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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.

yfg_little
December 08, 2021
Has anyone come across a Neurosurgeon working for UN that goes by the name Stephen Milton Frimpong ? He added me on facebook, so I accepted it and we have started chatting. After viewing all your comments, he has one pro pic no other pics and his profile pic looks like it's been photoshopped.
Audette address
December 28, 2021

In reply to by yfg_little

I am talking to a man who claims he is a neurosurgeon. working for the UN in Syria. He claims to be on a three-year contract. He calls himself Benjamin Walter and is very good-looking with a rather sad expression so I started to hope he is real. He hasn't asked for money yet but says he wants me to request him to leave the base so he can come to me and for me to meet his son.
Hopeful52
December 09, 2021
I have probably...most likely been scammed. I haven't dated in years as I was raising my child. I desperately wanted his feelings to be real. I still wish they would be but I'm trying to be real. At the present time I am feeling really sad and disappointed. How can people be so cruel? I'll take any advice in getting through this. I really wanted this to be the real deal. I'm a bit naive. Advice please! Thanks
Big Idiot
December 09, 2021
Hi. I've just paid out £3k I'm sire I am being scammed but still gone along with it. How embarrassing that I'm so desperate. Anyhow, has anyone else experienced a scammer linked to gold mining? He goes by name Philip Jones. Working in Brazil, and close to resignation/retirement. Actually says he's from Florida, but had an English father, widowed, mum and dad passed when young. No family really to speak off. Just very interested in anyone's comments. I am waiting for the hit... Then I will know for sure I'm scammed.
Madeleine
December 10, 2021
Anyone chatting with Trevor Jones from detroit - beware.says all the right things then asks for money. Claims to be divorced, single father, abusive exwife. Is an architect but no website or ability to validate.
Candryoung
December 11, 2021
Ok so i have been seeing a doc surgeon orthopedic he works for united nations in Syria says he does anyway. Exwife died has a son Kelvin boarding school somewhere from Washington State . Name he goes by John Philips. He is the person in his pictures i made him hold a paper with time and date and he wrote me a letter on it as well and took a pic while holding it. Cant access his money has a bank manager but asking for log in info to my bank to deposit a check . I would not do it. But now wants a copy of my id front and back to give to give to the contractor to draw up paper work to get leave says that my name has to be on there as his fiance. Im pretty sure scammer but the pic and paper thru me. Help. Im confused and we also we had a bit con mess
Pipsqueak
December 11, 2021
Anyone chatted to an Orthopaedic Surgeon by the name of Dr Billy Wesley based in Turkey with US Care Services
auntipup
December 11, 2021
Does anyone know a Harry Tennyson who says he in contract for two years by the UN. He is from Watertown NY both parents dead has one 15 year old daughter, he is suppose to be an orthopedic surgeon in Somalia. Wants an early out only has $500.00 and needs another $500.00 for a form. I do not believe they charge anyone that belongs to UN money for forms. I know ladies I was taken in too, but I did not send any money to him. Blames me for not being able to get home early to "ME" he is truly in love with me and wants to get married. Luckily for me I saw too many red flags. Please if anyone has texted to a Harry Tennyson in Somalia let me know.
JenaS62
December 13, 2021
My sister is talking to a man named Albert Williams. Claims to be in Dubai working on an oil rig. He was able to go there at the height of Covid because he travels on private jets. (sure). My sister believes that he is a millionaire and that he is going to marry her. He claims that his fiance died and he has a 6 year old son. Claims to be from Turkey originally but has homes in Beverly Hills, Miami and NYC. After nearly a year, my sister has not met this person in person and I know that he has to be a scammer. Anyone else know of him?
shirley
December 14, 2021
I meet a guys who said that he is us marine who deployed in somalia but i never meet him in person he told me he cannot make video call or phone call due to security reason then oneday he told me he have dangerous mission over there in somalia they attack the terorist and he told me he have compensation or reward money which Is worth of 350,000 us dollar then he ask me to help him to secure his money because he told me the money need to deposit on his account but his account is dormant and the account manager call him that need to open another premium diamond account to make it sure the money is secure and he ask me to open an account which is worth of 1500 us dollar so i trust him and transfer the money to the bank after that they create me an account which have money inside and ask me to transfer the money on my personal account but the problem is cannot transfer the money they ask me to pay the cot code which is worth of 76,000hkd but i dont have that money on my hand thats why im thinking and search online if this is a scam pls help me if this is really a scam because im so scared and worried
Soledad
December 16, 2021
Someone meet with angelo terry luca he say is from Italy working in Alabama living in demver has a daughter Someone they meet him he's working in a rig oil company in the ocean his in tiktok too
Florlady
December 16, 2021
I found out Lucas Gray claiming to be an orthopedic surgeon is not real he’s a fake . He’s the handsome guy with the salt and pepper hair . Ladies please don’t fall for this guy. He will romance you from day 1 . I actually fell in love . After time he started asking for money . Saying he’s wife dead and he has a son away in boarding son in Canada with cancer . First he asked for $3000 then emergency with the son he needed chemo and surgery and asked for $4000 . I think the person impersonating him is from Ghana. He always asks if you ate and send a lot of love messages.
Mama bear
December 17, 2021
I have been talking to Joe F. Supposedly lives in Elko, Nevada. Acts rich. Last contract before retirement. Hasn't asked for money. Anyone else talking to him.
Gizmogremlin
December 20, 2021
Watch out for Gilbert walter. He is a scammer also. Says his wife died but asked me for an apple card. Not getting it. Got mad cause I called him a scammer. Found out he was texting me from Burkina faso
BenjaminSoma
December 20, 2021
What do they care about what people have eaten? I simply can’t figure it out, so if anyone else can, do tell, as I am curious.
Florlady
December 26, 2021

