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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


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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

dreamMe
July 19, 2021
Anyone talking w a guy Named John Williams Hill, engineer in Dubai, widower, 2 children in the US staying w a Nani and wife died in car accident? This also follows the same format of the scammers, but am deep in these and like to see if any with his name and similarities.
Bonnie lass
July 20, 2021
I have been talking to a man who says he is Lucas Raphael he is French and working in Turkey He is a civil engineer his own company He had a grownup daughter in Australia He sends pics etc and phone calls Does this sound familiar to any one
2coxboys
July 20, 2021
I have been talking to a Marcus Williams, he claims to be a Capt in the Air Force. Divorced with 2 kids Billy and Ava. He sent me pictures of all of them together even his 14 year old when she was a baby and him holding her. He is a bodybuilder too. I just love this man. I've done research on him on social catfish and I've google him so much. But he turns up nothing. Anybody else know of Marcus Williams? He has got salt and pepper beard what he calls squinty eyes and nice teeth.
Sofie
August 06, 2021

In reply to by 2coxboys

I´ve been talking to him since March this year. He is asking for money to come to Sweden.
Broken Arrow 5050
October 22, 2021

In reply to by 2coxboys

To 2 cox boys , I talked to him for years took me to the cleaners. Now I’m broke and broken hearted Just run away!,
Bianca
July 23, 2021
This man from South Africa called George Kruger a petroleum engineer is he real or fake
Amber S
July 23, 2021
I met this guy named Richard Khaled on a popular dating site we would talk on the phone, text, nd one choppy video call that lasted for a few seconds. We talk for a few weeks and he sent the most beautiful love poems almost everyday. Until after 2 weeks he all of a sudden had to leave the United States and go to another country for his job and we couldn't meet in person until he returned. He still continued to communicate with me mostly on whatsapp said he was falling in love with me. After 2 more weeks he said he needed help with getting home and needed i-tune cards to get in touch with friends and family. I sent the i-tune cards big mistake, Then he suggested he send a wire check for me to deposit into my bank and buy bitcoin with it and that would help him get home. At that point I didn't feel comfortable doing this which he was not happy about. He also asked for login information to my bank if I was to deposit the check into my bank. I lost money for the i-tune cards but never deposited a check from him. I learned my lesson from this with dating men online and to be more cautious going forward. Hope this helps someone else.
Kaz
July 23, 2021
Anybody been contacted by a Richard Williams dark haired really handsome says he’s early 40s military doctor
loveelm1180
July 23, 2021
Here’s a new one. The person finds out there you are in need of money but for “ security reasons” they need to see your ID. Don’t do it. And block them, I have done this twice this week.
ChristyCee
July 23, 2021
Talking to a guy on Tinder named Anthony Walker. Widowed. They always have a sob story. Engineer out at sea. Calling me dear. Poor English. I love dragging these guys and then reporting them.
Gueensue
July 23, 2021
Has any one come in contact with Thomas J. Mills. He is suppose to be a surgeon in Syria. He is the best con man ever. Please send pictures or information. I found a picture as a scammer. I cannot locate it now.
Robert peters
July 24, 2021
My girlfriend has not asked for money yet but now that we have fallen for eachother she says she cannot video text or send photos or can I call her, I can only text because her internet is off and she can only use data. I looked at an old web site that shows a picture of another girl and her standing together her name is different and the other girls name is the name she uses for me she said there sisters. But it does not make sense. Her so called sisters name I ziehj tenedero catalon and her name is jeihz Kate catdel. Today my girlfriend uses the ziehj tenedero catalon as her name to me since 5 mo
Madds
July 24, 2021
I have been scammed by someone called Donald Greg he sent friends request on Facebook and got me to download Hangouts told me he was working on a contract on an oil platform and was locked out of his bank to cut a long story short he has had £6000 off me and and stopped all communication I accused him a few times of being a scammer which he denied and said people were using his pictures we talked on vidio talk he said it was to prove he was who he said he was. He gave me his log in to his bank but I am not sure it now it was his he wanted me to transfer 10,000 Dollars to my account. Be careful ladies he is very convincing he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear and when he got your money he will be gone.
Jess
August 07, 2021

In reply to by Madds

Did he send you a picture of his supposedly bank account? The one I’m talking to is from Norway but lives in Florida
Suzy
July 24, 2021
Has anyone dealt with a Fredrick Hayes who claims to be a freelance Senior project manager that works drawing up blue prints for major international construction companies? Apparently, he has s as graduate degree in architecture. He’s been a widower for 3 years, and his wife died of ovarian cancer . He has a 21 year old daughter in British Colombia, that is in her 2nd year of medical school. She is living with his elderly mom. He is currently in Cyprus, working on a major contract that will allow him to retire. He is in “love “ with me and wants to look after me, and buy me a house. Of course, this fredrick, first needs $190,000 to pay customs duties, to complete his contract obligations, and guess what? His bank account was frozen, so needs my money. He apparently originally comes from Croatia, and has a heavy accent, and broken English. Does this dude sound familiar to any of your scammers?
patti
August 21, 2021

