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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.

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  • 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.

Don't use your…
September 13, 2021

In reply to by kim

George a Jeff. Widower. 53 years old. Has a son in a private school. He works in oil [right] . He was raised in a orphanage. Cant use phone because it would be to dangerous. But can use email. Scamming my friend. Im trying to make her realize hes fake. Beware romantic talker.
gmathompson
September 05, 2019
I recently started talking to a couple of men on the chat on a facebook yahtzee dice game. their stories were very similar, widowed, single teen child living with a nanny, and they worked on an oil rig. Contract based and be back in the states in a few months, etc. Lots of sweet words and then they asked for gift cards, itunes, amazon. So sad they friend you and then scam you.
Coty
December 27, 2019

In reply to by I am in trouble!

Anyone named Silas ? French accent,, left for south africa, capetown...oil rig engineer..oil rig blew up...wanting itunes., kind words, calls me his Wife..losers
CaughtHim
April 15, 2020

In reply to by Coty

Will Silas? Engineer with Exxon Mobil provided an obviously fake contractor certificate...LOL! never getting my dough!
Charlie 1
February 14, 2020

In reply to by I am in trouble!

Anyone knows Samantha white she has area code 917 She lives outside of buffalo ny she says attends buffalo university. I thought she was real but guess not chatting with her on hangouts send her gift card like steam and amazon she says she has no money she’s broke well I just lost 500 dollars cause she don’t talk to me no more
karent
November 29, 2019

In reply to by gmathompson

Was his name Alexander oscar? Was his daughter's name Olivia?
T00tsie
January 12, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

Im talking to David Smith. He works on an oil rig. He dont want money but he wants to send me money. He wants me then to send his son stuff. I think this is a scam.
Don't use your…
May 05, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

This sounds like the guy I was talking to. Mike Lucas lives in San Francisco from Finland. Widowed with a 9 year old daughter who i believe has a Nanny. He is an engineer on an old rig. Needs money for correct pipes.
Ravenblue
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Don't use your…

I have been talking with a guy who says he's from Finland currently living in Miami. Just got a contract to install an oil pipeline and maintain an oil rig in Indonesia. Bought some machinery to expedite the job but didn't anticipate the fees/taxes to get it through customs. Needs $65K. Goes by James Robertson.
Rosie boom
August 16, 2020

In reply to by Ravenblue

Flavio Giuseppe oil rig Sicily Wife died Daughter 12 living in France Need money $30.000 to finish contract
Intjs
March 02, 2021

In reply to by Ravenblue

Goes by Davis Thompson, 45 years old from LA, works in oil rig in China. Dad passed away long time ago, mom just passed away from Covid, only an old uncle in Germany. Divorced. No friends because “workalcoholic” and his ex cheated with his best friend. New to instagram, asked to move to Hangout. Instagram profile was deleted right away and professed his love to me after couple days. 2 weeks in, he asked me to “help” him with $15,000. He thought he’s being smart by building story about broken pipe BECAUSE OF HIS OWN FAULT from a week before. Said why should I bear the cost of his fault? And I’d connect someone to him directly (knowing it’s a scam) and he got agitated very fast when I said I wouldn’t help any other way. Called him out on his scam MO and blocked me. So busted LOL
Ckwest
May 24, 2021

In reply to by Ravenblue

Friend of mine met a man on Match who is gorgeous, keeps sending pictures. Originally from Norway, widowed, daughter in boarding school in FL. Says he lives in NY, only 1 hr away from her, yet for one month he is too busy to meet. Anyway to exchange pictures?
Phelp
May 11, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

Currently talking with a man says he’s from Texas .But I couldn’t find anyone in the are with his name and age , widow has teen daughter who also text me , calling me mom which is weird being she is 17, an mother only gone 3 years. He puts a lot of poetry wants to spend his life with me says when this contract is up retiring says I will not be working he will take care of everything says he is deeply in love it’s Ben only6 weeks that we started chatting. Was upset when I told a girlfriend about him said not to tell anyone until he gets here. So I stopped texting received a video call I rejected it. Says he is working on a oil rig in U.K. met playing scrabble then went to Hangouts said it’s what he uses to chat with his daughter when he is working away
Wontbescammed
May 26, 2020

