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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.

530 Comments


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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.
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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

sadness
June 07, 2021

In reply to by M.m100

me too. talking with the guy who work on oil rig named Michael Chen, canadian. same guy? his wife died from cancer.
Broken
September 01, 2021

In reply to by sadness

Thinking I’m talking to the same guy. David Jung? Oil rig engineer. Wife died at childbirth. Sent his severence pay but asking for 10k to clear customs in Venezuela. Delivery company is not legit and emails are a fake.
Hopeless
September 19, 2021

In reply to by Broken

I think same guy i have been talking to. Different name but said wife died from childbirth.
Deedee
September 02, 2021

In reply to by sadness

Hi can you share his picture with me.because I think I have been scammed with same people
Rose
July 08, 2021

In reply to by Silverlily

Hi, can I see his photo please? Same as you I'm chatting with him? His name is Miller Godwin. He asks me a $10k. He said he would buy a new machine coz the machine is broken.
Thelma_
July 13, 2021

In reply to by Rose

Don't send him a dime. That's obviously a scam!
Maria
August 17, 2021

In reply to by Rose

same excuse, broken water tank, broken machine filters and money for them. dont ever give money please
Starlily
September 10, 2021

In reply to by Silverlily

I'm talking to a guy on a rig in Ecuador who also has a machine that broke down! What is yours name?
Paintedlady
September 14, 2021

In reply to by Silverlily

Me too talking to a guy in Ecuador on an oil rig and his machine broke and needs money for a new one so he can finish his job and leave and come to me! His name is Benjamin Campbell but it doesn't match his voice! He has a very thick accent! Has anyone heard this name before?
Savanna
July 28, 2021

In reply to by Jenna

I have been talking to a Jack Miller, 63, who has a 14 year old son in boarding school. He says he is from Los Angeles and is working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He asks for money for steam cards to get software so he can keep talking to me via Facebook.
Brose
September 29, 2021

In reply to by isthisforreal

Ask them for their military email address all military have one
snowgrrrl
August 30, 2021

In reply to by confused

Mine was Antonio Bruno born in Italy, Divorced, son 12years old. Mom just resently died.
Tania G
August 27, 2019
Hi I had Rodriguez Bentley Rogers U.S Army currently deployed in kabul Afghanistan peace keeping diesel mech Has a daughter 16yrs old lives with manny in the states. .Wife died 3yrs ago in car accident. .Met on Hi5 dating site then onto hangouts cple day's later madly in love with me..Dropped his ph needs a new one ..thinking i would fall for it ..i pretend to help him in the end with $500 to western union lol sent him receipt no it backfired on me he checked it and said it already been collected. .i called him out told him to prove me wrong. .lol still waiting
2much2soon
February 28, 2020

In reply to by Tania G

Anyone else chatting with someone who goes by the name Mike Jonathan Jordan ...from St Paul, Minnesota but currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin with 14 year old son Jerry. Says he is an Army Commander (Special Forces) currently deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan due to come home in July. Wife died of cancer 7 years ago.... says last relationship was 4 years ago, this girlfriend supposedly lied, cheated on him with best friend AND stole his money!! Lots of tragedy!! Said he loved me after only chatting 12 days!! ( I just laughed...never said it back)...most chats seemed harmless because I told him from the start I wasn't looking for a husband or a BF or even a hookup... wasn't interested, but just chatting was fine. All was well (except for his poor grammar!)... but then in less than 3 weeks in, he asked for $4500...said he would pay me back ...he promised. Said needed money for his son's school excursion in Colorado. I told him sorry, I couldn't help. Next day he said he was able to gather 3k, but wanted to know if I could help with the last $1500...this time I actually did think about it, but my gut said "Dont do it!".... I didn't lose any money, but I want to know if he stole someone's profile and is using their photos because he sent me several pictures and they looked legit. Added note, he reached out on Instagram, but quickly asked me to download WhatsApp because he says that's how he communicates with his son everyday.
Ruby rose
February 26, 2021

