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If you’ve seen the news, ‘romance scammers’ are among the eighty defendants indicted today by the Department of Justice in a scheme that stole millions from Americans.

Check out this video about how to spot and protect yourself from romance scams. Then share it with your friends.

Illustration of a woman using a dating app

People reported losing $143 million in romance schemes last year, more than any other type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. But there are steps you can take – and then tell someone about. So watch the video, learn more, and pass it on.


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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 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.

third d of 10
August 23, 2019
Along with many other scams that have been circulating over the past few years - I have several that would curl your hair. The one mentioned here - romance schemes - was perpetrated on my 89 year old dad. He was contacted and told to send $30,000 and a lady would come live with him and take care of him (this was in Dec 2017) He wired the money western union (of which we have a report filed for the western union scam) in (3) $10,000 increments - we kept asking dad where she was when she didn't show up - he shrugged his shoulders and said I guess it must have been a scam. To date he was scammed out of 2 million dollars - and now - God rest his soul - he passed on August 6 - his whole estate gone.
August 23, 2019
ok so i want to knw how can i get my money have all the proof knw where tht person lives in international country just tht im not there can i get it thru other family member whos there its 40 thousand dollar
February 21, 2020

In reply to by rabeezzy

Unfortunately recovering money sent in these schemes is usually impossible to recover. Much may depend on the method it was transferred by.
August 24, 2019
I was scammed 2 times by people in Lagos Nigeria, sent money by Western Union and am supposed to be getting money back but only God knows when~~Sent money by Money-Gram and am due a refund but then again only God knows when~~Was notified by Western Union and Money Gram many moons ago~~are they going to issue the refunds or keep the money for themselves~~
August 27, 2019
I need to See a pick of Antoino Zapata Born in Italy mom from us. Son in college in italy. Divorced lives in LA. Over in Cyprus
August 29, 2019

In reply to by confused

Mine is living in Connecticut has a daughter in Italy and he is now working in Cyprus
September 18, 2019

In reply to by confused

i am currently chatting with the name bradley william, david william, and gorell.. i have doubts with them if it for real or scammer, how will i know that all of them are for real? one is doctor the other serve in u.s military.. Please help me i don't want to waste my time..!
September 29, 2019

In reply to by isthisforreal

When he asks you for money! You’ll know he’s a scammer!
October 02, 2019

In reply to by Butterfly

Hi. Anyone chatting with James Watson from Louisanna now in Spain? He said that he is an estate manager and a contractor . We exchanged photos and asked me to send 200. I think I got scammed.
February 02, 2020

In reply to by Mhay

Yes! It’s a scam. Usually start with small amount, then more and more! Stop now!
August 16, 2020

In reply to by Mhay

Do you have a pic of him so we could compare? I will really appreciate if you'd send me one.
February 21, 2021

In reply to by linda

Do you also have same experience with name Pedro Mirac? Oil Rig based on Germany but lives in Wisconsin
Worried Cat
February 24, 2021

In reply to by Mhay

Please advise race, height and weight. I believe he is attempting this scam again in FL.
August 31, 2021

In reply to by Worried Cat

Please let me know the height, features, race of this Pedro. I believe he’s doing this in Maryland now, except he’s currently working in Alaska and needs money for shipping his materials. How can we see photos of these guys?
July 14, 2021

In reply to by Mhay

Is there any significance with asking for pictures? I met a guy on a language exchange app and the first thing he asked was to exchange pictures and he had a bogus story to explain why he did not want to video chat. I did not send my pic though because that was suspicious and I didn’t know if he could extract exif data from it. He had not asked for any money but was very upset to find out that I was talking to another person similar to him. I’m now wondering if there is some type of scam with these guys
July 24, 2021

In reply to by Mhay

Hey, can you share the photo of him? I know this is from 2019 but my mom thinks she’s talking to someone real who is James working as an oil contractor in Norway.
Pat. B
August 21, 2021

In reply to by Sed

I'd love to see a picture of this guy, also. I think we've all got the same guy
October 12, 2021

In reply to by Butterfly

Even if they ask you for a Google Play gift card for them to get access to a video call for Google hangouts to video call me?
February 23, 2020

In reply to by isthisforreal

This David William is a real sweet talker. Wants money to move barrels of oil! Stop all correspondence now! It’s a fake ! Look for obvious signs - bad grammar, fake email address ( the military will not have .org email address ) nor would a person in the military be involved in any get rich quick scheme.
August 31, 2021

In reply to by Scamalert

I been talking to a guy, Maxcon , has barrels of oil to sell. I sent money to him to come home. Sent to Nigeria..ugg
August 01, 2020

In reply to by isthisforreal

Do you have a photo of David William?...I think it's the same guy I've been chatting with. I have photos if you want to talk.
August 07, 2020

In reply to by togoodtobetrue

Anyone have a picture of William david. Been getting pictures and messages. A skn in Italy in school. Needing money. Dr. From LA
November 24, 2020

In reply to by Redbelle

I have lots of pictures of dr david Williams and other name but same pictures
Hopeless romantic
August 23, 2020

In reply to by togoodtobetrue

I think I too am have the same David william he just sent me a present yesterday talks about his oil but hasn’t ask for anything from me. Do you have a picture want to compare notes I really want to just him out Thanks
August 24, 2020

In reply to by togoodtobetrue

David William.. Posing as Military personnel. Have been chatting with him and it seems that we all have the Oil thing in common! He got way to personal way to quick! Has been professing love and wanting to send packages. I have photos as well if anyone wants to chat and confirm info!
Max Aljemelawy
August 15, 2021

In reply to by investigator!