In reply to by BenjaminSoma

The scammers try to make it seem like they care about you so much and worry about u so they ask if you’ve eaten. Then he says that they worry about you and ur the most important person in the life . Which is all fake !!
Stupid me :(
December 20, 2021
Has anyone fallen for a similar scam involving Bitcoin? And then finding out they started taking money out of your account so you froze the accounts, both the Bitcoin and your bank? Then they started emailing you threats saying if you don’t give them what is “theirs” even though it is YOUR money they used, they will come after you and then family members and list a few family members…. This is happening to me now and I’m freaking out. :(
Nanacarol50
December 21, 2021
I really need advice quickly. I’ve been talking To someone on and off 3 years. I have given him 2,000 and now asking for more. Is there any way if I report him to FTC that we could somehow catch him in the process of sending him money. I was stupid for sending money but know just want to have him punished and exposed
Santien
December 21, 2021
Has anybody's here been contacted by Charles Blake Allen from London, UK? based on his profile on Linkedin, he is a software engineer. But he had experience working for a multinational oil company. We have been communicating through texts for almost 3 months. He has some feelings for me. Then he said he would like to visit my country, which is still impossible, due to our government regulations of Covid 19, which only allow foreigners under special conditions to come and he is not eligible for that. But he doesn't believe me and is a bit pushy. I started to ask the intention of this person
Lady in Red
December 22, 2021
I met this commander off a navy ship who is retiring. his name is Donald West from California whose wife died from brain cancer in 2017. Is he really on a ship, I don't think so. he has asked me for money which I did not reciprocate. he has sent me many pictures of this man on the ship. has anyone else heard from him...be careful. all looks and sounds wonderful, but how can i check him out. lots of promises and he is supposed to be coming to see me for the New Year of course wont happen. if its not him then this jerk has stolen a navy mans identity. anyone know this guy or had any encounters, please respond.
KaltFleisch
December 25, 2021
Hello! Does somebody met a person with the name Isabella Jane Baker ? First found me in Instagram. There was a pictures of her. Then said that preffer to chat in Telegram. Already long time i chat with that person. So its possible ? Did somebody met a person with that name ?
Daddy's girl
December 26, 2021
What are some of the different tattoos you all have seen on these men?
wewillcatchyou
December 27, 2021
my mother is being emotionally scammed by a man who goes by the name frank wayne wayne frank or walter found him to of scammed another women of her savings say his from southend works in gold mining widowed wife died in car crash
Audette address
December 28, 2021
I am pretty sure I am being scammed. He says he is a neurosurgeon with the United Nations but working in Syria on a contract with the US military. He says he has a seventeen-year-old son who is in America training for the coast guard. He said he was heartbroken when his wife died of cancer,. She was older than him. He said his son wants to meet me and that he wants me to request that he return home. I was holding him off for the moment as I am sure that I would have to give my name phone number and address to do so. Once his picture showed up on my phone. That sort of scared me. It was much clearer than on Facebook. He is very good-looking but the thing that made me almost believe him is that he looks sad.
NancyLLLLLLLL
January 24, 2022