In reply to by 2much2soon

Hi I've been talking to the same person but he's been using a different name, you're the 4th persin I've come accoss who've got the same story about him, but he uses different names, jobs & locations, can we chat please Thank you
Anderson
April 01, 2021

In reply to by Ruby rose

I think I am being scammed from a guy on a rig in the North Sea ... Scotland . We have been talking for months falling madly in love .. he asked me for money today ... his bank is frozen . He has a 15 year old daughter ... with nanny in Wisconsin .. he lost his wife 6 years ago to cancer and had a gf that cheated and was an alcoholic 3 years ago... He’s very professional , soft spoken , romantic , poetic .. has asked me to be his wife ... Richard Anderson is the name he’s going by ... I have pics
Concerned
May 17, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

Can you send me pics? I think I am talking to the same guy, however, his name is Henry Watson.
L.L.D.
June 07, 2021

In reply to by Concerned

Same here..but the name is Jason Donald....anybody else hearing from this one?
M.m100
May 17, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

Don't fall for it , there's a guy who told me he's in the north sea of Scotland ,wife died ,10 year old daughter ,fell in love ate 2 days!!
Brian G
June 09, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

I think my friend is being scammed by this same guy. can you send me a pic? Same story ish. working on an oil rig living in Northern Scotland. can't come home cuz #covid and needs 4k to fix his oil rig. Or 20k to get himself smuggled out of Scotland to Australia so he can fly home from there. Whichever is easier...
Confused Anderson
September 02, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

Anderson, can we please speak privately? I’m speaking to someone that sounds familiar. I would really like to speak with you more in depth to help me sort things out. Thank You.
Guy named Richard
September 16, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

Do you have pictures? My mom has been talking to a guy who goes by Richard Brogan. Also said his bank was frozen. Can you possibly add me on something or email me? Idk how this works.
Brose
September 29, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

I think I am talking probably to the same guy he is going by Steve DeMarcus wants a phone card 500.oo I said yeah but no I we don't do it . He is on a rig in Ireland in the sea. Any one talking to this one I have pictures please let me know appreciate It a lot thanks brose.
Katts
September 29, 2021

In reply to by Anderson

I think i am talking to this guy too. Granddaughter is 15. I have pictures. He goes by David Nicolas
Amelie
August 27, 2019
I am in Australia..nearly got caught by the oil rig scammer etc so grateful I read all of this...and lucky I had the intelligence to have bells going off in my head when I read his second email...all to good to be true however he slipped up and changed his location in the second email..goes by the name of James Snowden in Australia and claims to be from the Snowden group of mining companies....have also reported him to the company etc and also our telecommunications provider ..where his number allegedly comes from..first and last time I use internet dating..
jess2001
December 10, 2019

In reply to by Amelie

Hi just wondering if there is anyway that I can get in contact with you. I’m worried that I’m in the same position with the exact same person.
jay
February 03, 2020

In reply to by Amelie

I think I am being scammed by an oil rig contractor.. his name is Eric Stephen... he has a daughter in the uk going to school and his wife died 10 yrs ago... I’m in Australia .... he’s apparently working in the Gulf of Mexico
Mary
March 03, 2020

In reply to by jay

I've made contact with an oil rig contractor working in an il rig in northern Europe. He's a widower and has got a daughter at boarding school in Germany. After a week he said a machine had broken and he needed money to ship a new one. His name is Pablo (54 years old) and he is supposed to be from Germany.
Don't use your…
June 18, 2020

In reply to by Mary

OMG l think l have been chatting with the same guy Robert Pablo
Jakeann
August 18, 2020

In reply to by Don't use your…

Do you have the picture of this guy? I can send the picture of this guy who is an oil rig business owner.
KK31
November 24, 2020

In reply to by Jakeann

Do you have a picture of this guy please? Think it could be the same as one that has contacted me
TigerT
July 07, 2020

