Romance scam tricks daters with the promise of a “Sugar Momma”

If someone offers money for nothing, there’s probably a catch, right? In this new twist on a romance scam, a scammer offers to become your “sugar momma” (or “sugar daddy”) and pay your bills. But according to recent reports by BBB Scam Tracker, it is really a way to cheat victims with money.

How the scam works

You receive a message through a dating or social media app from someone offering to be your “sugar momma” or “sugar daddy”. In exchange for your affections, they will pay you a “weekly allowance” of several hundred dollars. The offer seems too good to be true, but your benefactor seems legit – at first glance.

The scammer sends you a check or pretends to transfer money to your bank account. They tell you to keep most of the money as “weekly allowance” – after you’ve done them a little favor. The scammer asks you to transfer some of the money to his friend in need, pay an unpaid bill, or even donate to charity. One victim reported that the scammer wanted him to donate several thousand dollars of the money he received to an “orphanage”. Of course, the check or wire transfer was fake, and the “orphanage” was really just the scammer – or associate – using a different name.

“I believed these checks were legit and the funds were real,” one victim told BBB Scam Tracker. “I ended up sending my own personal money to these contacts… Which cost me $19,500.”

Also beware of other versions of this scam. Some victims report that the scammer claimed to need access to their bank account to deposit money. They ended up sharing their banking information with a scammer.

Protect yourself from this scam

  • Know your rights and responsibilities when using checks. Banks will release funds from a check before the money is actually transferred to your account. If you spend money and the check is forged, the bank has the right to recover the funds from you. Learn more about check scams.
  • Find your date first. Many scammers steal photos from the internet to use in their dating profiles. You can perform a reverse image search using a website, such as Google Images, to see if a profile’s photos have been stolen from elsewhere. You can also search online for a profile name, email address, or phone number to see what adds up and what doesn’t.
  • Ask specific questions about details given in a profile. A scammer may stumble over memorizing details or the relevance of a story.
    Never send money or sensitive personal information to someone you have never met in person. Cut contact if someone starts asking you for financial or personally identifiable information (PII), like your credit card number or government ID numbers.


To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find reputable companies, go to