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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.

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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

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.

August 12, 2019

In reply to by Dub

OMG! I've been chatting with this guy. He goes by Medina Martinseen. After just 5 days of chatting with him he asked me to help him out by buying a steam gift card because he is so busy at work. I tell him I am uncomfortable and he is all hurt because he needs to make sure that the person he is with has his son's best interest and carry his burden. He tries again and I lay into him and then send him info about the steam card being a scam. He tells he is insulted that I would consider he is a scammer, he can't believe what kind of mother I am and to never contact him again. I am so glad I found this site.
September 11, 2019

In reply to by TS

Yes, just came across this man he is going to down at work....same issue...except he said his name was Martinssen Medina. mentioned something yesterday about a steam gift card and not getting the card, but didn't ask for money. i was doing my own investigation and started feeling like him something was off...sent him this link and told him his name was in this article
August 28, 2019

In reply to by Angie

What email and phone number is he using? I am talking to someone by the name Josiah Medina although his hangout says Jordan Medina.
That girl
November 03, 2019

In reply to by Suspicious

+1 301-539-2985 Josiah Medina on Hangouts or Martin Medina...... Full scam ... Uses a video like he's video chatting you an it goes in and out.... the only reason you can figure out that is a video is because when it comes back in he still saying the same as at word he was as when it was going out.... Started talking about bitcoins last night what's raised my suspicions... I met him on BLK beware ladies
Well dang it
March 08, 2020

In reply to by Suspicious

I’m chatting with Jordan Medina right damn now. I showed my mom his pic. And she said where’s his rank? That raised a red flag so I started googling. If he was a smart scammer he wouldn’t give his whole name to folks. Met him on BLK app
August 04, 2019

In reply to by JaniaB

Can u send me pic of him I think I’m talking to the same guy
August 19, 2019

In reply to by Rachel

Damn... I think I'm talking to the same guy. He said his name is Medina Martinssen and his sons name is Josiah and is supposed to be stationed in Germany.
November 12, 2019

In reply to by JaniaB

Do u have pics of this Josiah medina.i do he's also on whatup app.lets compare
July 20, 2020

In reply to by Ester

I've been contacted by a josiah Medina from hinge who says he is based in London military barracks near where I live. He says he is on a mission over here although I didn't ask him about it. He has sent me various pictures and a video of him in the gym and wants to meet He is very full on in a romantic way which to be honest I find a bit cringey! Do we think he is the same person. I don't know how to check? Help!!!
November 15, 2019

In reply to by JaniaB

Medina contacted me on Instagram Jordan Medina and his son Josh is mexiczn
February 08, 2021

In reply to by JaniaB

I’m talking to him right now same exact person he is trying scam me
So unreal
April 10, 2021

In reply to by JaniaB

Sounds like Jordan Nelson Medina who I met on tinder. Had me set up Cashapp so he could send me money. Then asked for my pin, I said no way...told him he's a fraud and blocked him. Before this he had told me he loved me and I was his future all seemed very suspicious from the start so wasn't surprised when he asked for my pin. Probably mad he couldn't get anything from careful for him, he's a smooth talker, whoever is behind the fake profile
January 03, 2019
Mark Andrian Anthony? From Italy...Has anyone heard of him?
June 03, 2019

In reply to by Pokegirl

I think my mom has been contacted by the same guy. Goes by Luke Anthony or Luke Antonio. Said he was from italy,!but has Nigerian accent.
January 05, 2019
My Mom has fallen in love with some military guy that reached out to her on facebook. He goes by the name of Michael Rodriguez, he is overseas now but lives in Houston Texas. I just found his picture on an scammers website. Someone is using the real Michael pictures to try and scam middle age and unsecured women like my Mom. She does not listen and believes everything that he tells her. So far she had not send him any money. Good luck to all!
May 27, 2019

