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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.

July 14, 2020

In reply to by kimmy

Omg this is scary i was talking with Daniel Anderson too and he said his wife and children died in a car accident, He told me that he is a marine engineer and that his father died and that he inherited his company in Canada but that he lives in Texas and is aboard a ship.
July 30, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

Jerri, I have been talking to D Anderson as well. How do I see your picture?
September 29, 2019

In reply to by Susan

Hi, I’ve also been talking to DA ( david Anderson) on an oil rig? Can I see the picture too? He asked me to send his son a laptop! Told him he was an ass and can explain it to the police!
Scammer victim
October 18, 2020

In reply to by Sallyo

I texted with David Anderson too in spring 2019, mainly via kik and WhatsApp. He pretended to be from Sweden, working on an offshore oil platform. He sent me several photos, very well dressed and one - funny as it is - with my name written on a crisps bag. He told me his pregnant wife was killed in an accident and he wanted to start a new life close to where I live. After almost two months, we even spoke on the phone, he wanted me to send four new apple notebooks. Of course I never did and he became very angry.
September 09, 2021

In reply to by Sallyo

David Anderson randomly messaged me on Hangouts after I started talking to a scammer I met on POF impersonating a military person named "Eric Williams". Hangouts marked him as spam so I never responded.
August 20, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

How can I get your picture? I’m afraid I being scammed by the same person...
Dont trust no …
February 19, 2020

In reply to by eva

He is a scammer he or she uses diffrent names and stolen pictures of men and women always calls you baby and queen and asks for all kinds of cards like steam and google play cards and money dont trust he or she
October 18, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I have been contacted by a chap called Robert John via Twitter, he DM me last week (20/9/19) , says he is on the Oseberg Oil Rig Norway, been there 3 months with a yr contract, cant get home to California for a yr, 2 sons, girlfriend took an overdose.Half American half Dutch age 52. his twitter a/c is Robert John @ RobertJ 29430368, written english is appalling. It's a shame as the guy in the photo looks nice but I fear he has been a victim too.
September 30, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I think we have the same guy. We can exchange pictures.
October 08, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I would like to see a pic, your guy sounds similar to mine
October 13, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

Do you have a picture? I've been contacted by a man named Cade Walker. Supposedly 43 and has a 5 year old son. Claims he is a marine engineer from Virginia but has an accent.
November 06, 2019

In reply to by KBC

Cade Walker lives in Orlando. Divorced and have a 7 year old kid. Supposedly a Marine engineer working in Norway. I only talked to him for 2 days and I knew it was fake. He has 2 profiles on instagram. I already reported him. Be careful!
November 07, 2019

In reply to by reporting_scam

Cade Walker lives in Orlando. Divorced and have a 7 year old kid. I also got a friend request from him on Instagram, the pictures seemed fake, but he also had pictures of his kid, I spoke to him for 2 days and had doubts after he did not want to face time me, he faked a 5 second video through hangouts the person on the video kind of looked like him, but it is the same story: marine engineer, in Norway with 1 kid. He sent voice notes had a weird accent, and he didn't have the best grammar. Thanks for reporting this.
August 02, 2020

In reply to by reporting_scam

I have came in contact with a Cade Walker. No family and friends, has a son named Alex. The mother of the child died 3 years ago and now he makes an fortune working on sea and is looking for a new relationship. He has dark hair, a beard and works out a lot. He is 6 feet 1 tall en there is something about his grammar. Crazy for him to think that I believe he has no friends and makes a lot of money. With that kind of amount, you won’t be working like that. But I think it’s a scam
March 07, 2021

In reply to by Valen

I have contact with the same Guy..everything the same..i think it is scam..Please Send me pictures
September 22, 2021

In reply to by Valen

I was contacted by a Cade Walker today, living in Zurich, has a 7 year old son, Alex, and is widowed. Fake? I just read some comments about him
November 12, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

Can u have the pic of daniel anderson if its match the one im talking.thnx
February 08, 2020

In reply to by Olivetupas

Please you have a pic this guy claim he is Robert Anderson talking to him now please send a pic I have a pic too
Dont trust no …
February 19, 2020

In reply to by Olivetupas

Daniel anderson is a scammer he goes by difgrent names of women and men ,he or she has lots of accounts always uses anderson for last name but changes his first name to women or men name always calls you baby or queen says he has a sick daugther .always asks for cards and money..tells you to go on kik or hangouts.he got ne on wheel of fortune .he is a big scammer becareful
May 28, 2020

