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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.

Me
August 20, 2021
Be careful about James Roy!!!! Religion men
P. A.
August 20, 2021
I met a guy on a game site called "Words with Friends" Right away he asked me to go install WhatsApp on my phone to message "better" He has asked me for $200 Amazon gift cards 2 times now. The first time it was for his daughter in a boarding school for a new laptop computer...which I did not send Now...here's the kicker... Hes telling me I need to send him an Amazon gift card in the amount of...yes...you guessed it...$200. So he can process "something" through his work so he can "have access to his $15 million dollars" His says name is Steve Mason Jones from Ocala, Florida...but he works as an Engineering supervisor on an oil rig in the Santa Barbara Channel Does any of this sound familiar to anyone???
Luckythistime
August 20, 2021
Anyone been chatting with a scammer called Renato Rivaltini?
SINBAD
August 21, 2021
Beware of Jeff Thomas on Scrabble. Talking about Capt. in Army, 11 yrs old son with nanny. Says stationed in Syria, SCAMMER!!
Haze123
August 21, 2021
Hi I’m talking to a buff army guy who says he is an attack pilot with US Army. Both parents are dead, his daughter back home has a nanny, broke up with ex who cheated on him before he was deployed. Has an older brother and younger sis who just got married. Started off using proper grammar but lately he has some flaws in speech. Can only communicate on military device using hangouts. Sent me a couple pics of him in army head never civilian clothes I sent him pics of me which can also be seen in my social page. But the thing is, I caught him early.. he is a stickler for trust and love and his quotes he sent me I googled search it and it was taken off some site so I saw that it back to him and of course he had a reason got going that lol. His face good is pizza and back on the base he was eating a hamburger for dinner. He tried to call me . Quickly cut off and tried again after an hour had passed but I never answered.?told him I’m afraid to get my phone hacked as it’s my only device for my kidd to call me on lol. He was like “oh you are safe”. Smh. Reverse pics check and email check showed up nothing . When he realize I’m investigating him he profess he’s legit and if I don’t want to talk with him anymore that’s fine. I’m going to test him some more till he gets tired of me.
patti
August 21, 2021
pay very close attention to the words and how they use them, its a dead give away when a foreigner tries to talk English because they use proper English rather than slang, like we do and don't use the words like we would,,,,, I am stringing along a scammer now, I think its funny, at least he is leaving someone else alone for now.
Needhelp!2
August 21, 2021
Anyone heard of Garrette Kaufmann Been talking a while, something doesn't feel right
Identity of a …
August 22, 2021
How do I find the real identity of the person who's pictures are used on a scam? Just to let them know that they should protect their pictures because it's been months the same guy is popping up all over the internet from different states and oversees, scamming people.
Emily TX
August 22, 2021
I was scammed by a man who claimed to be in the army in Afghanistan. He went by James Travis Henry from Dallas, TX. Met him on MatureDating in October of 2020 and quickly started texting and immediately falling in love. I was vulnerable at the time as I was going through a divorce after 30 years of marriage. It went on for over 7 months and scamming me and claiming that he is real. I eventually gave up and turned him to FBI. There was no reply from the FBI on the status and he is still out there possibly scamming other women. I have gone past the financial loss but wish that I can get my message about him out there with a picture.
Missy
August 22, 2021
Lamon Yuthakon is now on the dating app eastmeetseast going by the name Patk. Thai guy age 38. Definitely a scammer!!!! Be careful out there ladies.
Please help
August 22, 2021
Hi! Anyone contacted by a man named Nick Stern? From TX, in the middle east?
Josefa natividad
August 23, 2021
I'm scammed by the name of saquidilio chouto saquidilio chouto he pass by my timeline for how many time so I wonder asking for friend request so I add him all I thought that was the relative of my brother in law.so he chat right away thanking for my acceptance in facbuk.his intro was how I cope up with pendemic I answered that we are ok. Then I'm forced to loved him till I fall on him .expressing all his good feelings to me he is in uniform us army sap .in syria , he told me to pray for his life, I'm so crazy praying asking for his protection till he send me his photo on the battle telling that his one men die and one hit in the neck.so lastly he is sending me money and gold watch inside the luggage.i told him I'm not after for those valuable things I need to see his personal because I was nervouse already feeling that I'm scarred of loosing him ,till he send luggage only five days said that the luggage will arrive. Then somedy call me that the luggage was arrived, but he said I have to pay the custom for 25k I said why I pay , ur paid already by the sender he the custom wants me to pay that amount so that they can deliver .all promises he tell me that he is retiring in two months time.he is angry with me he said I betray him.im idiot he said..why tell him scammer i block him right away . I hope you can do something for that scammer so that no one is victim.thanks. .
SKYENTERLUDER …
September 21, 2021

