When an old friend contacted David through a dating website asking to borrow money to return to the UK, he was happy to help. They got chatting and it wasn’t long before Kerry* had asked him to send £500 towards a plane ticket she urgently needed to buy.
Unfortunately, Kerry wasn’t who she said she was. She was, in fact, a fraudster, who went to great lengths to deceive David; sending copies of immigration papers, a passport and plane ticket.
The week Kerry was due to arrive in the UK, David was excited. He’d become very fond of her and would phone, text and email her day and night.
As David transferred another cash instalment to her from his local bank, the branch staff alerted him to a possible scam. Unknowingly, he had been a victim in an elaborate £7 million con, which left him feeling ‘stupid and vulnerable’.
David suffered emotionally and financially as a result, losing £15,000 in total, and turned to Victim Support for help.
We were there for David, offering emotional support at his own pace and providing advice on what to do with the photos and emails he was still receiving from the scammers. We also signposted him on to other forms of specialist support, such as his doctor and Action Fraud, who could assist with his specific needs.
I was devastated by what happened to me and it’s massively changed my life. I don’t feel like I can trust anyone anymore and I find it hard to meet any potential new partner.
David wanted to regain a sense of control in his life, and worked with his local Victim Support office to stage a fundraising dancing evening.
Putting on the dancing event was an important step in my road to recovery. It helped me regain my confidence and feel like I was in control of my life again.
* Name changed to maintain anonymity