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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.

Stupid and gullible
September 05, 2021
Has anyone come across a Winston brown? Says he’s on an oil rig in Scotland
Fiery Redd
September 05, 2021
I've been speaking with a man that goes by Kofi Williams. Says he's in Maldives building bridges and walkways for his company in Houston, TX. He tried to get a loan with my info to get an $8000 loan. Epic fail. The SSA and FBI know about him now. I don't think he's coming to the States like he's claiming to now...
Fiery Redd
September 05, 2021
Here are the alias: 1. Prince Akande (Jay) 2. Prince Kofi Akande Williams Father was a King in Ghana but passed away. Lives in Houston, TX and works for HNL Construction and Engineering- allegedly. His 2 children live with his mom in Ghana. Supposed to be in Maldives as supervisor building bridges and pedestrian walkways.
joseph ruby
September 06, 2021
beware of Joseph Ruby - dating scammer in The Philippines. Gives a fictitious background: - Grew up in the UK (complete with a fake British accent) - Is very successful and well off However, he has a criminal history of stealing from previous employers and relationships he has been involved in. Is known to target dating sites to look for his victims.
Laura Contreras
September 07, 2021
Has anybody met a Eric Walberg says he a widow no kids that his 53 i think I got scammed and heart broken i got suckered with sending him money saying his bank account got blocked and I'm a single mother that's is struggling please I need help.
lola
September 08, 2021
I need help my husband wants to send money to a nun she is actualy called Reverent iIdont know the name. This sister convinced him that she wants to bless him a gift with a gift (2 apple laptops, 1 apple phone, flat screen tv). She started to send him messages on messenger Facebook. She told him he must only send $150 dollars for the deliver/ transportation fee. My frustration is that he believes her and dont want to hear that it is a scam. How do I stop this please
Shane
September 09, 2021
I presently chatting to this guy named Richard he said he is a Military Personel based in Togo but when I search for his name a lot of accnts with his pictures in it appears on my search engine..
Gensings
September 09, 2021
I knew straightaway there was something wrong. Only reason I private messaged him (didn’t accept following him on Instagram) was because we have a mutual friend. Oh she’s just a friend he said. Then so I thought ok, I’ll talk to you. He wanted me to go on Hangouts. Sent me a pic of a lovely looking guy. Said he was 54, wife died five years ago, comes from Dallas, Tx., daughter in boarding school. Reckons he was brought up in an orphanage because BOTH his parents died. Now he’s working in Dublin as a scuba-diving underwater piping installer. I said things like if you were brought up in an orphanage, why, now that your wife has died, would you put your child in boarding school and have a guardian look after her. Finally, he said some way-out phrase and I copied it and googled it. Then, with proof that he was a scammer, I sent him the link. He said what you mean by that? Then I blocked him. Ha. Idiot. Do not be sucked in ladies. They’re all fake.
Tine Wallace
September 09, 2021
I met a man in online qnd after tqlking for a week he qsked for addreess to send mobile qnd jewelries then after have him after a day he said its qlready sent by cargotrustshipment he gave the website qnd trqcking number upon tracking o see it will deliverd for 3 days bu airfreight then tracking qgain after a day its written status on hold then u text him asked the cargo company then later on he said youcheck your email then i check it and i found out the that cargo support email me and they said the items is on hold qnd need to pay in custom worth $4000 but i only need to pay $1900 coz the other their company wil pay .can i see a pictute of this joe parker if you have he is workinv as drilling engineer offshore qnd cannot make a video call.tbank you
Guffydenise
September 09, 2021
Guy goes by peter casper he's always needing Google gift card or screM card data low he's hungry nice looking kids he fake cry he talk about killing himself real lover scammer
LBKlbk
September 11, 2021
I met a man by the name of Thomas Leroux then changed it to Nico saying it was a middle name but then went bs k to Thomas. He gave sD stories of single parent, father having cancer Er, mom dying and got shot in the army asking for more money threatened to send my pics to my followers if I didn’t send him 1500
Rose
September 11, 2021
I was scammed by this guy name Cody Johnson and I had changed my pass word on face book and he still trys to get intouch with me but mom told him to leave us alone and he still keeps asking me for the money and he is from Niergia. I have been blocking him and he had made a different profile picture of my mom account too. I have been avoiding him and not talking to him. He keeps calling on Messagner on face book. Any advice.
Annlonely
September 13, 2021
Joe costello is the man I'm talking to on biker dating l was seeking an hell's angel type like my late husband Joe says he's a biker president he suddenly started calling me my queen l found a similar photo in Russian writing is he a scammer his email gives Jeff Sheehan and says he's 76 not 66
tmb
September 13, 2021
Mine is Adam Lucas Bram; an oil engineer working in the arabian sea right now. Supposed to be coming back to Boston this coming weekend. Had an explosion on his platform which broke an integral piece of equipment and just asked me for $45k. We've been texting and talking for about a month and a half now. Super handsome and have lots of sexting and phone sex...
santian
September 13, 2021
in two months I almost had been scammed by two men, who claimed they are Malaysian n Singaporean. both said they were civil engineer. the Malaysian live in London n the Singapore lived in NY. They confessed their love quickly to me and wanted to marry me. Later on the Malaysian said he was going to work in a construction work project in Turkey, under UN program n wanted to borrow my money to buy some materials, because he said the place was so remote n didn't have good internet access. the Singaporean trick was almost the same, but it was located in Gaza. He wanted me to log in his account and asked me to transfer some money to the hotel he lives and to some people. I didn't want it n they were so mad.
Skyup
September 14, 2021
I've just had the same. Has a daughter named Sarah I have a photo.
Mkgone
September 14, 2021
Anyone have a Marcus Moses Johnson? Stationed in Syria. Age 58. Young daughter with blue hair. Caucasian. Claims to be from Delaware?
Nabirye
September 15, 2021
I have gone through the some situation one day i wakeup in the morning with the new what's number on my phone the claiming was searching for his friends contact which he lost but thinking am the one.we stated chatting from there he asked for my name i told him and he said his is Connor Alexandra from uk w chatted until I fall in love with the guy but he never wanted us to talk via video call claiming his busy and they don't allow them to receive a call at work,Even at night he never wanted to receive my calls only texting he claims that his phone needs repair hos using laptop to chat me i thought it was all true until they have robbed me is when i came to know that they are scamming me the story is too good to be true. Am so heart broken after losing all my savings thinking that am helping my beloved yet it was a scam even now his so called company the one he claimed that he used to ship the package which i was supposed to receive they are texting me that they need more for the package before they give it to me and even himself is telling me to pay more money otherwise he will loose his documents .Please need any advice on this do i block him or i just let it be not to respond to him anymore
whateverbena2
October 29, 2021

