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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.

Fb scam
December 14, 2020

In reply to by sprite

Oil rig scammer Christopher George Hernandez widowed daughter living with nanny. Thankful I read these pages after only talking a few days. Hit me up for steam card. Sent the worst looking fake passport. It was a good laugh at least. Anyway to compare photos??
Xoxo
December 29, 2020

In reply to by sprite

I think I’m talking to the same guy. You described home to a tee. I have pictures
Scammer
March 12, 2021

In reply to by sprite

Sounds like same guy I talked too, George Woodman says he’s from Atlanta, GA. Has 2 girls in boarding school and a nanny. Wife died in car accident 3 yrs. ago. He’s good looking in his 50s short grey hair, beard same color eyes. He works on a oil rig in the Atlantic. Wants me to send 3,500 so he can get off there on a vacation leave. In love after 2 weeks. Way to good to b true
Hurt
March 26, 2021

In reply to by Scammer

Sounds like guy I’m talking to have pics calls himself Benjamin Charles
Swelly28
July 20, 2021

In reply to by Hurt

The man my mother is talking to is named “Frank Benjamin” Oil Rig Engineer Wants to marry my mom Same exact descriptions(50’s, “Hollywood Appearances” wants to send money in her bank acct, (I have photos) Doesn’t have access to Bank in Mississippi and can’t video chat or call …. My Mother sent him 900 in Apple, Microsoft etc cards
Sam
June 14, 2021

In reply to by Scammer

I think I've been talking to the same guy. Wife died 3 years ago. He has no family except for his 2 daughters. Do you have pics to share please.
Jess
April 19, 2021

In reply to by sprite

Hi, Your story sounds a lot like what is going on with my aunt. We are trying to convince her its a scam. They have only been talking for a week and I am trying to prove to her before she loses any money. How can we exchange pictures?
NewGirl
May 04, 2021

In reply to by sprite

Met him on word feud. He approached me....wooed me for months and months. Was to come home for Christmas, of course something went wrong on the rig and he could not get to his monies in the bank onshore. Very handsome, I have photos. Have now seen under the names of Robert Nowak, Scott Smith, and now again under Eng. Steve Bryan Ford. BEWARE! Luckily, I was smarter than he was. I have photos if you might like to compare
Worrieddaughter
July 16, 2021

In reply to by NewGirl

My mother is in the same scam. She is acting so unreasonable even that there were many signs. Please, how can I get a picture so I can compare?
2 good 2 b true
July 20, 2021

In reply to by Worrieddaughter

Please send pictures and this guy. My mom is talking to a Jay Jay Salee from Atlanta Georgia says he has no family on a daughter in boarding school and is wife died of cancer 6 years ago
Emma
August 09, 2021

In reply to by Worrieddaughter

for all you ladies that are requesting pictures , its useless . these scammers use different pictures taken from different profiles . The guy is not going to use the same picture or the same name . That would be to easy to track him . Delete him and move on , if it doesn't feel right it usually isn't . Good luck , talking from experience .
Torn
August 17, 2021

In reply to by Emma

Just hoping he sent same photos to someone here perhaps it can help search them.
Suzi & Harrison
September 18, 2021

In reply to by NewGirl

I'm currently speaking to someone that came through from Wordfued, born in Denmark, lives in Florida - on a rig, he's going by Harrison Jason, I'd say he is around 50, good looking - I wonder if it's your guy? do you have photos? how do we get to see them?
Patricia
June 08, 2021

In reply to by sprite

Similar story here. Does the background have guitars displayed on the wall? Or Egyptian souvenirs displayed on a fireplace mantel?
larbo
May 25, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

Hi, I also am talking to a man who says he works on an oil rig. His name is Victor Franciszek. Sound familiar?
Tiredofit
July 10, 2020

In reply to by gmathompson

I'm chatting with a guy named George Charles. From California, born in Italy. Has a 15 yr old daughter in boarding school in NY. Wife passed 4 yrs ago. He sent me a message on Scrabble Go. In Canada working as a drilling engineer. Slipped and lost his wallet the other day.. now asked for a steam card for $100. Of course now I'm suspecting it's a scam. Have not given him anything. Also an Anthony King from Scrabble Go also. Same profession
Crazy termites
March 04, 2021

In reply to by gmathompson

I was also contacted buy a guy on an oil rig that had children at home with a nanny His name Thomas Cellucci from Dever Colarado but licence plate on truk showed as Texas,and passport showed as Maine ..also a guy by the name of Deni Gold contacted me .oil rig manager and daughter in borading schoolHave blocked both of them after going to hangouts o chat
Phyllis
March 11, 2021