In reply to by Mary

OMG do you have a photo... same here needs 250,000 for new machine...hell no! If you have a picture would appreciate it
Tcat
August 22, 2020

In reply to by Mary

I have one from Germany too, says he is 56. I have pictures but has a different name.
linda
February 08, 2021

In reply to by Tcat

Can we exchange photos? I've got a guy on an oil rig that I think may be a scammer. Different name but sure sounds like him.
CMW
February 12, 2021

In reply to by linda

I was friended on FB by a very attractive man with a beard who says he is 50 and widowed with a 14 year old son. He is German and lives in LA and says he is in the Gulf of Mexico on an oil rig. I’ve only been talking to him via google hangouts for a couple days. He asks a lot of questions even about what my favorite color is, do I do drugs, etc. just have a weird feeling. What do you think?
KGGOOSEN
April 19, 2021

In reply to by CMW

I think I am being scammed with a Chris Garrison, apparently a German guy, 60 yrs old, wife was a nurse in Washington, she died and he has a 14 yr old son. An engineer on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Not a bad looking man, but I smelled a rat from the word get go. Small things but insisted that I trust him, professes love after few days, and wants to marry me. I am married, I have two teenage sons. Suddenly his drilling machine malfunctioned causing a fire, with injuries to 12 workers. He needs money to fix it, otherwise he looses everything and goes to jail. He became really demanding for the money, I kept refusing. Long story short, I am super annoyed, I've realized it was a scam very early on. My question is though, who is the poor man who's images are being abused for the purpose of the scam... How do I find this poor man and tell him. Can I? Will it help?
AA
April 21, 2021

In reply to by KGGOOSEN

Chris from Meetmindful also tells me he moved from Seattle to Denver & works in petroleum & oil. I asked to meet for coffee. He asked my fav dry: I replied Chai & then he replied Alaye which maybe his language.
Sam
June 14, 2021

In reply to by CMW

Had the same experience. Very attractive, with two young daughters
Deb
August 05, 2021

In reply to by CMW

Omg I was just contacted on wwf by a Ben load, asked 25 or more questions I thought I was being interviewed, first said he was dvorced then changed it up to widow has 2 daughters lives in Ohio originally from Denmark, just left this morning to work in Scotland on a oil rig,send poetry and music, only need 3 days hasn't asked for money yet,
Carrera M
August 30, 2021

In reply to by Deb

I got contacted by Scott Henry. 49, widowed 2 years ago. From NJ. On an oil rig in Canada. Daughter of 14 I’m just playing the game ……
Deb
August 06, 2021

In reply to by CMW

Omg I was just contacted on wwf by a Ben load, asked 25 or more questions I thought I was being interviewed, first said he was dvorced then changed it up to widow has 2 daughters lives in Ohio originally from Denmark, just left this morning to work in Scotland on a oil rig,send poetry and music, only need 3 days hasn't asked for money yet,
Ms. Fix it
August 13, 2021

In reply to by CMW

That’s funny do you have a picture yet? I’m doing some research on a guy in the Gulf
So dumb
March 02, 2021

In reply to by linda

I think we may be talking to the same guy! Goes by James Kane Peters. On an oil rig and needs new equipment so he can come back home! Had a package set to be delivered to me, needed paperwork for the package ($4500) and once that went through via Bitcoin...there was “money” found in the package and we owed 10% tax (should have been $40,000 but the “lawyer” got it down to $10,000). He’s still begging for money for the broken equipment on the rig... anyone else as stupid as me??
Sand
March 11, 2021

In reply to by Tcat

Tcat me too. 56 from Germany. Now in Cyprus. States he live in long beach.
Chattt999
February 17, 2021

In reply to by jay

Me too, his name Michael Pathim, wife and sin killed in auto accident years ago, raising his only grandson. Out on oil rig right now, needs 35000. Lol
Aminor
February 19, 2021

In reply to by jay

Am also talking to someone on a oil rig in the gulf of Mexico. Goes by Antonio. He he tell you what company he works for.