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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.

MissB
October 12, 2021
I got talking to guy on Facebook dating said his name was Charmaine but after asking if was his name says its John. He sends messages about what he wants in a relationship. How he's been hurt the past. I explain my past to him. He did quick video call lasted 5 seconds. I thought bad connection it was fuzzy. He comes across keen sends me quotes smiler ones on here this how came a cross this sight through the quotes. He sent me pics of himself and in army uniform but hiding name badges. He was coming across very strong I not gave him any intentions to either. When I told him about that I searched his quotes came across this he said not after money just love got it wrong we video call. I explained about video call he did not reply. Told him straight if he is after money just go away leave me alone as I have no savings no banks money in live pay check to pay check. He said don't want money just love. Should I see where it goes or block him I did search pics he sent nothing came up
Fallala!
October 13, 2021
Anybody hear of Harry Gregory in the niethlands on oil rig?
Styala
October 13, 2021
Hello girls Do you know I really very sad by knowing all this I was also having chat with Dr Russell Webster.in starting 2 days only he said he said he love me a lot I will marry You I ignored but somehow I got in I m feeling very good to have chat him. I asked him for video call he denied he use to text me on Instagram I am very much emotionally attached with him. I am not able to cut this.I am so in. He stolen my heart can someone help plz.he asked my address he said he want to send gift for me . Can some one plz tell me how I can search. Real name of that person in picture he shared I really want to talk that real person for once I am sharing photo please help me to know real name of this person
SHARKLIZA
October 25, 2021

In reply to by Styala

DO NOT SEND HOM YOUR ADDRESS
Zazzy1
October 13, 2021
I am involved with a romance scams and I want to know how to get out of it the supposed man i am talking to live in Nigeria Lagos it first started out with him telling me his mother was in the hospital and he needed money to pay her bills but that didn't work so he tells me his car has broken down and he needs money for that and that didn't work so he say he is hungry and he don't have money for food and that didn't work so he promised if I helped him he would send me a large amount of money and I felt for it I send him 200 dollars to help him get his money free someone please help me get out of this mess
Mana
October 13, 2021
Hi everyone. Unfortunately I have a similar story as well.An attractive guy who is around 47 with green eyes and so handsome ( named Eddie )texted me on Instagram .for the first time I trusted one person who told me fell in love with me. After a couple of days he requested for marriage and I believed since he said he will come to visit me asap.he told he is an architect in California and won a great contract and has to go to Yemen for doing his project. After a lot of romantic words for( about 45 days )he told he in in so bad situation and need a help and sent me his list that he had to pay for duties fee and need $300000. He said his friend from California helped him by 250 and another friend also and asked me to help every amount till 25. I felt in love with this person deeply and trusted him .I tried to calculate money for him ,however I was in bad condition and didn't have money and told him that I wanted to lend money for helping him from my friends but he didn't believe. In the last moment I wanted to send even the only money that I could calculate by selling my jewelry but I couldn't sell it .one of My friend several times said he is not right person and it is a fruad, but I didn't accept. I didn't want to accept he wanted to hurt me and break my heart. He told after that project he decided to be retire and make a nice famiy with me .he showed me his son Andy also said he is so rich and can come to Canada for living with me .I was over the moon because I believed and never accepted my friend ' advice. The last trying for helping him also wasn't successful and when I cried a lot and said him I couldn't calculate money just$ 2000 ‌I wanted to send him with bitcoin but I couldn't calculate , he was so angry and said me you played with me and with my emotions and I can't trust you anymore and left me forever. He broke my heart so hard ,because I believed his story and never had any doubt in his love. We had a lot of call even video call with together also sent some video for me and never thought he will hurt my heart at all .I was crying for 48 hours even liked to die and just wanted to say others since maybe he decided to do it again. I was not a stupid woman. I just had a big and honest heart that now it is broken and never trust any person in social media.
Annive
October 13, 2021
Have been scammed for a lot of money by guy calling himself Michael Drouzar , says he's German diamond merchant . Total fake using stolen photos
Barbie
November 17, 2021

In reply to by Annive

I've been chatting with a Michael Drouzar that I met on Zoosk. He says he is a diamond merchant. He sends long emails and seems to be moving very fast. Must be the same guy. Thanks for the warning!
Date line web …
December 06, 2021

In reply to by Annive

I have also been scammed by Michael Drouzar calling himself a gemologist and diamond merchant. He sends long e- mails, tells you a lot about himself and asks lots of questions about your likes and dislikes and sends long love poems! He is still in process of arranging a date to meet me- but thank you for this timely warning.
Christine
January 13, 2022

In reply to by Date line web …

Ladies please don't listen or believe anything this guy has to say . He probably won't ever be caught but if he was he should be locked up for a very long time . He has no concern for his victims whatsoever
Christine
January 16, 2022

