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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

Dawn74
April 22, 2021

In reply to by Angievicky

Omg !!! I am talking to the same guy ! He says the kids names ate Alicia & Henry
Dawn74
April 22, 2021

In reply to by Angievicky

So the exact same story to a T ....he seems so romantic & caring ....Anyway he originally said he was doing a surgery over in Dubai and then went to Beijing China to get a da Vinci robot and then his bank account was frozen so he needed to get money to ship the robot back and to get himself home. He had a pretty good storyline all figured out but as soon as he asked me for money we definitely spoke for almost 3 months I knew it was a scam.....And now seeing your post that just confirms it...I did not end up giving him money at all he was asking for money to be transferred to a bank account and then he was asking for steam cards and then also Google play store cards
Pygscooby1
January 20, 2022

In reply to by Dawn74

Omg I have a friend in Dallas who got the exact same story from a guy except that he said he was an OB/gyne doing research off an island in Russia.
Chris
May 16, 2022

In reply to by Dawn74

Yes. That is what happens me. I ended up buying him steam cards and Google play cards. In all I changed my phone number

ArmyMama
July 08, 2021

In reply to by Angievicky

I know a David Jones. He asked me to send some money in bitcoins to his kids through his agent. Once I money I said and he said he was going to find another friend. Them weeks later he asked for Steam card. I so again and again he said ok. He hasn’t asked for anything else. However since I saw that lady who met up with her guy and he stole from her I stared thinking if that’s what is waiting for. He says in the military and keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any David Jones out there?
Cryonboi
August 09, 2021

In reply to by ArmyMama

This sounds like a guy was asking for only bitcoin .he even gave the location where to buy it near me. Said his name was Henri A Bousguet an antique deal from. France and lived in Oregon. He sent me a copy of a passport & pictures . He used a burner number 860 are code for this scam. I did some research and traced the scam to new Hampshire to a home with 14 phone numbers
Thaughthewasgo…
October 08, 2020

In reply to by Jackie

Dr. Chris Evans was in Yemen for me. LOL. I been toying with him as much as he was trying with me.
Mini
February 22, 2021

In reply to by Jackie

Mine is similar your, his wife and kid in car crash and killed. Wanted me to be next of Kin because Oil rig required next of Kin of contractor and asked me to text name,lastname,photo (pastport size) and sign contract. We just texted for 10 days. How can I do that?
Jbkerrigan
March 08, 2021

In reply to by Jackie

How did you find out his real name? The story sounds so familiar.
Worried
April 10, 2021

In reply to by Jbkerrigan

Is his name Gary from scrabble go he's been bugging me for money to send his boss documents. When he's done with this job he's going to retire and do his own business. Wants to marry me and be partners with him.
Sad and angry
April 09, 2021

In reply to by Jackie

I have been scammed three times on a dating site. Didn’t give money until this last one, even though I knew I was being scammed. Didn’t give much but am angry with myself. How do people find out their real names? He claimed he had no credit card because his disabled son had made a major purchase. He had me running around buying Best Buy cards because his computer was destroyed on the flight from the US to Cypress where he had a contract to search for gems. He claims to be a geologist and gemologist. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Touxama65
October 18, 2021

In reply to by Sad and angry

The same thing happened to me on Scrabble Go! His name was Raymond Scott Platt, surname Bob. Contractor last year in Turkey but he was from Colorado Springs and has a son Maxwell. He was on Scrabble Go and asked to go on WhatsApp.
BumbleBea
November 25, 2021

In reply to by Touxama65

i am also currently chatting with a person I met from Scrabble Go, he said he is currently broke, lost contracts due to pandemic, is an orphan and has a 12 yo daughter in Iceland, he is Mexican, well i don't even know if he is real.. i already blocked him and deleted my whatsapp but he kept calling me maybe from my whatsapp number...we are on an on and off relationship we would fight and make up again. I guess this is their new strategies to scam, so far he just asked help for 60 dollars which he said he needs to borrow but will pay ke back... hahaha... anyone who haa the same story???
VICKIECRM
September 26, 2021

In reply to by Jackie

I believe I have gotten the same exact man. Same story, pictures of him pop up on every dating site I have seen. Some several on Facebook. Is he blonde? I have several pictures of the guy I am talking about. If you want to compare
chocorottkennel
June 25, 2020

In reply to by Kc

Since you have the same issue. The person you talking with is a scammer. If you have pictures I can help you to locate the picture cos is not real.
Tina
July 06, 2020

In reply to by chocorottkennel

I have a guy photos that I talked to. What website to I go to, to make sure he's real?
Anichan
July 28, 2020

In reply to by chocorottkennel

Can you share picture? I think I might be talking to same guy. Met on OKcupid
mary28
September 05, 2020

In reply to by chocorottkennel

Will you help me? I have pictures. I am so heart broken. I love this guy and he swears he is not who they are talking about. I need peace of mind please
FJ
September 21, 2020

In reply to by chocorottkennel

I have the same, yeah i have the pictures he sent, how shall i send them? omg, this one said he owns a hedge fund and is an investor in Makati but is from NY Staten Island but i looked up his number and it's from Canada, found his IG too and why his location is Toronto, said he lived on-off the last 2 years there in his cousin's place. too many red flags and lastnight i 've had enough, i asked him if he has tattoos, he said none. but in 2 photos he send me (one with his daughters) he has got 2 tats in left arm and right inner arm. a complete lie, he forgot that the picture he was pretending to be has tats. the guy in the photos is a handsome fellow, said 42yo, half puerto rican and half austrian. divorced for 3 yrs now and has 2 daughters back in NY. too good to be true, has got sweet words, loves books for he kept on sending me Ebooks, believes in God. Good thing he has not ask for money or speak about investing yet.
Doyel
October 08, 2020