Hello. . I think I am being scammed right now too .. he's a 35 year old man who looks very cute in his photos, also is processing love. I am an Idiot he Asked me to buy a $25 dollar Card from the store and I did. Then he just
Blue Sky
November 20, 2020

In reply to by togoodtobetrue

I was scammed by a guy named David William too. Said he is working as a sub contractor on a oil rig in the Mediterranean. Has a boy and a girl in a boarding school. I have pictures but I don’t know how to add them to this comment. Does anybody knows how to do that?
May 03, 2021

In reply to by Blue Sky

Was he french ? I have just got into conversation with a David William. Hire out his drilling equipment for crude oil. Boy and girl with him in photos. Said he from Paris and lives in Edinburgh ? Not asked for money but have just started chatting tonight
Fell for it!
June 15, 2021

In reply to by Miko

I texted with David William for 2 years sent him money to fix a pipe on an oil rig in the UK. Said he was from Texas widowed & has a daughter. DO NOT BELIEVE HIM! on May 28th 2021 he disappeared will not respond to me texts on hangouts! Met him on WWF sound familiar? Spoke with him heavy accent claimed to be German.
Concerned for family
August 01, 2021

In reply to by Fell for it!

Can you share a picture??? I think my aunt is being catfish by the same person...
Been there.
August 02, 2021

In reply to by Fell for it!

Anyone know John Yagish or a similar . Has a sick daughter in India for a transplant He had several pictures on the scammer do I send pictures ?
September 16, 2021

In reply to by Fell for it!

Try Louis Hamilton. On oil rig 6, widowed drilling engineer. He has a daughter in boarding school. Claims to have grown up in Germany, lived in NC. However, now has house in DC. Heavy Nigerian accent.
July 16, 2021

In reply to by Miko

I have also been talking to a david willuam who says he from France, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan.
May 03, 2021

In reply to by Blue Sky

Hi, I have been talking to a guy by the name of Dave Miller, claimed he is a contract supervisor on an oil rig in the Northern Ocean in UK. Wish I could post his pic. Says he has a daughter...says he is from Madrid Spain. Wonder if they are the same. Said his wife and ery young son were killed in a car. wreck
May 24, 2021

In reply to by Jenna

I have another oil rig worker, Polish in the gulf of Mexico on Down water Horizon. Rig isn't listed but I'm sure his sweet talk is. 7k request in 5 days, moody after response of 'NO', We must be the only sweet talkers ladies. Michal is his name with +1 872, photos of a happy small famz, I wonder where he got them, speaks of Burundi, staff needed, will payback, but he won't phone his bank.. regulations he says.. platform rules, no video calls permitted... shameful
June 09, 2021

In reply to by Jenna

He’s a scammer. I had the same one. Oil rig, North UK sea. Always asking for bitcoin. Wife cheated and son in boarding school in Canada. Goes by James William Pablo. Send him nothing . Be careful
August 17, 2021

In reply to by Jenna

Hi. I have been talking to a guy by the name Jun Tyler. He confess his love to me immediately and he said his from New york and has a daughter in boarding school in UK and his wife was killed because of accident. He already asked me 2000$ Just to get his salary because he used my bank account number to get his salary but his salary did not reflect in my bank account because he need SSN and need to pay 5000$. Do you think I’m being scammed?
September 13, 2021

In reply to by Katherine

Same story. Different name. Jim Robert. Wants to seal on Hangout. Don’t trust him. Block him!!!
May 11, 2021

In reply to by Phyllis

Sounds like my willian too from Uk 9 year old daughter in boarding school and wife died.
September 27, 2020

In reply to by isthisforreal

Yeah his name is John Williams, also George, oh don't forget Howard they will take what ever you give them he wanted me too sale my car he needs 4,000 so he can fix his Machine selfie can come home It's laking
Stop romance scam
November 21, 2020

In reply to by Louis

Do you have a picture of him
Good husband
December 25, 2020

In reply to by Stop romance scam

Hi all, just found out my Wife has the same experience right now... after 10 years our Relationship is in bad times... but just found you she is writting whole this year with Oliver Williams and his 13 yo son in Italy... already sent him over 1000 eur and asking from her friends more and more... she completely felt in love with this scammer... she do not believe me when I am telling her this is all fraud. Unfortunately do not have pictures but all money are sent to some Nigerian name Maxwell Eguavoen Otamere - first transaction to account in Germany and second in Italy... do you have experiance with the same guy? Need to help her but how if she do not believe me? We have 3yo daughter and the whole situation is freaking me out...
Florida lady 5820
February 13, 2021

In reply to by isthisforreal

David miller is a scammer , he's also a little off in the head. Always a son. Always in military.
March 15, 2021

In reply to by Florida lady 5820

Do you have a picture of David Miller...I am talking to someone named Dave Miller. Would like to compare pics This one is not in military, claims he's on an oil rig
April 01, 2021

In reply to by Jenna

I’m talking to a guy on an oil rig too . Let’s chat !
May 06, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

We’re same. He’s on offshore platform. Ask for help coz his machine broke down.
May 17, 2021

In reply to by Silverlily

There's a guy by name aleksander Hamilton,at an offshore rig in Scotland ,as a doctor in the rig