In reply to by Date line web …

sounds like the same guy , I met him on match.com . Very convincing , well spoken highly intelligent but no qualms about lying through his teeth to get what he wants Very hard to cope with the aftermath having lost so much
Christine
January 13, 2022

In reply to by Annive

I've been scammed by Michael Drouzar lost so much money to this criminal. He is on Linkedin but the photo is of an innocent man not him . How does he keep getting away with it ?
Ladybug
October 14, 2021
David baker is a frequent user of dating sites. Beware This person will ask for things as laptops airline tickets.
Lainey
October 14, 2021
Does anyone know of a guy named Alexandre Joel? He is supposedly an engineer working in France but lives in the USA. He is a widower with a young son.
Info
October 14, 2021
My sister in law is talking to a guy from the USA online. He send her pictures of the gifts he bought and apparently forwarded the gift to South Africa. The gift is now in Cape Town and customs need R3500 to release the goods. The cell number on the whatsapp that customs send her is 078 578 4505. He apparently also sended her money. This can't be legit.
Cindy
October 15, 2021
I met a guy named Hang on eastmeeteast. He's 35 years old chinese. Supposed to be an designer. But he's a total fake. Knows nothing about Los Angeles but supposed to live there his entire life. We chatted trough watsapp and after 3 days he said he loved me. Sends me youtube love songs. Text and calls me the entire day. Ask if I've eaten. And then suddenly he's in need of money to do a project. Asked for $4000,- I blocked him immediatly
campos.santos
December 18, 2021

In reply to by Cindy

Sounds like the same man I've been talking to. But he says he's from Malaysia, lives in France, and his parents are dead. He's a handsome man, and always sends a good morning message, and asks if I've already eaten, and says that I'm everything he's ever wanted, and that he wants to marry me. And that if I let himvhe will die, because I'm the reason that keeps him alive. Oh my God
Fx1
October 15, 2021
Seems scammers are using the name Dave Forster in many Turkish online dating sites. Beware, as discussed below, he’s sending out a message about how he works abroad, wife died of cancer, son back home in UK….. initial introduction is a long message stating dribble such as “I want you to be sure that I have one heart and it’s currently empty searching for love and I am ready to love and be loved”
Buddly
October 15, 2021
I have been receiving a number of contact requests through Pinterest, of all websites, and I don't understand it. I topped a scam some years ago, involving a man who wanted me to receive packages to be picked up by a 3rd party. In the past 3 weeks I have received 3 more contact requests, all foreign nationals claiming to be working in Syria for various well-known entities. What's going on?
Donna12³perez$$
October 16, 2021
Has anyone heard of by the name of Jeff Potter he's supposed to be in military he messages on Hangout if anyone knows of him could you please let me know because I want to find out if he's legit or if he's lying
Beth
October 16, 2021
Harrison Lucas oik rig engineer, son in boarding school in Germany White hair 55 years in the Mediterranean.
Roseee
October 16, 2021
I’m talking to this guy name chad he say he is in marine corps and we talked on the phone but he say he Originally from Ireland but have a different accent, he haven’t asked for money directly he just ask if he can use my bank account or PayPal but he also wants to talk on the phone all the time or for me to send a picture so idk
Linseyloo
October 16, 2021
Hi, My mother has been talking to a guy online whose name is Matt Shoemaker. she has been talking to him for 1 year. Has never asked for money or a picture or anything. Says he is a General in the Army. Now he says he is coming home. I cannot figure out his end game. I know he is not real. I just cant figure out what he is trying to gain from this. Do these scammers really string people along for a year or so before trying to get money or something else? my mother is prepared to meet this person. Please help...
Don't use ayou…
October 17, 2021
Any one else being scammed by Patrick Bruce bought horses in Nigeria and was stuck there needed help getting back home here in the us
Divine47
October 17, 2021
I started talking to a guy off tinder. His name Christopher Wallace. Says he’s a gemologist from Colorado Springs 41yrs old. We’ve been talking for a month. I wanted to set up a meeting, but he conveniently got Covid. Says he was working as a freelancer to get a contract to mine diamonds in benin Africa. That was my first red flag. He does not do FaceTime. Only sends pictures. A week into being in Africa says to me he got robbed of all his items including passport. Has no money but doesn’t asks me. He pulls at my heart to get me to send him money to help. Fell in love super quickly. I must admit that I’ve fallen and have set him money but now I’ve cut the financial part off. Didn’t send much he did however ask for my bank info to help him get his contractors to send money to him so as to close the deal. I did not give him this information. He seems to have access to legitimate documents from police as he sent me a copy of a police report with his claims. I wish I could post photos of him. Has anyone have any experience with this guy?
whateverbena2
November 05, 2021

