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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.

 

 

1,326 Comments

Kim
May 31, 2021
Hi, I need advise for my friend. I think she met a scammer online. She don't want to listen to me now since I told her the man she met might be a scammer. There is this man she met online (Facebook) saying he is an independent oil contractor who didn't attached to any company, can be so? Then He said he needed her help. He wants her to buy a google play card. He said he needs to purchase online books for writing his contract as the contract sounds very complicated? not really making sense for me (personally). I asked my friend to ask this man to get his other friends to help, he replied by saying most of his friends work on oil rigs, in other countries and can't help him. Hmmm.... Anyone working in oil company? on an Off-shore, Oil Rig station can advise? This man said he is working in Energean oil and gas company in UK as a Oil contactor or Oil drilling contract. He told my friend he has worked for many other oil companies in many countries. Thank you.
Kim
May 31, 2021
Hey I been texting this one Korean guy from Facebook to WhatsApp,who says his in the us army and he never ask me for money but to help as a friends for write a letter to his commander to do a emergency leave on email then I have to pay for it which I was confused he never told me I have to pay and so on and he did FaceTime me on WhatsApp because I told him to prove to me his real and I can see it’s really him on there so I believe him and we started to catching feels but still am a little worried about being scam
Kim
May 31, 2021
Has anyone got trick about someone claiming to be mun?
Korecrush69
June 16, 2021
Has anyone ever heard of a Quintin Drossaerts that claims to live in belgium. I was dating him for 5 months . He asked if i would lend him money because he had just lost his job. I wired him 1600 through paypal. Havent seen a dime. He broke up with me yesterday because his ex came back into his life and he said he realized he could never love me like he loves her.
Breezyone01
June 25, 2021
And body know a Michael jeffers he told me some things similar
Badass Queen
June 27, 2021
My guy is 55 years old! On peacekeeping mission in iraq From Sweden but was raised in the US by his aunt sinced he was 5 years old. Mom and dad died in car crashed in Danmark. His dad is an orphan with no relatives alive Chatting less than 2 months already asking me to pay for his personal belongings to be delivered to my adress in Norway. The airway bill is US$ 4.750 Each time i told him the transaction has failed he got so mad and accusing me of lying that i love him. His name is Andrew j fresler US Army Major he claimed. His son Name Damian 17 yrs old at boarding school in Sweden
Summer
June 27, 2021
Do you know Charles Rodriguez?
Sbb
July 14, 2021
Hi, anyone been talking to a George Adams or Adam’s Howell, both asking for money , George is a construction engineer working in Cape Town and Adam’s is on an oil rig both have the same pictures
Don't use yous…
July 22, 2021
I dont know if im being scared or not...by a guy name Jeff anderson he is in Bagdad right..he is a staffing srg...I asked him what base he didn't respond. We did have a video chat...it was the same guy as I was shown being talking to so I don't know if he's fake or not someone else let me know if they have this same problem
Tstokel2020
August 01, 2021
I’ve been talking to man who claims to have lived in Minnesota but just yesterday went to Scotland to work on a oil rig as an engineer. He claims to have a daughter named Nancy. He just asked me to send him a steam wallet card. His name is Mark Richardson
Careful Catmom
August 05, 2021
My contact claimed to be a wealthy business owner who had just filed for divorce and the divorce was getting messy - his accounts are frozen and she hit him with a penalty for selling property out from under her, couldn't I loan him what I can and he'll pay me back ASAP so that we can 'be together'? I won't even loan money to my siblings, much less a stranger who is in 'love' with me. I wisely advised him to 'talk to his lawyer' about a hardship release of the frozen assets and he kept hounding me to get the money - please honey/baby/sweetheart. I firmly said NO and blocked him. (Good ol' HangOuts... What an awful scammer zone!) Yuck! (Meow HISSSS)
Pompey girl
August 11, 2021
Anyone speaking to Scott Bentley us army ??
GvM80
August 17, 2021
I have been talking to a man who says he is in Afghanistan. He is to ship me a box of his belongings. Right to my door. This was what he said to me: “Ohh, I made all the necessary payment tho but the manager said I couldn't pay for airport clearance and import duties from here.. that it'd be paid in the states.” Is any of this legit? Bc I’m told it’s gonna cost like $3000?
Covington
August 20, 2021
Anyone come across Sergeant David Gabriel Covington, claim US Military, widow, seeking a wife to retire. Need money for leave, trying to get back to Maryland or California. Claim he has gold bars, was stopped and beaten in Ireland by Customs. Been in hospital for broken ribs. Requesting phone cards, bitcoin for meds, food etc. Now trying to get gold out of Ireland by going to court. If you heard this story before than we know it's not true.
DoGood wansmar…
August 22, 2021
Martiness Median is a big lier he can't get his lies together yes he does have a good woman but he love to cheat for money because he doesn't have ball to be trueful about history or his life and his self he is cazy
Clairem
September 02, 2021
Does the name jackson Howard 60 yrs old today working in the gulf of Mexico, has a daughter 17tn has salt pepper hair with a beard, blue eyes born Swedish also asked for money, wife wás killed 5yrsxago car accident
Stupid
September 07, 2021
I met a guy online very handsome has a six-year-old daughter and was working in West Africa and claimed he was robbed by some bandits stole his wallet of $4500 Bowers and he was going by some material and that's when he got robbed got robbed now hes asking for airline ticket money to come home him and his daughter
Scammers are pros
October 12, 2021
Ive been talking to a guy almost a year, wish I would have found this site before i did. They seem to tell all the same story, oil riggers, Surgeons, and servicemen! The best thing to do is google search and keep checking back, check twitter , Instagram, Facebook, scam sites..there are alot of sites on line to look for these darn scammers that still your heart!!Mine used a wealthy realtor man for his picture, alot of men have also too. I finally found pictures on Instagram of pictures his stole from this other man ..its taken me months of researching. He denies it says this person using his personality...he owes me money says he'll pay be back when he gets back to the states but needs alittle more to fly over..lol I'll be darn if Im sending more! Says he cant access his accounts from overseas until he gets back to the states! They all say that...I have a broken heart..we still text ..im hoping to get back some of my money....a very hard lesson to learn! They seem to go for divorced, or widowed or lonely women...sad part is I was told i could even be talking to a woman!!! OMG!! I sure have learned alot from this site..I'll make sure I never fall for these scammers again!!!
Missmae
November 07, 2021
I got a picture and he's still at it lol we been talking for 2 years and he's son never gets older also every picture he sends is online and the calls doesn't sound the way he looks
Karen s
November 12, 2021
David d Henderson ,scammer, oil rig, love bombed me ,
Jean
January 04, 2022
A person named Linda Pierce has been 'romancing' my boyfriend for 1.5 years now. He has also invested in diamonds, she put him in contact with someone. He is not getting his return as promised and has figured out he has been scammed by 'Linda'. Has anyone else heard of this person?
AM
January 14, 2022
This is really embarrassing to confess but after reading all the comments, i feel this is a safe space. A man named Jonathan S. Frazier sent me. DM on Instagram, and within days asked to move communication to hangouts . The IG has since been deleted. He claims to be a US military captain, 41 yr old single father of a 3 yr old daughter from Buffalo NY. Both parents are widowed, no siblings, and his ex wife cheated on him while getting served in Afghanistan. He is now on a 2 yr contract with the UN in Iraq and has been there 8 months while his daughter has a caretaker that he only communicates with through email. He said he loved me after 2 weeks and with all the sweet talking, we have planned a future together. He even calls me "his wife." The money requests started small at $50 and have never been more than $400 at a time. But they have been very frequent since December. We've only been communicating via text and phone call on hangouts for 3 months. I recently blocked him on hangouts but he found an email address and begged me to unblock him and talk and pay 350 for his daughters new daycare fees. He aims to have 100k in an online bank app called betterment and he is going to transfer me 20k after I pay these daycare fees. I'm very uncomfortable and very confused. I Googled the PayPal email he sent for me to pay the fee, and it's the name of a woman in Nairobi. And Jon has an accent that sounds African but he claims it's because his mother is from Mexico. Even though he claims he is white. Help! I feel I know the answer but I need somebody else to confirm . Thank you all for sharing your stories and hope we all get out of these situations unharmed, unscathed, and fully restored.
Judonurse
January 25, 2022
Wow! I didn't really know this existed. His name is Michael Gardner and I met him on OURTIME. He was really fast - professing love and complete devotion to me on a "forever" basis and after one week - he asked me to send him $30,000. He told me his was a logging supervisor, and that might be true, on a logging job in Texas, which may also be true. There was an unplanned dynamite explosion and heavy equipment was damaged and while he had everything covered by insurance and other means, he needed $29,600 to get one of the pieces of heavy equipment - refurbished so they could get back to work and he could come home on 2/9 as scheduled. And do you know what...I actually took a moment and listened to all of it and thought about it. Then I said I would not - and he went off on me like an angry child. He told me that I had led him on - making him fall in love with me and now I was treating him like trash. I told him that I couldn't believe he would resort to strong-arming a girl he didn't know - and he told me that he was about to be mine forever and the fact that I didn't trust him was hurting him. I was shocked and hurt, but now I had made up my mind and I wouldn't do it. As I sent him a parting email, I went onto the OURTIME website and found that he had updated his profile to 1/24 - the day I told him that I would not send him any money. This was my first time - and it will be my last time. I work too hard to give it away. Thanks for letting me tell you about it.
Kelly
February 03, 2022
Is Anderson Rose familiar? He claims he’s US army deployed in Syria. He said he’s from Miami, Florida. Has a dog named kelly. No more parents as they died on a car accident. Was raised by a priest who passed away. He’s asking me $1600 so he can be replaced ny someone and get deployed.
Stephanie
May 16, 2022