In reply to by gmathompson

Interesting the use innocent games to hook up. Met mine on words with friends. Seemed innocent enough. Chatted a month. Same story as yours. Now needs 6500 to get drill repaired. Then he will fly here and marry me and make me his queen. Hah
maydaygirl
October 02, 2019
I unfortunately wasn't aware of scams when I started taking to my Romance Scammer goes by Adan Moses Dunn in the US Army Special Agent. Sends pictures of military man in uniform with the name Dunn on his uniform. He has so many pictures of this man he is pretending to be. I am now wise $55,000. later and ruined credit. He has done the phone thing, the daughters with nanny spouse passed 6 years ago. Everything I read here calling me Queen and much more asked for proof hold up paper with today's date. Send me paper in picture with my name he did it all. Did not look like photoshop must be. The fiance leave form. I have been so damaged financially and my heart was very attached. He has threatened to kill me. I received the phoney checks, wire transfer and the after did what he wanted the funds were reversed. Banks closed credit cards and accounts. I can't believe I was so guiable and I am now so ashamed and embarrassed.
Iwasscammedaswell
October 30, 2019

In reply to by maydaygirl

I know what you are going through as this happened to me as well. Please contact the police, the credit bureaus, file a complaint with the FTC and internet crimes. My life has been forever changed from the man that claimed he was "Jace Matthew". Please don't feel ashamed or embarrassed as this is happening everyday. They are very smart and are getting smarter and its a damn shame that they will never be caught!!
NancyW
August 19, 2020

In reply to by maydaygirl

Even thesmartest women will fall prey to these evil scumbags. You will survive and you will become stronger than ever
Cosdiamon62
October 21, 2019
I’ve been talking to someone l saw on a date line then he ask me to go to hangout from June 2019 said he’s in the military And deployed to Afghanistan he also said that he is getting money from his solicitor because his parents died in 911 asked for me to email his solicitor I wanted over 6000 and something US dollars to me sounds like a scam his name but he goes by is Arnold James and Naand deployed to Afghanistan he also said that he is getting money from his solicitor because his parents died in 911 asked for me to email his solicitor I wanted over 6000 and something US dollars to me sounds like a scam his name but he goes by is Arnold James hernandez l got photo of him from Caroline OSullivan l not sent him one penny
crazylady70
October 19, 2019
I am being scammed and just realized it. I have been chatting with a guy I met on Facebook for 3 months - he asked me to switch to Google Hangout - he has asked for money several times - he was so convincing that I sent him several thousand dollars for various emergencies. His last scam was a secure box he was shipping from Australia - I had to pay the fee to ship it - all of his bank accounts are frozen because his former girlfriend stole from his account. Anyway - I paid the initial $5200 to ship the box - then it got to another country and I was asked for a little over $20,000 - which I stupidly paid. Then it got to Puerto Rico and now they want $38,750 to finish shipping to the U.S. Thankfully, I don't have that much money to send - and now the guy is threatening me. He says there's money and gold in the box and I will be picked up for money laundering, etc. And, he will kill himself. I am just trying to report this to as many people as I can so no one else gets hurt. This guy claims to be a drilling contractor on a rig - claims to own a mansion in Montenegro - declares his undying love. He goes by Danilo, Dan, Gary or Stephen. He had profiles on Badoo until I reported him - they took them down.
amy11
June 04, 2020

In reply to by crazylady70

i have the same experience, i met a guy in online dating site. he told me if we can go to hang out and talk. we been chatting for i think 2 weeks. he is so sweet and he say he is a medical doctor in United Nation Peacekeeping Mision in Afghanistan. few days later he ask me to receive his consignment box he gave me an email address saying that is the United Nation Consigment department , he sent me a form and ask me to fill up and sent to that email address he gave me. two days after i recieve an email it says i need to pay to ship the box to my country.
Missy55
August 29, 2021

In reply to by crazylady70

I think I am being scammed by same guy. On an oil rig in the Gulf. Wife died 3 yrs ago of leukemia. Has a 17 yr old daughter in California with a nanny going to school. Hasn't asked for any money yet but supposedly in love with me after a little over a week. Goes by the name Johnson (John) Braylen. Met him on Facebook and he wanted to chat on Google hangouts. Very good looking. 56 yrs old, blue eyes, grayish hair, Grey scruffy beard.
concerned
October 22, 2019
Anyone talking to Proctor Williams Harry, Tom West, Military Doctor, Scott Allen Cameron, Matthew Miller, Captain Anderson? My mother played Words with friends and talked with these supposedly men they got her to go to Hangouts. They all had sob stories to get her to send gift cards, money. They were telling her they loved her and could be together. Overseas stories, oil rig stories, being stuck with no money. My mom is in her eighties.
jacksonfive01
February 12, 2021

