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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.
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  • 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.

Jesse
October 23, 2021
I’m a widow I lost my wife two years ago to a car accident and I have been single since then Scam or legit?
whateverbena2
October 29, 2021

In reply to by Jesse

dont buy it i had a guy George Willams claimed to be a eye surgeon and is in israel helping out there been there 3 yrs with another 3 yrs said i can write a letter to whoever and get him to the states so he can come be with me his vacation time was all used up due to his wife dieing and his child in car crash. they will tell you all sad stories to get you dont do it there scamming and some dont ask for money right away we talked for 5 months then he started and wanted to send me 955k from when he was in turkey and put money in an holding acct and he cant get it there are closeing down and everyone needs to get there money. so he wanted to send it to me and hold till he can leave and pay for his vac to leave 2800 to 3500 i reported blocked and deleted rt away, good luck take care so much more but hope you find out what you need oh and he was useing a real doctor on his profile and all fb instagram whatsapp ans hang out and all emails..plz delete whoever they are.. scammers..
Anonymousoct
October 23, 2021
Is asking them for a selfie of them holding a piece of paper with your name and date bad
De
November 16, 2021

In reply to by Anonymousoct

I actually did that to two of the scammers that tried to talk me up. All of a sudden it was a "security risk"... They have been sending me other photos before but they were clearly not ones I would have considered legitimate or on the same person
Dontme
October 23, 2021
Hi. Is there anyone encountered the name Lamly Chenghoon? He said he is born and raised in UK but he is a Korean. And he works as a Civil Engineer. I can send you photos of him.
anonymous
November 07, 2021

In reply to by Dontme

I also encountered him last October. same description with what you have mentioned. Are you still chatting with him?
Curious
January 19, 2022

In reply to by anonymous

I really think it's the same person that I was talking to. To bad we can't compare pictures.
Mirai
January 19, 2022