In reply to by Josefa natividad

This is a major scammer, cut the chord now, the customs issue is used constantly, these are a well organized group.
Only looking o…
August 23, 2021
I need help my friend has been talking to this woman he's in UK she's in USA they been chatting for a little while now a few months or so but it didn't take her long to start asking for money for various reasons like medical bills and bail money and plane tickets and food for her and her child she has also said she's comming to see him a couple of times them made excuses that she was in hospital he is absolutely besotted by her and he dont think she's scamming him but the rest of his mates and family think she is but they can't say anything to him as it starts an argument she's deleted her Facebook profile and we have searched her name on Google comming up with nothing can anyone help he will go mad if he finds out but he needs to know he's already given hundreds of pounds
Nfp**
August 23, 2021
Have been in romance scam with a Henry Federick for about three months. He friend requested me on facebook, then messaged me. We started talking,He is the usual sweet talker. Fell for him, sent me pics of flowers, music videos, morning and goodnight messages. Claimed to be on ship at oil rig in India ocean, with no access to money. Started asking ffg or steam cards then google play cards to keep his "internet connection" so we can talk. Sent him a few. Came up with story about having a trunk with 3.7 million dollars in it that he got as compensation from the UN for defending the ship at one point. Wanted to have it sent to my house. Then he would be sent home. Asked for my personal info. Would not give it. Claims is coming home soon, then we can be together. Wants another card. Keep telling him no. I have been onto him for a little while now. Have been researching and did a reverse image search on his picture. Definite scam. It's hard to let go, but know I will have to.
Santi
August 24, 2021
They might introduce themselves as a Civil engineer and being sent to the conflict area to do construction work. When they arrive on the site, they said they don't have cash to do the transaction and they might ask us to transfer some money or to pay their hotel bills
Ai
August 24, 2021
Hi.. Anyone know chun yeung Patrick? Korean guys but migrate to New York since young.. Work as civil engineering.. Recently go to Turkey to get contract and have to pay in advance before win the project of power plantation.. His mum is sick too.. Have some credit card issue to deal with and need to pay urgently to get the contract.. think that he is a scammer..
Jen-esp22
August 24, 2021
I have been talking to this guy and he asked me to use the app hangouts so we can talk he told me he is a petroleum engineer in Dublin Ireland. But he lives in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. And his Name is Thomas Davidson.
What’s occurring
August 24, 2021
Has anyone been speaking to a Steve Allison claiming to be from Houston, Texas. We were chatting for a few months then he had to go to Mexico for work. Usual story, can’t video call etc. It’s almost like 3 or 4 different people are involved as the different levels of English and grammar are different. He needs £10,000 off me, his ‘wife’ for a new machine! The brass neck is incredible on these people.
Savanna
August 25, 2021
I have been communicating with a man who claims to be a pilot from Seoul Korea he goes by the name of Wang Wei. He seems to be very handsome from the pictures that he sent me and he’s the most romantic man I’ve ever spoken to. I believe he has scammed out of $700. He asked me to purchase google play cards so could update his phone but he never did. Then he asked me to purchase some iTunes cards so that he could continue to talk to me because he said his internet was running low. Now he’s saying that he wants to marry me and move to the states and share his retirement money with me. He wants me to pay $1000 to finish his retirement paperwork and supposedly send his money into my bank account. I refuse to give him anymore money until I do live chat. But after reading these posts I’m going to stop talking to him all together. Please someone let me know if you have had anyone with this same description trying to take advantage of you.
Broken
September 04, 2021