In reply to by Suzy

very similar story from a guy that tried to scam me LEAVE HIM ALONE, MOVE ON
Lassibear
July 25, 2021
I had one on Facebook said his name was Chen a rig engineer said he was widowed and had 1 boy lived in Oklahoma he sent a picture which I was dubious about, called him out and he said it was him so I downloaded a reverse picture app where you can put a photo in and it will tell you who he is , he did not send another till a few days later so scanned that one and it come up with a Dr from Brazil .I photo shot that and sent it too him to show him I knew he was a scammer , he called me did not even sound American never mind someone born and bred in Oklahoma , be careful people .
RollingOn
July 25, 2021
My wife started chatting with a guy named Conner who claims to be an orthopedic surgeon from Serbia, who lives in Texas, and has a business in New York. After a couple weeks, he started pressuring her to invest thousands in some project. He has sent lots of pictures, video chatted, and even provided references and family history. He has a 15 year old son named Darren. When my wife suggested he might be a scammer to him, he immediately wanted to end things, saying she could never trust and making her feel as if she were in the wrong. She relented, and sent him money. This continued for several months before finally leaving with over $12000.00 of my wifes savings. We later found out, that her banking information had also been posted on the dark net for anyone to find.
FoolishBBW
September 01, 2021

In reply to by RollingOn

It sounds like a man who was romancing me for months. He called himself Conner Stone, and said he was out of the country working on a new diagnostic device. He needed money to get the project finished, and then said the device malfunctioned after I gave him $6k. He then said he was coming home and wanted to be with me, but he needed me to buy his ticket. Don't fall for this ladies! It's a scam!
Happy jules
July 26, 2021
Beware of the scammer Andrew ralfh newson, he on Facebook dating now as an invester but when I talked to him he supposedly worked for equinor. He comes across as nice, caring guy but all a fake. I wasted 8 months talking to him, never met, spoke nearly every night on the phone, text constantly, video chat, loads of photos and live locations Fake. Police involved because he was supposedly kidnapped and held to ransom although he says none of that was true. Still trying to text me telling me he loves me, sent a couple of songs to make me feel guilty. Be warned 58, widower 1 daughter lisa(mellisa).
TexasPrincess
August 19, 2021

