Retiree who lost £80,000 in romance scam ‘couldn’t face her family’ | Personal Finance | Finance | #phishing | #scams

Marion was fighting back tears as she told the BBC’s For Love or Money programme how her “whole world caved in” after realising the man she was in love with was a con artist. The incident left her so distraught she couldn’t face her own family.

Her ordeal began when the retired hairdresser began speaking to a man who used a fake identity and the alias ‘Freddie’ on a dating website.

On today’s programme, she told presenter Kym Marsh how she hadn’t taken him at face value and had asked him loads of difficult questions.

However, he was able to answer everything, putting a stop to her initial fears.

The retired hairdresser said: “It all looked so genuine.

“There was nothing he couldn’t answer.”

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Presenter Kym Marsh said although the scammer didn’t actually ask for money, he manipulated Marion so she offered it.

The scammer asked Marion to live with him in America when his posting ended but mentioned he would need to buy his ex-wife’s half of the property.

After Marion paid him the money, ‘Freddie’ went silent.

It was then she realised she’d been scammed.

Despite the pain she felt, the retiree didn’t let the fraudsters get away with it.

In an unusual twist, Marion travelled to Ghana to inform the authorities about what had happened and sat in court as they were sentenced to prison.

Marion’s case is not unique – more than £25million has been lost to scams between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022

People can report a scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

For Love or Money is available on BBC iPlayer.

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