Skip to main content

Image of cupid and heartNot everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Why all of the tricks? They’re looking to steal your money.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, romance scammers are now involving their victims in online bank fraud. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims. After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account. The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country. Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.  

Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake. They ask you to:

  • chat off of the dating site immediately, using personal email, text, or phone
  • wire money using Western Union or Money Gram
  • set up a new bank account

Did you know you can do an image search of your love interest’s photo in your favorite search engine? If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer. And if the person’s online profile disappears a few days after they meet you, that’s another tip-off.

Here’s the real deal: Don’t send money to someone you met online — for any reason. If your online sweetheart asks for money, you can expect it’s a scam.

Unfortunately, online dating scams are all too common. There may be tens of thousands of victims, and only a small fraction report it to the FTC. If this happens to you, please report it at

A woman looking at a dating site on her computer.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.

June 17, 2020

In reply to by dm

He is a scammer. He drug me on for months. He finally asked for money and I told him to take a hike! He gave me the exact same story. Major Liar
December 03, 2019

In reply to by Cc

Sounds like this Susan Brown who was suppose to be from N.Z. and sent me a video. I got a red flag when she could not pronounce Istanbul right. Then i figured out the photos she was sending was 2 diff people. Then she made up this story about dropping her laptop and needed the most expensive apple ...i told her sorry honey no can do but if you buy it i would mail it....i did not hear from her for a week then , then she needed 9400 to get the stones out of turkey....big time scam....I lost 50 bucks doing a back ground check on her could have been worse. I emailed a guy that lost 5k to her in colorado.....he said she is really a 23 year old in Lagos Nigeria.
Bea246your e-m…
March 14, 2020

In reply to by max94

He even gave me the Secretary bank account ti put the money. It is an o line banking in Italy. I tried to Google the account number. It came with 100 s of people deposited money in Naira. Millions of Naira each person. They are billionaire and they do not work.
October 17, 2019

In reply to by Badcatmama

Charles Luke is scamming by Aunt as we speak. She won't listen to anyone, but him.
October 28, 2019

In reply to by kimberlyd93

My mom is having that happen too & wont listen to me either. I haven’t told my siblings yet but getting ready to real soon. It’s so sad.
November 06, 2019

In reply to by kimberlyd93

I know Charles Luke, where is he saying he is? I got scammed out of a lot of money by him. He is a total scammer. So sorry to hear about your aunt. If you share the story, I am sure it will match mine.
May 21, 2020

In reply to by cc

Do you have a picture of Charles or Sam the gemologist stuck in Turkey?
August 08, 2021

In reply to by Badcatmama

Oil rig, widower, kid in boarding school. Always a scam.
January 25, 2021

In reply to by anita1

Please do not be ashamed. These people are good at what they do. They prey on people's emotions to get money. THEY should be ashamed, but they are not. I was lucky I found out before I gave any money, but am afraid for my credit cards and bank account. They ask a lot of sly questions until you figure out they are SCAMMERS!
Jesus lover
October 17, 2019

In reply to by Thanks17

Hey brother I just got scammed for $2200 Went on for 5 months I love your attitude... Im taking that on now because I've been angry about it all. God bless, and thank you for saying it right
October 20, 2018

In reply to by Got scammed

This man about three months ago try he seems so sincere and loving he called me every day and night and text constantly until he wants me to send my ring size and shoe size then he send me pics of stuff and tell me I have to pay custom fee of$400-420 when it delivered to me, I told him not to send me any because I didn't ask for it, he was so mad and stop calling.
Broken heart
April 13, 2019

In reply to by Joda45

It sounds familiar to me. Asked ring size. Shie size. iTunes started off. He saied he loves me and I am his wife and treasure. I told him he was a scammer. He said he was not .sounds like it to me. I'm still talking with him on video chat and calls and texts does scammers use video chats. His pic and all marches his video looks. He plays keyboard and talks about God alot. How do I know. This guy is real. He knows I have no money. I love this man it really hurts this man is 39 will be 40 in October I am 60 does that even sound right. Read this and give me some advice. Should u believe him, especially talked about God , or is this man the devil himself
April 20, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

Honey, he is scamming you. Run far, far away. They will say anything to play on your emotions and to get sympathy. Just because he talks about God does not mean he is legit. He only wants your money. Then he will disappear and you won’t be able to get ahold of him or find him. Also, he is probably scamming multiple women at once.
Kiñara brown
April 24, 2019

In reply to by Broken heart

This souds so familiar, the guy I talk to I can video chat and they all seam to be the same, can you send me pic of him
Cindy Clark
December 02, 2019