In reply to by Happy jules

I think I may have been contacted by this same person via LinkedIn - he is using the name Raymond Anderson - I have exchanged a few emails with him but have not given him any personal information - he told me he lost his wife 4 years ago and has a daughter Melissa who lives in Germany.
nazi
July 26, 2021
A Malaysian woman working at a hospital in the United Kingdom claims that her husband died of cancer in Kuwait and that she herself has cancer and has no children. Her husband inherited $ 4 million from her, which she spent $ 2 million on her cancer. And now he wants to help orphans in Iran
Sickofit
July 26, 2021
There’s a girl on Facebook who makes a living from lying about being disabled & confined to a wheelchair. It makes me livid! I found proof on Tik Tock that she can walk!
Snowgirl
July 26, 2021
Has anyone talked with Duke St. Patrick? Claims he has his own contracting company working in Gulf of Mexico for a very reputable logistics company. He says his wife was killed tragically 5 years ago in a car accident. Claims to be a Christian - has a Bible verse on his FB profile. He is charming and romantic of course - professes love very soon.
Ladygator54
July 26, 2021
I too believe I was “scammed” he went by the name of “Bill Mackamma” who is a Sargent 1st class in the us military and is stationed in Iran” and was to be back in the states in August (roseburg, OR) to be exact. I called him out a few times and said he met all the scammer RED flags. He got made, then apologized to me. I kept him hanging on to see what else I could get out of him. I did report him to the FTC and hope to help other woman. Would be nice if I could find the mystery man behind all the photos “Bill” sent me. I have kept all emails that he sent me along w a ton of country songs! Be safe out there!!
Lisa
July 27, 2021
This one said he was a general manager and working to get a job in Alaska for 6 weeks managing a pipeline. Figured out it was a scam before he asked for money but he was setting it up
DeanNdra
July 27, 2021
Well it was only a couple of days but I lost sleep over it and then finally when he asked he’s like just give me your login information no I’m not going to really got mad it was the John Lewis and his name is he says his first name is Louis Anderson feels by Louis Anderson. I’ve never experienced that ever and now that makes me want to just stay off social media all together just use my phone for work and that’s it
pinkgmo
July 27, 2021
OMG. This guy also goes by Clinton Kohl Wayne. He said that his wife passed away 7 years ago from colon cancer and his daughter is in boarding school in Chicago Alandrea is her name supposedly. He said that he is 58 and has a house in San Jose California and Germany. Woman beware, because he will try to get I Phone gift card off of you or money. Because he said that he is leaving and retiring from his job and needs to pay the UN back $19,450. This is a total scam.
AlanSBenji
July 27, 2021
most people who work on oil rigs are scammers i had a friend who had a number of them contacting her good thing she blocked them
Jackie
July 28, 2021
So I am Canadian, who just finished blocking a "Scott William". He showed up on my friend request as Mubana Usan. Stupid me accepted his request and he started chatted to me on messager. Told me he was a 4star general in US army, was in Syria, had lost his wife to childbirth. He was asking me where I was from and if I was married, how old I was, whether I had a home and owned my own car. He wanted he continue our conversation on hangout, which I did, because the stuff he was telling didn't add up. And he started asking more personal question, which made suspicious of him. Look up his Facebook account and he was in with people from Nigeria. I stop talking to him on messager, l blocked on messager, Facebook and hangout, just wanted women to know about him.
Jasmine Don't …
July 29, 2021
Anyone talking or have talked with a Mike Shaw, German accent, blonde hair blue eyes.. Texas, Florida, CA, and now Tennessee. I have sent him money several times, claims to love me, is a widower
moon2
July 29, 2021
I was followed on Instagram by a Tommy Morgan, he said he is 48 years old, good looking bearded man, polish American divorced and have a daughter, he said that he works on an oil rig platform on turkey, does anyone chatter with someone like him
Bluedream
July 29, 2021
I got scammed, he got me in moment of sadness, He talk to me for 7 month He said is from Korea but he doing a contract in Turkey- later start, he lost he passport he ask to help him to receive a package but I need to $800 for it ,as soon I get it , my will be back, The shipper never showed up and just charge by line, and he was calling me for more money. He said that was feel sick of all this he need money for his passport- he said he need $500, later his credit car was frozen, his bank account is frozen. He can’t go to work because he need money for transportation, he was use to call me crying and begging me for money. Over and over. Cov19 show up and he said need to get at least the shoot cost &1000. I felt very sad for him. After the sadness is that I got scam with &15,000 . I was thinking I was helping like a friend no like boyfriend. He keeps calling me for money- I reported in the bank and didn’t do nothing , I reported the case too and everything done but I lost money- feel suck. I just want to help.
MiMi
July 29, 2021
The man I was talking to is Lewis Jackson. Says he mentors and teaches pilots for American Airlines at the Augusta GA airport. Also says he is an emergency pilot for the UN. We were to meet up this coming Sunday at a public place, but last night he said he had to fly a plane to Cyprus for the UN and would not be back for three weeks. He's all baby this and darling that and weve never met. I suspected all along. When you call his phone it says the text message customer is unavailable at ths time, please leave a message. He has answered before though but the line is always muffled like he's using a service like Google Duo? I fee like Im being scammed. Anyone have the same experience?
Bluebell
July 29, 2021
Is a anyone chatting to a Markus Alice, a US military doctor who has served in Kabul, Afghanistan? A widower, a teenage son who is in US with a Nanny. No other family. Very handsome and wants to marry you
Alabama
July 29, 2021
