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Dating and romance scam: my brother lost $20,000 looking for love | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

His story

Someone contacted my brother on Facebook who said they were in Afghanistan with the US military.

After convincing him to send iTunes cards, the person told him he would come see him and marry him. Soon after, he was delayed for another ‘special mission’.

He gave many excuses about why he could not return home. Eventually, he said he was in Togo, Africa and out of the military, but could not come home.

He had gold he wanted to send back (for some reason), which was given to him for saving a Middle Eastern man’s life.

He said the gold was seized and he was put in jail, and pleaded for US$8,000 dollars to get out. Then he said the church would give half the money if my brother could send $4,500.

My brother still struggles with the fact this is a scam. He wants to send him more money, but we keep telling him this is a scam.

(This story is based on one or more real scam reports we received. For privacy purposes, we have not used the names or images of victims.)

Signs this was a scam

The scammer:

  • said he would marry the victim
  • claimed he was overseas for work
  • always had reasons why he needed to borrow money urgently
  • asked to be sent iTunes cards
  • always had excuses why he couldn’t visit the victim.

Avoid this type of scam

  • Run a reverse-image Google search of your the person’ profile photo to help check whether it is fraudulent.
  • Don’t buy gift cards or make payments. Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for payment through money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or Bitcoin. It is rare to get back money sent this way.
  • Be careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or target you with a scam.
  • Be careful about sharing personal pictures or videos. Scammers can use sensitive and intimate photos and videos to blackmail you.

Have you been scammed?

If you think you’ve been scammed or know someone who has, use this form to report it to us.

Your report helps us stop scammers and warn others.


Report a scam


If you have lost money, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

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