Lonely heart falls victim to love scam

A FELIXSTOWE woman today told how she lost nearly £3,000 in a love scam.

A FELIXSTOWE woman today told how she lost nearly £3,000 in a love scam.

Divorcee June Smith was contacted via a website by a man posing as a Canadian businessman calling himself Mark Andre.

She said: "He was a widower and he'd lost his wife about five years before.

"I asked him why he was contacting someone like me as he was such a good looking...and he just said that I had a kind face and I looked nice, which was a bit of a ego boost to start with.'

Months later, after the pair grew close, "Mark' asked June to set up an account in the UK before asking her for money.

She gave him the money and only later, after he refused to repay it and asked for more, did she query the payments at the bank and realised she had been conned.

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Her story is one of a number featured this evening on the ITV show Tonight.

The show is featuring British lonely-hearts who have been targeted by Nigerian gangs using stolen identities to defraud them of thousands of pounds.

Gangs are adopting false identities to befriend people who log on to internet dating sites, it says.

They use false names and pictures stolen from modelling sites to pose as lonely widows or divorcees.

After building up a relationship with the targets, they ask for emergency loans which are never repaid.

Reporters with Tonight joined a police raid on an internet cafe in Lagos containing email addresses of British men and women, photographs and emails asking for money.

Police arrested nine people in the raid, who face fraud charges.

To Catch a Love Rat: Tonight is on 8pm on ITV1.