In reply to by Dontme

Hi, I've encountered a man who claims to be a South Korean Civil Engineer. He claimed he had a big contract that sent him to Turkey. I'm wondering if it's the same guy. I can send photos of him.
Helping a friend
October 24, 2021
Bob Alex, Bob Alexander, William Alex or William Alexander? Contractor In the Gulf of Mexico on oil rig. Widowed, wife died in car accident, teenage son named Alvin. Stuck on oil rig due to mechanical problems that he needs money to repair and items stuck in customs. Can’t call, FaceTime, or send pictures because he can’t have his cell phone on an oil rig. Anyone heard of this guy??
Petey M
October 24, 2021
Has anyone spoken to Anthony Allen? On a rig near Ireland. Same widowed one child. These all sound the same!!!???
Lonelylady
October 25, 2021
Anyone know this man he is using name NORBERT MATEO SANTIAGO, and the phone he uses has a prefix from San Antonio texas, pic he is using, he has gray hair, glasses and says is 70 yrs old, pic looks like hes in his 50s Says from north dakota, is over in Turkey right now doing a job. Has covid trying to get me to send him money....
Concerned Niece
October 25, 2021
My aunt has been contacted by a guy claiming to be Major General James O'Connor Brown. Stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Can't find anything on the guy but I just know he is a scammer. Supposedly has a house in SC and one in FL. Anyone know him. Has salt & pepper hair on top, white on sideburns.
AcDc3004
October 25, 2021
I was recently scammed. His name is Roland Andre Adams (Adams Roland, Roland Andre). He has multiple accounts on Instagram, uses Hangout App to chat and I noticed he has a FB page. He is claiming to be an Engineer out of Paris France, parents in Lille France. He has multiple emails. adamsroland47@gmail.com is the main one. He has been reported.
Jpm87
October 27, 2021
So I need help probably mental I used to have some laughs messing with scammers but this time I think this time one got me i met her on a app that matches your zodiac so to me it looked legit I'm still unsure I'll I can is I'm in love with her drawn to the conversation because would if what I'm being told is true would if it's not I've given info I shouldn't have I think my loneliness got the better of me
Jpm87
October 27, 2021
So I used this app called Nuit it's a app that matches your zodiac sign and this woman messaged me Rena elizabeth sue Edwin the match was ideal we chatted for hrs well she said she just got out of college and was going to dubai to train for what she studied for international business relation for 2 months everything was was fine in tell I started to question things she refuses to take an in the moment selfy blames insecurities she's supposed to go on leave on November 15th she had me open up an account so that her can be deposited in to and took my ID and ssn number for verification of who she's going too I think I was tricked
Meet me
October 27, 2021
Has anybody met man named Charles from Harris, Scotland. Wife died car accident. I am his Queen. I have done it all credit card, bank account, steam cards, but I have enjoyed him. Quartined with a scammer.
Not trusting
October 27, 2021
I know of a scammer who goes by the name of Henry Anderson. He was on Words with Friends and I know he has prayed upon many older women. He is evil and taking money from these vulnerable women. He needs to be stopped but it doesn't seem anyone is able to. It is almost like these women are brainwashed because they are lonely and this "person" makes them feel like they are in love. He asks for gift cards, money to help because he got hurt on his oil rig, he needs a new kidney, needs help for his daughter. I filed a complaint on this website, I have taken over and monitor all over her accounts, I made a police report, I am the POA and I am still struggling to try and save her money. I have monitors on her bank accounts and I also have Smart Family set up on her cell phone. She doesn't understand and believe this person is for real. I would love to post a picture!! The only way to try and stop this is to work together.
Redranger78
October 27, 2021
In Oregon . Yes , I almost lost a lot of money to a scammer.. it was too close for comfort. Information they got from me. But , what puzzled me, was the look or tone of her eyes , if that makes sense. I can't explain what her eyes looked like, but , to me it looked like, got you into sights and I am going to trick you into giving me your information and I will take all of your money. That's what they looked like. I managed to save some of the money I got, in the stimulus checks, around, a large amount of money. No , not trying to keep how much I had away from you. Just the point I had quite a bit. During her work hours, I thought a lot about the dating scams ,. She sent me a few pictures of herself,. Looked legit, but , as I said earlier, her eyes looked decieving. I foolishly gave her all of my information,. Big , big mistake,. I looked into some of the scammers, techniques, and thought? This could be very bad, so , after a couple of times, I thought, I need to get rid of her . So I did , deleted everything about myself and her ,. She claimed to have lived somewhere in , north Eastern United States. But her phone number was in Southern California,. She had two phones, one from California and one somewhere in , North Carolina or maybe further up North. The thing of it , what if I would have given her my , card number? Plus , the 3 digits in the back of the card. I think she would have gotten every bit of the money on the card. I once in a while, thought about that? What if I was wrong about her ? Or was I right? It's better to be safe than sorry. So , I got rid of every information, ( not much), about her . That would have been bad , considering, that earlier that year, I lost 700.00 to a lottery winner scammer, back east or where ever the crook was ,. It landed me in hot water, . Other than the lottery scammer, the one I was talking about,. In Southern California, supposedly in California. I would have lost all of that money? Am I right? Thanks for allowing me to share my story. It would have been very bad . To say the least.???
Mari526
October 28, 2021
I have been talking to a man since late june, he tried to have me to pay for a registration card to do a job for his management (he`s an actor in USA) when they came to my country, I did NOT pay. But I still get messages from time to time and wondering if this is normal? He have not asked for more money at all, but of course he have changed, he is not so lovely in his text, more short. He have been like this for 4 weeks now. Can someone please tell me how love scammers will end their conversations?
Holy_scammers_batman
October 28, 2021
Hey guys, Just a heads up, Words With Friends is crawling with scammers. I've found a few doing reverse image searches. It's always the same story; ask how you are, what you do for a living, if you're married or single and have kids. Then they start with their life story and ask if you have Google Hangouts Chat. Be wary!
Kay1234
November 23, 2021