In reply to by Dri143

Yes! My mom is in a simular situation. Same name but working in Turkey. Is there any way to contact you to discuss?
Dave Ramsey
January 05, 2019
Dave Ramsey and friends got my mother for about $200,000. She still doesn’t believe it’s a scam. Now so deep in debt, she’s likely to become homeless. Same scenarios I’ve seen here, started on Facebook and went to hangouts.
please help ha…
January 06, 2019
how do i report a scammer asking for more and more money my mom think he love her and is yelling at her for money
January 09, 2019
I have been scammed out of 60,000 dollars from Christopher Murphy from Cleveland Ohio, claims he’s in Alaska and can’t get into his bank account . I have all the receipts and Tex’s and banking and email that he gave me. I don’t know if I can. Go to the courthouse and file a clo or what.
January 10, 2019
Has anyone heard of Spc Kennedy L Dror? He was supposedly in Afghanistan then Syria and now at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on isolation after being exposed to sarin gas. He asked if he could send gold and personal items to hold until him got home. Obviously the package never arrived and I'm out of money trying to help him. Just wondering if anyone else experienced this hurt
January 10, 2019
I have been talking to a man for over 2 1/2 YEARS. He was 56 years old and an engineer on ships gas pipes (headed to Nigeria, needed $5k for win bid on project. He has lived in S.Africa most of his life. He had a 16 year old daughter that lived with his mother. I sent him $500 a month for 2 years , more at times including 1k when he was beat up in Nigeria and put in the hospital and had a $1500 bill. I also gave him $900 December 2017 to go to UK to see daughter , needed to come to see her due to urgent problem, but his mom wouldn't tell him why. From there he was coming here to the U.S. but while he was there his mom become gravely ill and he couldn't leave her. According to him he is still in the UK and his project in Nigeria has halted and started so many times I can't count. I have paid immigration fees for him to immigrate here which he is pursuing . He is working on a work visa. I ask to call his mom in the hospital and tell her how much I loved her son and how I would pray for her. He gave me the hospital name but got real nervous when I said I was calling her. He said oh no my mom won't talk to anybody. She will not burden you with her illness. He lost his wife in a car accident when his daughter was 11. When I started telling him I couldn't send him any more money he had colleagues of his sending money to walmart to walmart for me to pick up and do lots of moneygrams and western unions until I met my quota and then money was put in my bank and paypal and he said we would do bitcoin. Then I would take the money and deposit in various peoples accounts for bitcoin. I had to take the deposit slip and write no refunds bitcoin and take a picture of my face with my drivers license and deposit it in somebodys' account that I did not know. He still professed that he could not understand how I felt something was a fraud because these were reputable colleagues trying to help him out and then when he gets paid for the big project *1 or 2million they will be reimbursed. Meanwhile my name and picture and ID are on every bitcoin transaction. I want to believe him but I am very skeptical. He says he is coming in March but he still expects fees for immigration from me to give the church) $600 a month. There is a lot more but I good write forever. Please tell me if anybody has had this experience. I have only talked to him a handful of times and never seen a selphie. He says he has a blackberry phone with no camera . He is on Hangouts and on Hangouts chat . He can video chat me and see me but I can't see him but I can hear him. He goes by Charles Morrison. I love him very much and I am told by many people including a prosecuting attorney that said he is a scam. 2 years of my life. As of now I have stopped sending or picking up any money at all and will not give my bank details out. As of a recent request he wanted me to give him my dads'user id and password for AT&T (we have all our telephones on it and uverse, direct tv and wifi. I did not give him the password. My friend said he can run my dads bill up in the thousands just by giving him that info. He saw nothing wrong in asking me for that info. He has ask me to sell my car, house and ask my daughter for money and send it to him. I hope this helps someone. I am heartbroken if all this is a scam. I will never trust men online ever again. Please respond if you have talked to him.
FTC Staff
March 06, 2019

In reply to by Bonnie

This does sound like a scam. When someone asks you to receive and transfer money, they might be using you to move stolen money. You are taking a big risk by getting involved in these transactions. You could get in trouble with the law.

It's good that you stopped sharing your bank account number. Protect your phone accounts, credit cards and other accounts. He could use your name and personal information to run up bills, or open new accounts with your name. You can report this to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357. Your report could help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies with investigations.