I met a guy online. We started talking on whats app. He said he lost his wallet and can’t get his bank cards and license fixed till he gets home. He wanted me to add him to my cell phone account and give him my personal information. I said know. Weird thing was when we started talking he sent me pictures of his credit cards etc to prove he was real. They were in his name. His name is Darrell Adams
Kdhowl
July 30, 2021
Anyone heard of a man named Stephen Derek . He’s on an oil rig and has a safety deposit box in Italy that needs to be gotten because company is closing down. He can’t retrieve because he is on oil rig and needs your help to get it through customs in to country. All you need to do is pay in bit coin to security company and then you take possession. In the mean time it gets held up and they need $20000 more. This happened to my wife to the sum of $5000 until I found out and I am now trying to stop. She then tried to get the money from another man she met on line to help out. Mark Dolan from upstate New York. He supposedly has an FBI friend that’s looking into it. Roy Thomas. FBI agent contacted me and now he says he is in charge of box and only needs $1500 dollars to retrieve. Found out he was texting from what appears to be a land line. If anyone can help so my wife can see this is a scam I would greatly appreciate it. She was to get $50000 for doing this initially but we would have been out $25000. I really need some input because she still believes it to be true and will not let it go
Kapp
July 30, 2021
I think i am being scammed been talking online for nearly 5 months he said he worked for usa government he said he loved me and he was coming home to me i fell in love with him we met on a dating ap i have got him nearly £2000 in steam cards he wants £300 to get out of where he is i am not giving it after what i have read on here i feel like such an idiot
hurt RN
July 31, 2021
Anyone been in contact with a David Aaron Berg? ives in Scottsdale AZ, from Sweden and is an Architectual Engineer. His mother is still in Sweden and he grew up in London, divorced and has 14 year old daughter he cannot talk to. Drives a Mercedes. Very handsome, stunning blue eyes and great smile, 6' tall, 65, BD 8/12/1956 supposedly. Had to leave for Cyprus to finish a project that he says government was going to sue him if he did not return. He sent me a copy from the Ministry of Works in Cyprus to prove, however I found there is no Ministry of Works in Cyprus. Same thing as alot have posted claims he got locked out of his account even though he gave me access and had me transfer a large amount of money for him to Cyprus as his internet was down. Then he leaves for Cyprus and nowo is in the hospital having a stroke and needs heart surgery immediately and has to pay up front of they will not operate and asking for a large sum to help pay for the surgery claiming he will die without it. Charming to the max, poetic, sends You Tube video songs, and yes, he asks if I have eaten, which many have posted is a commonalty. Anyone know this man? Im happy to share photos if it helps us to capture him.
Turkish
August 02, 2021
Hi does anyone knows about a marine engineer working for agip company oil company name Alex stefano, 1 son in boarding school. Very nice talker .chat only morning and night time .age 46yrs old.wife died .very handsome lives in Turkey but actually works in caspian sea on an oil rig platform. Please if any of you knows please let me know. We can share pictures
cap123
August 02, 2021
Does anyone talk to an Mathew Adrian? I thinking he is trying to scam me for money. He says, he is Kabul working as a engineer. Send me lot's of pics and facetimes me. I have a bad feeling about it. I cannot find him anywhere. I think he might go by Jason & Marcus as well. Help!
Chance
August 03, 2021
Does anyone here messaged by a guy named ANDRÉS from Australia?
GypsieWolf
August 03, 2021
I was contacted by this gorgeous man (pictures) on a dating site three days ago. He’s 20 years younger. I’m disabled, overweight and ugly. (Outside - Inside I am beautiful) After 3 days he’s falling in love with me. In two days he’s going to London for a month. BUT, before he goes he wants me to apply for a credit card and get the highest limit and then we can connect him to the card so I can go buy whatever I want and he will cover it because he’s wealthy and owns three houses. Oh, and by the way, he asked me what my credit score is too. ROTFL I’m going to take this as far as possible without giving him anything, with the hopes of putting at least one of them away. If anyone is talking to Nicholas, Nick or Nikki Moretti supposedly out of Florida with a to-die-for accent and movie star looks, watch out because he’s really good!
Maryann
August 03, 2021
Anyone had a contact by guy name Scott Williams from Paraguay or Louisiana?
OntoLuis
August 04, 2021
Luis Russell is on all the dating apps and is still scamming women. He will try to gain your trust and steal your heart. Don’t believe him. He’s a scammer using fake photos. He will create the most believable, dire emergency to get you to send him money. Don’t give him any money! I didn’t. I had seen too many red flags. Keep your wits about yourself. Don’t fall for his love tactics, he’s setting you up to steal from you and he won’t see you in person OR FaceTime you; he’s convincing, but isn’t too bright. Outsmart him.
Sadie The clea…
August 04, 2021
I've been tat to a guy since May this year, says his name is James from West Virginia. Currently working in an oil rig in Warsaw Poland. Says he has a daughter and gave me her email address and is schooling in London at a boarding school. After a while I asked me to send her some money for her upkeep at the school. She's he can't access any money. I told him know and he got nasty saying that I only thought of myself and didn't love him or his daughter. She's he wife died but didn't say how.
Ascension3030
August 11, 2021

In reply to by Sadie The clea…

There are no Oil Rigs in Warsaw Poland. There are also no Oil Rigs in Nigeria, where the person you are talking to resides. Please block this scammer and move on with your life.
Pleasehelp
August 05, 2021
Been talking to David William. White with a Jamaican accent. Wife died in childbirth and lost child too in childbirth. Now in Canada on oil rig. Broke excavator. Hadn’t asked for money Says he loves me. (No I don’t believe it)
Missy
August 06, 2021
Walter Rodgers is asking for money. Engineer from Aalborg Denmark