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While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. It’s a big problem: reports to the FBI about online romance scams tripled between 2012 and 2016, and imposter scams were among the top reports to the Federal Trade Commission for both the general population and the military community.

These scams can take a military angle with imposters stealing servicemembers’ photos to create phony profiles. They might claim to be servicemembers who can’t get into their accounts overseas or who need money fast. The first sign of a scam is an online love interest who asks for money. But the Army’s Criminal Investigative Service (CIS) says that the military doesn’t charge servicemembers to go on leave, get married, communicate with their family, go online, or feed and house themselves on deployment. We have also heard of scammers re-using servicemembers’ photos again and again, so it can be helpful to do some online research on the love interest’s name, photos, and details to check the story out.

If an online love interest asks you for money:

  • Slow down and talk to someone you trust. These scammers want to rush you, often professing love right away; or pressuring you to move your conversation off the dating site.
  • Never wire money, put money on a gift card or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (wire transfer service, gift card company, or cash reload card company) and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed if possible.
  • Report your experience to the dating site and to the FTC.

For Military Consumer Month, share this video to help military consumers steer clear of online romance scams.



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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

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.

Foolish woman69
October 19, 2018
I have been talking to a man named David Allen Darrin who claims he was on a ship in Dubai and now is trapped there with no way to get home to his son, I fell in love with this man over 8 months ago, he is saying he is in hospital needs surgery on his hand needs more money after he already got more than 5,000 off me I am refusing to send him more!
Nicki F.
October 22, 2018
Reid Schofield Bentley. I have known he was a fraud but kept talking to him. I did not lose any money just my time. He has taken a solders pics Bentley and also used them under the name Tyler Bentley. He has pics that he states are his daughter but I have not got anything back on her reverse image searches.
October 21, 2018
Anyone get friended on Facebook by a Donald Arsenault? Is an off shore oil contactor off California coast? 11 Year old daughter, parents died, raised by Grandmother.
December 17, 2018

In reply to by Star1946

I did. His name is Doughlas William. Has 2 daughters. Prarents died when he’s 14. Raised by his gramma
October 22, 2018
I was talking to a man man said in was a senior leuitenant name Micheal Morgan in syria meet on Facebook book then went to hangouts said he is widow and has 7 year old son I did send money but we talked for about 9 months thought he was real he even texted me when I was out of work and did not always ask for money but it seemed like as soon as I would start back to work something would come up that he needed money but he was supposed to come home in july said he lived in California sent pictures of him and his son also one of his in uniform with another guy but anyway he did not come home from deployment said he received a promotion to general and would be in Nigeria I know is scam I can't prove for sure and I have not reported it just feel so dumb that I would believe him and put my life on hold waiting for him to come home I was supposed to move to California I am just glad I listen to that voice in my head even when my heart did not want me to I almost lost the real thing and hurt someone else I care about thank god I woke up in time but he goes by Godslove9317 @gmail. com
I've been there2
October 24, 2018
Kenedy Bright supposed to be from Atlanta and in business. Has lots of sad stories but is said to be in Italy and has no money cause he had a wreck and they took it all then fined by government cause his visa ran out. Etc etc etc cost a e a fortune before I wished up. Be aware of there language and if you talk on phone they sound foreign always.
GingerDon't us…
October 26, 2018
While playing WORDS WITH FRIENDS, no less than 10 men have tried to rope me into one of those "romance scams" . The script goes like this...they always work either on an oil rig or in some capacity for a drilling company. They use very general terms to describe their "jobs" like engineer or supervisor or contractor. They may have a child. Wife usually died tragically, or divorced. May be caring for a parent. When you ask for specifics about their work, all you get is the name of an oil drilling company and a location where this company is currently working. Information easily garnered from the net. This is fairly new , however very prolific. In a matter of weeks no less than 10 fake guys have attempted to suck me in on WORDS WITH FRIENDS....ladies BEWARE. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOU PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL OR ANYTHING
June 29, 2019

