Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
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 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


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 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.

Confused
November 09, 2021
I got talking to Colin Wilby from tinder he seems really sweet he's actually k1 UCMMA champion he flew to Thailand a day ago for a fight this week . He's claimed he's fallen for me after a week he sends videos of him training and at home as asked for my ring size coz when we meet for first time when he returns from Thailand after a week there he's planning a surprise for me ! But yesterday while he in Thailand asked if I could lend him money for food he's isolation and needs proper food for training he can't get hold of his sponsors for help ! I'm confused he's well known and not short of few Bob but wants me to lend him £200 coz he has no money feeling a bit sus I rang the gym he's out of to see if they will help him but there was no answer ! I just don't get it
Scammed
November 09, 2021
Mine is Robert Murray an Engineer in the Persian Gulf on a oil rig, a real charmer professes his love and wants to marry me even had his daughter email me. Contract ended now needs money for his airline ticket to come home in Dallas, Texas so we can be together. I almost fell for all his lies!
DakotaCelt
November 10, 2021
I posted a comment on a FB page for the Chieftains and was hit up by a guy named Scott Eddy. He claims he is a widow from Texas and works as an oil rig engineer near Aberdeen, Scotland. He's telling me personality traits, his birthday, etc, etc. If anyone else has had this experience let me know. This started a few days ago.
Liesbeth
November 11, 2021

In reply to by DakotaCelt

Yes I was hit up from an online dating app about a month ago. Same thing widow from Scottsdale, works on an oil rig in the gulf and is an engineer. Tells me his personality traits and even his birthdate. This guy is Gary from Poland with a heavy accent. The communication is heavy on the love bombing. Then he asks me to buy him a computer and I said no. Then I get flowers and chocolate.
Anja28
November 11, 2021
I'm texting a guy who's supposedly a civilian doctor under the Canada force. He didn't ask for money or anything similar, but to send a letter to his office and ask for his leave from the base because he will be deployed to Yemen. I ran his images through Google, nothing came up. His name is Jung-Ho Steve. Anyone of you ladies had this experience? P.S. Of course I didn't send the email. :D
Honey
November 11, 2021
This man was overflowing with love and tenderness, 43 years old... well at that point i didn't know but he usually use photos of A dj called Ben Bakson...
Liesbeth
November 11, 2021
So a guy named Gary is supposedly on an oil rig in the gulf as well. He says he is from Poland and lives in Scottsdale. He has been calling me everyday for a few weeks, texting me and emailing me with love bombs and said he would come to visit me in a few weeks. He is a widow with no kids. I thought maybe he was real because his story never indicated a need for money. Then today he asks me to buy him a computer and for me to send it to someone in New Jersey who will be coming to work on the rig. His explanation for why he couldn't order the computer himself and have it sent to NJ did not make sense to me. Then this evening I receive flowers, a teddy bear and chocolates from him. Is this usual cat fishing behavior? Please help!
SANI
November 12, 2021
Hi Joey, my name is Sani. I hope you read this message. I am also in contact with an Antoine Krystallos since 5 months. Many photos also exchanged with each other. At that time he was supposedly in USA. And has been preparing for work in Kuala Lumpur. We have talked on the phone and written about many things. We made plans for the future. And after 3 months he asked me to open a bank account. And until now, he has not tried to demand much money from me or anything. That's why I don't know if he is a cheater or not. Normally, as I have read and heard a lot, he should have asked for a lot until now. Has he demanded a lot of money from you so far? Did you also get a lot of photos from him?
Joey
November 28, 2021

