Woman says ‘they’re bad as drug dealers’ after £15k con put her in hospital | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

A woman who almost lost her house after being duped in a romance scam has labelled those behind it “as bad as drug lords”. Susan (not her real name) was preyed upon at her most vulnerable and tricked into sending more than £15,000 to someone claiming to be an army doctor from the United States.

After realising it was a fraud she says the shame kept her from taking action. “I thought it was all my fault and didn’t think I could speak to anyone else about it,” she said.

“My whole family was telling me it was a scam but I ignored them, which only added to my sense of guilt and shame.” Susan’s ordeal started last November when she was contacted via Facebook and accepted a friend request.

She said: “It was a random person and it’s not something I normally do, but I did and it just evolved.” The 50-year-old was experiencing mental health issues at the time and says things started to develop quickly.

“I wasn’t looking to meet anyone but the dialogue flowed and the person said they were planning to come to London,” she added. “He said he was an American osteopathic surgeon working on a military base in Germany. It was the usual story, widowed with a child.

“But there must have been something different about the way the story was told because it didn’t feel that obvious. He sent messages with lots of family pictures and it quickly transformed into something else. It went from ‘I’m not really interested’ into constantly talking online.

“There were a couple of phone calls and a brief video call, where I think they used AI (artificial intelligence) to generate an image of the person in the pictures. It was very convincing.” But things took a more sinister turn when the scammer announced he was retiring and wanted to transfer his £2.5million pension fund to her before proposing marriage.

Susan said: “He told me I would need a beneficiary’s certificate, which meant transferring money to a bank account in the United States. He opened an account in my name with Citibank and sent me a link. It showed my money was in there, and the £2.5million, but it was fake.

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security