In reply to by Dont trust no …

A men called Jose Brian Anderson contact me and ask to chat on hanghout. He said he went to The University of Chicago and lived in Richmond Philadelphia. His grammar is really bad. First he told me that his father is from Brazil, but dead when he was 10 and his mother from USA, but dead on 2015. He said he is on a medical contract from the United States department of Energy to treat and care for the US batch of workers on a joint oil exploration project. He felt in love of yoy just in 2 days and asked you to married him. Then he askes some money for a tranfer of medical devices. If someone recognize the pattern and have a picture of him, please let me know so I can discover is the same person.
May 17, 2020

In reply to by Olivetupas

I have pictures of a man names David Anderson. Let's exchange. I have been talking to him for three months not. He asked me for $500 but I did not send it becasue I felt something was not right
September 05, 2020

In reply to by colebe82255

How do we share photos of these scammers? I was contacted by David Anderson. Said he was retiring and on his last contract in the South China Seas on an oil rig. Daughter died in a car accident 4 years ago. Has a 16 year old grandson who is all he has. Says he lives in Boston and went to the University of Michigan and was born in the Philippines and left after his mom died and he went to college. Professing his love and very smooth talking on Hangouts. After 2 days, said he wanted to update his iPhone so he could talk to me and asked me to send a photo of an Amazon card so he could use that. Phone voice does not match photos he sent. Very heavy accent.
October 06, 2020

In reply to by colebe82255

I am being scammed by someone with the same name. How do we exchange photos?
November 13, 2019

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I would like to see your picture. I have a guy who is 61, says he is from Norway. Uses the name of Patrick Williams, is a chemical engineer with large contract for crude oil drilling. Sent me several pictures, is widower. sent me copy of his contract with BP Oil. I contacted BP Oil at locations he told me he was at. They had no record.
January 16, 2020

In reply to by JustineJ

I think I have been scammed by the same "Patrick Williams" is anyone able to send me a picture? He claims he is a widower as his wife died of cancer a year ago, he has no family apart from a 12 yo daughter who is in the care of his dead wife's parents. He has told me that he is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico as he works on an oil rig and is unable to return home until he pays his huge tax debt.
February 08, 2020

In reply to by Chrissy1

I think I been scam too he say with oil drilling got a daughter in board ing school getting ready retired daughter name Patrica do u have a pic please
March 25, 2020

In reply to by JustineJ

I have a similar story to this person maybe we can contact each other?
January 05, 2020

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I would love to see his picture!!! will this site let me give you my email
Don't use your…
March 27, 2020

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I talked to David Anderson for a year he scammed me out of $100,000 he’s very dangerous he’s not who he says there’s run block him He’s very romantic and convincing his pictures are fake and from American chiropractor
September 09, 2020

In reply to by Don't use your…

I was not scammed out of that much, 20,000. He pretended to be a dr on a rig.
April 09, 2020

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

I would like to see his photo. Someone contacted me and sounds exactly like that but gave me name Cade Walker.
November 24, 2020

In reply to by Jerri.hunter

Jerrie do you have a picture of him I was also talking to a guy a while ago and trying to figure out if he’s a scammer or not? Thank you
July 30, 2019

In reply to by CPAdair

I'm talking to a guy says he in army goes by Carlos Silva and Silver Carlos...wants money to come to me...swears he's not lying. Says he's not like those scammers
October 05, 2019

In reply to by Mr.heat

Has anyone had a man Andrew Moore engineer from IG?
September 01, 2020

In reply to by Ms.Generous

I have had an Andrew Moore claiming to be a surgeon in the Navy I could tell it was fake because from the language and grammar used, he was clearly not educated, and it sounded like a foreigner
September 03, 2021

In reply to by Marcie

I think I've been scamed by the same guy. The name he uses is Sam/Jaime Silva. He has a son and his wife died 7 years ago. He has an accent but writes perfectly English. He is in the Army and needed money for his Nanny, his son and to get overseas. He showed me pictures of him and his son. I have a picture of him. He never wanted to get on videocall. He sounded very friendly and up untill yesterday he texted me and phoned me but now he isn't doing that anymore. He's avouding me. Told me he first was in Syria and after that was transfered to Afghanistan. I helped him out. Found out that his bankaccount he showed me was fake. I confronted him with this and he said he was scamed by the company. I don't know if it is really a scam or if he is telling the truth. Do you have a picture for me.
Suspicious Mind
February 23, 2020

In reply to by Something fish…

The name being used on me, asking to open a Bank Account to deposit money for rewiring is supposedly also on an Oil Rig in Norway on a Contract is also Collins but last is Smith, I don't understand how these men can lie so much I don't know how to send pic, if you do send me it and I'll get back to You, been talking to him since Nov 2019
March 03, 2019

In reply to by Betty

Me Too for the same amount and mt heart ripped out of my chest!
May 19, 2019

In reply to by Betty

Me too. Can we get our money back ??? I reported to FTC
August 13, 2019

In reply to by Wonthappenagain

did you get an answer about it, I too would like to recover even if I know I could not