In reply to by SANI

Hi Sani, in my version, he was relocated to KL in September or October 2020! Yes - exchange photos, talk on the phone, plan the future, open bank account - never video call right? He's not real. Believe me.
Sniper detector
November 14, 2021
Almost everybody who claims to be a sniper in the army or whatever could be a fake. Check out the census numbers on who served where. Versus who claims they served where. There's eight times more fake wannabes than there are wannabes let alone fake vets who claim they are vets. And if they get their experience from a book or listening to beer talk that's as good as a real cup of joe.
Jade 1201
November 14, 2021
Ok I met a soldier on line weve been taking for 3 weeks, he has face timed, I've done a reverse image of 4 different pics and its come back as no results, I check the military,oil rig, engineers in fact all scammers pictures and none are him. We are taking things slow , are there any other checks I can do?
Titan2345
November 16, 2021
has anyone heard of a josie mary carter ? Military from afghan to africa. Anyone?
Yes I've Eaten…
November 16, 2021
Michael Bijan, 45. Currently in Italy. From Houston. Daughter, Lisa 22. Works for natgeo. Parents died in car accident 5 years ago. Wife died of lung cancer. They were married for 8 years. Asks if I've eaten. Asks about my day. Never asks for money but wants to send me money and teach me bitcoin.
Sick of These …
November 16, 2021
Cedric Raiden is a scammer, he is on facebook and his instagram is @raicedric22. He is still active and recruiting for his next victims. Claims to be stuck on a construction site, keeps saying he will be back soon all the time taking money from innocent victims. I hope all these scammers get caught one day
JKK
November 16, 2021
This person sound familiar to me. I also get scam by him. Know him for tagged application. Claiming himself as Mahres Bung. From South Korea and currently lived in UK. Working as a manager at Grosvenor Casino. I have lose my money because of him
Mark78
November 17, 2021
Another red flag is every comment is about investing. The new scam is trying to get you to invest in bit coin, but the website they send you to is fake. I asked a scammer what her hobbies are and what she likes to do for fun, and she told me about investing as her hobby.
Love scam
November 21, 2021
I got in a love scam. He conveyed me to invest in Bitcoin and I refused firstly but then relationship got worse. So I have invested. I feel they hacked my phone and I sent him a screenshot of my bank to show that I sent funds through his vendor. I called to the bank to explain the situation. I have also filed a report to FBI on the person which identity they stole as I think. I also called to my bank to report a fraud. I have asked him to send me money back and he said he will not do that that’s how it all started.
JackieE
November 23, 2021
I'm talking to one now, well I think no professing of love 5 mi uses after meeting, I have pictures and ive done the reverse image with all 4 pictures nothing. Captain in the US army in yemen. He's not getting anything
Sick of These …
November 23, 2021
Covid put many at a disadvantage and we were all looking for comfort. Scammers preyed on this. Forget about talking on the phone or video chatting, if you can't meet the person within a week I now think of them as fake! Report them and report them everywhere, here, scamhatersunited, fake-scam.info, male scammers, romance scammers. I doubt my scammer will be using that photo anymore and now anyone I talk to online I reverse image on tineye, google image and yandex image
Diane
November 23, 2021
Met a man calls himself Robert Johnson, widow, wife & daughter died car accident 8 years ago and has a son named Johnny age 16. I have a photo of this man and has blue eyes and gray hair with a g-tee. He works on an oil rig and wants an Apple card with money on it for his job?? He is very romantic, fell for it sent one for $100 now wants one for $50. I ignored him to do this research as something sounded fishy. I did not talk to him on Hangups for 1 day and now says he is going to end his life because I promised I would Love him but he is never there for me or my questions. He is always asking if I am healthy and if I have eaten yet. Has anyone out there have this in common as I believe I am being duped for money. He is 67 will retire in July 2022 and wants to marry me sell his home and has a Benz for a car? Please, anyone, share the same story as I am 76?
Kay1234
November 23, 2021
How long did it take before your scammer asked for anything? I’m so mad and scared that he has my name and address. What should I do?
Catherine.
November 24, 2021
Am chatting to a guy on supposed to be oil rig.his name samuel mc clian.his wife died.daughter in boarding school.no family members.wants me to send money.
Worried for Sis
November 24, 2021
Has anyone heard of a doctor by the name of Williams Malthe?
Heartbroken
November 26, 2021
Anyone heard off Joe Stewart? He came across my profile on fb and was drawn to me immediately. We’ve raked for several months. He lives in Cleveland works for Marathon Petroleum and is on business trip in South Africa. He seems to be short getting back to the states. Well spoken African or UK guy. Sound familiar to anyone?
Riverat
November 26, 2021
Usually it will be someone very close to you fro. My experience i only lost a couple hundred playing their game but i learned who how and they didn't get the money its still tied up in the shamery lol and them also blind to the fact i kno i guess im saying (with out a doubt look right under your nose you will see the answer) the phrase( keep it simple) wise words from an old freind..............
Springtown Jane
November 29, 2021
I just had someone ask me for $500 worth of Bitcoin to “reactivate” his wallet. I know that Bitcoin is crypto-currency. He claimed he could get a million dollar contract if he got his wallet reactivated.
Hopeful52
December 04, 2021

In reply to by Springtown Jane

That sounds very familiar to me. Almost identical. Money to reactivate and million dollar deal. I'm seriously considering staying single!
Hopeful52
December 05, 2021