In reply to by concerned

Anybody talking to AlbertoQuica Jefferson. Says he is a contractor engineer in Jordan but lives in miami
Bxtr5459
October 24, 2019
I was just scammed by someone that goes by Commander John Benjamin. Suppose to be in Kabul, Afghanistan. Came on way too strong. Overplayed his hand. Nobody is that perfect. Watch out for that name. Luckily I found out before I lost anything besides my time.
jfree9393
October 24, 2019
I thought that I was smart enough to see through scams. But I was involved with one for three years. I checked pictures and IP addresses and all kind of things to try and differentiate whether he was a scammer. ALL the things that that mention to you to look out for were there. But he would rationalize it away and because he could I would in turn rationalize it away. I lost close to $50,000 dollars. That was my savings and now I will have to deal with the consequence of that. But more importantly I will have to deal with the emotional scars that I now have. Please be careful and don't be deceived. If it is too good to be true it is probably not real.
Rick
December 29, 2019

In reply to by jfree9393

Can you tell me how you/he ended the relationship please? Did he just stop texting; did you block him? I'm in love with a woman who professes to love me, but she always wants money and I think she may be a scammer. I haven't sent her any money in months; will she just top writing me?
Wisconsin Newb…
October 27, 2019
only lost time and a slight heart break by 2 from WOOPlus online dating and then over to hangout... 1. daniel schmidt, here from germany several years, sonś in canada, wife died years ago.... bitcoin miner... wanted my accounts to pay all my debts after about a month of chating.... must be new to scamming because he made a lot of mistakes when he started to switch from endearing chatter to scammer..... 2. Bradley zavala - army ranger in South Korea...... couldnt talk because phone did not work from south korea... could I help pay..... then when I said i could not .... we did not talk much and then all of a sudden my messages on hang out stopped goig through... I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because he did not reactt badly when i said i could nt help.... just ẗhats okay - we won be able to speak much till i get home i december..... So i wanted to give him a chance.... but now that I cant text him in hang-out - I assume he cancelled me or blocked me.... whatout for these names.....
Kay
May 10, 2020

In reply to by Wisconsin Newb…

I am talking to a Daniel Schmidt and would like more info. Do you have pictures?
Jen
August 19, 2020

In reply to by Kay

I was talking to a Max Schmidtke who claimed to be a German geophysics working in Venezuela but officially lived in the States. He was working abroad and claimed to have a bad connection. Was extremely engaging. Claimed to be a widower with a 13 year old son Mike living in Germany with his grandmother. Asked for steam gift cards because he couldn’t find them in local stores. Attempted to make plans to meet but claimed his credit card was expired and couldn’t get a new one because of being locked out of the US due to COVID. Ghosted me when I asked him for his US address after trying to gaslight me.
Dalton.
April 22, 2021

In reply to by Kay

I have been talking to a man called Daniel Larry. He sounds like the person you all have described. He said he is a sea engineer. He is a nice looking man with a grey beard. Could you send me a photo of the man you are talking to and we will see if the ars the same.
maydaygirl
October 28, 2019
I just found mine scammer was posted as Adan Moses Dunn on Facebook and Hangouts he has a new site on Facebook as Dunn Adan same picture when I accepted his friend request because he went to my church supposedly.
scared sister
November 02, 2019
My sister is involved in one right now and she doesn’t see it. He is telling her he is in Syria working for NATO. She has sent iPhones and over 20,000 so far. Destroyed her family. I don’t know how to make her see it is a scam
Rick
December 29, 2019

In reply to by scared sister

My brother is "Rick". He has sent his gal $5k and just now she wanted i phones. I told my brother I would pay for a round trip ticket from Ghana, in Africa, to the USA so this "chick" could spend Christmas with him. She turned him down- big surprise. Now he is starting to recognize that she may not be what she says she is. It will take time. In the mean time I was able to take control of his money so that he couldn't be swayed to part with any more of his money. I wish you luck- they are so flaming good!
christinewaterchase
November 08, 2019
Christopher Earl Lloyd, date of birth November 6, 1985. he is your real life US version of the Nigerian prince. He claims to be a former professional baseball player and has millions of dollars in investments and properties, and even has investment portfolios and his rental houses with spreadsheets of the incoming rent on his laptop. He will make you feel like you have met the best man in the world. he always has a lot of money on him initially. In time, he will ask for a large loan and will willingly sign a loan agreement with you so you feel you are safe... then come the excuses as to why I can’t repay you (His ID is stolen, his account is frozen for investigation etc.). When you go to sue him, you find out he owns nothing. he is a career Con artist
ichagirl
November 10, 2019
Im talking to a man named Austin Rogers (David Austin Rogers) and I think he's a scammer. Just putting his name out there for others to be cautious
JenDal
November 12, 2019
Is there a way to see pics of these people?!!? That would be really helpful because they use all kinds of fake names!!!! Anyone heard of Russ Davis?? Supposedly a sculpter and from the UK?? My mom is being scammed by him and does not even see it happening in front of her eyes. Told her he wants to name her as a beneficiary to a $1 million contract he got and so he had her send a copy of her passport! They've never met.... been dating and met on Instagram only 2 months ago..
krystelwhisper…
January 31, 2020