In reply to by Audette address

Please note. This is one of the most common scams. Dr. with the United Nations, working in the Middle East. Widower with a child. Wife died in a tragic accident Save yourself the time and end it.
Myssj
December 30, 2021
Has anyone had contact with a guy named Richardson Robert? Says both of his parents are deceased, wife cheated on him and he has 8 yr old daughter. He says he is a nurse anesthesiologist We communicate on hangouts. He then told me that he had to go to Turkey and help the wounded soldiers. I have pictures
Crazygirl
December 30, 2021
Hi Has anyone ever talked to a usa army man based in Syria called Richard parker wood .he keeps telling me his dying love to me on hangout .he does ring me and yes has broken English.wife died 5 years ago and son in boarding school .I haven't sent any money I've been widowed for 11 years and he says the same to get him out of the army and come live with me in England. He sounds like a scam .
Scorpiolady
December 30, 2021
Avoid JESSE JANSSEN on POF uk scammer..wife died in car crash two boys live in Brussels with his Mum. Lives in Chelsea in London UK. Oil and Pipeline engineer. Foreman Jacob and 4 employees he's the boss. Wins contract in Turkey adds you to his "fake" bank account to do wire transfers for construction materials. Then account locked due to IMF certificate issues. Send money to unlock account. Photos stolen. Real romantic makes you fall in love with him. Lots of soppy messages and phone calls. AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Elren
December 31, 2021
Hello. Is anyone talking to John Ott. Says he's from Germany and living in Chicago. Says he's a financial advisor. Uses a Kansas phone number.
Janetteb20
January 04, 2022
I am talking with a guy named Dave Orson from Plenty of Fish. I've been skeptical because it's partly in my nature to be so and want to be sure he's 'safe' for my son and I. He claims to work for the government, live locally but had to travel to Mexico. He's been very romantic. Profile said he has a teenage son and he's widowed. He's provided details of him and his son that seem credible while other details don't. He blamed the holidays for not being able to video chat or call. I'll buy that for a bit as I am busy too also being a widow. Today he asked about buying his son a steam card for his PS5. He didn't push me to do it when I said we didn't know each other well enough. I'd questionned his 'legitimacy' before so I questionned it again. He immediately video chatted me asking if I believe him now. Not sure what to think anymore but still leaning towards a scammer. I guess if he refuses to meet up soon, I should cut him loose?
Kfont
January 05, 2022
Look out for anyone that wants any money!!! If you think they won’t be able to fake something they can!!! I’ve had one that was an actor…lol needed money because everything he had was tied up with Bitcoin and was being careful because of divorce. I had another that was taking care of his siblings because his parents had died and right now I’ve got one from a lawyer that needs me to pretend to be next of kin to someone. So far I haven’t given any money but then I’ve been threatened with blackmail and everything else. Do not even answer these people!!!!!
Worried
January 05, 2022
Has anyone been talking to Luis Fernandez? Blind, movie star looks, really charming.
Concerned friend
January 06, 2022
My friend is currently talking to two guys she met on POF. Their names are Brad Donovan and Matison (don’t know his last name). They now talk on Skype and WhatsApp. Both claimed to be in Houston when they first started talking but then had to go overseas for work. Now Brad says he is in Gaza and Matison is in Kiev. My friend has already given both thousands of dollars. She has taken out loans to send them money and given them credit card information. I know my friend is getting scammed but she is delusional and believes their ridiculous stories and excuses. I have expressed my concern to her multiple times. I don’t what else to do. Has anyone else heard of these guys? Does anyone have any advice?
Nina
January 07, 2022