In reply to by GingerDon't us…

Ooh, that is where I met this man, on Words, Chris Robert or Robert Chris, Just now asked for $1000, no way! told him so, he is still texting thru Hangouts, maybe he will try another way, with cards or a phone, although he said cell phones and cameras were not allowed in war zones. We'll see, expect him to drop out of sight at any time. Wow. he does come on with the love! guess they are very adept at that.
October 27, 2018
Use skype to talk with him. Or use the "video" section of messenger.
October 27, 2018
Ask him for his physical address and send a $1 check there . ask if he has a car then ask for his registration and driver's license number. Call him on the phone. Bet he has lots of excuses
October 28, 2018
The same thing happen to me just a few days ago. Texted this guy on instagram for few days all in love with big line of bull. Then asked me to do him a favor if I would get him gift card for I tunes. I said forget that you said you would anything for me. I told me no way. Find someone else . I will pass. This loser goes by martinrg568 on instagram. Beware
November 01, 2018
Ive had a man that "says" hes in the military but stationed in CA. We've been talking for awhile and he said his wife died a few years ago and hes got 2 kids. Well, he keeps confessing his love for me amd how he wants to be a family and he wants to deposit his dads inheritance into my bank account. He asked for details that you dont even need to deposit money into someones account(didnt give him any info). Said that was the only way because he'd lose it if it wasnt deposited into my account. Said he couldnt leave the military unless he had a planned future. We talk on hangouts. The name he uses to chat is either Shawn Armstrong Yepes or just Shawn Armstrong. Has anyone ever talked to this guy to. How do you put a photo on Google?
December 21, 2018

In reply to by Luckyangel4u20

My mother's scammer told her the same story!!! Oh my! He is using the profile Ryan Torres. Apparently they predate by area. The guy is supposedly from Puerto Rico, like my mother, but raised in the US. He also used Google Hangouts.
January 25, 2019

In reply to by Luckyangel4u20

hi! i believe im talking to the same guy but his name is John or so he says.Wants all my info and says hes retiring and wants to put a large amount of money in my account.i didnt do it
November 01, 2018
My one goes by Lt Cl James Edison serving in Iraq with peace keeping forces. Wife died leaving him with a son. Guardian in USA looking after son. Love, marriage new house, car, coming to live here. Sons birthday and he couldn't get to his bank account, would I send son a gift as I was to be his new mom. Wanted £35,000.sent in bit coins to the guardian. Address to send to was in Africa. Sorry but I'm not that stupid to fall for that con. Only used Hangouts.
February 26, 2019

In reply to by Pstty45

Yours sounds like mine but only a different name. He goes by the name of Mike Clark on Instagram his using this name on Instagram m.clark2345
March 28, 2019

In reply to by Siba

Yeah Mike Clark tried hitting me up on Instagram too and he would always avoid questions I would ask him. Definitely a fraud.
November 01, 2018
I was on a dating site and was contacted by Bruce Milek. He suppose to work for Kames Capital and closing a big deal. He talked of being widowed and looking for love. He claims to be Polish and wrote beautiful email. Sent pictures of a very handsome man and spoke to me on the phone. When I looked up Kames Capital I somehow discovered email from Kevin Howard to Irene. The emails were identical to the emails sent to me from Bruce. Then I found Kevin also wrote to Carol. I believe both women were scammed out of lots of money. I would never send money or account info, set up an fake gmail account. I did give him my real phone number. When I confronted Bruce, he turned it around and how dare I question him...and he does not have to prove anything. I got out of this without even a scrape but wish I could stop him from doing it to someone else.
November 25, 2018

In reply to by Metoo

I too was courted by this named person. Lots of email but never a mention of money. I am interested in more testimonials, however.
November 26, 2018

In reply to by Metoo

Hi Metoo... thanks to your posted comment, we saved my mom from further heartache and possible financial scam from this same Bruce Milek. Do you live in the northeast? She lives in Amherst, but Bruce told her he lives in Manhattan. I wonder if there is any way to report him? It makes me so angry, that people are feeding on lonely people like this...
November 02, 2018
I get suspicion about some Guy Who i met by badoo,his name is William smart shawn he told me that he come from California stockton city, he told that he need money to fix a machine for oil drilling in alaska,he works as a contractor for ten year un this company. He asked me for help in claiming his value and money from the security company contractor by him , he told that he has 3 million dólar in golf and $200 thousand dólar in cash,the box will be at my by shipping agent
November 06, 2018
Worried about my brother talking to a soldier in Afghanistan named "Becky". Supposedly keeps attempting to come home but gets bumped from military flight. he has sent money and now she claims to have been given gold bars totalling $5M and she asked him for $10,000 in order for customs to release the bars and he believes she will share with him. Now asking for his bank acct. info to transfer money to his acct. Anyone else know of "her"?
Honey bunny 19…
November 06, 2018
I met someone but never met him he was called on duty he caught me in a lie but wanted to know if it the real deal but him on the spot
November 12, 2018
The account benjamin_wilson116 is a scam account, and after countless times of me talking to him(under a fake account), showing my friend screenshots and just telling her the obvious facts, she still goes back to this guy. She's already given him money on a couple occasions, and has asked both her and myself for itunes gift cards. He's promising her the world, and told her he's coming to visit her in a few weeks
November 14, 2018
Has anyone ever spoken with a E6 Sargent in the Army claims to be a Rn. Is on deployment in the UK has been divorced for 2 years and has a daughter who lives with her grandma. Claims his ex cheated on him with his friend while he was deployment. That they r now married and have a child together. He claims to be from a military family, but both his parents have passed away. He also says that his father left him a inheritance which has left him very well off in life. He has sent pictures of himself n his daughter.
January 26, 2019