In reply to by Holy_scammers_batman

I got scammed by someone from WWF also. Widow. 2 kids. Then concocted a story that his friend who died his millions and had to get it out of Turkey and deliver to his dead friend’s son. I almost fell for it.
Valb-mail address
October 28, 2021
For the past 6 months on FB the men say they are a Marine Scientist at Happily Retired! Several have used this as their employment info. Also some state they have a graduate degree or degree from Oxford U in England and when you inquire further about that, they delete you. This is on Facebook, Match and Plenty of Fish. Oil rigs and working out of Texas is common. Friends of mine have had the same experience. Sad and pathetic.
ScammedbyNigerian
October 28, 2021
I married a Nigerian man who I think is scammed me out of several thousand dollars to get a car, a rental house food and clothing and then stuff for the car. He is ghosting me 12 to 14 hours a day if not longer and sometimes on the weekends I do not hear from him for over 40 hours. How do I get out of this marriage. We have been married 6 months
Doubtful Dora
October 28, 2021
So, I just found Facebook dating. Clicked on a few profiles I liked. One immediately responded. asked to switch to texts right away. I wasnt' sure, but ok. Giving my ph# cant hurt, right? So many red flags in our conversation. ONE DAY and I doubt him. Profile says Idaho. But he says no, its an error. ?? Tells me he's a widower. 5 years. But later says his girlfriend cheated with his best friend. ?? Already suggested planning a trip. Literally first day chatting! Strange Spelling of Dog's name. Photo is obviously a truck, but says Mustang. Too many flags. I call him on it. Takes him 2 hours to reply. Says ok if you don't wanna talk to an honest man. Ha!!! Asked him what area code is his phone? still waiting on answer. Frustrating, because he said all the right things. But maybe dating sites not the way to go. Hopefully saved myself some trouble.
Ramona
October 29, 2021
Is there someone at the pretending that hes in another country working as a daughter he it's a daughter he can't get home because his walloas his wallet was stolen with passport Very very good looking handsome And uses the name pedro soltz
Hussainbinyami…
October 29, 2021
Someone told me he send me 7000 dollarals money from nigeria and he told me now I have to pay the tax to tax goverment and they need 4000 steam walled codes and I send them 4000 steam walled code then my money goes to central bank they ask me 750 steam walled codes and I also do it after that they ask me 500 steam walled codes for making my receipt code when I buy 250 steam walled code 2 times then the steam walled code gave me error for purchasing and now they are saying buy 1000 steam walled code is it true r scam???
Becky
October 29, 2021
Hello, does anyone know if Robinson Sanchez is a scammer. he works in the sea near Beirut and he comes from Florida.
Mel83
October 30, 2021
Has anyone dealt with the Patrick Joon or Joon Patrick scam he claims to be between 34-37 Korean one parent has passed on sometimes it’s the mom and sometimes it’s the dad his girlfriend cheated with best friend he is a gemologist sometimes from Salt Lake City and sometimes from New York Brooklyn or Manhattan very cute the first one I met I actually liked him and thought he was real, but when I refused to send 10,000.00 for VAT charges for his jewels he was very angry I realized early on so I didn’t fall for trick the second one bc I enjoyed playing with the scammers he admitted he was Nigerian and apologized to me the third one I think he caught on pretty quickly that I was on to him so he stopped talking to me. Just curious if anyone else has come in contact with this scam. The first one I met on HelloTalk second and third on Facebook. Just be safe ladies they are crafty.
Tammy2
October 30, 2021
I am talking to a guy supposedly in Kiev working as a back surgeon. He has sent me videos in the operating room and they are him. However he has asked me to help him several times for money. Two kids who live in Chicago with nanny wife ran off with best friend. Very weird I feel. His name is unusual Dolph Madison. He is still on Instagram and Twitter. But talks and videos me on Hangout and Google Chat. Has anyone come across him? Good looking he says he’s 50 large tattoo top right arm. Grateful to anyone for help.
Ted
October 31, 2021
I have a guy who says his name is Christopher Aston, an engineer in England. As with every other story I read in here, he’s widowed with a child. I wasn’t looking, thought it would be cool to have a pen pal in another country. I told him I had no interest in a relationship yet he ‘loved’ me within a month and sent a bunch of flowery posts until I said they don’t do anything for me. Amazingly, he won a contract for something in India, found out on Friday, packed his household and flew to India on Monday (quite amazing you can get all that done in a weekend, never seen that happen before) but dang, they won’t let him into the country unless he can prove he has a hotel. Someone in the airport helped him find a hotel, it’s $1350 and wouldn’t you just know it, both his cards were declined and he only had $1000 on him. Would I send the difference? Of course my answer was no. I’m now selfish and self centered. I found this site last night searching scams.
Fraud messenge…