June 10, 2020

In reply to by Bonnie

He is a real scammer, look for a real love. Better offline. I had a bad experience too with a a young lady. Checkout the story below. It was such a waste of my time, money, energy, heart and everything. You must do all you can to get him arrested and get all your money back. Using your profile for bitcoin transaction for him, could have been a bad decision, he could be using you for the front of fraudsters. Okay, here is my story too. It all happened around August of last year, 2019. A lady scammed me too. I am Nigeria, she is Nigerian. I met her on facebook. She kept on tricking me to send her money to travel to see me. She only took my money. She did this to me four times. In between she also asked me for other money. I have wired money to her bank account up to 10 times. I never would have known 100 percent she was a scammer, until I told her to send me the transport I sent to her last, the next day, she said she will come and she refused to do that. I was now sure she was a full scammer. She always insisted she was not a gold digger before, not to talk about scamming, which is quite far. She tried to scam me a 5th time, by telling me to send her the same transport, that she will stay with me for a month. I was already wise by then. The bad thing is that I doubled the transport money in good faith, each time she requested I send her money. I reported her to her bank, who directed me to go to the police. The police called her, but she still refused to give me my money, it is like she tricked me and the police together, that she will contact me to send me the money, which she never did. I plan to take further legal actions against her to get the money I sent her money 4 times, for transport. I don't care about the other money I sent to her, since she asked me like a girl, even though she was only running a scam. It has been so stressful, going to where she took me to, from my bed and my University work to scamming me in the name of love. A lady told me not to send her money, that she is a scammer, I thought she was jealous. It changes who you are, your inner peace, your knowledge of not knowing other people. The unfortunate thing is that, that is all we hear from the ladies, give me money, give me money When I gave now, what did I get in return, nothing.
January 10, 2019
Anyone heard of Robert Alex Jackson, started on Instagram? Claims to be with the UN on a ship, can’t take photos due to security, asking if he could put in for a vacation request to meet up, has a son in Vegas, wife died in a car wreck... wants a wife.... after 3 days. Haha!
May 14, 2019
So...., I was talking with someone who claimed to be OstellA llen008 @gmail. com Claims he is widowed and has one young son that is with a nanny. He is in a peacekeeping mission in Turkey, supposedly at Incirlik Air Base. But they were attacked and now he is somewhere else. After his friend “Logan” was shot in the arm taking a bullet meant for him. Mr. Ostell Allen 008 He offered to pay off my credit cards. I gave him a prepaid bank card that payments were made on, but then retracted. After payments were made, but before they were revoked he asked for a brand new iPhone because he “broke his screen and could not keep in contact on HANGOUTS. I’m sure they do this with stolen credit cards. Pics are of a SUPER SEXY MAN and yes he “attempted” to get on cams with me. (Videochat) But just like others stated. No sound. Cut off after about 30 seconds. Could not see him clearly. Did not respond by waving back or anything to that effect. I am using his lingo. Very excellent English, but not American English. Claims to have grown up in Mexico, but then. Bird to San Diego where his mom still resides. He claimed to live in Elk Grove Village, IL. Came here with the USMC. He was extremely believable. Has two Facebook accounts with nothing on them. When I could see his friends list it was a ton of Nigerian people as his “friends”. Had a terrible ex that screwed him over and all his money so he needs just about any and every thing anyone is willing to give him. If you have heard of him please REPLY. We can exchange pics.
July 01, 2019

In reply to by QuikSilver

I believe I have been talking to this same person first on a dating site then on hangouts and via text I don’t trust anyone so he has been constantly sending me pics every day to try and prove he is a real person he has fortunately never asked me for anything other than my number n photos but now I’m nervous about that too: when he told me he was in the military today I said oh no your a car fish profile and he got very upset with me for accusing him of that but story sounds the same I think it’s the same person makes me feel stupid I fell for his con
I’m a fool
July 19, 2019

In reply to by MinisterL

I’m talking to the same guy and same story as above. Although, he had said his wife died, but then forgetting earlier when we started chatting that he said, him and his wife were divorce. He hasn’t asked me for money yet, but has told me that his card doesn’t work in the ‘city’ of irciliik. That he emailed his bank etc. just waiting on a replacement card. He sends pictures of himself toting a gun around, a work out photo of him and Logan, but never in a uniform.
January 11, 2019
I had a "lover boy" General fall in love on the 2nd. day. I wasn't born yesterday and went "around the block" a few times. I had some fun and waiting until the money issue to come up. Took almost 2 weeks. Up until then, I saw I love you & can't live without you. This was leading to a courier scam. Then I deleted the FB account. I'm sure these guys change their name and rank very chance they get. Good luck ladies!!
January 13, 2019
I was scammed by a guy saying he was in the army. He was deployed to Afghanistan. He had a 6 year old daughter and wasn’t married. Wanted me to buy him a new phone and iTunes cards and he got upset when I said no. I confronted him. His name is Bryan Johnson
January 16, 2019
Has anyone been scammed by Hamid Juhar, engine on an oil rig
Stupid girl...
January 17, 2019
I cant believe I've been asked to take a phone call and get money to hold onto for this guy. He said he would have his Commander talk to me. Or the paymaster. Another guy thinks I'm going to hand over 200 bucks for a Amazon card or itunes. Please I ain't stupid...
Luna pat
January 18, 2019
Need help has any body gotten ask to accept as a friend by a jones rogers. He told me he is in the military in adganastan. He started talking to him on messenger then asked to move to hangout. We starred talking everyday then asked if i can sen him an itines gift card for $50.00 dollars. A week later asked again for another card for same amount. Ask why said itunes only completed 50 percent so i got him another one. 3 dsys layer says he needs another one csuse only completed 80 percent. Something font seem right. I told him to but fidnt day anything. I remember thst when i gave him first card he blocked me frim facebook. I asked why he said getting to many request. He claims his parents did when he was little and his sunt in poland took care of him then went to college. He says he id devorced cause he caught his wife with his best friend. In the beginning he went by the name ajay. Then tild me that wasnt his name that he used thst for protection since he is in adganastan. Claims he loves me. I have a picture that he sent me if your story is like mine plesse let me know.
Too smart
March 01, 2019