In reply to by Dobutfulfreind

That sounds like the guy I'm talking with except as of right now is mom is between life and death if he doesn't get her money. I never sent money. So he said he is going to have to sale his phone and call me when he gets back to the states. He goes bye James brown or let it slip james McGowan middle name William. He has several Instagram accounts.
July 25, 2019

In reply to by Dobutfulfreind

Has anyone been approached on Facebook or hangout by a man by the name Jace Thomas? Military man deployed stationed in Las Vegas?
September 30, 2019

In reply to by Lewis4045

I have been approached by a Jack Thomas. Originally in Las Vegas. Works on oil rig. Now in Scotland
November 15, 2018
I got mail some days ago from girl called Christina Scott. She tells me she is working for US army nurse at yemen. She got box of money recently , they are six officer paertner. She want to send that box at my home safely.later she will get it from me. I asked her details She haven't send me any mail later.
February 26, 2019

In reply to by Fready

Ok i had a guy ask me the samething send boxes to my home with money in it about 7 thousand he is on instragram. We have the same person ty He goes by Michealfroome it is shipped by Dubai. You will recieve info from this company . so i been talking to a girl. Instrgram says cantnsend picture in real time like face time camera doesnt work. I think we have the same person
November 15, 2018
Have anyone talked to a man name Rogers Brown? Claims he is in the military in Syria?
November 17, 2018
Pierce Brosnan tried to steal money from me but I was smarter than him. He said he didnt trust anyone but me, and asked me to pay a clearance and delivery of a briefcase with a very important document in it and 450000 USD. I played his game until I got tired and he said to me bad names. By the way, he said he loved me so much! I had very good time playing his game and pretending I believed everything he said to me. He is on Twitter as Pierce Brosnan_1 and he chats by Hangouts. Be careful ladies!!
November 18, 2018
I have met someone but we talk on the phone a lot and video chat so he is the person that is in the photos. He is very handsome and kind. He also has 2 kids and I text with them. If the video chat and the photos match it really seems legit. He's from another country. Can anyone give me their opinion? I really care for him. Am I safe since I have seen and video chats with him? Please if you have chated with the person in the picture and then he turned out to be a scam please help me out.
Maria m.
February 05, 2019

In reply to by TDL

It’s hard to tell even if you talk to him live on a video they can still scam you. Just don’t send money until you met them in person or at least get to know the person. If he is really a nice person you don’t ask money from a lady you never met in person anyway
not sure
April 26, 2019

In reply to by TDL

Hey, I am currently talking too a guy from Rumson, NJ. He sends pic of him and his 2 boys. His wife dies 3 year ago in Car crash and sister died of Cancer a year later. I talk with him frequently and he travels for work. He said he forgot too get game card for his kids and asked me too help out. I told him i couldnt do but a little amount. He said dont worry about it because he found a place that carried what he needed for them but he appreciated me trying. Is this same guy you are talking about goes by the name of Matt Stovall?
June 06, 2020

In reply to by not sure

If he’s from Rumson NJ then he shouldn’t be asking you for money. Most people in Rumson make over 200,000 a yeAr
November 25, 2018
I feel like I’m being scammed I’ve been talking to someone that I met on POF for months he almost right away asked for iTunes cards or money he’s also ask me to Byam a phone because something happened to his He claims he’s a captain in the army in the special delta force is based in California but was on a mission in France goes by the name Larry Collins Banes can’t find anything about him online he has a Facebook profile but nothing on there he says he never uses it or goes on there The phone he supposedly calls me from is one of those voip phones He claims he was born in the Netherlands but has lived in the United States since he was about 15 both parents are dead and he has a child here Unfortunately there’s not really a way to prove that someone is in the military unless you can call someone that is willing to tell you but most the time they won’t as that’s confidential info Does this name or story sound familiar To anyone I’m desperately trying to find out please if you have any similarities or information message
FTC Staff
November 28, 2018

In reply to by Snl1942

A person who is really in the US military has an email address that ends in ".mil" with no other letters after that.