In reply to by Phelp

Sounds like my guy. Got upset because i told my friend about him. His daughter and mother love me as much as he does she's 13 and wants me to be her mother. That brought tears to his eyes when she said that to him.
Hatescammers
December 29, 2020

In reply to by Wontbescammed

I think im talking to the same guy. Anyone have pictures?
KH4566
February 22, 2021

In reply to by Hatescammers

I think I am talking to this guy too. Goes by Frank Alberta - sent pictures of someone who likes like should be in the movies. Thick Accent says from Oslo Germany originally.
ThinkScammedToo
February 27, 2021

In reply to by Hatescammers

Can you message me on Messenger? I have a photo.
UKnurse
September 10, 2021

In reply to by scammed2

How can we see the pictures?
Violet37
March 30, 2021

In reply to by ThinkScammedToo

I am talking with a man named ERMINE. He says he works on an offshore oil rig as a contractor. He says he wants to retire at the end of his contract which is in a month or so. He asked me if I live alone. He says he wants to come home and meet me. ERMINE also mentioned that he wants to get married by the end of the year. I was not responsive to that at all. Are we talking about the same man? I have a photo but I don’t know how to post it.
Notthatstupid
June 27, 2021

In reply to by Kare

I’ve been chatting with someone I met on Tinder. I’m positive he’s a scammer. Living in my city for about 6 years. Claims to be a widow. From Italy. Partner died of ovarian cancer and she wanted him to buy a condo in her family’s neighborhood. Enjoys pubs BUT he didn’t know there was a good neighborhood pub walking distance from his “condo.” He also didn’t know there are no condos on the street he lives on. He told me he was on the second floor. And I love Google. The name doesn’t even exist in my city. I gotta give him an “A” lol
Scammedtoo
August 24, 2021

In reply to by Violet37

Same, the name is david evans aliota. Italian but born and live in new jersey. An offshore oil rig engineer. Told me he finished contract and need to arranged for elicopter but cannot pay because of weak signal in the ocean so he wants me to pay for it and he will pay me back when he reach the land. So that was the red flag, i blocked him immediately
PR
March 20, 2021

In reply to by Wontbescammed

Same with me. He's from the U.S on an oil rig near Ireland. He knows he's ready to retire now that he's "met" me, but it's only been 3 weeks texting and video chat. Gorgeous man, widower with teen daughter attending a boarding school in the UK. Didn't ask for money but asked if I could purchase airline tickets so he could fly to the U.S. to meet me. Said he doesn't have access to his accounts on the rig. It can be so flattering but be cautious. I blocked him.
Another scamme…
April 10, 2021

In reply to by PR

Sounds like the same guy blue eyes grayish hair beard .says he couldnt shave .50 ish. Great looking foreign accent..hes oil contractor has his own bussines..right now hes in Alsaka....wanting money. Cause he is on s rig ..says he lives in Dallas Texas..this guy doesn't. Exist. Goes by the name Walter Craige
Sam
June 14, 2021

In reply to by Another scamme…

Can you please share his pics. I'm thinking I'm taking to the same guy. Wants to open family business soon retired. And be retiring in two months
UKmum
July 04, 2021

In reply to by Another scamme…

Hi I think I'm talking to the same guy as you. Says he's leaving the rig next week but been paid in gold and needs to ship it to my address as he won't be back in time. He's German accent, gorgeous to look at. Grey hair, blue eyes, beard. Tattoo on his left arm half way up. Sent me photos of him in the gym, in his bed, on a bike back home in London. Do you think it's the same guy?
Togoodtobetrue
July 20, 2021

