the void left by my late wife.” Then went on to say his 13 year old daughter lived with a nanny that he employs - sent pics of a little cutie who looks to be about 8 both alone and with him, as well as pics of his other daughter at what looks like a grad party with him, and a photo of a nurse with him who he claims is his dear, departed wife. When I commented that service in Kabul seemed to be pretty good, he said it’s because the military have things set up during certain hours only on weekends. Said he might not be able to contact me again for a little while. Told him I was in a vehicle with my daughter driving, so service seemed to be getting bad. So he said he had to go but would chat later. Looked up the phone # and it says it comes from Colorado, at some medical clinic. Looked for him on various social media but could not find him anywhere. Now I am worried that he, whoever they really are, will use my picture and my name to scam other people...
Bettrhiw do,I …
October 31, 2020
How do,I find out is some one is fake
November 01, 2020
Has anybody ever come by the name of James Mark Hermann or Scott Scharf? He is one and the same and is an extremely handsome guy. Attention!!! He s a scammer
Kit Kat
December 08, 2020

In reply to by jackie

Tell me more? What is his story? What does he do, where is the location? Where is he originally from?
November 01, 2020
Hi. Anyone been contacted by a mateo fabio. Italian lives in America. Civil engineer as are the others. Lived in Rome daughter out there living with his dad. Ex cheated on him. Sister and mum have died and now living in Manchester. When I asked why Manchester he said he liked the name. That’s not why you go to Manchester to work. Lots of reasons I thought he was scamming. Couldn’t name a comedian he liked. Didn’t know much about Rome where he had lived as was born. I am well travelled. He did not even know Manchester enough to say where he would take me on a night out. Several other flags. He is on pof
Jaded soul
November 01, 2020
Has anyone been contacted by Robert Mark? He hasn’t asked for money yet. He says he is lives in Bluefield, WV and has two children.
November 02, 2020
Recently went through this unfortunately, however, I quickly began to notice red flags such as 1) going exclusive without meeting in person and quickly 2) not wanting to do video calls 3) too open to quick about present and future (week one of interaction) about the future 4) concern around Whats shared to friends
November 02, 2020
The person is military, not asking for money, sent money on Amazon card to them(once), now is trying to send me a package from Syria shipping cost $3,000 to receive the package, I haven't accepted anything yet, have spoken to and video chatted with the person, he has sent pictures of him with his children, says he'll be back in the US in January, chat, and text all the time, he isn't asking me for money, only red flag is the shipping cost of the package, what do I do
Patricia Dixon
November 02, 2020
This is the spelling of his name Vasanta Jadhav. I reported it as a spam now his Facebook and messenger is locked out of my phone
November 03, 2020
Hi! I need some help, so I recently found out that my mum has been scammed nearly £3000. By a guy she had stupidly fell in love with after only talking to him for a month. He kept telling her that he was coming to live with her and they would start their new life together. But first he was sending a parcel over with his stuff(stupid that she fell for it I know) and that she had to pay £2100 to receive it. She has had multiple suicide attempts since and has been drinking and acting wreck-less non stop because she got herself into dept for him. It happened in august but I only found out recently.. Is there anything I could do?!
FTC Staff
November 09, 2020

In reply to by Pris_Desx

You can help law enforcement by reporting the people who were scamming her, and how she sent the money. If she sent money by wire transfer, contact the wire transfer service and report what happened. Your local law enforcement or social services agencies may have victim support or counseling services who could talk with your mother.

November 03, 2020
Could they be scamming even if the sent a video saying “hello I’m real so if you don’t believe me then I don’t know what to tell you”??
tennessee true
November 03, 2020
Anyone been contacted by a guy named Greg Wilson from Ohio living on the oil riggs in Alabama...Says he is 78 and has a 15 year old daughter,,,Think heis hitting on my newly widowed sister in law?
November 04, 2020
BEWARE of man named Bernard Harvey, Madison Wisconsin. Just had 3 week fake relationship with him. Met on Christian Mingle, and he soon wanted me to be exclusive to only him and delete my online acct. He is supposedly structural engineer, working on construction project in Poland. Needed $5000 from me to help him get equipment released. Ding, ding, ding - scammer. We even prayed together daily. Be warned, they are clever even with Christian knowledge to trap you sadly.