In reply to by Nabirye

yes block report and delete him all lies im glad i found out this guy George Williams is fake with a fake name and fake phone number. all fb,instagram, emails, and hangout and he started just wanting to use whatsapp and nothing else dont buy into there mess, yes they ge you to fall in love and then start with the money he didnt mention any money till we chatted for 5 months then he started dont sedn any of you logon and passwords either he just wants your info...deleted him for good read these pages most do alot of the same thing with there homes in usa but away with there work then their stuck thats when they start good luck take care.
Miss subba
September 16, 2021
Andrea Garry Phillips, marine engineer, green eyes, tattoo on one arm! He scammed me, so hard to believe.
onethatislonesome
September 17, 2021
right now i am talking to 3 that i know are scammers. one is trying to get me to open up a bank account and i tell him no so he says try this one. So far his has tried to get me to open up 4 different bank accounts. Another scammers has wanted me to get itune cards and i asked what it was for and he says to buy music and i told him to go to the store himself to get it and he keeps telling me that he has hurt his leg and can't go. oh well i told him this last on is on a contract in Scotland on an oil rig in the ocean. i have looked up all their names and phone numbers and no such search. i have never given them any money so and not out anything but please all the women out here be very careful. if they tell you that they are on a contract that is one way to know that they are scammers besides all the other stuff that this site tells you
Whatafool
September 18, 2021
I have talking to a guy who claims he in Iraq on an oil rig for Aramco oil Claims I was his beneficiary Wanted my info I didn't give it His pictures were a gentleman who Was an airline pilot He had a fake English accent Widower for a few years No children Orphaned at a young age Claims he had money Same thing as the other comments In love, always used words like love and darling
123horse
September 19, 2021
I'm talking to a woman named Sarah Angela she says her cousin Amanda lola is helping her to say trust Sarah she's really depressed and loves me I only know her for a few days and she says she loves me. And here cousin Amanda always tells me trust her she will never doubt or cheat on you .I think its Sarah and Amanda are the same person they use the same sighs like prayer hands and other signs.she doesn't want to chat on phone. I told her to send me a selfie but keeps sending me pictures of old poses not real selfies. I was asking her for her address to send her a gift she says send me the money on gift cards am I being scammed
Cashyanne
September 19, 2021
My daughter is going back to usa .she met a guy called effi an amateur boxer he says . But when she met him she put no holiday pic on or called me I got few texts . Now hes says his family are moving to florida .but the uncle who's 29 his partner and his brothers friend who a girl .who to nice to my daughter. Tell me if I'm wrong this is not right . Please someone help answer my question
Wizzerwiz
September 19, 2021
Anyone dealing with a guy that goes by WILLIAM THOMAS in the Caspian Sea?
Nanachristen
September 20, 2021