A real member of the US military should be able to send you an email from his military email address.



November 29, 2018
i also fell victim to the same plots as you guys. but my case is different. i met the guy we even went out a few times. but then he told me he was deep in debt and couldnt spend alot on me. i believed him and appreciated his honesty. i also believed and trusted that he was for real. then he asked me for 400dollars to sort out an emergency which i gave to him. then the following week he asked for 200 dollars and promised it would be the last time and i obliged. things went on smoothly and soon we were talking about how we had fallen in love with each other and how we would go on holiday together etc. A month later he asked me to assist him clear some of his credit card debts that amounted to 40,000 dollars. he said he only needed 10,000 dollars from me which i gave to him willingly. shortly after, he asked me to give him 4000 dollars again claiming that he had miscalculated how much he owed. This time i declined and told him he needed to figure out how to sort out his messes since he was the man. He hasn't texted me again since. So i guess he never really loved me like he claimed he did. I am disappointed and hurt but i know i will get over it because i will not allow it to take over my sanity or my happiness in life. Am glad am alive and that is money i can always make again. I hope he never dupes anyone else again though.
Soccer Mom Lee
December 06, 2018
I got hit up by a "Soldier on a peacekeeping mission in Syria." He was on Plenty of Fakes, lol. After 2 days he alluded to the fact that he was ready to get out. He was a widow. Attractive pics but did not look like a native, and knew nothing about natives. When I questioned about his own tribe, he had to go. Within two days his profile had been taken down . Alledgedly from Virginia but low and behold, no FB in Virginia.By now he is in love and wants to come HERE. I believe he would have quickly asked me for money.I called him on his verbage . Also on the fact that we didn't even have any troops in Syria. "Do you like to wear polo shirts and dungarees or dress up all shining for your man?"What? When I suggested he talk to other people, he was like, " How can you do this to me, life without love is like a zither without strings". Say what? 99% of American serviceman do not know that a friggin zither is, but I do. It's a Middle Eastern instrument.By Boi!
December 11, 2018
Has any been in contact with Robert Brooke Bergen nj
not sure
April 26, 2019

In reply to by Gwpey66

wife killed in car accident 3yrs ago? sister died of cancer? 2 boys? possibly the guy i met Matt
December 11, 2018
A friend is being scammed by a Roy Benjamin Allen who is suppose to be in a hospital in Syria. He said his account is frozen and needs more money for a plane ticket and food. Plus over 3000 for surgery for his kidneys or he will die. I tried to talk her out if sending more money but she's in love. Please help
Don't use your…
December 15, 2018
Has anyone been scammed by Jessica richard
December 16, 2018
I have a man who is trying to scam me. His name is Presley Davidson and used all of the signs of a scammer on me. Fortunately I got smart earl on but he was very hard to resist. Too good to be true kind of thing.
Pieceof work
December 17, 2018
FB request, fast talker. I played his game and of course send me a picture of his self, He was so so no model for sure. He will sweet talk you, that he is at high sea. No contact possible with his Bank account. Started out with 200 with a itune card. Of course that amount got higher 500 Walmart card. I finally confronted him with that he was scanning me and I didn't give him money. He told me off and I told him off also. Same stories watch out ladies and guys. They dont care about your feelings. They are after your money. TIM LEVIN is the guy that contacted me.
December 18, 2018
Any one hear of the name Carson James in the US Army. My friend is being scammed.
cat fish123
December 26, 2018
My daughter is talking to a guy called Brian Wale he sometimes uses Brian Anderson, he says his wife died during child birth, he sells generators he is now in Turkey, she met him on POF wondering if any one else has been scamed by him.
May 30, 2019

In reply to by cat fish123

Can you please send me pic of him i believe i am talking to him now