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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.

November 16, 2020
The guy who trying to scam me tries a different reason each day, needs me to apply for his Army leave...I googled it then he would ask me to pay flights! Next day it’s his daughters birthday can I send her a voucher....hell no I am not. Let’s see next trick up his sleeve. Name by the way is Klem Bernard. Lt col Us Army with at least 10 Facebook accounts. Ladies steer clear of this man!
November 17, 2020
Has anyone been contacted by a anastasia
November 19, 2020
I met a guy on hinge by the name of Jonathan Bernd. We texted consistently and he was supposedly head over heels. He claimed he needed to pay property taxes on a home in order not loose it (it was his mother’s who past away) and needed my credit card or banking information in order to transfer funds since his accounts were frozen due to his contract. He claimed that he didn’t know anyone in California and the funds could only be transferred to someone in the same state as him. He said he was in the Irwin base in Southern California. Anyways I wasn’t comfortable sharing any of my financial information. Just wanted to see if anyone has shared this experience. Also after I declined he was very manipulative claiming that I hurt him. Be careful ladies
November 19, 2020
Hello I met a guy on Instagram and he told me he was serving our country in Iran he showed me pictures of him and then he told me he wanted me to send him 300.00 to fill out a form husband and wife and so then I’ve sent him more money to cover airline tickets to leave the base but he had to wait until the comander comes back to give him a signed form to leave the base but the money I gave him to pay for flight he spent it on food like 400.00 and so now today he texted me that he was going to kill him self and showed me a gun he was holding I’m very upset on what I did I still have the stuff I even took out loans out for scared.
November 21, 2020
The Guy I encountered name is Michael vincent or Vicent Arline. He claims he is stationed in Turkey on the Air Force Base. He also claims he lives in Florida with his mom and 9 year old son name John. He said Johns mother left him to raise while she ran off with her boyfriend to the UK. He sent me tons of pictures of who he claims to be. he ask for money for his connection for him to be able to talk to me from Turkey. He claims he is not getting paid until the end of his deployment and his mother has been sending him weekly funds of $300 to maintain his phone connection. He will praise and praise how he loves me so much and has never met anyone like me and he is so in love. and when he returns back to the states on November he will meet me and we will get married. So I did my reseach and ask some close friends for their opinion and i came to the conclusion that this man is a scammer. when I told him what I found out he swore this is a lie and why would believe such a thing. He then agreed to send me his military ID which took him several days to produce. he claims he doesn't carry it on him and he has to request to get it. The ID was clearly a fake. he refused to video chat or send me a picture of him next to a Turkish street sign. he contacted me on the dating app POF and we chatted every day on hangout. be careful ladies these scammers are heartless and they will take you for everything you got.
December 23, 2020

In reply to by SolarBlair

I too came across this Vicent Arline Michael. Something just felt off with him based on our conversations. I decided to do some digging before getting too personal with him and I came across this post. Ladies, trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t.
July 14, 2021

In reply to by HaySam

He is now going by Johnson Arline Williams since being confronted. Stay safe!!
July 14, 2021

In reply to by SolarBlair

I am currently exposing Vicent Arline or Michael Arline after coming across this post. He has the exact same story with me but his son is 8 and his sons mother died in an accident. Mother lives in FL and can no longer send money so we won’t be able to talk anymore unless I help with his funds. We communicated via Google hangouts and I transferred his colleagues bitcoins after they cashapped me. He is denying it all of course.
Nurse Betty
November 23, 2020
They have now used linkedin account to do the same. Dr. Fred Fergal MD general surgeon. That is the lastest one. Check it out.
November 27, 2020