In reply to by Divine47

I had a guy i was talking to 5 months George Williams on facebook then hangout and email to whatsapp no video or phone calls he avoided that but as we talked i did image search on catfish and found out he is using a real doctors profile and pics. then he started asking for money and wanted to send me a lump sum to hold for him he was in turkey 5 yeares and had money put away ofc i did not do nothing of the kind reported blocked and deleted...good luck and take care
Cowgirlinjeans
October 17, 2021
Where can I see all these pictures? Also, I have one that needs to be checked out. So far, I have not found anything. I suspect him immediately. For starters, his name is Josh Lucas. Go figure. Throws off all the searches immediately. Then, a doctor in Iraq with our soldiers. The guy is gorgeous, but I don't trust him. Too much love right away.
Don't use your…
October 17, 2021
Can relationshio scammers target people on disability Abd I just learned anoint gas lighting. D IP they use this trick too
Santi
October 18, 2021
a man called Charles Blake Allen contacted me. A software engineer lives in London. Soon we become good friends and chat every day. I'd like to know whether his identity is real or not.
Joy shriven
October 18, 2021
I meet this person on FB using MD Sharuk he claims to work in Syria military personnel under the UN he asks me if I can send him money so he can get out in Syria he needs to pay his placement able to come home.he writes a very sweet message that melted the woman's heart. Today he told me he is Jeffry William. I think he is the scammers.
Mommom cindy
October 18, 2021
Does anybody get a steve roland so sweet but said his daughter in boarding school and she was injured he get into his bank account and wants me to send 1000 dollars to her teacher medical help steve roland
anonymous1452
October 19, 2021
Hi! Anyone here met a certain Sean Lee from Tinder? Asked to communicate in Whattsapp then after a while, getting to know you & professing his love that quick? Telling he's from Virginia USA, half-thai half-american. Then asking you to open his bank account & to transfer money to a certain people?
anonymous1452
October 19, 2021
Scammer Alert! Met this scammer on Tinder. He goes by the name Eris Gale Johnson but found out in other scam sites that he was a scammer with other names as Ryan Anderson/ Jason Jackson. He will tell you he is a director of small scale gold company in knoxville, texas. He is divorced with victoria because she cheated on him. Then in a few days he will tell he is deeply inlove with you & would tell too much sweet long messages & thoughts. Then he traveled in Nigeria for a business then tell that his wallet has been stolen & that his bank accounts had been freezed because of security reasons. Then start to ask for money so that he can fly out of there to come to you then return the money but would not happen. I was scammed $2000. Hard lesson learned.
Nicky
October 19, 2021
Just to let know they new scam going about on WhatsApp I had guy said that he was a doctor and work for the army and asked him where got my number and said covid center and trying to make out he a doctor and got a 14 year old daughter and goes by name Adrian Philip
G-Man
October 19, 2021
I met someone recently who claims to be Kaitlynn Anderson. If it's fake, she's done her homework, even gave the same birthday. She hasn't asked me for money yet but she wants me to be co-beneficiary on a charity foundation she's starting. Waiting to see if the paperwork involves account numbers before blocking
Need information
October 20, 2021
Has anyone been scammed by a David Stone? Oil rigger in another country with a young son, Eric who’s mom died during childbirth? I am afraid my friend is being scammed by this guy
whateverbena2
October 29, 2021

In reply to by Need information

hi have her to read on these pages there are alot of the same thing and do not give info on her accts or dare send money if shes reading this please im tellling you they win your heart and then thats it. dont feed into there mess all scammers that why this site is so imortant im glad i got to here i was looking how to get scammers and here the pages rolled in i reported blocked and deleted him..his name hes going by is George Williams and hes all lies...good luck dont get sucked in with him her or whoever....take care do an image search with a picture if she has one on catfish.com 6 days for 5.99 then can cancel i found out the minute i put the pic in and found out hes not who he says to be..fake name and number as well..tc
justdave
October 20, 2021
my mother 78 is getting scammed by a guy named Peterson Rodriguez Bankz (you can look up his profile on facebook). she isnt giving me all the info but this is what i got. says he is 59. he is a doctor of some sort in the middle east i believe Afghanistan but is from canada. he was contracted out there but lost the contract somehow. one way or another he found a diamond worth 20mil. he fled the where ever he was at and went to paris but got stuck there because of covid lockdowns. he tried to sell said diamond but they would only give him 8mil. but he needed money for some sort of processing fee? so she gives him an undisclosed amount. says he now has the money and travels to UAE where he promptly gets arrested for having the money. they as well need some sort of fee to prove its not stolen. after paying that he goes to USA and tells her that the irs now wants to tax said money but wont take it out of the money he has since they now have the assets frozen. i dont know how much he has gotten out of her but she put a mortgage on her house. she believes that she is getting a loaded bank card in a few days. i dont know how to convince her it is a scam and adult protective services wont help on scams. ive asked her and her actual husband to move in with us. she is refusing because she plans on moving in with the guy. im completely lost now and dont know what to do. any advice would be great
FTC Staff
October 22, 2021

In reply to by justdave

There are several different people and places that might talk to you and your mother. You might contact Adult Protective Services again and ask what they do about elder financial exploitation. In some areas, a sherriff's or police department has a person who works on elder financial issues and could talk with your mother. You could contact the ElderCare Locator, 1-800-677-1116.) which is funded by the federal government to help families find services for older adults. You could ask if someone at your mother's bank would talk with her about her financial plans. You can read, or share, the information from this FBI page about romance scams. 

