A British divorcée in her sixties has revealed how she was duped by a Nigerian online con artist who targeted her through a reputable dating website.
The woman, revealed only as Sheila, told Channel 5 show Secrets Of The Scammers how she was contacted by a man claiming to be called Glen Almond and got caught up in a whirlwind romance.
She ended up giving away £4,000 before she discovered she was the victim of an elaborate scam based in Nigeria. Even to this day, Sheila has no idea who she was actually talking to or where her money went.
She had believed Glen was who he claimed to be when he first contacted her online and sent her his picture.
She said: ‘As soon as I opened the email and saw his photo it was love at first sight, we spent time chatting with emails going backwards and forwards getting to know each other. He was very charming and romantic.’
Glen told Sheila he was a captain in the Canadian Navy and was a widow currently based in Afghanistan as a medical doctor working in a field hospital.
The couple then started planning their future together. Glen told Sheila his time in Afghanistan could be coming to an end in a matter of weeks and he would move to the UK to be with her.
He said he planned to set up his own business there importing goods from the Far East.
Sheila said: ‘We were planning to walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand and live happily ever after.’
But Glen told Sheila that in order for his business to be a success, he needed her help financially. He said a payment had to be made right away in order for them to get the goods he needed from a supplier – and that he couldn’t make the transaction from Afghanistan.
We were planning to walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand and live happily ever after
Sheila said she didn’t know anything about his business but ‘I thought we were to be a husband and wife team and I would support him in any way I could.
‘He told me our whole future was at stake if he didn’t pay and we risked losing everything.’
Desperate to help the man she loved, Sheila was able to sell some shares and delve into her savings to give £4,000 in total to Glen.
She also put her house on the market so they would have some money to buy a new place together.
It was only thanks to sharing her excitement over the plan with a prospective buyer that she discovered she had been conned.
She recalled: ‘As I was showing prospective buyers around my house I was so excited as Glen was due to be coming home tomorrow. I couldn’t help telling them all about it and showed them Glen’s picture on my laptop.’
The prospective buyer was a former soldier himself and was suspicious of Sheila’s situation.
After doing some research of his own, his fears were confirmed and he contacted Sheila and told her she had been duped.
Sheila said :’The moment I found out it was a fake profile and it wasn’t for real I was emotionally devastated. My whole world fell apart.
‘I contacted the police who found I was one of hundreds of victims of this professional, international scam and they traced it back to Nigeria.
‘I have no idea to this day who I was corresponding with. Someone out there in the world was writing these emails and I have no idea who it was.’
Culled from pmnews
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