In reply to by Luna pat

This sounds like a current situation of minedid sounds like a current situation of mine this person says his name is Corps Billy nelson. He is originally from Puerto Rico but lives in Jacksonville Florida. Now we have been chatting for some time until he started asking for an Amazon or an iTune card so we can talk over the phone. I knew that it didn't make sense because I'm pretty sure that the military have means of communication so the soldiers can talk to their loved ones. He also told me that he is a widower his wife passed away from blood leukemia cancer and his son is 10 years old and he lives in Oklahoma with family members.I knew something wasn't right when he started speaking on how much he loved me and how he would take care of me and how he wants to marry me. I even called him out one day on trying to scam me but he plead the fifth I almost fell for it because he was so consistent that he wasn't lying and I should trust him.but something doesn't seem right cuz how can you want to be with somebody so soon and wants to marry a stranger so fast. I'm glad that I didn't send any money because I'm not a fool..
January 19, 2019
I am pretty sure Im getting scammed right now .. He says he is from Pheonix, AZ and is currently deployed in West Africa. He spent all his money on food as he doesnt like the African food served ( i always assumed military food was the pre-packed kind idk anyway) and he needed $300 for 3 months of data and felt embarrassed asking me. He said there is wi-fi on base but its far from his hostel? He professed his love to me after 5 days of "hey how are you?"s and out of no where started asking really personal questions while professing his love to me more .. i was lapping it up stupidly .. He also said he is a combat engineer and when I asked what that is he said he is under weaponary and is in combat right now .. always mentioned he doesnt want to go back to his country and cant wait to see and be with me and asked what i would do once he is here .. he texted like english wasnt his forté which i let slide .. but also sent me some kind of poetic paragraph that he repeated twice lol .. damn the more i mention things the more i realise they are red flags .. massive facepalm .. glad i havent sent any money :\
January 19, 2019
Watch out for a guy posing as military his name is Ricky Lambert just tried to con me out of 700 pounds to come home from Iraq on leave Beware.
Patricia c
January 20, 2019
Anyone heard of Antonio Bernardo? I think I'm being scammed
Bailey 2213
March 12, 2019

In reply to by Patricia c

if you haven't met him and he has all kinds of excuses not too, then you are. I just learned a very hard, expensive lesson.
October 22, 2021

In reply to by Patricia c

I got an invite from him on LinkedIN. Seems very suspicious
January 21, 2019
Does anyone know a Josiah Medina sgt from Dubai all of these stories sound like my situation.I had never known about romance exams,but I knew something didn't feel right
April 02, 2019

In reply to by Djcrushed

Hi I think we're probably being scammed by the same guy. Only he calls him self Dennis Medina when he chats with me. But I used Google reverse images and I got pictures of him with other names and Josiah Medina is one of them. The same guy. Very handsome to its just that someone else is pretending to be him.
August 12, 2019

In reply to by JudyP

I chat with him in date site , can you send me picture to him please
August 12, 2019

