A man has been left heartbroken and thousands of pounds out of pocket after sending £15,000 (over N7 million) to a woman he’d never met – only to find out she doesn’t exist.
Dave Hazel, 59, was set to marry his online lover ‘Linda Smith’ but ended up being scammed out of his life savings.
The warehouse worker met ‘Linda’ on a dating site in 2012 and spent a year chatting online and speaking to her on the phone.
After falling head over heels, Dave was convinced she was going to move from Canada to the UK to be with him.
But he was soon embroiled in a web of lies with his online lover demanding more and more money from him.
Dave, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, quickly forked out his entire life savings of £15,000 but soon after realised Linda was based in Ghana, Africa. She then cut all contact with him and completely disappeared.
Singleton Dave, who wanted to start a family with Linda, is now speaking out for the first time about being scammed online.
He said: “After losing almost £15,000 I was heartbroken – I had been ready to start a family with Linda. “I had been speaking to her online for 12 months but despite not meeting her or using Skype, we had spoken on the phone.
“I met her on a dating site and she looked like someone I’d met in London and she said she remembered meeting me. “We began building up a relationship, having conversations daily – she introduced herself as Linda Smith.
“I even rang her and she spoke with an accent that sounded more English than Canadian. “Before I knew it, I was falling for her – my heart had melted and she was lovely. “She wanted to live with me and I thought I was in love.”
Dave made arrangements to meet Linda, but things started to unravel and she quickly started demanding more funds.
Dave paid for what he believed were plane tickets, visa complications and more – fully believing she was on her way to finally meet him.
Yet his suspicions were finally aroused when she asked for flight tickets from Ghana.
Upon visiting his local bank, it was quickly discovered that all the paperwork, which showed email correspondence between Dave and ‘Linda’ and evidence of where Dave had sent his money to, proved Dave had been victim of a scam.