In reply to by Nurse Betty

I should let you know that I also found "Dr. Fred Fergal" on Lava Dating Site, claiming that he is living in Japan and is 53 years old. This guy is dangerous.
November 28, 2020
Hi my name is Amy and I've been going out with this man named Richmond F Gonzalez he was supposed to be a greek man. He said he has 1 child. He asked me for 3,000 dollars to get him down to the US because I live in LA I did actually send him the money cause I wanted him to come down and after he got the money I never heard a word from him again. Does anyone else know of this man?
November 30, 2020
Someone named John Travolta claimed he saw my picture ran dimly on Instagram and thought I was beautiful..says for weeks in live with me and wants to meet me but managers etc need a booking fee bc he is a celebrity and he has no privacy..he even FaceTime once for a few seconds but bad conection though it looked like him..when I could not afford it choose to pay booking fee to a Oat Donovan with no business address or phone contact would say I am rude. He claimed his mgt company would not let him see me without a fee and he would pay it back but no contract etc..he used subtle manipulation..he wanted 8k but would have taken 4 k.. He used internet pics and his language in texts was not of someone that speaks English as a first language..
Kary G. from Mexico
December 04, 2020
Hi I am astonished ! If somebody has heard about Robert Lucas,widow, with a son in New York, wife died in a tragic accident, only child, military doctor (surgeon) in Kabul Afghanistan, he asked me money for his replacement. Similar characteristics as the ones you mention. He is not on facebook, he is not in any social network. I met him in twitter. He is blond, he is good looking, blue eyes,polite and kind. He' s originally from Turkey but lives in New York If you have been contacted by someone with the same name or characteristics please let me know. This guy has an email account and send pictures of him, his English is not perfect but ok, he cant make video conferences because of camp restrictions but he sent an audio with his voice. Any idea?
December 06, 2020
How do I know if the person I'm talking to is fake or not he is in Iraq and we message on hangouts he sent me a package that they are asking me to pay for to a chase bank
70 year old granny
December 08, 2020
I was contacted on Yahtzee by Michael Osteen Osborne. He said he is 59 and currently is working a contract on an oil rig off the coast of Scotland He has a 15 yr old daughter living in New Jersey with a nanny. He said his wife and son were killed in a fire 3 years ago and he has no family left except a cousin Terrell. He is a gas and oil stream engineer working with Ministry of Works working on Clair oil rig. He said his best friend Matthew tried to get his daughter hooked on drugs. He gave me his address but it was in Atlantic City not Newark. Phone number we have been texting thru is 1-830-282-4759. He said he is a Christian and leads his employees in service every Sunday before work. Sent pictures of himself always shirtless. Said he was born in Stuttgart Germany but doesn’t speak German only English. Attended Oxford University. Is 5’ 7” has green eyes and salt and pepper hair with a beard. Obviously a swimmer from photos and says he loves it. He is very good conversationalist , is poetic and very romantic and states he plays the guitar. Adamantly denies he is a scam. We talked several months before he asked for money to finish his contract on the oil rig
January 03, 2021
I was contacted by a Bobby Frank Richard from Cincinnati. We is an engineer in the military and he left out a tid bit that he had been stationed in the Middle East for close to 2 years. At first it was an ITunes gift card. Then he wanted $5.000 for meds for his heart. I was married to a former marine as well as friends with a former marine that told me about the ins and outs of the Military. They get medical care and they would not let him continue his service with a heart condition. He asked for another &250 in gift cards and I said no. Then in one pic he sent me, the name on his uniform said Frank. He said they could pick what name on the uniform. I let it go and asked again, he said Frank is his last name in the US because of parents. This caused more doubt. He states he is fun Dublin. Ireland but his accents matches islands like Jamaica or Bahamas. My grandmother is from Ireland.
Aloha Girl
January 28, 2021
Has anyone heard the name Thomas James Peter from California deployed in Syria? I am currently talking with this person and I think, unfortunately this is turning out to be the same. Thanks for any response,
February 07, 2021
I have just been asked to send about 1,200 UK pounds sterling to someone who I have suspected for a while is a scammer! Obviously I didn't send it, and tackled him head on. He's now being all hurt and defensive.... Idiot. He goes by the name of Peter Gottes Kand Weber, which might actually be his real name, I don't know. Says he's working on a rig in Gulf of Mexico. Family problems, can't access his bank account as it's been hacked, etc., etc., credit cards frozen. Oh yeah. The romantic gushing has gotten worse over the weeks, with absolutely improbably scenarios: "You must send money to help my granddaughter, as she'll be your granddaughter when we're married". I've been playing him along, just waiting for him to ask me for money, and sure enough..... he has. A relatively small amount, but if I sent it, he would then have my bank details! Is this guy familiar to anyone else? about 60, very good looking, hazel-ish eyes, greying hair, sometimes a small beard. Claims to come from Europe originally, but has home in USA. How do I report him? I'd welcome replies to this post, if anyone cares to.
