Skip to main content

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.



It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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.

March 05, 2019
Did anyone correspond with a Russell Daryl in Dubai.
November 14, 2019

In reply to by Ivon

Yes my aunt have been online with him for 6 months already. And she just wont belief he is a scammer. She already sent him money and still asking again. A man working on the Riggs but always have s problem. And now stuck in dubai
March 05, 2019
Alex Anderson engineer stuck in Turkey....9 year old girl in boarding school in Houston Charles Rickie UN orthopedic surgeon....extended his stay and they are making him pay his own way home 2children in Vegas
March 05, 2019
My relative is being scammed by a Jimmy Wales....Lives in Houston, has a contract with oil rig in turkey. He’s a widow. Anyone else?
Safety First
May 22, 2019

In reply to by concerned

Some guy on Instagram sent me a message, same name but is now "stationed" in Dubai. Only child, widow with a 4 year old. Asked me for a $50.00 apple for subscription after 1 day. Whats sick is I follow a lot of faith based pages and there is where he found me! Unfollowed and blocked after he asked me for money. Be wary!
November 08, 2019

In reply to by concerned

This guy is still at it. All the typical "wife died, raising daughter alone, let's use an app to communicate". Don't walk away, run away.
December 23, 2019

In reply to by concerned

My mother has a guy she talks to named "Johnson Wale(s)" pretty much the same story says he is from texas but stuck in Nigeria or something. Clearly a scam but she won't listen to me even after we have proven he is fake.
February 10, 2020

In reply to by concerned

I think my mom is being scammed by the same guy, also going as jimmy wales He told her this week that he needs to go to turkey to sign a contract and he also said he works in the oil industry and has a daughter named Lucy, he send pictures of himself and his daughter, blond nice looking guy good figure for his age, in his early sixty I am guessing, I warned my mom so far he has not asked for money but I feel this is going happen sooner then later..
Sally helper
April 01, 2020

In reply to by Sally

Absolutely a scammer (Jimmy Wales). Went though his lies with my friend....if you look at his pictures he has photo shopped almost all of them. Did your mom get the one from him in a boat in front of the oil rig yet or the one with him in the hospital on crutches? Tell you mom he is for sure a scammer.
Tired of Scamm…
April 15, 2020

In reply to by concerned

Hi. I was recently contacted by a guy named Jimmy Wales on a dating app. He says he runs a company call Trans-Atlantic Offshore Drilling. He said he is a widow and originally from Austria. He says he has a daughter named Lucy. He says he is 55. Now that I have read this I'm beginning to wonder if he is legit....
August 16, 2020

In reply to by Tired of Scamm…

I was talking to Jimmy Wales also. Same thing... He said he runs Trans-Atlantic Offshore Drilling. Has a daughter, Lucy living with the sister of his tragically deceased wife. Very good looking man in the pictures he sent me. After 3 weeks of leading me on he asked me for money to help pay for a fulltime nurse for his sister in law and Lucy because sister in law has COVID. I called his bluff at that point. I believe the website he sent me on his business is a fake and also the FB profile is a fake. Don't talk to this man!!
August 06, 2020

In reply to by concerned

OMG, I just started texting this same person! Felt suspicious with this person because he has a master's degree but uses terms like more better.
helpless Arizona
March 06, 2019
Same here thousands of dollars what a fool who do you report this to for justice
helpless Arizona
March 06, 2019
Torn , debts heartbroken
March 08, 2019
I believe l am being scammed by someone using the profile of a Serbian politician and and army General. He has asked for money and I tunes. He wants to meet meet me and says that he needs money to be transferred for his flight .
March 08, 2019
Does anyone ever talked to someone by the name of Omer Shafer us marine deployed to afganistan comes from Dallas Texas I'm not sure that I'm being scammed or anything I have a lot of pictures also private ones they don't pop up on the internet But all those stories of scammers keeping me worried that there is a possibility that he is not real uptill now did not ask me directly for money or anything I've just had a thing that he sent his lockbox in januari to me that didn't arrive coz of the courier company wanted money to get it out of where it suppost to be I never heard anything from that company and it looks like the whole dispatch is deleted Now he saying that he can't access his account that he is being monitored by the government because he did something stuppid but he wants to get a lawyer for getting his lockbox back Hope that someone can help me I want to believe him but it's difficult with all those scams going on
April 17, 2019