In reply to by Savanna

I think I’m talking to the same man. Do you have pics ?
Prettyblack
August 26, 2021
Ok baby because I just received call from our commander right now saying that we are coming back home this coming weekend and there's something I want us to talk aboutIs about the security work we did here last month, we are going to be paid today for securing one of the oil company here against the terrorist attack, so by today my team will be paid for thatI want you to do me a favour, i will like to send the money immediately back home, before my coming back because we are not allowed to travel with cash. i want to send you the money as a package, i will send you a greeting card and include the money inside, i will send it via DHL and it will be delivered to your home address as a package, here is the information's needed from DHL Name........ Home address....... Phone number....... Email......... The total money is $920.000USD and I want you to use 5,000 for your expenses and keep 915,000 USD until I am home THIS IS WHAT I SAID TO HIM :Oh no I can't get involved in that kind a stuff. THIS HIM: Sweetheart you don't want to help me. THIS ME: It's not that I'm not gonna accept that kind a money in my house, HIM But sweetheart it is in the box no one knows that there's money in the box only me and you So you have have nothing to worry about. THIS ME: No I will not sorry. HE DIDNT TEXT BACK NO MORE
Chummy
September 16, 2021

In reply to by Prettyblack

Got the same experience. Ryan Jacobs, he said he's a doctor but I dont believe him.
Angel@66
August 27, 2021
Hi all , can someone tell me please how is the best way to find out if others have been attempted scam by someone claiming to be a orthopaedic doctor in Dublin Ireland , if I give a name and photo ? Please can someone help out ? Would be appreciated
Camilla
August 27, 2021
Also watch out for Patrick Chulo on eastmeeteast. This is the same guy as Lamon Yuthakon and Patk. Thai guy good looking. Pretends to be a designer. He will sweet talk you for a couple of weeks and then start to ask money. Doesn’t do videochat.
Bonnie Davis
August 27, 2021
Been talking to a man very handsome said his wife died has a 6 year old daughter named Nancy. He totally broke my heart I fell so in love with him when he asked for money and I didn't come thru he dumped me. Said his name was Daniel Brand
Superwoman USA
August 27, 2021
Has anyone here got contacted by an Andrew Watson??
Nene
August 28, 2021
Hi thank you for everyone taking time to post. It is such a big help. A guy recently contacted me from a social media platform. Now he is on a business trip somewhere & ask me to open his online banking as he can’t access it in his current location of which I said NO. He said he is a Korean American & an Architect by prof in Chicago. I wanted to contact the guy in the pictures he sent me as he might have no idea that his picture is allover the place but I don’t know how.
Nene
August 28, 2021
Has anyone chatted with Seong Jin?
Same scammer
October 30, 2021

In reply to by Nene

I’ve talked to the man claimed as dae seong lee on tinder, rushed to relationship and scared me to dead, oil rig parents dead bla bla, seems like we met the same scammer
vivi
August 28, 2021
French car dealer trapped in Ivory Coast. Has a small child. Says his bank blocked his money and has been detained by Customs in that country. Asking for money that I don't have of course. Did pay for him to renew passport and saw old one plus new one plus ID card. Does this make him genuine?
grladvisor Don…
August 28, 2021
Has anyone been contacted by a Fred Juan. He says he has a business in Miami Florida. Highline motors. I mentioned the scammers to him , he swears up and down he’s not but I’m very Leary. I know better than to give him any money.
lost soul
August 28, 2021
I recently found out by accident .. my name I use regualy and photo of me is being on used on a dating site .ive contacted n emailed this site several times .. ive had no reply ... am not really sure what I should do n go about it now .. anyone have any ideas please ?
MR
August 28, 2021
Don't trust JamieFrigla10 guy. He's a scammer. Asked for money and name not attached to real pic when reverse searched.
Nanachristen
August 29, 2021
Did any come across the name Alexander Christian avalos navy guy from Kansas
Helen 84't use…
August 30, 2021
Has anyone spoken to a guy that calls himself Greg Johnson, retired surgeon on damadcus Syria son called Kelvin in a boarding school being looked after by a teacher. Wants me to pretend to be his fiancee and send an email to his company telling them l am ill and need him so he can take leave and come to be by my side
Brummiegal
August 30, 2021
I have a guy on fb that found me on there and is asking for payments to buy bitcoin. I've lost £200 and he wants more
Denise 51
September 08, 2021