My mother was being scammed by a Robert Anderson. Same bs story as everyone else. He eventually asked for money after talking to her for months. He first asked for $35k to get a box of paperwork shipped. Then said $18k was ok. She almost sent it! Had it not been for the nice lady at the bank intervening, this would of been a different story!

Angela E
June 16, 2022

Has anyone spoken with a Denis Martin Ivan? He says he is 60 years old and retired from the army but, recently went back to Syria or Pakistan I don't remember because his wife died of leukemia 3 years ago and he didn't want to be alone. His son"supposedly" attends West Point. Everytime I asked to see a picture he could never produce one saying the file was corrupted. I did see him on video as the army's media team as he called them set it up for him to see me but we didn't talk. His face matched his pictures on his profile on Facebook. But, what I thought was suspicious was he said he was from Manchester, New Hampshire and when I searched for him I could never find anyone with that name and age from that town. The closest I came was a 72 year old from another town close to there. He also told me a rich Arab he and his men protected gifted them with a few billion dollars and expensive diamonds and they were going to split it up 4 ways. He wanted to send me his portion in a box with a special code for safety and have me hold it for him until he returned in a few weeks. After that he said we were going to go on vacations, get married, etc. and he loved me. I said no I was scared to do it. He became really mad, accused me of not trusting him, threatened me, threatened my family, told me I was gonna pay, etc. Do you guys think he's for real or a miserable joke?