In reply to by Strongwomen

I think we have the same scammer. Mine goes with the name James Bunker. He told he’s an army stationed in Sudan and re-assigned in Syria. He professed his love for me and I fell for it. Felt so dumb! He told me he sent a locked package. The courier company asked for a Safety Handling fee of $1260 at first. He negotiated to send $800 first. I’ve successfully transferred that amount. The second one was $8000 for a non-inspection fee. He told me to send $2000 first to release the item. Now, I didn’t send anymore. I blocked the numbers used by the courier company. Stopped messaging that military man. I felt stupid and embarassed with this incident!!!
February 07, 2021

In reply to by Strongwomen

Classic scam - "My bank account is frozen", "someone hacked my bank account"..... RUN FOR THE HILLS, honey.
March 10, 2019
Watch out for David Fuchs Huffman...from Abu Dhabi..or Kabul..or now in Nigeria..Hes a Naval Officer...was in Love after a few days...Baby this..Sugar Bean..that...asked me to get him transferred to the states?? Then asked me what I thought since we're together?? ..said never mindcre-upped for another 2 years..was going to Kabul..and then Nigeria..wanted me to get him an iPhone X-Max before he left for Nigeria...saoud I couldn't afford it...said never mind just send what I gift cards so he could update his laptop do we could continue to communicate..They're NOT allowed personal devices...Blocked him off Instagram and Hangouts..there is several articles on Google about them!!..Contacted the Navy..thus is common according to them..they get hacked almost daily..REPORT REPORT REPORT!!They said this was very important to do..I kept pictures..transcripts on everything we talked about!!
December 09, 2019

In reply to by BEE

What does David Fuchs look like? Very muscular military type in his late 40’s, he claims to be a doctor???
March 11, 2019
Is anyone on here being scammed my someone in Ghana saying they are there for school. I have sent a lot of money at least a lot of money for me over there and now they are asking for two new phones and form to be unlocked and asking for $900 to get a visa to come to the United States where they are supposedly from and asking for money for a plane ticket. I really feel as though I'm being scammed and it seems to be more and more real but I just don't know for sure. I could really use someone's advice that has been scammed to know if that is what ishappening before I lose everything I have. Thank you for your help any response as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated as I work third shift
Bailey 2213
March 12, 2019
I was scammed by a guy named "Bradley A Shur" stated he was from Gardena, CA. Went by the name Bradley loves Always on POF. I haven't been on a dating website in 15 years, this guy got me good. For a whole year, I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Guess I'm out the money....very hard lesson. I'm praying for God's wrath on him.
March 12, 2019
Almost got scammed out of 1000. By a guy I met online named Andy Turner 53 yo sob story of widowed 5 years ago. Very charming businessman his pic are of him bald glasses but very good looking be aware . Said he had a business trip that went wrong and needed help with money hmmm!
March 20, 2019
I hope someone can help me with info pn a man that is scheming my aunt and she refused to believe me. the guy goes by Patrick Andre claims to be military and all his money gets taken by family thats take ng care of his son, also had someone that helps him out with scamming her. Claims he is in africa but orginally from texas and was born in Spain... Anyone having info please lmk thanks.
Marlene Simmonds
March 21, 2019
Resend response to complaint I submitted 3-20-2019 not able to find on my phone with numbers you sent me.
Marlene Simmonds
March 21, 2019
Resend response to complaint I submitted 3-20-2019 not able to find on my phone with numbers you sent me.
March 24, 2019
I have a guy saying he want to send me Money and he will put it on my credit card cuz I won’t give him any bank account info. Can they scam you with just your credit card info sending you money?
FTC Staff
April 01, 2019

In reply to by ryeguy78

If you tell him your credit card account number, he can use your credi card. He can run up your credit card bill.

April 06, 2019

In reply to by ryeguy78

yes! do not give any info! If you give your credir card number they will run it up till the credit limit is reached!
January 28, 2020