Anyone have a Martin Coleman. I met him on okcupid. He says he is from New York but grew up most of his life in Jamaica. He is currently in turkey for work. He says he is 39 no kids. He started texting me but says we have to start using WhatsApp because he is roaming and it’s charging to much to text him
Bug
January 08, 2022
I run into them playing words with friends 2 all the time they want you to move your chat to whatsapp or google hangouts i messages one for about 4 months she " loved" me wanted me to invest in Bitcoin I never sent any money but one day she was a friend suggestion from Snapchat her user name Donna underneath that in very small print was what I assume was his yup his real name sayquan Thompson
Scrabble player
January 10, 2022
Does Alexandru Daniel ring a bell, anyone. He played scrabble with me and message me the. Later on chat in hangouts. I had doubts already because of his stories don’t add up. So I investigated and tried to to let him know I never doubted him but my investigation turned out that this guy he is using another man’s profile after I reversed image him. He is from Nigeria and not from NY. So let us all be careful.
Cindy Ginzberg
January 11, 2022
Watch out for Michael Borwnsen, he tries to get an Apple 50-100.00 gift card from you, but he wants yo to peel a few things off the back and send him the picture, he will wait about a week and ask again saying there is none in Syria, he is supposedly on a "mission", so he can't tell you much of what you ask him. He'll FB me every day wanting to get me on Skype, WhatsApp, or other Apps, and want you to give him all the codes, which tell you not to share the codes with anyone. He wants me to move from Fl. in with his mom, in Houston, even though he is moving to Colorado, there is more to tell, but be cautious of MICHAEL BORWNSEN if you come across him. He tells you to look at his unfound Biography, but it's nowhere that I CAN FIND. he SAYS THE SPELLING IS BECASE HIS MOM IS FROM DENMARK, BUT YOU CAN'T FIND HER EITHER.
Christina H
January 12, 2022
James Freeman is one you can add to the list of true love scammers. He found me on tinder. He wanted to switch to hangouts. First confessed his love to me and then after 2 weeks of talking all the time he says he has phone connection issues. He wants me to send $79 expressing no one will help him. He says he is a staff Sargent on the US military base in Turnkey. This is ridiculous!!!!!! Why would he need my money, military men make plenty of money! I know he will try to get more and more people don't give these men anything. !!!!!
Vulnerableme
January 12, 2022
Has anyone been scammed by a gorgeous Doctor who says he's in Turkey on a Government contract as a Dr. treating wounded soldiers? Goes by Chris Labia Morrison or Chris Labria from Costa Rico and gets you hooked with charm and love songs?
Skeptical
January 13, 2022
Has anyone ever spoke with a Wayne Carl. Says he a from Boston Ma. He owns a few boutiques named Linq. When I did the research I can not find any records of this boutique. He says his wife died in a car crash a few years ago. He also says his bank with Chase has been on hold since August 2020. I’m 100% sure he is a scammer and I have even asked him but he insist on denying the allegations.
Not easy
January 15, 2022
Ok, so i am recently Divorced. I went on a couple of dating sites more or less to find someone to talk with. I met a couple of guys and we started texting each other. One in general has my interest. He is overseas, he admitted that right away. He said he is under contract and it is almost up and he is moving to the states and he picked my state before i ever told him where i was from. He sends me poems, tells me he loves me, i dodge understand that at all. Has not asked me for money or anything else. He claims his contract is up And is retiring. Wants to come live with me, told him no, he keeps referring to when henis here with me.. Next week he is suppose to be discharged. I never got. last name from him. I did search the picture he sent me.. i found him on two other dating sites, can’t get information on him unless i join and pay the membership fee. Not going to do that either. So what do you think is his game?
TXLADY
January 23, 2022

