This should be a golden rule to live by: don’t give money to people you’ve never met.

Don’t Give Money to People you’ve Never Met

This especially applies to people who have an online dating profile. If you’re single and looking, you’ve probably signed up with at least one online dating website.

Is this a scammer?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get any quality messages. If it’s not a scammer contacting me, then it’s another jerk who has nothing meaningful to say.

When you’re looking at profiles on an online dating website, if there’s only one photo, keep moving. Romance scammers can’t usually get more than one stolen photo of the same person. If there’s more than one photo, often it’s the same photo, edited into a close up, or just random photos of a tree or the Las Vegas sign with no people.

Make sure you read my post about how to spot an online dating scammer from their profile.

If anything jumps out at you this is a possible scammer – delete, pass, move along.

If someone contacts you first, read the profile and make a decision whether it’s a scammer. Again, don’t waste your time with one photo wonders.

Read my post on lines romance scammers use.

If you get a message like this, it’s probably a scammer: “Hello Dear. You have a beautiful smile. I’d like to get to know you better if you don’t mind.”

Sometimes you’ll get a person who’s not a scammer, they’re just lazy. They copy and paste the same message to dozens (hundreds?) of women. If the message isn’t personalized to something in the profile – hit the Pass button!

Don’t waste your time responding to someone who didn’t take the time to read your thoughtfully written profile. If someone really read your profile, they’ll ask you questions about something you wrote.

I need cash

Say you’ve been emailing someone for awhile. Maybe you’ve even spoken on the phone. By the way, scammers work in teams. The Dr. Phil show had an episode that showed a big office building in Nigeria where staff work in shifts to cover time zones in other countries. These professional scammers have employees set up to do the talking. Just in case you’re wondering why sometimes your true love sounds a little different.

A scammer won’t do a video call … because they don’t look like the photo they stole!

Scammers are patient. They’ll take weeks or months sweet talking their victim with poetry and declarations of love. Until the day comes when they ask for money.

Oh no!!!!

If the victim is smart they’ll realize they’ve been played by a scammer who wants to steal their money and their heart.

The scammer has all kinds of sob stories, depending on the script they’ve chosen after getting to know the victim better. The daughter in college needs money for books. The scammer pretends to be in the hospital and needs money to pay bills. Another popular sob story is he’s in jail and needs bail money. He wants to visit you except all his funds are tied up and he needs money sent to buy a plane ticket. How about the story about being in a branch of the US military and deployed overseas. They were discharged and need money to buy a ticket to return home.

That last one is becoming popular. Here’s the scoop. The various branches of the US military do not strand anyone in a foreign country. They’ll get you home. Likewise for medical issues. This is covered by the branch of the military you’re in!

Except when you’re a scammer!

It doesn’t matter why the person you’ve met online needs money. By this time they’ve already pledged their love and hooked their victim.

Do I look like a bank?

Remember the golden rule to live by: don’t give money to people you’ve never met in person. When it comes to online dating websites and a potential love match you’ve connected with – nothing is real until you meet in person.

Do you need to get hit with a load of bricks? The person emailing you does not love you and is not your prospective spouse. This is a scammer who wants your money.

You are not a bank!

This is what you tell your online true love who needs money. “Go to your bank!”

They’ll have all kinds of excuses why their money is tied up and they can’t do that.

If you tell them to take a cash advance on their credit card, they’ll say it got stolen and the bank cancelled the card and they’re still waiting for the replacement to arrive.

They have a scripted answer for every suggestion you throw at them about why they can’t access money.

Really? Do you want to be involved with a man who can’t scrape together a couple of thousand bucks?

If a man isn’t financially responsible, move on. You don’t need a man who’s in debt, has a lousy credit rating, and has no savings.

Remember this: You are not a bank!

You deserve better

If a man (or woman) you’ve met online asks for money, suggest they contact their bank for a loan or line of credit, get a cash advance on a credit card, ask their boss for an advance on their next paycheck, or ask a friend or family member. They’ll come up with a million reasons why they can’t do any of your suggestions. Tell them you’re not a bank and shut them down. Block them if they become aggressive.

Don’t give money to people you’ve never met.

You deserve a financially responsible significant other in your life.

On my OKCupid profile I say “I’m looking for a man who’s financially responsible and if you have debt I can’t help you”. It’s a nicer way of saying “I won’t help you.” But of course, scammers aren’t reading profiles anyway.

You deserve better than the first man you meet online who declares his undying love after a few emails.

You don’t deserve a scammer who is out to steal your heart and your money.

More reading:

Spot a Romance Scammer by their Online Dating Profile

Lines Romance Scammers Use


  1. To be honest, we did start the scam but there are lots of countries that have copied and even outdone Naijas. Even in the U.S :-). It’s kind of sad that people have to be warned about these things that should be common sense, but when it comes to affairs of the heart, I guess it would be hard to let go :-(.

    1. Hi Kemkem. You’re right, these scammers can be anywhere. The scammers where it’s a business and teams work on multiple victims at the same time are generally in Nigeria, Philippines, Russia or Eastern Europe.

      The romance scammers who work individually can be anywhere. These scammers are probably using their own photo and are willing to video chat. They might even be close enough to meet in person, thus gaining even more trust when asking for money cause they’re real.

      A couple of years ago there was a story in the news about a woman in the Vancouver area who lost money to a romance scammer in Alberta. I think in the thousands, compared to the tens or hundreds of thousands some victims lose. She’d reported it to the police, and one of the last things she did for him was buy a ticket to see a movie. One of those reserved seating movie theaters. So after he’d picked up his ticket and the movie had started, the cops were able to go right to his seat and arrest him.

      Common sense seems to go right out the window when you fall in love with a photo and the story someone is emailing you.

  2. My boyfriend has been talking to ,not one but 3 women on line who have all asked for money. Not a little money. Thousands. Excuses range from medical hospital stays where she can’t have surgery till money paid to my money is froze cause my ex boyfriend got us in trouble with law to help till assets sent frozen anymore.needing lawyer money and money for food. All their profile pictures are like models. Two even asked for money for tampons. They will come to live with him and love him forever but funny how so many excuses get in the way. He believed they will pay him back like they “promised”. Now I feel he is past infatuated with them. It’s become an addictive obsession. He won’t admit to himself that they are not real and believed all their stories if hardship. He talks to them on WhatsApp and Hangouts they call after midnight usually they prey on his heart and wallet. One even asked him about his retirement account. How do we convince him to stop

    1. Hi Becky. First thing that comes to mind is that these women your boyfriend is/was chatting with had come up before you met. If he’s chatting with other women while in a relationship with you, that’s disrespectful. As is giving money away.

      Sometimes random people contact you online, chat, and then ask about money or gift cards. Nothing romantic promised. Their scam is they need money and they’ll hit on anyone.

      Money for tampons is a good one. Men don’t like to get into tampon discussions. It’s easier to hand over $20 than get into the tampon talk!

      Seeing as how you say it’s moved past infatuation into obsession, and it’s costing money, maybe it’s time for you to move on so it doesn’t cost you any more distress. Maybe your boyfriend is really looking for another relationship and lining up your replacement.

      Or contact Dr Phil! Maybe he can figure out why your boyfriend is doing this.

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