February 09, 2021
February 09, 2021
Has anyone ever seen this picture? Supposedly in Syria
February 09, 2021
Ok. Unable to send a picture I guess. Anyone talked to John Steward? Marine? Stationed in Syria? Widowed with 2 year old? From Alabama
February 19, 2021
i have got talking to a guy i met on cupid we now chat on whats app,this is from fri 12th march,so only 7 days has gone,he said hes in the royal air force,hes in florida at min,hes sent me pics of himself.4 days ago he said he was goin to be disconncted has he forget to pay his monthly wifi,he asked if i could help,its 150 dollars.yest he said he did not like asking has he knew 2 week ago his cards stopped working.he gets paid every 2 weeks tho,he says he spreads it thro his parents account back home so they are ok.we been chatting on whats app 7 days he says he loves me,he misses me,does this sound strange,should i block him. please can someone answear me right away has i would like some help and not got long on pc has im at local library.he wants me to use crypto something,sumat calles coinbase,wants me to download app regiter and then he wanted a screen shot to show it said verified,he wanted my email and password for account so he can have coinbase on his phone,someyhing dont sound right to me.
February 23, 2021
Has anyone been contacted by a Brian Harris? U.S. Air Force. Says he lives in Orlando, FL but recently got deployed to Juba, Africa? Says he’s from Kingston Jamaica. Has a son who lives with his aunt in North Carolina
February 25, 2021
And there is a new (US) doctor in Afghanistan on a mission, By the name of Michael Thomas. Asked for a photo from his passport and/or video chat. He wasn't able to do so.
February 26, 2021
I downloaded this dating app and met a guy named mike Henry Salazar, he says he is a medic in military who is divorced from New York, he has been divorced for 3 years coz his wife cheated on him with a Chinese man, his son is 9 years old and they have joint custody, he is currently deployed in Kabul Afghanistan for a special mission, He asked for my personal phone number and we started texting and he started confessing his love for me in less than a week. Then started asking if I have cashapp and see if he can use it to receive his 30 day allowance and stimulus check since all his debit/credit cards are missing when they did their patrol. Next thing I know he is asking if I can send him money to sustain his stay there since he doesn’t like the food they have there. Is this story in any way familiar to you
March 06, 2021
I met “Jason Orlando Clark” about two months ago. Says he’s on a secret mission in Syria. Wants to get married when he’s home and everything. He’s sent me gifts on Valentine’s Day as well. He’s never asked me for anything, but after seeing these comments. I ended it
March 07, 2021
I have a guy says hes from the military talking to me asking me for my ssn. address ..copy of id so he can send me a 10,000$ check to help pay for his leave (ticket home ect ).and said half is for me. Says his wife passed away and he cant get into his account...
March 10, 2021
Well I had been contacted by a Sargeant Priscilla Kistella stationed in Kabul, and we chatted on email for about 3 weeks, she told me she had 2 children and was widowed. She said her deployment was ending and she was retiring and we should meet, I said no go home and see the kids first, a week later her young son has a respiratory infection and she believes she is not being told how unwell he is, and she needs to get home ASAP and could I help her with airfares. I have not answered and have not been contacted for 3 days.
March 10, 2021
Do anyone know Tristan McCauley or Scott Godson? Please let me hear from you.
Ali P
March 12, 2021
I'm in the UK. I've been scammed by someone going by the name of Will / Willy Baldwin from Calgary. He says he's doing his last off shore contract for Saudi Armaco. Sent pictures of his "secretary" unconscious in hospital bed as an explanation for not being able to use his account
March 16, 2021
So this guy named reyez albert says he works in the base in florida. He send me a message on messenger saying that the military send notification that he needs to add money to his Google play or he will lose all contacrs.. is really awkward and he sounds really fake.. know that I was getting to know him..
Don't use your…
March 18, 2021
Anyone talking to Paul Walter ?
March 19, 2021
I have been texting a man says he's in the army but has a German accent. Goes by Jeff Scott and he's a surgeon. He has .me on Hangouts and has professed his love 1 week into our texting. We have been texting since Jan 2021. Says he needs help with a safe deposit box. Any suggestions or has anyone else talked to him
March 22, 2021
Has anyone been talking to a supposedly 33 year old man by the name of MEFY BOROS?? Imet him on Instagram and he asked me to move to Hangouts due to the fact that it's against the rules. He has a 4 year old son who is in Military childcare in the U.S.A & he is stationed in Beirut Lebanon. Lost both his parents & only sibling (sister) in a crash. Lost his wife of 8 years to his wife cheating on him with his best friend & then she died tragically in an accident 2years ago. He asked me to send him $100 on a Vanilla Military Card so he can call his Son. He can't call him because Lebanon has kept their funds from them. I have pictures.
Hummingbird 1223
August 11, 2021