In reply to by Mariquita

Can I see one of the pitchers please
Luciana Andrade
April 07, 2020

In reply to by Cindy Clark

I have photos. I really love him, and don’t believe all is lie. Someone can help me with photos?
September 06, 2019

In reply to by Kiñara brown

Yes run. My guy says he is a doctor but has 3 different names. So handsome, says beautiful things and send videos I fell really hard. Just don’t send any money
October 08, 2019

In reply to by Basketball

My guy says he is Dr. Jason Brandt on twitter. I have seen him on video chat and many photos on scammer sites. He must have over 100 different names and email accounts. I have found hem to be very active since 2013 and most likely before. Glad I never sent him money. Wish we could share photos
December 27, 2019

In reply to by Basketball

I met a guy name George Miller.very handsome talking very lovely .always sending prayers caring saying lives in America asking $1200 .y people using god and doing this kind of things .do you think one day he will confess and become good man .i really love him
Ms. CorvetteDd
January 17, 2020

In reply to by stafani

Hi, can you tell me what he looks like? Sounds familiar. Does he have gray / silver hair, stash and mustache? Hazel eyes? Short.He is a real pro. Beware of him. Please let me know. Ty. US women have to stick together.
Ms. Dan
February 29, 2020

In reply to by Ms. CorvetteDd

Hi. Sounds very similar about this guy can you send me also his photo? For me to verify. He's a good looking man.
Ms. Dan
March 02, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

He's a good looking man, descent personality and you really fall to him. He uses the name Jeffrey Miller. He'll make you feel you're the only one and calling you "my queen" . He claimed he works at oil rigs as an engineer and soon retiring. Want to share his photo how to do?
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Tina B

I do but not sure how to send it. He has been romancing and scamming money from me for five months!
April 10, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

Do you hv a picture I’m talking to a guy calls me his “queen”
July 06, 2020

In reply to by Ecummings98

Does the guy who calls you queen ever call you my queen? Sends poems and songs? Always asks if you‘ve eaten? Lots of heart emojis?
July 11, 2020

In reply to by shelraec

It sounds a lot like the person I'm talking to. Michael Sander. Military us army . Loves music parents died in 2005 and 2006 mom from UK and dad from Mexico. I have tons of pictures and he has a dog named jake here in Texas supposedly.
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Danielle

Hi, he sounds like the guy I’ve been talking to. He claims he works for the UN and calls me babe, my queen and sends dings snd poems all of the time. Now he wants iTunes cards and gets nasty when I say no to him. Do you have any photos of your guy pls?
July 26, 2021

In reply to by Kitten

This sounds like the man I was talking to he called himself thomas walter. He got very nasty when I wouldn't send him money and is threatening all sorts of things, but I dontthink he can risk following through with them.
Been Scammed
July 16, 2020

In reply to by shelraec

This person is scamming a lot of women. He has an accent. He goes by Tello Peterson, Dominic Carme, Carme Dominic, Dominic Carmen and probably many other names. He calls you his queen, "the love of my live", "my wife", asks if you've eaten, etc. He sends lots of hearts and other emojis. He will tell you that he is coming to see you, have you go to the airport to pick him up, but doesn't show up. He recently claimed he was hurt in an explosion in Alaska on an oil rig. Always begging for money and your bank account information. He has a 22 year old daughter named Sherry but will also tell you her name is Annabel. He forgets which name he gave you. He claims his wife and son died 9 years ago in childbirth. He uses different stolen pictures. He has been reported to the ftc.
March 21, 2021

In reply to by Been Scammed

they all do that. i'm on instagram a lot because i'm an artist and i get several of these guys a day. they all have the same story and all fall in love in 2 minutes and try to get you off the site real quick and even though they profess how much they adore you , as soon as you tell them you won't go to hangouts or whatsapp they disappear. it's so easy to spot these scammers. they have scripts that they read and they are the same over and over again with very little variation. an american male never asks you if you've eaten, doesn't call you "dear", doesn't say they love you in 2 minutes, don't ask you to move to another platform, and don't immediately tell you the sad story about the dead wife that was killed in a car crash and the kid. another thing.. if they say they are military.. ask them to give you their MOS. if they can't give it to you right away then they are lying. every military person knows their MOS like their own face. if it's several minutes before they answer, they are looking it up. same as when they tell you they are in United States, California Los Angles. what american guy says it like that? they say i live in LA. and when you tell them you live in Mississippi they take 5 minutes looking where it is. i've had guys say they were from Texas but then they ask what the weather is like in my country after i have told them i live in Washington. if you pay attention you can spot a scammer in 2 minutes flat.
August 02, 2020