In reply to by Springtown Jane

This is exactly identical to what has happened with me. On top of this I was really wanting to like this guy. He has said everything perfectly. Even talked about spending the rest of his life with me. I am so angry and heartbroken. I have to just walk away. Help!
Audette address
December 28, 2021

In reply to by Hopeful52

As much as this will hurt, walk away. My guy wants to spend the rest of his life making me happy. He hasn't asked for money yet but I am sure it is just a matter of time. Yes, I too was starting to really care. He fits the profile of all of your stories. So sad.
love2222
November 29, 2021
i have too get this out names can not be mentioned for safety purposes.i had someone i met online from a business standpoint at first then as things progressed he confessed he loved me and that were getting married .considering now i havent chatted with this person or even met him.just texting was only permitted.i was also told that if i back out i could really hurt this person emotionally.What do u think?anoumously curious
Josr71
November 30, 2021
My wife is having an email/telephone afair/scam with A man who calls himself Robert Potter so far she has sent him over $30000.00 . She does not suspect that I know. I don’t know where to turn to.
Marie
November 30, 2021
I am possibly speaking to a scammer too. It's been about a week and I'm 90% he is. I've been asking particular questions for my own verification and then someone told me to search his pics he's been sending me. So I did. 2 of the pics came up as a dating scammer sites info, etc. I have a grainy video but can't seem to search it. I haven't searched the latest two pics he sent that are actually really clear, considering the others. I will do that today. Anyone have the name Dr. Mike Stevenson, orthopedic surgeon, works for UN, german and English speaking and gave me a pic of his ID card that isnt coming up on a image search either(?). Comments are welcome. I wish we could find the guy who keeps getting impersonated with his pics and tell him. (Of the pics of the guy I am talking to).
Feel so stupid
November 30, 2021
I thought I’d come here and share my story too. I recently got contacted by a man on FB named Robinson Trae Fuller with a similar situation like the many I have read. He messaged me on Messenger and then asked to go to Google Hangouts to chat. I did like an idiot. We texted back and forth for about four hours a night for almost a week and a half. Did everything right and said all the right things. Very very charming. He was a soldier in Syria who did supply drops at the border. He’s divorced…although, I think his FB profile says that he is now widowed. He has a daughter who is 13 and claims that she is special needs with a brain tumor, but is responding well to the treatments. Both parents are dead. His mother died in a car accident when was very young and his father followed a few months later by heart attack. Everything seemed to go well and was always calling me Sunshine and always asking if I ate. About 3 days in he tells me that he was falling I love with me. Immediately this sends off the warning bells and I begin to panic when I realized what was happening. I felt so stupid because I really wanted to like this guy. The pics he sent, he seemed so handsome and so real. I decided to play along to see where this was going and sure enough he wanted to come here and buy me a ring because he didn’t want any other guy to sweep me off my feet. Things changed drastically when he wanted to meet. I told him that I felt like things were moving way too fast and I wanted to slow things down and I wasn’t ready to meet yet. This only made him angry and I was breaking his heart and how could I do that to him? The weekend came with very little communication. It certainly wasn’t like it was before and then last Sunday rolled around and that’s when he hit me up for money. He wanted to get his daughter a laptop and he needed me to help him out because Monday was her birthday. When I flat out refused he got angry with me saying that this was heartbreaking and how hurtful all this was. On Monday I finally called him out for what he was and he totally flipped the script. He placed all the blame on me, calling me a liar, I was rash and irrational, cold hearted and mean. I was a disgusting person who failed to recognize his feelings in all of this. This man or woman, because I’m sure that it wasn’t him in those pics, but they definitely display some narcissistic traits and can be very hurtful and degrading when disagreeing with them. I really couldn’t find much out about him online, but I just wanted to put this out here and hopefully somebody finds this helpful.
Confused
December 01, 2021
I have recently met a Russian female online her stories all seem to check out she's even sent me official or what appear to be official Russian documents such as passport Visa and she actually gave me Bank details but I've never sent money she has sent me copies of flight details many pictures but has never asked me for money she does not appear to come from a lot of money but has purchased flight ticket on her own as well as other stuff for travel the only thing she has asked for help with is showing financial solvency to prove her finances are secure enough to stay in the US and even provided a letter from the Russian migration service to substantiate this cost please advise as I do not know what to do thank you
Iwaswarned
December 01, 2021
Oil rig engineer met on FB dating. His equipment broke. Now is ill. Always concerned not to stress. You are my queen. Started in August 2021. Needs I tune cards
Joe mama
December 01, 2021
I think I might get scammed she is texting me on what’sapp I will copy and paste the first thing she texted me…Hey friend, my name is Elizabeth the young girl you help at the airport with $300 after explaining to you that I lost my wallet. You personally gave me your contact to inform you when I arrive on my trip in Canada, I want to use this medium to appreciate you for being so kind to me. My trip was successful thanks once again. I’ve never gone to the airport these past two months and she texted me at 1:43 am
Unknown
December 03, 2021
Had anyone spoken to an Alan, met on Hinge, lives in London, apartment in Canary Wharf, townhouse in Elephant and Castle, reckons he has a dog called bread, parents and sister live in Paris, trades in Bitcoin majority of the time, exports fruit from Australia for London market, messaged on WhatsApp then couple of days later messaged off a different number saying British government blocked his WhatsApp because he talked about business a lot. Originally from Singapore.
Iwaswarned
December 03, 2021
Oil rig contractor of gulf of Mexico. Machine broke down. Wanted I tunes and money for repairs. Widow no family left. From TX. Eric Jones is what he says his name is. Very handsome man. Claims he travels . Sent photos of his travels. FB is where he contacted me in late August 2021
Bohannon9
December 03, 2021
Does anyone know kelvin darlene ? If they do please tell me.
PJS1972
December 03, 2021
Anyone heard of Ronald Bira Thomas from Sacramento? Working in Lagos?
Hopeful52
December 04, 2021
I've been chatting with a guy I think/thought could be wonderful. I was so hesitant to try online dating. Everything great at first. Supposedly his birthday is coming up. He's military deployed far away. Things have moved quickly...which I'm no young chick so it was decent. He's supposed to come home sometime in December. We have video chatted. Now he has said he can't get his wallet activated and asked me to help manually at a bitcoin atm. Basically asking me to put money in. Same thing. He didn't like that I was telling him he's asking for money??...when he says he needs to be able to access his wallet. He is in a bad place,war zone. I'm new to all of this and have kept that to myself. I would really be grateful for any input. Thanks
Vulnerableme
January 12, 2022