In reply to by ShimmyCocoPop84

Yes he targets women on Instagram with same name and same story! Claims he’s a orphan parents died when he was little and now wife cheated he is in the US army single dad with 3 year old kid, the kid is in the UK.
September 22, 2021

In reply to by Hummingbird 1223

I believe I’m talking to him. He told me the whole story about his parents and son. He asked me for 1000 because he’s son is sick.
March 24, 2021
Hi. Has anyone had an experience with Dave Leon Harris. Soldier in US Army. Said he was in Afghanistan and communicated on Hangouts.
April 03, 2021
Same. Guy said he sent package to me. So far I have sent 30000 for customs. Now asking for 68000 for security seal. He us on a rig in india
April 05, 2021
There needs to be further protection from the government where these scammers get caught and not able to steal from innocent people who are looking to be loved. And no risk of being penalized that doesn’t make sense when your heart is in it you believe. Then when you analyze you will see the patterns. I’ve been scammed many times but drawing a line no money sent this year and onward.
9 Wing Dover
April 05, 2021
There's a person claiming to be Lionel Richie and he is looking for love and partner for life. And is asking for money for security clearance. He is using the Hangout app to lure women.
frustrated sis…
April 08, 2021
My sister in law got scamed by a pilot called Patrick Kangchee, who lives in Singapore. He said united nations needed money to prove that he was leaving singapore to get married with her. Has the nerve to still stick around to ask for another 3,000. First time he asked for 5,500.
April 11, 2021
Wow! I almost got scammed by this guy with multiple Facebook profiles. His name is Steven Nicholson! Similar story in the military very handsome, a widow with a daughter, already in love and asking for a phone and giftcard. Even his LinkedIn is fake with him and young daughter picture. I was in the military too so i have been asking a lot of questions. He has a very heavy accent he said he is from Jamaica living in Atlanta from chicago. He is into trade money. This is terrible that people can do this! Im done with online dating so sad!
April 12, 2021
I thought I knew a person online supposedly in the army calls himself Felix Liam, his very kind conversations make you sound like a world of fantasies and he's a scammer he stole $ 6000 from me doing with a story that seemed so real that I never imagined he was a scammer but I was also one of his victims.
May 19, 2021
I met this guy on a diabetic app we immediately started talking he asked me to join him on what’s app so I we continued talking after a while he is about to lose his job as an investor if he doesn’t s sign another client his boss is going to fire him so he asked me to invest and give him $200 and he will give it back to me and I said no I don’t do things like that so the next day he comes in saying he was fired from his job so I really didn’t think anything of it so I asked him to send me some pictures of hm self and he says he doesn’t have any pictures only one picture of him self I found it rather strange so we continue talking when out of the blue He ask me for $300 hundred dollars to help him out until he get back on his feet and I told him no I told him I believe that you are scamming me I don’t even believe that you are the person who you say you are I told him you have no Facebook profile you have no pictures when I try to contact you on FaceTime do you say that your camera don’t work I truly believe that he was trying to scam me and get money out of me
May 22, 2021
This guy Jordan Medina sent me a message on TikTok 5/20/21. Had a conversation and said he was stationed in Germany. Has 11 yr old son. He says he is from California. Asked me to download whatsup app so I did on 5/21/21. Had few messages back in forth. As I always do, searched about this guy. Glad I did because it landed me on here with all this information about him. Not scamming me bud. Deleted and blocked.
Me 67
May 23, 2021
Anyone come across Jason S Clark from Florida? Supposedly in the Army??!!
Chloe German
May 23, 2021
I accepted a friendship request on Facebook with a man by the name of Mark Rogers MD from Bristol uk. Stated he was a widower of five years with a 15-year-old daughter in boarding school in the uk. romance has been going on for a little over 2 months and I have lost over $100,000 to this man and have no way of retrieving the money.
May 25, 2021
I am now currently taking to this so called Jordan Josiah Medina. He told me he's station in Orlando fl. Sent me multiple pictures of him and his son, his military ID and such..I knew something wasn't right from the beginning..I'm about to call him out.
January 24, 2022

In reply to by K.

my wife was scammed by a guy named Jordan, who claimed to be a Staff Seargent in the Air Force. He scammed her for thousands of dollars, tried to order cell phones from our cell carrier. It was a total nightmare.