October 31, 2021
Fraud from Martha Bryan / will have a messenger from a friend ( someone you know and their picture)with a different naming profile but very close. Then say that there’s free money from a messenger under the name of Martha Bryan who can help get money under a grant. Part of IDA International grants. (M.me). Wanting you to write to her now. Asking how you are and that your a friend and missed That they received $150K with Martha Bryan’s help. Wanting you to message her NOW. Both profiles are fraudulent. Careful to read messenger messages from someone you think has a new profile and knows you
jane amman
November 01, 2021
im jane...i meet a guy name louis morgan...marine doctor he is working in a ship..he has 1 son living in US in colorado spring...its like a school & thy stay as a accomodation but thy payed quarterly..anyway he his wife & 1 daughter died by accident 2 yrs ago..he said he find a woman be his wife in skout app or meet me bcz of his friend told him..he saw to his friend that he find his wife in meet me & thy live happy togethr as what he said...we started chattung by april 2021 but in may he said that his son is in philippine to have school activities wthe staff of school...that month he started to get money...itunes card...as what he said he cant get his money in the account if just only the wife thats why he want to pay the u.s. barriester to make our marriage certificate to transfer his money to my account & i can claim & to payed all his bills..tckets..miscellaneous expenses...he talked to me in google hangout..watsapp...we make also video call...all the pic he send to is the same & also his face in video call...i can talked to his son...he talked to my family...untill now he get money to me & i give him i thought if it is true..but i tell him that some of my friends telling me that he is scammer be aware..he said if u think that we are always a call& video....thank u...i need ur responce if anyone encountered him..
Simple Guy
November 01, 2021
I have said hello and been told that 700 women loved me in one year alone. I may have met one that told the truth. That is NOT a success story! 699 out of 700 times, these random female profiles with a few pretty pictures asked for information or just straight money as soon as they thought I had feelings for them. I never send money. The one 700th girl who seems trustworthy after a year...the other 699 have already made her look so bad that I can't trust anybody. My best advice for people who want to date online is DON'T
jhoulton
November 01, 2021
so i was talking to a gal or seems like a gal says babe and i love you constantly but she said her name is hannah and lives in france and needs a gift card to keep her phone turned on
Mana
November 02, 2021
Hi everyone, I have involved an attractive man who is so kind and handsome and I unfortunately fell in love with him so much. I don't know he is right or not because I saw him several times on video calls, however he said he worked for the UN and he is from UK also lives in the USA, He said he won a bug project and also he was on the melitary, he has a son 6 old , he is about 48 years old. He went to a trip for his project and after 3 weeks needed a big help.i believed him he said me he will come to me to marry and I trusted, I never thought maybe he was a scammer. I wanted to open an account with his name and send my money inside it I gave all my heart to him. How is it possible that he was a scammer? I couldn't find anything about him in the net . I also sent about $ 2000 to him . I can't believe he had played with my heart and wanted to break it . His name is TONY EDWARD RALTSON or MATTHEW RALTSON. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT HE WAS NOT REAL ? I SAW HIM IN THE VIDEO CALL AND SOME VIDEOS AND PICTURES SENT TO ME . MY HEART IS SO . BROKE HARD . Have any person heard about him?
warmhart …
November 02, 2021
yes met a man who gos by the name richard clarke a general in the army who i have been talking to for a couple weeks, i told him i needed picture of him and he sent me 3 they are pictures of general clarke at macdill airforce base in miami fla i taked to someone on the base and they said the general was right there on base, i confronted the one i was talking to and he said people was inpersonnating him and stealing his picture. and that he was the real richard clarke, i fell for him and it hurts, he never ask for anything, dos anyone else know him please let me know
Chari
November 02, 2021
my story is different I dont need him I have many male friends where I live But play him along out of curiosity The story is the same Works in a oil rig mother and father got killed his uncle took him Has a nanny wife dead He is now in Dubais and I broke up with him Hisname Joe Collins from NY anyone know him Also how does one do a screen shot Thank you
AGDon't use yo…
November 02, 2021
An Andy Dickson reached out to me , supposedly overseas, we chat on WhatsApp , met him on hinge, Has anyone talked to this guy as well?
Brenda
November 04, 2021