In reply to by Wizzerwiz

Does he have contact with Alexander Christian avalos in the navy top secret they say
Boymom
September 20, 2021
Hi all. I’ve had a few characters recently. One named Seth Ortiz, a civil engineer in trouble in Nigeria. Thomas Adams, an oil rig contractor in New Orleans recently awarded a contract with Mobile Drill International. Staff Sgt Thomas Metcalf , US Army in Arkansas in love with me just by seeing my picture, Mark Ayers in army in Turkey about to retire and come build a new life with me. I did fall victim to one of these, but hard lesson learned. It’s made me skeptical about the rest, so I guess the lesson has helped.
Concerned sist…
September 20, 2021
I think my sister-in-law is being scammed by someone calling himself William Miller Folk-Mari. He actually meet with her a few times and is now in South Africa and can’t leave the country until his job is done BUT He got his computer and phone stolen which looked him out of his bank accounts (ya right) he’s a contractor on a 7 million dollar job but has asked her for money, she won’t tell me how much and says she has transferred money that someone else had given her (money laundering I suspect). Because she’s meet him she doesn’t believe it’s a scam. He showed her his bank statements and he has 2 million. Now why would he feel the need to show her his bank statement? He’s a pretty good looking guy and she’s not attractive and is overweight. I’ve not had much luck searching online. I have a picture
SKYENTERLUDER …
September 21, 2021
Anyone familiar with a guy called Nelson/Nelson-army
Abby Rea
September 21, 2021
Has anyone heard from a guy named Eric Morgan? Very good looking lots of tattoos. Construction engineer from Florida and a real estate investor. Has 2 kids Kye and Shay. I'll never send money or buy cards or give out personal information but I have talked to this guy for over a year. The only thing that's gets me is is heavy accent. If he is a scammer it won't break my heart.. lol I will be your friend if you need one but I'm just curious if anyone has heard of him. I've actually seen a couple post where it said he had fake profiles. If he is fake then I can really put him in his place and I will. If he just needs a friend then I don't want to be mean. And just to let everyone know..Do not give out personal information, Do not send money in any form, shape or way.. If anyone ask for money, apple cards, steam cards etc.. Then it is a scammer!
Dorothy
September 22, 2021
My boyfriend gets messages and calls from a website called nearby crush. Is there anyway that he didn’t sign up for this because he said he didn’t.
Suspicious One…
September 28, 2021

