How it works

Scammers create fake online profiles on dating websites using photos of other people.  They are charming and smitten with you from the get-go, professing their love quickly, even though they have never met you. They often claim to be living, traveling or working abroad to explain why they are unable to meet in person.

They then make up stories about how they urgently need money — for emergencies, hospital bills or  a plane ticket to finally meet you — and ask you to wire it to them. Your money disappears and so does your new romantic partner.

What you should know

  • If an online date asks you to send money, it’s a scam.
  • Be suspicious if an online romance is getting very serious but the person is never able to meet face-to-face.

Never agree to open a bank account for someone, transfer money or re-ship goods they send you. These are signs of money laundering, which is a criminal offense.