In reply to by Not easy

Hello honestly I believe this man is a scammer. Sometimes they are looking for a place to go and once here your life will be a nightmare. If I were you I would not waste anymore time on him.
Jane4
January 17, 2022
I believe I am being scammed by the same person. Claiming his name is Henry from Ohio. He was being overly nice and I fell for it! He claimed his partner (mother of daughter) died in a car accident.. I became unsure when he slipped up on the daughters name. He’s now asking for money as he claims he’s flown to Greece for work but can’t afford to feed his child as his bank account has been frozen. Is anyone able to send me a picture of who’s been scamming you. Thank you
Jane4
January 17, 2022
I believe I am being scammed by the same person. Claiming his name is Henry from Ohio. He was being overly nice and I fell for it! He claimed his partner (mother of daughter) died in a car accident.. I became unsure when he slipped up on the daughters name. He’s now asking for money as he claims he’s flown to Greece for work but can’t afford to feed his child as his bank account has been frozen. Is anyone able to send me a picture of who’s been scamming you. Thank you
Concerned Friend
January 19, 2022
The only asset my friend has is her home. I believe a scammer has been worker her over for a year. Has anyone heard of a scammer convincing a woman to sell their home, with the promise of a dream home to move to?
Missy
January 30, 2022

In reply to by Concerned Friend

Yes, he goes by the name Lamon Yuthakon or Patrick Chula. Will sweet talk you and then suddenly he needs a great amount of money for an interior design project in Arizona. He’s short for $26000 and wants you to sell your house so he has the funds to do his project. Supposedly he will gett around $6 million when he’s done with the project and then he’ll buy your dream house. He’s a big time scammer!!!!
Mmbb
January 20, 2022
Has anybody been in contact with a guy from Houston with the name of Erick Zio? Originally Brazilian , medical engineer who works overseas. He has a 10 year old daughter and he raises her with the neighbors . I knew after a couple of days that he was a scammer. I met him on the dating site the inner circle. He switched immediately to google hangout and deleted his profile on the dating site. He called me Sunshine from dat one. I have blocked him but I really pity the guy he is using his image. Has anyone been in contact with him? .
Andreal
January 21, 2022
He goes by richard johnson. Lost his wife 5 years ago. Two kids. Jenny and Tony. 5 years old and 9 years old. Son just had an accident running after the dog. Need a surgery. Asked for money by bitcoin. Architect doing a mall project in Turkey, he is from Texas and lives in New Jersey.. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Anyone?
KL
January 21, 2022
Was contacted on facebook. He said his name is Thomas Miller a chemical engineer on an oil rig with a great salary. Was born in Berlin, Germany. Has a home in Berlin and Paris and lives in Miami. 66 years old. Has a 14 year old daughter in boarding school in Atlanta. Mother and father killed in a car accident in Germany. Wife killed in a car accident 5 years ago. After 2 weeks he is ready to whisk me away to Maldives and Paris.....LOLOLOL I knew it all stunk. He has a great profile picture that looks like he is really wealthy. Only could text me in the early morning or very late at night. Any other time there was no good signal on the rig. Wanted my cell number so he could talk to me. I blocked him. Beware!
LC
January 24, 2022
I just was talking to a guy from dating app Zoosk. Asked me to delete my account. He claimed to live in my area. Was from Copenhagen Denmark and was an architectural engineer who traveled all over the world. Talked to him for a week . Call me baby, babe but never mind name. Said he had to go to London. When he got there he couldn’t get into his bank account . Asked if he sent me his info if I could go in and send him a screenshot of the balance. That’s when I said BYEBYE.. block. Was very handsome, called me, I called him and he even did video chat. These scanners are very creative.