In reply to by JenDal

I'm reading these blogs and feeling very unsure now of the wonderful man that has entered my life. He is Italian living in France. Recently had car accident needs to get back home. I was given name of lady involved and her husbands bank account so I could put money in for him to get back home. I've sent 2500 euro, my head said no, my heart didn't agree. I have photos and requested video for proof of who he is. All looks good but now I wonder . Lost of photos should be available. Any names can be false
Wontbescammed
May 26, 2020

In reply to by krystelwhisper…

Please do send one cent. They are all scammers and they are very good. Please no matter what dont send money.
TARI
December 23, 2020

In reply to by krystelwhisper…

Ask him to take his pic with a piece of paper with your name written on it. So you know the photo is recent n the man is not fake. Dont send any money pls
granaple
February 09, 2021

In reply to by krystelwhisper…

Photos can be stolen. Someone stole my sister pic and then send me a friend request and tried to scam. So the scammer can copy pictures and videos and pass as their own never send money or give your account info to someone you’ve never met in person
granaple
February 09, 2021

In reply to by JenDal

I do just blocked a guy and he came back with different name a details but asking same thing my email address and to chat in hang outs because he’s not in FB so I said we can chat here no need to be in hang outs I asked for another photo showing a date or a location. He said lives in Mexico City working in platform on an oil rig Then he sent me worong response sting cannot tal on phone due to static electricity can cause fire with a whole sheet of facts. Then he sends me a picture of him indoors and I said he’s a scammer then and has not responded. But yes he uses the same story his profile is brand new says he’s from GA but lives in Mexico City Son is in GA boarding school. His questions to me were if I’m single how many kids and specially. If I live alone and if I own my house which are same words questions of the guy I blocked
Eyeswideopen
February 27, 2020
Beware of WeChat user Alfred Jones, email address Alfred 65247@ This scammer is using a similar storyline. Single man lost fiancé in a car accident 4 1/2 years ago. States he has a daughter named Nicole aged 8. Living with her elderly grandparents. Claims he is doing a business venture with investors. Stated he was going on business to Dubai 4 weeks ago, the deal didn’t work there, then went onto Ghana for a week deal didn’t work there, and now he is in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Sent me pictures, nice texts, emails and of course using internet phone lines. Doing the love-bombing things big time. WeChat is important to highlight because he is claiming he did not take his US postpaid phone with him when he travels and using a pay as you phone, which needs to be credited with Google Play cards. I have requested FaceTime and video calls he says his phone does not have this feature as it is an old model. Which he says needs to be upgraded when he gets back to California. I have had several texts saying someone is stealing from his account and he has been calling the bank since last week. He then messages you say fraudsters taken two transactions of $4k plus out of his account. I started to get suspicious, and so I googled the company he is trading under address is a dry cleaner in San Diego. He got mad and asked why was I checking him out and he tried to explain away that this just address they, the investors use as the head office for their business. The company name is Gold Myne Ent. ( think about it the victims are a gold mine) address:- 5861 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego, California, 92120. I asked for the name of his daughter Nicole’s mother so I could look her up online, he got agitated and asked my why I would be checking him and his former partner out online. He told me to calm down, as stated in previous posts, now the pressure is on for the final sting. Called me twice yesterday to try to make out I that I don’t trust him. He said he feels stupid for going to Nigeria and not realising how impoverished it is, and that he would be taken advantage of and defrauded. Today I got a message, and call to say the Fargo Wells bank account had been frozen. He said he is now stuck in Nigeria with the goods he purchased and he can’t leave without them. I said he needs to figure out a plan. I told him to call the US embassy as they would need to help him. Tried to tell me his bank Fargo Wells have no idea who is stealing his money and he has been using his credit card everywhere. My response was the bank knows exactly, who, when and where the money is taken from accounts as that’s their job to know. I told him he needs to get the embassy to help him, or he needs to figure out how he is going to solve the situation. Moral of the story keep away from online dating it very rarely works out positively.