In reply to by Dorothy

Someone signed me up for a dating site - ok cupid, I think. I got emails, but never phone calls. But I figured out how to shut it down and disabled the account. I'm pretty sure all they need is your email and phone number to sign you up. It could be someone pranking him. He could probably shut it down if he talked to customer service though.
Rosie-lee
September 22, 2021
Does anyone know of Derrick Clinton also known as Mario Says he’s a construction engineer in Egypt
Cpdlmjkss
September 26, 2021
What if they ask for your SSN and keep on and on after you have told them no.
Lois
September 28, 2021
2 weeks ago Ive been on tagged site. There I meet Jones Leo Clark. He said he was a ship captain. At first he was good even until now.. He ask to send me photos but i never did. I just gave him an address, my brothers address...He never asked me money, instead he said, he sent me gifts ring, chocolates and money. LOL! He is from Patras City Greece. He said he buys gifts for me in Iceland as he was there for a tour... But the parcel address was send from Greece. LOL.. So i keep talking to him until now as if I don't know anything....And lately he said, he will call me with their emergency number. Also I need to message him if i receive the parcel... LOL. whether scam or not. I'm not into him...
Lizz
September 28, 2021
Lady's stay away from Robertson jeffrey morrow. He tried scamming me.. He's using picture's from another guy. Has a son tattoo both arms and a eagle tattoo on his chest. Never was able to video or call me..
Pawlilly26
September 29, 2021
I have met someone on Facebook request about 4 months ago. He said his wife died in a car accident 6 years ago and his home is in Los Angeles. He says he has a son named Alex Bradley, that is in a boarding school. The guy says his name is Donald Bradley. He says he is an engineer on an oil rig in Ireland on a ship. He put a picture and it is a picture of a guy named Joe Cross. Has anyone talked to this person that say he is Donald Bradley
Sanna
September 29, 2021
Has anyone written with a Korean who has now gone to Italy and his grandmother had an accident and they need money. He doesn't have a way to send money to the hospital because apparently his account is not working.
Linda
September 29, 2021
Has anyone been corresponding with a Henry Austin? Supposed to be German commander in Afghanistan. Has daughter and wife died. My sister is being scammed.
Confused007
September 29, 2021
It is so hard to know if they are a scammer or not. I have a guy that is in love with me too quick. is an Investigative Journalist but not with a particular group. He lost his phone running for his life and wants me to send him a new one. He says he is "in a military Lahij Governorate, Yemen. and wants me to send the phone to Belgium where this person at the orphanage can get him a package. It just does not make sense to me. He is not able to access his own money bucause of where he is. I think it is a scam can someone else confirm this. I also would feel really bad if it is not. He is not asking for money. Help? Confused
Puzzled!
October 11, 2021

