Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Four men have been jailed for a dating scam which saw vulnerable single women duped out of £220,000.

Monty Emu, Emmanuel Oko, Chukwuka Ugwu and Adewunmi Nusi were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today after using fake profiles to con women out of their life savings.

They posed as middle-aged men under the names James Richards and Melvyn Binion to develop a relationship and then start asking for cash.
A total of 14 women fell for the scam after they were fed gushing messages that claimed the father of the man – ‘a widower’ – had died and left £1.5million in his will.

But the bachelor said he would need £700 to go to India to access the money, funded by the victims, and then would say he had hit problems on the trip and beg for more money to release inheritance.

The cash was paid into bank accounts and transferred to others before it was withdrawn around Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Divorcee Suzanne Hardman, 56, lost a staggering £174,000 after being pursued by a man she believed to be 48-year-old Mr Richards.

Mrs Hardman, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said in a victim impact statement read to the court the ordeal made her feel ‘sick to her stomach’, robbed her of all self-respect and left her unable to eat or sleep.
Suzanne Hardman, who was conned out of £174,000 after she was duped on the dating website

Suzanne Hardman, who was conned out of £174,000 after she was duped on the dating website

The court heard the scam ‘constantly plays’ on her mind and she has had to take time off work through stress.

The statement said: ‘I felt very vulnerable, sick to my stomach and ashamed.

‘I felt no one could ever get to me in this way and have lost self-respect because of it.

‘I feel that it is my fault. I was the one caught up in this and feel it was my own undoing.

‘Looking back I ask myself why I did not realise what was going on and warn others about the dangers of online dating.

‘I have tried to put the incident to the back of my mind but cannot.

‘One of the worst things is that through this I have never seen or heard this “James”.’

Another victim was Michelle Sparham, who gave away money saved to help her son through university, today told the packed court her life was wrecked after she was approached by Mr Binion.

She described herself becoming a ‘selective mute’ who struggles to talk to adults and even refused to go into hospital after being diagnosed with pleurisy and pneumonia last October.

She said she tried to throw herself into work, clocking up 14 hour days in a bid to prove herself.

Fighting back tears in the witness box today, Mrs Sparham said: ‘I no longer trust any adults, male or female.

‘I just do not believe what they tell me and do not pick out the positive or good people are telling me.

‘Before this incident I was a trusting person and this organisation has affected my daily life.

‘Now I tend not to trust anyone and this can make my life very confusing and hard work.’

She added: ‘For about 12 years I was a marathon runner and weighed about 10 and a half stone but since this I have gained weight.

‘Since this deceit against me I do not believe I deserve anything good and feel the need to constantly punish myself.’

Sylvia Choi, another of the group’s duped women, said she ‘hit rock bottom’, did not want to leave the house, suffered nightmares and was too scared to answer the phone.

One message sent to the women from the fake profile read: ‘You make me feel important, you make me feel safe and wanted, something I have not felt for a very long time.
To read more and view pics of the scammers, click the link below:


October 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


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