A woman who was conned out of £150,000 is urging others who have fallen victim to ‘romance scams’ not to ‘suffer in silence’ and to try and get their money back.
The woman, who used the pseudonym Carol, got in touch with solicitors to try and help her get back the cash she lost and with their help was able to claim back what she lost, plus interest, from her bank.
Carol was first contacted by the con artist on Facebook, Wales Online reports.
He claimed to be living overseas and said he was going through a break up – as the two grew closer, the man said he would fly to the UK so they could meet in person, but then he began to ask for cash.
Carol said: “These scammers don’t ask for cash straight away. They get to know your low points and then comes the drama, then some more drama… and this goes on.
“That’s when they ask for the money.”
The scammer told Carol he’d been arrested and needed money to pay for his bail – he followed up this request by asking for even more cash, saying he needed £75,000 to cover his legal fees and fines.
Soon after, he started pressuring Carol for more and more money – meaning the total amount she sent was a staggering £150,000 and she realised she had been scammed.
She told Wales Online: “It’s devastating. You feel ashamed of what you have allowed to happen.
“It’s like a disease because you end up lying to people close to you to hide your shame and you just can’t admit to what has happened. Afterwards I did some research and read a lot about victims of this kind of fraud taking their own lives.
"These despicable people prey on those at their most vulnerable.”
Carol got in touch with her bank, as she believed they had failed in their duty of care to protect her from becoming the victim of fraud.
But after being awarded just £50, she got in touch with CEL Solicitors, who offer a no-win/no-fee service for the victims of romance scams.
The solicitors were able to not only get the £150,000 but also interest – meaning £179,000 was recovered from her bank.
Chloe Roche, fraud team leader at CEL Solicitors, has urged other victims to ‘never be embarrassed to come forward as help is available’.Featured Image Credit: Alamy