Allie
October 20, 2021
Anyone been scammed by a doctor claiming to be Scott Hadland. Does the whole Bitcoin thing.
Manish
October 20, 2021
Thnx for your feedback I also getting messages from alex.willi5589 she told me to send her some dollars and she will pay me ,x5 full of scammers she says she is a agent at cash app but I have a deep feeling she is a scammer
ryanfair30
October 20, 2021
I met a girl on mingle website and immediately asked me to go to hangout app. She claimed she lived in Minnesota and that she was a nurse that was leaving to Nigeria working with World Health Organization to help with pandemic. She has been saying she dropped her phone and cant send pics , call, or video chat. I did get pics of her before she left to Nigeria but dont know if they are legit. As soon as she got to nigeria she started saying she cant get paid over there because she doesnt have correct bank account over there and they only use certain banks. She then asked me to send her apple gift cards and steam wallet cards so she can eat and survive until her company pays her.She uses the name Schwery Lee and she said her birthday is 10/25/90.I noticed she has instagram account with same pic she sent me. Dont know if she is legit or a scam.
whateverbena2
October 29, 2021

In reply to by ryanfair30

dont buy into it thats what the scammers do all have good stories but if you read them alot are of the same mess they want to feed off of you dont do it they will wheel you in and try and make you feel loved and thats what they want so you can send them what they want money and if you do be careful you can fall into a trap dont give out any info none there going after you and use it to get bank accts and whatever they can...be aware...good luck
whateverbena2
October 21, 2021
I have the story of so many here i met someone on facebook the went to email chatting and the whatsapp and hangout. the name is George Williams and i checked him out with photo and he's not the right person. says he is from texas wife and kid got killed in a car crash but is helping with duties in israel, he didnt ask for money at 1st but said his vaccation is used up to come to the states and ask to pay for him to leave. then saying i dont care and dont love him. we have been talking sense june 2021. his pictures are of someone else that he is an eye surgeon, lies all lies. now he wants to send me a lot of money that he was in turkey and deposited a lot the 5 yrs he was the into a company but got a letter a couple days ago and the place is closing up and in liquidation, I ask for him to face time me or talk on the phone and he avoides that. it was a fast romance too I was his queen, wife, honey sweetheart and so on didn't even know each other, says he is 62 and on the picture page i found of him he's 48 told me everyone says he looks like he's in his 40's. so needless to say (bye lier) please watch out for his name he is good at hurting your heart and getting you to fall in love...
Becky
October 21, 2021
All the people in here. If that person tell you can’t call you or do video chat or face time. Is a fake a scammer. If that person ask you for money or gift card don’t do it. If that person ask you for your bank account and routing number or any of your personal information don’t do it. If that person said gave me your address so you can deposit a check on the other person bank account don’t do it because that check a fraudulent check( fake check). And if you asking that person that you want to meet you and that person gave you excuse and want you to pay for the ticket and want you to send the ticket money don’t do it. He would still your money and you would never see that person at all.
Toogood
October 22, 2021
is anyone familiar with Lucas Erik? He's a gemologist who lived in Montreal, grew up in Chicago, and lives now in Los Angeles. Supposedly, widowed for 3 years, father died recently, and mom died when he was 4. He's 55 years old, receding hairline, neat beard & mustache. He has a french accent and his English is a bit broken.
Bear
October 22, 2021
Someone has been chatting with me and is claiming on an oil rig with limited service. We have been talking for a while and pretty much fallen in love. He asked me to transfer money from one account to others because he didnt have signal. I think he is a scammer and I’m heartbroken. He claimed he was widowed and ready to retire with me. Anyone else experience this or have advice?
Smarter Than Him!
November 12, 2021

In reply to by Bear

Yes! I am convinced I was just talking to him too! He was using the name of John Greenslade. He was so convincing that even though I know he was a scammer I still miss talking to him. I asked him how he could hurt people like that and he actually told me , “I have been hurt too, everybody has been hurt, what’s the problem?” His cold heart made it easier to get over it all.
Unspoken
October 22, 2021
Guy named frank in chad for training asks for money to be send lost wallet the whole kit and caboose claims he has a 5 yr old daughter ex wife cheated on him has to get divorce when he gets back to the states hmmmm right how dumb could I have been