In reply to by chocorottkennel

Yes , I have photo and I havebeen talking to him since 2 months, never asked for money yet! But some red flags avoiding video chats, internet call etc. His email is is not pulled in search engine!!
Lilalia
August 11, 2021

In reply to by chocorottkennel

Hi I was reading all of these comments so I think I got the same problem too right now. So I need help to locate him and is there a way to find out if the person I'm talking with and the photos he sent me is the same person?
Elizabeth
October 31, 2021

In reply to by Lilalia

Hi I am speaking to this really nice and understanding guy called Micheal who shares his concepts of life partners akin to corn, rice or trees. Tells me funny jokes about Finland and Denmark too. Anyone knows or spoken to the same Michael via Telegram messengers app? Please share with me if he is a scammer too
Koolmom46
December 06, 2020

In reply to by Kc

I've been chatting with a Mark David that says he is an orthopedic dr in yemen. He says his daughter died from cancer several years ago. She was 24. His wife cheated on him with his best friend. They died in a car crash several years ago. He has a son named Kelvin in boarding school in Georgia. He is wanting money to end his contract early with the UN. He is a very niceooking man and wants me to marry him. I have pics of him.
TERRY
January 02, 2021

In reply to by Koolmom46

Sounds like my James willaims that has a son named kelvin!! I have pics but I believe that are probably stolen. I had to block him
Don't use ysmi…
August 29, 2021

In reply to by I’ve been scam…

Hi i been chatting wirh a chap william james .dr otherpedic son 14
Me
September 28, 2021

In reply to by Don't use ysmi…

Any body please got photo of william james otherpedic
Maggie
October 12, 2021

In reply to by Don't use ysmi…

Hi, I have been chatting with a guy I met on facebook (then he took his profile down) claiming someone hijacked his account. He says his name is Lucas Benjamin Williams., age 59 (birthday: 9/10. a widow with a 9 year old son named James (birthday: 9/20). He says he is a pilot flying for Kuwait airlines. Currently in Kuwait for one month on a contract. He says he has flown to Germany, Greece, Brazil, Malaysia, etc. Says his son James, the nanny and he live in Brooklyn NY. Lately, he has gotten very demanding wanting me to order an Iphone 13 pro for him. Claiming he will send me the money. This morning, he asked me to take a picture of my credit card and that his son would put the money on my credit card. I find this totally unbelievable that he really thought I would do that. I have been chatting with him through email and Whatsapp. Makes me angry that these guys are preying on women who only want an honest genuine relationship. Not cool. He may be talking to some of you under a different name and different story. BE CAREFUL !!!
Lotus
October 12, 2021

In reply to by TERRY

Is this guy still going on with his scams? I had an experience with him a few years ago. He uses emotional blackmail. He wrote an e-mail pretending to be his son Kelvin where he warned me not to hurt is father. This is a really sick person
Suzanne 59
October 22, 2021

In reply to by Lotus

Has anyone spoke to a John burchett? Says he lives in Birmingham Alabama. From Germany, parents dead, 2 kids, civil engineer
London
May 04, 2021

In reply to by Koolmom46

Sounds similar.. dr. from Nashville texting asking questions, romantic sending songs.. professed love after 3-4 weeks, spoke of marriage?! Latest USDH assignment in Yemen.. wanted to transfer funds over for me to buy his ppty to set up a practice in the UK. I called him out on all. Blocked
Lostnlove
July 16, 2021

In reply to by Koolmom46

Do you have a pic I am chatting with a guy that says he's an orthopedic dr in yemen.
Olga
October 23, 2021

In reply to by Lostnlove

The same story... Orthopedic dr. from Yemen, has a 15 years son, wife died. He is 54. The same man. After 2 months chatting I didn't believe him.
Armen
July 05, 2021

In reply to by Kc

I think my mom may be being scammed with somewhat of a similar story? He says hes a pilot and his laptop caught on fire and he had her go to best buy all while he's in Dubai? Do you have pictures? I'm just trying to figure out if my mom is being scammed like i supposed
Ariasroman
November 01, 2021

In reply to by Armen

My mother is being scammed by this guy too. She's almost 73. Says he's a pilot for Cirrus and trains other pilots, was investigated by FBI cause HIS identity was stolen. After I told her what I found she has become secretive. Explains his accent is Norwegian. Sent pics of a British guy. Real person is in his 50s. His YouTube videos clearly from UK. She really believes he's the real guy & that they are very close. Claims he's in San Francisco and his contract is continually renewed. She has never met face to face. Must work off debts but wants to open flight school in IL.
Lisa
August 04, 2020

In reply to by Lost and out $

Do you have a picture of this man??? He sounds exactly like the man I’m talking to.
Missy
November 05, 2021

In reply to by Lisa

I have a picture of someone that has been contacting me Would like to know if he’s the person that you were talking about
swish
September 09, 2020

In reply to by Lost and out $

What was his name? Did he give you his son's name? Did he tell you how his wife died? I think the man I am taking to may be the same man who scammed you.
Paula
October 01, 2020

In reply to by Lost and out $

Oh my gosh! This sounds like a guy I have bee messaging for nearly two years! He is supposedly 55, an engineer and has grey hair and has a nephew to take care of.
Youngatheart
November 07, 2020

In reply to by Paula

Paula, I met a guy on OKC In October. He says he is 55 and has a young son in boarding school. He says he is an Engineer on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. There are definitely some red flags. I have some photos and would like to compare them with the ones you have.