In reply to by Brummiegal

what was his name my daughter is going through that right now
Candice57 use …
August 30, 2021
I’ve been talking to a guy who says he’s a orthopedic surgeon in Yemen. He wants to send me gifts. Is this a scam? He goes by Stephen Anderson. But he has what sounds like a French accent. Definitely European. But says he’s from the States. What am I into?
latinamum71
August 30, 2021
Has anyone come across men that say that they are in the military and are so sweet everything is good then they send you pictures of troops going home in coffins with flags on them saying you got help me come home can't take it here send money.any will help. Before asking for money being really nice and caring met on WWF
yoyodadddyo
August 30, 2021
i got a text saying from a +1 (786) 512-9844 “ Hello Elizabeth! It's Elina and thats my new number. We are over with William. He cheated.. Want to come over for dinner? A lot to talk about!” i paste the same text in google and it showed some ones twitter profile.
Survivor
September 04, 2021

In reply to by yoyodadddyo

Please do not reply such text or emails they are usually scammers
Mlf2110
September 01, 2021
Harry williams From New Zealand, gemologist , living in the states for 40 years, widower. Things are a little wierd. I feel he is a scammer.
05cathy
September 01, 2021
Anyone know Dr. Stephen (Steven) Allen who says he’s a widower & an Orthopedic doctor working in Syria & has a daughter in boarding school?
Helpme66
September 02, 2021
I need help for my friend please. She’s talking to an American chap called Scott Lewis who is based an RAF base in Glasgow apparently. He’s just flew out to Iraq today. He has a son in Birmingham uk an his ex gf cheated on him with the he next door neighbour. He deleted his Instagram where he only posted 3 pictures and only had 60 something followers. Once I questioned him and tried to ring him “it got hacked”. Please help my friend
Ruth
September 03, 2021
I was on a Christian dating site when a man by the name of Jayden Bram contacted me. He said that he was a Civil Engineer in Constructions living in Houston and owned His firm and house. He was a widow. 3 years ago, his wife died in a car accident. He was a father to a little girl of 7 years old called Jessica He was a Christian. So during 3 weeks he chatted with me morning, noon and evening. Also called me in the morning and in the evening. Prayed one or two times with me over the phone. Everything seemed so perfect ....but althought he wanted to come to visit me for us to marry. There was something that sitted not right. He said that he had to travel (business trip) oversees, to the UK for 3 weeks for one of his client. During his trip to the UK, someone stole him his wallet and then his bank account got frozen. So he was not able during his stay in the UK to pay for the material needed at the clients site He needed something like 7300 euros for the material I told him I was not able to help him. Doubts begin to raise and I asked Him to do a video call cause I wanted to see him. He told me that he couldn't for the camera on his phone was not working. I asked Him to use His computer but he told me that he has left his computer in the states. So you travel oversee as a CEO for a client mission but you don't have a laptop ....weird !!! He said he will make everything to do the video call via skype and he did it two days after BUT he did it on skype and it looks like it was a prerecorded video: his lips did not match what he was saying ....Incredible After that he asked me to assist Him with money as he wanted to go back to Houston and fix the situation with his bank. Of course I refused to help him I contacted the Christian site to expose them the situation and they confirm that he was a scammer from Nigeria ! It is disgusting how some don't fear God and appear to be religious but they aren't. They are fake I thank God for during this whole time He guarded my heart and prevented me from falling for this satan agent ! Praise be to God May God forgive you "Jayden Bram"
GohardforGod
September 03, 2021
Has anyone heard of Franco Brown?
Francisco Angulo
September 03, 2021
What can I do if they are playing in your mind games
Broken
September 04, 2021
Very similar stories to these. Anyone know of a David Jung? Says from Miami. Delivery company and his company emails are from gmail accounts / not corporate and asking for money to clear a package stuck in another country customs. But when I searched the name of the delivery company , it doesn’t exist?? Also name of company that he works for is coming from a generic gmail account?
Survivor
September 04, 2021
Please people beware these scans usually start with a text or email from a stranger.