In reply to by Hopeful52

The same thing happened to me. I busted him yesterday. Can anyone believe that my heart was broken over someone that doesn't even exist? We had been texting 2 weeks, A LOT! He was talking marriage, sending me sappy love songs, talking about terminating his contract to come be with me. Then, the fairytale ended.
Salsamom
December 05, 2021
Has anybody heard of a Dr. Malcom Peter orthopaedic surgeon, deployed by the UN to a Military base in Pakistan? Not sure if he is a scammer .But he wanted a excite certificate for a Vacation form the Military base, the Un wrote me back that I have to pay for it and wanted all my banking info to put money in my account in return for his upcoming vacation. Of course I know I was being scammed If I replied. What I don’t understand is I FaceTimed with him , he seemed to be a verified person, but then this letter from the UN which did not make sense.
Southern Gal
December 05, 2021
Watch out for Tony Kent Roberts. Nigerian scammer. Says he lives in Buffalo Grove, IL. Has 15 year old daughter. Wife died of cancer and parents are deceased. Works as an Engineer. Was sent over to Istanbul to work. Never asked me for money but I confronted him. Confessed to being a scrammer in Nigeria. Started second scam to get my sympathy about the proverty he lives in. Be careful.
Katzanova1
December 05, 2021
Everyone beware of someone claiming to be Hannah Mercy on hangouts. This person will say anything to gain your trust then ask you after a week to send her money to Ghana or Lagos. I have blocked her on hangouts you should do the same.
UK R
December 06, 2021
Anyone know Michael Jon? James Rodriguez? Both ask for money and gaming cards
Dethz
December 06, 2021
I have the same feelings too..He ask me to send money for his package to deliver jn my country. He ask 13, 000php In order to complete the bill package. The bill package is worth 350$ but he just give a 100$ to his friends. So the remaining bal. 250$ that was they as me to pay the remaining bal . He is in the forest training now for 4 month. He cannot get out for his training coz his is not aloud yet. That why he what me to secure money for his package...
campos.santos
December 18, 2021

In reply to by Dethz

OMG. The man I'm talking too, is seems to be the same story . He is working, and can't leave till contract end.
Sam
December 07, 2021
Hi am talking to this man but I got photos of him but he keeps asking me for my card to build a house and he sent me voice message but I don't know if he real or if that's his voice what can I do