In another case, divorcée Suzanne Hardman, then 56, was defrauded of £170,000 by ‘James Richards’, a widower living in Portsmouth.
They may have larger amounts of money to lose and subsequently be more prepared to act as a cautionary tale to others, but men and women, young and old, are equally likely to succumb to romantic fraud.
She is now able to stand back and see just how she was manipulated. He’d ask my favourite colour, what was on my bucket list, what countries I wanted to visit.
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Judith joined a dating site last year – one which matches your values, personality and lifestyle with other members and scores them accordingly. When he got my replies, he’d come up with something similar but ever so slightly different.’'He’d say he loved me and I’d reply, “You haven’t even met me!
Let’s wait and see.”’ So her scammer tried another tack: introducing Felix, a 14-year-old boy he had ‘saved’ in Liberia, who was temporarily living in Ghana.
That’s how powerful it is.’Scam Survivors also works to make life as difficult as possible for fraudsters, baiting them, wasting their time, closing their bank accounts and killing their fake social networking profiles.
But Wayne May admits it’s a drop in the ocean.'The fact that they can afford to do that shows how many others they have on the go.
When he had an accident and needed surgery, Sara paid for it. ‘I tried my best to help that child.’‘Even when the fraud is revealed, they find it hard to let go.