In reply to by JudyP

I discuss with him on a dating site, I can have a picture of him please, is it possible
January 21, 2019
Been talkin with a guy named CALVIN COOPER (white male/very handsome & nice looking, 42 years old) very charming, claimed to be a contractor at first in Afghanistan. 2 weeks later he told me he got promoted to Staff Sergeant. He claimed to have a 7 year old son named Brian who lived with his Grandmother because "Brian's" Mom got remarried & no longer wanted him. He told me he wanted to find a wife & a Mother for his son. He also gave me his birth date (8/19/76), & also gave me his commanders name "JAMES MONROE". He then had his so called commander text me through google hangout so that I could confirm that he was infact a real soldier. He told me he loved me within 1 week. He asked me several times to buy him a PS Steam Wallet gift cards because he missed playing games on his computer. I stupidly purchased 5 gift cards within 1 month in the amount of $130. He promised over and over that he would pay me back. Now he says he will send me $20,000 if I give his commander my online backing information so that he can keep track of the funds & that they were delivered properly. I met this guy on the dating app. called MeetMe in Dec. of 2018. Please do NOT allow this man to fool u like he did me.
January 22, 2019
Has anyone been talking to a James Sean Eckert who claims to be in the US Navy in Guam? He said he is a chaplain and ordinary service man, divorced in 2013? He is on instagram, facebook, hangout and whatapp. I'd appreciate if someone could advise. Thank you,
Concerned relative
January 23, 2019
Recently a family member has become a victim of one of these romance scams. There were many red flags that prompted concerns from family but she has ignored all the warning signs. I finally got her to send us the photos this man has been sending her so that I could do an image search. Low and behold I discovered that the photos are stolen and are actually photos of a doctor in Brazil. The scammer has used this poor mans photos in several fake online profiles under various names. He told my elderly relative that he was from Florida and working overseas as a contractor with a son in a US boarding school. Claimed to have been in an accident as his excuse for why he was delayed. Sent her an accident photo that turned out to be a stock photo found on numerous websites. Photos he claimed were of him were actually of someone else. Google image search was not very useful for the facial images but I was successful using a search of a site called That is also how I discovered the stolen photos had also been used for several other profiles under various names. He told my relative his name was Howard Keating and he was working in Turkey. There was also a Twitter account using same stolen photos where the man claimed to be named William Scott and be a member of a UN rescue team in Syria and yet another where he claimed to be with the UN and was in Washington D.C. My relative has refused to see reason and thinks she is "in love " and that we are just trying to rain on her parade. Fortunately she doesn't have much money for this scam artist to get his hands on but we are concerned that she will give him what little she does have or that he will involve her in some illegal scheme. Sad situation when they are swindling lonely older folks who are desperate for companionship and easily susceptible.
January 31, 2019
Months ago, using a web page of dates, my sister was contacted by a person Colonel of the US Army, JONES .... He began talking her, she fall in love, they never met, he said his wife was death years ago and that had a little kid, he was in Afganisthan, they talked for some months all of the time he said she was his "wife", the nursing home in which his daughter was contacted her, and give her report of the child, she thought everything was real. The nursing home asked her for money she send it, after some weeks the Colonel, told her he was going to send her a package ( suppose to have money, that they found over there - everything was secret), someone called her and said that as the package contains money, to receive it she had to pay for some stamps, the person who contacted her worked for parcelforce world wide, they asked her to send the payment using western union and other similar places, to many people in spain, rep dominicana, and other countries. She believed in that so she send more than 5000 dollars. Someone who said works for the FBI, called her and said he knows about the package, and that she has to pay that everything was in order, also the "Colonel", works with a General, he also said that she has to pay because other wise her "husband", couldn´t get back home. My sister isn´t reach, she is divorced, has breast cancer and has 2 little kids, she get a lot of loans to send the money. We didn´t know anything until 2 weeks ago, when she told us, she couldnt deal with this anymore, with a lot of debts and sick. I know they still contact her asking for more money, my sister is still believing them, PLEASE HELP ME, we know this is a SCAM. What can I do to prove her this is a scam??
February 02, 2019
Anyone know of a Charles Mickles? Says he’s a US Marine...asked for iTunes card within the first week. Also said I would be his wife within 3 days of meeting. He got off the dating site and wanted me to do the same.
April 08, 2019

In reply to by Spice

My mum has been talking to this guy since January, he also sent a picture of a fake ID badge! He's also under another scammer and he's using someone else's pic. Unfortunately the guy who's pictures are being used tried to warn one woman and the woman blocked him out of fear he (the innocent guy) was trying to scam her.
April 12, 2019

In reply to by Rangers

The cell phone # he uses ends in 6951. Sounds familiar?