Unfortunately, if you've given money to a scammer, you're unlikely to get it back since scammers are often located overseas and are untraceable. You can report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (FBI-NW3C Partnership) on its website.
Be mindful of flattery, pet names, and promises of lifelong romance that come far too soon in a relationship.
Remember, in “real life” you’d likely run away from someone who started talking about marriage by your third date, so there’s even more reason to be cautious of someone who’s too quick to latch onto you over the internet. If the people around you are worried for you, that doesn’t mean you have to drop the online friendship.
It’s also a built-in excuse to ask you for money, such as being deployed and unable to access their bank account.
Never agree to give or move money, or other property, for anyone you meet online. If the other party needs money and has no other “real life” means of getting it, this could be a warning sign of someone you should not be associating with.
Many of these scams are rampant on social media platforms, not just dating sites.
That means you could become a victim even if you’re not an active member in the “dating scene.” Some victims have reported falling for extortion, especially once the talk, shared photographs, or webcam chats turn intimate. The scammer lets the cat out of the bag and demands money in exchange for not sharing the content with the victim’s children, family members, friends, or co-workers.
Victims of these online scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. has established numerous task forces to deal with this growing epidemic. Here are some examples: Scammers tend to use similar stories to convince men and women that they have a legitimate need. Here are common answers to those questions: You can avoid being taken for a ride by a military romance scam artist by practicing a few easy habits. Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees via Western Union. If you do start an Internet-based relationship with someone, check them out.
Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas -- using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes. Research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member. Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail.
Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations. Finally, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission on Nigerian Scams by email at [email protected]
Romance scams involve the promise of romantic companionship or love, but end up resulting in loss for the person who is scammed.
Here are two of the highest profile scams that have directly affected online dating participants: Horror stories about romance scammers who use sweet talk to steal money from their victims are all too common.