In reply to by ryeguy78

That guy tried that with means he became abusive when I told him no.
March 25, 2019
Adding the name Stephen Randy to this list. He doesn’t claim to be in the military, but claims to be a contractor on an oil rig. Everything else lines up: can’t access his online account, running out of data, has a (plot twist) GRANDDAUGHTER he’s raising in Miami Florida because his wife died, his daughter in law died and his son is on a secret mission in Afghanistan. Neeed $8000 for a private chopper to get off the rig and straighten out his account which he will TOTALLY pay back . When I refused, he claimed I caused him to have a heart attack.
March 28, 2019
The guy who is asking me for iTunes cards uses WhatsApp to message but can’t video chat because he is in a foreign country on a secret military mission. He says his name is Lucas Scott Bentley born on 07Sep1975 in Birmingham UK but resides in Nashville now. His WhatApp is associated with a number with area code 615 but a reverse number search came up empty. He says he has a father named Scott Bentley in San Antonio. He claims to be a Natropathic Specialist who worked with NUNM. His English is broken and his accent is thick. He asked me to email his Superior for a leave request to come back to the states and meet me but the email he gave me for his “Superior” was col. margaret reedy @gmail. com and I certainly did not email this person nor did I buy any iTunes cards that he wanted scratched and then sent as a pic. I can’t believe how easily these guys can post pics and who knows who is truly in the pics.
Carole Anne
March 27, 2019
Can any one if they have been contacted by a Sargent Wilson Galbraith
March 28, 2019
has anyone had anything to do with an Espanial James or Derrick Davis???? saying they work for the military in Afghanistan?
March 29, 2019
Several men have done me the same way...Terry/ Kelly Hestilow..Mike William..menden ? guy claiming to be a veterinarian in Arizona.. Alister ? Supposed to be a doctor..lost count of them..Mike William is still contacting me now
March 29, 2019
Has anyone been scammed by a guy claiming to be in the marines named Hansen carpenter stating he is single dad with a Daugher named sam
April 03, 2019
Hello Ladies! Ive met my "love" on online dating site. He fell in love pretty quick (within 2 weeks), sent me bunch of pictures even his passport. He states he is from NY, has 4yr old daughter, wife is drug addicted, old parents, blabla. He is doing a project in Turkey. And in 2 weeks it appeared that his dad is in the hospital, his equipment in turkey is broken and he needed money for that. Oh and his phone got broken, therefore we have never talked on video call only phone calls via WhatsApp. All this sounded fishy and of cause I didn't give him money. But he keeps saying he will return it, that the passport is vital information and it's a prove of his honesty. Sometimes he put a pressure on me like "if you love me you will help me" or "if you care about my future" or "you can show me you care about me", etc. IF he is a scammer why he would send so many pictures of him and parents and daughter to me, why would he send his passport photo to me, doesn't make sense. Im lost, don't know what to do. Please H-E-L-P!
April 06, 2019