In reply to by shelraec

@shelraec - I had the same guy. Called me "my queen, my treasure, blahblahblah. Poems, love songs...always asked if I have had coffee in the mornings... what I had for dinner, did I enjoy it and if my stomach was full, lol. Yes, lots of emojis, hearts, lips, etc. Talked about our future together with his "teenage daughter" which really did not sound good to me. At my age, I have no interest in raising a bratty teenager lol. He was really nice and loving until I told him I am not able to send him iTunes cards...then tried a different tactic by wanting me to email a security deposit company, and give them my phone number and home address so that they can send me his briefcase with Millions in it. He said I keep it for him until his contract ends and he will come and meet me. Even told me I could get $100,000 for me to use. Did not fall for that either, lol. Thank God I did not lose track of my common sense. So all of my assets are intact, safe and sound from him and his evil plans. Nevertheless, I had some entertainment during the first three months of the "stay-at-home" thing, lol. And I learned a lot about romance scams. He now knows that I know he is a fake...still sends me love songs from time to time. Probably still thinking of another way to scam me, hahaha...
November 09, 2021

In reply to by Queenlol

This scenario is all too familiar to me. I have been chatting with the same guy. Saying exactly the same thing. Even had his daughter email me that I make her dad so happy. And wants me to be her mom. His name is Robert Murray. I have pictures that he sent me…if that’s him.
August 03, 2020

In reply to by shelraec

Sounds like the guy I am talking to. Sends poems & songs, ask if I am eaten and need to take care of myself. Is an engineer on an oil- rig right now. Claims he has two kids in boarding school in England and is British & Polish. Lives in San Diego. Do you have picture to share? I have several pictures he send me.
April 29, 2021

In reply to by Ali

Bill also uses a Portuguese name starts with Arl ..from UK, widowed 6 yrs ago. Started talking to him in FB dating. Says daughter 27 is doc in UK. Son is 22 Civil engineer.Said he us structural engineer off coast of New York. Calls me his queen was working and a fire destroyed almost 30 000 in tools. Asked gently for $ but told him I did not have the funds or ability to help him. Very handsome graying hair, pics in Malorca resort in Spain- was wearing glasses, another in an office with a Dermatology book behind him at the desk he was sitting at. Portuguese looking I think green eyes, 50 years old. I keep asking for more pics but he won't . Says can't do video call cuz of terrible reception area.
July 16, 2021

In reply to by Ali

I've just deleted a guy who sound's like him .goes by name of Hendrik .started asking me to send scratch cards for apple and he'd redeem them by removing the foil.nust binned him straight away no details given just said no
October 15, 2020

In reply to by shelraec

Omg that’s him.... mine is named Andre James!! The eating and heart emoji..... does he talk of fresh squeezed oj??
March 09, 2021

In reply to by shelraec

Exact same story my Queen, my wife, babe, have I had breakfast, lunch, dinner? God fearing woman ? Didn’t get a dime from me but had to have 250 iTunes card to keep his phone on. Oil and gas soon to retire and coming to take care of me. Not. Send pics, I have 5.
October 12, 2020

In reply to by Ecummings98

You could be talking to the a similar guy to me. Have you spoken with this guy?
April 21, 2020

In reply to by Ms. Dan

He exactly said the same to me my queen rig engineer soon retired
scammer named Deco
June 11, 2020

In reply to by Paula

Met guy named Deco Belemu . On oil rig is engineer fixing retire and divorced had daughter 29. Call me His Queen . Wants gift cards all time / his he 50 million dollar rich showed me acct with that amount money in it . Fake acct . Wants to talk on hangouts and used video chat can’t now . Wanted new phone a d tried order 6 to be delivered, but Verizon called me with fraud alert. Want me to fly with my own money out off rig in helicopter lol. He says he wants me marry him ASAP too when he gets back to SC. I got pics too. Has wick romantic side then a truly hurtful insulting hateful I want you dead attitude.
June 18, 2020

In reply to by scammer named Deco

Are you also the love of his love or "LOML", his wife, wants you to invest in your future as a family? Does he send a lot of roses and hearts in his text messages? If so, he might be going by the name of Tello or Dominic, as well. He will ask for gift cards and cell phones. Mostly, iPhone11. It's a Nigerian scam.
June 26, 2020

In reply to by Paula

James Durelle says marine engineer works for oil rig lies in Santa Ana California wife died has a son...messaged me through Instagram, sound farmiliar to anyone?
October 15, 2020

In reply to by Mitzi

Hello Mitzi, i was talk to him few months. He is fake, he is not American but he is from Ukraina. This is not his real name. He is robbing me for a lot of money. Tell me, what kind of experiance do you have with him. He takes my 10.000 eur and he is multimiliarder. I dont know where is the point. He has wife and 3 sons, not only one. And he is not engineer, but big lier.