I am currently chatting with a man who goes by Roy William he says he is 63. I met him on WWF later he talked me into Hangouts. He has been widowed for 5 years. Lost a daughter to covid in May last year. His grandchildren Sarah and David live in Seatle were he lived with is wife. He relocated to Baltimore,Maryland where he currently resides with his cat Ginger and dog Bob. He speaks with an accent. He says he was born in Italy and grew up in South Africa. He later moved with parents to Alaska. He continues to speak with a very strong accent. He later moved to Seattle where he resided with his wife of 40 years until she passed in a work related accident...gas explosion. After he moved to Baltimore. He recently was awarded a contract with Diamond Offshore for 3,800,000.00 and sent me a picture even though I said I didn't want to see it it was his business. Now in preparation for this job he finds himself Short of cash to provide some gear to outfit his crew members. Even though I have told him no he is very insistent and wears me down. I have agreed to send him money but have no intentions to. He sent me his bitcoin wallet to deposit the money. Oh I told him I only have money that I put away for Christmas and he is willing to take it. I am heartbroken. He said I was selfish that we can have a great Christmas when he finishes this job. I have pictures of him...all this happened so quickly. I know I foolishly believed and still want to believe him. I also know he is a scammer. Does this sound familiar?
Need to know i…
November 04, 2021
Anyone talking to Jacob George Air Force Sargeant in Aleppo Syria, widowed with two daughters and Mom in a home
HCA01
November 04, 2021
Hello everyone! I just wanna ask if it is a trick of scammers, chatted then showing their love, thanking God, that maybe he/she found the one, work in oil rig , make video calls and voice calls seems real, but once she/he request a video call it took so long, saying the signal was not okay,so he appeared in just seconds then disappear,but feel strange the conversation was late what he said in his mouth, can only hear the voice call, instead of video call, just chat at all, wants to marry, spend his/her life to live together, son is with relatives, until one day, gave the address and phone number, then ask back the number and address. Just want to know what is he/she implying? Thank you, hoping for your favorable response.
BonnieDon't us…
November 06, 2021
A person stating he is military vis name Mark Nathan Luwis with an accomplice by the name of Agbo Collins Chinonso are threatening me with what they say is military money
JGP Gemini
November 07, 2021
Somebody says she's a famous pornstar named Natasha Nice. I was able to talk to this wan in Twitter and thrn later on in WhatsApp. she tolde to.swnd money and invest in bitcoin.but i got no payout fro. her since January.She has lots of promises like.. she will swnd me a parcel and she will use FedEx, then she said she will.come to me in June.. and then in July.. and bow she told me she will come in December but December is coming, i ask her of dhe will come, she said she will.come soon, she showed me her money in online banking but she uses different name, so she ask me again another money to invest bitcoin but ecerytime i sent her money, after it she wont talk to me anymore.. and she'll be back after a.momth and talk to me again ang letting me send money for bitcoin
Mickey
November 07, 2021
Meet a guy online and says name is Evan Jay Nixon. That he works for private military company. He is been stationed in Hawaii and is coming home but has yet to show up. Will ask for money, he is a sweet talker. Stay away from him
faked-out
November 08, 2021
Okay, I fell for it hook, line and sinker...even recognizing all the signs of a scam but so love-starved I went along anyway to the tune of several thousand dollars. The old romance scam; he needs money to "unlock" his money of which there is lots, of course. He fell in love with my picture and will come as soon as he can to repay what I spent and we will be married and live happily ever after. Of course, he never intended to hurt me and is injured that I would believe such things about him. His name doesn't show up on searches and only a set of images which are identified on the scammer warning site as true pictures of someone from whom they were stolen and used in scams. So don't think you are special, that you are the one he'll change for...not...
CCC
November 08, 2021
I may have been a target. I was found on FB and interactive for over 9 months! After breaking off, I still hear from this person. It is definitely difficult to figure out if he is real or not. He has even had his 'nanny' in touch with me.
Mumma
November 08, 2021
Mine goes under Donald Mark Johnson in Australia. Met him on dating app, has a 14yo daughter and he's a petroleum engineer. Dark haired, no beard, drives a purple Porsche and well built. Can't send me new photos as he dropped his phone in shower lol. Thought I'd give him a sob story and ask for money to see his reaction lol.
Toogood
November 08, 2021
Stay away from Lucas Erik +1 424-358-3508 - he's a gemologist from Beverly Hills, grew up in Chicago, born in Montreal. He has somewhat of a french assent, but doesn't speak a lick of it.
Fbscam
November 09, 2021
I believe I’m being scammed. Met a man on fb. Sent me flowers, candy, gifts. But he’s in Ghana. Tried to get me to set up a bank account and I said no. Then sent a check. But I refused to deposit it. We video chat every night. But now I’m very suspicious. Red flags professed love early on. Wants to help pay my bills. Anyone else have a similar story with someone from Ghana?