In reply to by Lady

He is a scammer. The passport can be stolen or a fake. If someone really wants you they come to visit you. If they do not have money for the ticket there is no use to get stuck with a beggar.
April 06, 2019
Anybody know Morales Gulliver from Santa Barbara, CA. As a civil engineer builds roads as a contractor. He got a contract near Toronto Canada that was to last 2 weeks. First he needed money for a very expensive piece of equipment. Not realizing he was to pay taxes prior to beginning work they took his passport away. Money was needed to pay taxes. He needed to bribe the Canadian authorities to get the money owed him. This went on for six months. He asked me for money I told him no. Never heard from him again.
April 08, 2019
Anyone been scammed by s Ryan Rodriguez or Jeffery Rios. Says he needs money for phone calls, ATM card and medical services. Something strange in the way he writes. Claims he is from North Carolina
April 15, 2019
Has anybody ever heard of Spencer George that's suppose to be in Army and hes out of Miami but is station in Kabul Afganistan plz let me no if anybody has heard of him.
April 18, 2019
I have been talking to a man who says he is in the Army in Afghanistan and had a daughter that is in boarding boarding school in the U.K. He was lonely and just wanted a friend to talk to and soon after a week was telling me he was in love with me and after a bit he said he didn't have data on his phone and we wouldn't be able to talk anymore . So like a fool I sent him a card for his data for 25.00 and now tonight he tells me he was robbed and they stole his wallet and ID and every thing . Didn't get his phone though. How convenient. So now he needs me to send him money to live on till he can come home to me . He just doesn't know how He will survive over there with out my help. His name is Toby. He has never told me his last name said he is from North Carolina and his Daughter is 11 or 12 . He just turned 43 his birthday was the 15th of April. I'm getting away while I can. I thought I had found the love of my life but after reading these stories on here and him making me feel like it's my responsibility to take care of him . I'm done . Lesson learned .
May 14, 2019
I've got a guy Named Richard Baron Birdsong trying to get money from me. After 10 days he asked me to marry him. I laughed. He hung on for months. I searched his phone number and it came up from Alabama where he said he was from. He is traveling. Went to Brazil had to get a temp phone. That was a Brazil number. Finally came the request for money. He was buying into being a distributor of a new cancer drug he just helped develop. He was having trouble accessing his bank account because of the internet in Brazil. He gave me his log in info. I accessed his account to see he had $6,1000.00. I tried to transfer from that account to a different account in Brazil to fianlize his contract. Got an error message. He called the bank. His account hadn't been used in a long time so it was inactive. The Nigerian sounding bank manager called me and did a hard sell on me sending the money from my account. I told him I would pass the info along but was not sending money. I went off on Richard. He begged and pleaded.It got ugly. He said I was crazy. I blocked him everywhere. I felt bad because I didn't give him a chance to explain. I calmed down and wrote him a letter. I had accused him of being a catfish early on and said he was acting like a catfish again. He claimed he didn't know what that was. I apologized for being so harsh and not giving him a chance to explain. Told him if he was real I'd apologize properly when he got home. I also said if he was a scammer it was a cruel thing to do. He responded how happy he was to hear from me and how much he loved me........... Told me how his son's teacher raised 10,000. He had to ask me to do something hard. He needed the last 10,000 to unfreeze his account. I told him to fly home and take a lone against the 6 million. He was a doctor I was sure he could get a loan. Told him I was sure he was fake and if he wasn't I was no longer interested. I searched his photos and nothing came up. He doesn't show up on his job's website. The bank is fake. It was so real looking though, but most of the links don't work. I m glad I didn't lose any money, but am still really pissed that I engaged in messaging for 3 months. My self worth and self esteem took a hit!! Beware of the bank Capital Finance Bank. check out the website and see how intricate this plan was. www. cfb konline. com if you search the bank it doesn't come up. If you search the bank number, there is no information. I just saw on John Oliver that it is very easy to make call and make them look like they come from another number. Research people!!! If nothing comes up don't believe the bs story he feeds you!!!
Donmadison't u…
April 21, 2019
You have the same guy dies he ask you have you had anything to eat. Or ask for Amazon cards . does his picture look like model he said he had good genes has a daughter he is on instragram as michealfroom
April 23, 2019
Anyone ever corresponded online with a Jim Beckmann? Approached me on LinkenIn. Very handsome. 53. Says he's Italian. Widower of 5 yrs. Wife died in car accident. No children. Lived in California. Says he is a Wine Merchant. 2 wks. after meeting, he had to go to South Africa to complete a HUGE Wine & Spirits contract. Now the wine is caught up in South African Customs cuz he doesn't have enough cash flow to pay the fee they charge for the import of goods to their country. Asked me for $100,000 to help him out. Very romantic, says he is in love with me. Wants to get married when he returns. Says after he completes this "Contract" he will be rich, so we will be able to liver happily ever after. He is very convincing, and makes me feel like I am in love with him too. However, I am a bit skeptical, and would like to see if anyone else out there has had a similar on-line romance, with someone by the same name or circumstances.
April 23, 2019
I’ve been talking to someone I suspect is a scammer as well, goes by the name Aron Raul, grew up in Albany, NY looks Latino, claims he’s 41 with a bday in May and has a son who’s about 6. Son’s mom cheated on him, and he claims he’s stationed in South Africa and doesn’t wear military uniforms anymore as he’s been in for over 10 years. The pics he sent he has a sleeve tattoo and one on his chest, other arm is tattooed up the forearm and his hand. He asked me for approximately $153 so he can go food shopping on the base, claims he doesn’t have an IG or social media and his parents died in a car accident. Only chatting for entertainment as it’s highly amusing. Oh yes, he told me he’s in love with me after 2 days LOL. Has anyone else talked to him? He has a pic of him in a car with a Superman shirt on and a pic of him and his son at the beach.
April 24, 2019
Mereen - My sister has been corresponding with someone with a similar MO. I will check with her to find out his name and let you know if it is the same man.
April 26, 2019

In reply to by pattycakes

Mereen. Talked with my sister. Not the same person we don't think. Her guy's name is Jimmy Belsher. And the MO is not as similar as I thought. Good luck to you in your situation. I hope it all works out for you O.K.
April 28, 2019

In reply to by pattycakes

Yes pattycakes please do let me know. I’d love to troll him lol