In reply to by Confused007

Has anyone talked to an Andrew Phillips, 2 children, ex cheated on him with his best friend, has a small company in San Diego was Firmstem construction, now changed his picture, has the same telephone number?
Igothittoo
October 06, 2021
I saw a comment from a 2015 post, about a female talking to a man supposedly named Carl Breigner, from the Netherlands. Small world. Me too. He scamned me for quite a bit, starting in 2017, and I let him do it for a year. Beware! He's back on facebook luring in more victims. He's very convincing. He told me that his wife got involved with drugs and started sleeping with his friends, hence, the divorce. He said his wife went back to Mexico, with the dog, and he got custody of their 1 daughter. She's supposedly in boarding school. After talking to this man many many times, he sounds Nigerian. He wouldn't show me his face.
NN
October 08, 2021
Guys ever heard a man with name Philip Kim?? He said from Cincinnati, He is US Army, His wife died because cancer, He has a daughter and his daughter on boarding school. He still in Yemen and next month will be back to USA, He sent me a box the content of the box are gold medal, money $ 25,000. But he ask me to pay first airport clearance and tag then he will pay back after I received the box. Because I don't have money to paid then he threatened me. Can this be suspected of being a scammer?
Amanda
October 09, 2021
I have been speaking to a soldier who claims to be in the army in Somalia at first all was good but after a wk he started asking for money he sent me his commanders email address I got intouch via email and said that pat wanted to come home and we could b together he said at first it will cost 350 pound so I paid it in cards then he said I will have to fill a form in but it would not allow me to fill in so I told pat he said he will fill it in but it will cost another 50 pound so I done it then he said that he needed inter net can I send him 50 as he said he needed food ect once again I did so far he has had 470.oo now he is saying it will cost another 550 for him to come home nd that I have to fill in a fiance form I have told him I haven't got any more I have voice my concerns to him via wot app said that I think I am getting scammed .he said that I don't trust him he wants me to send another 50.00 so he can have Internet to carry on wot app I haven't done it as I have been reading on Internet about deployed soldiers and bout how they scam he has sent me a pic of him but I think I have been scammed plz help me
Vkmom
October 10, 2021
I think I might be getting scammed. I had a message on MeWe from some guy named Bill Shayne said he liked my mail in my profile picture. I am on that social media site often. He asked me if I had WhatsApp and I said yes. We switched over to there. He is a widower from Windsor Canada. Has 2 daughters name Jasmine and Ava ages 9 &7. He is a TIG welder working and currently working as an airplane maintenance engineer and has done some underwater welding in the past. He is originally from Ankara turkey his mother died when he was younger and moved to Canada after his father passed away because his uncles were fighting over money after his dads death . He has not asked me for any money or any gift cards No elaborate story that he’s going out of the country in business. Says he wants to get to know me better. He talks of taking his girls out to dinner and when I ask him where he responds working 2 minutes. I look up the restaurant to see if it’s in Windsor and the ones he’s given me they are. He calls me sweetheart most of the time. I don’t give him too much information about me and stay somewhat vague in some of my responses. I started feeling something wasn’t quite right when I asked him where his profile picture was taken as it looked professionally fine. He said he had some studio pictures done for his social media account which I thought was weird. When Facebook went done this past week I said I had a google chats account and to send me his email and I could add him. He did but had a different last name and when I questioned it he said it was his Turkish last name the name he gave me was Bill Hamme ( said his Turkish first name was Emin). So I decided to do some investigating about him. I can’t find anything on the internet regarding a person using the story he gave me or with that name. I tried do a reverse photo search on special catfish site but nothing there either. I did some more digging and finally found a picture that matched his profile picture and it was from a person in Belgium (I think that’s the country) who is a tv/radio person. I looked up more about him and found his Facebook page and all the pictures but 4 that this ”Bill Shayne” sent me are on this guys Facebook. Im a fairly intelligent person but even the most intelligent people can be duped. Please let me know that my suspicions are accurate or not.
Puzzled!
October 11, 2021
I have a question, do love scammers keep the same telephone number but change their picture?
takkie
October 12, 2021
I am talking to a guy called Dr Michael Anderson from London. I get the feeling he is not for real, anybody else talking to him He stated that he is a plastic surgeon in London
Maggie
October 12, 2021
If anyone is chatting with a man claiming to be a 59 year old pilot for Kuwait Airlines, 9 year old son- James. Wife died giving birth to son. His son, Nanny and Lucas Benjamin Williams (the pilot) currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Whatsapp number is: 262-885-7688. Today, he claims to be in Kuwait with a month long contract. In the past few weeks, he claims to have traveled to Germany, Greece, Brazil, Malaysia. As of today, he is claiming to be in Kuwait and wanted me to order and send him a new I phone 13 pro- saying he would pay for it. Actually asked me to send him a picture of the front of my credit card. Unbelievable !!! Of course, I did not send. He said his son, James (a 9 year old, back in Brooklyn NY)) would put the money on my card. How can people like this sleep at night??? If you recognize any of this info, let's talk.
Beckers
October 12, 2021
Has anyone face chatted with someone all the time, daily, straight phone calls, WhatsApp phone calls, etc. And then all of a sudden they are so in love after 5 months? It seems so genuine because of the daily chats and routines, it's like you see what they are doing on the regular. But then it comes..."Will you go pick up this money gram or western union and send it to me?" Several times, then the senders names change. All of a sudden, they are ordering things to your house under different names. When you call the WU senders, you find out they were scammed out of some money. Then your romance person swears they didn't know, it was their friend who they were trying to help out. Just be on the lookout!
Jim
October 23, 2021

In reply to by Beckers

2 of these scammer's have professed their undivided love at the end of our first day...2 have taken up to 10 days. Their back stories are almost identical. Like they are all working from the same script.