In reply to by UKmum

Same scenario happening to me. Good-looking gray hair bearded guy sending handsome photos of himself. After three weeks he is in love and ready to get married. I was a little suspicious of him after the first week. Said he was finishing up a job in North Carolina and suddenly had to leave before we could meet. Said he landed a contract with oil company in Alaska. He said he would be working 4 week on and 2weeks off. He want to meet me when he goes on break. I would love to compare photos if you can share them.
Lisa Lee
July 30, 2021

In reply to by Another scamme…

i also met a guy from Dallas Texas who said he is now on an oil pipeline cleaning up and maintainance service in Norway.
Katts
September 29, 2021

In reply to by Another scamme…

Sounds like the guy I am talking too. DAVID CONTRACTER for north shore rig. Scotland. He 64 good looking blue eyes Accent. Widowed granddaughter he is rising. Said his internet needs to be paid. His bank is locked up. Wants me to keep him up. Supposedly he retiring soon. And wants to marry me. I ask questions but he don't answer most. Am I being scammed
Kare
April 10, 2021

In reply to by PR

This sounds like the same guy I am talking to. In gulf of Mexico. Very attentarinative to me. Granddaughter 12 with nanny at boarding school. Wife died from cancer. Showed picture of outside of house with pool. Wants to start business in Canada near me when he retires in a few weeks. Our borders are closed. If he is from California he should know that. I tried to find him listed in his town. No luck. He was apparently living across the border when he responded. But that changed. He said his wife used to actually live there. Gets a bit upset when I don't respond on what's app for a day or say I have gone out with friends. Especially guy friends. Would love to see a picture that you all have.
Ky3xdx
August 13, 2021

In reply to by Kare

There’s a man working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that I’ve been talking to for almost 2 months now. The oil rig was damaged in the recent storms. Today he asked me for $1250 to help him w transfer fees to get a new machine flown in to him at the rig & he’ll pay be right back as soon as his contract is completed. His name is Mathew Anderson. He calls me his beloved wife Does this sound familiar??
Brose
September 29, 2021

In reply to by Phelp

I think I am being scammed by the same guy he calls himself DeMarcus Steve he is working as a contractor on a rig in the Irish sea. Says this is his last contract and will retire in March. Has a daughter sent me pictures we chat on hangout I was on Facebook he quickly moved me to hangouts fell in love super fast. Says all these we wonderful things n OkI w his phone is about to die and wants a 500 ipod card for his phone. Guess what ? Not going to happen he dosent know this but he will.
sprite
May 24, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

Had a guy approach me on Scrabble. Story sounds familiar. Says name is Derrick, 6 yr old son being taken care of by nanny, on oil rig in Gulf of Mexico out of Gulf Coast Alabama. Wife passed 3 yrs ago from cancer, both parents deceased. Just got back from Dubai. received pics of a good looking guy in 50s greyish short hair, beard greying, blue eyes. Hasn't ask for $ yet, but wants to meet me and come see me when his shift is over in 3 weeks, can not call from rig.
Queen
July 06, 2020

In reply to by sprite

Hi this is so familiar with the same story events , only his on oil rig in San Francisco & living in Water town New York. Can we exchange photo
No room to breath
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Queen

Can we exchange photos also? The gentleman I am talking to his name is Jonathan Wells from Texas.
No room to breath
July 10, 2020

In reply to by sprite

I would love to compare photos of this gentleman with you. I don't think I will ever trust a man unless I know him personally.
EmilyCB
August 02, 2020

In reply to by sprite

I have a feeling I met the same guy... so weird. How do we send pics on here?
robocop73
September 24, 2020

In reply to by sprite

I’ve been talking to a guy that fits the same description.
Sunshine55
January 02, 2021

In reply to by robocop73

My mother I believe is in conversation with a man fitting very similar circumstances please share a photo with me. Very alarmed that she’s emotionally attached and no longer communicating because we’ve asked too many questions