Woman dresses as man to fleece Net lover

DISGUISING herself as her cheating boyfriend, an Ipswich woman tried to dupe bank staff into paying out thousands of pounds owed her by the love rat she met on internet.

DISGUISING herself as her cheating boyfriend, an Ipswich woman tried to dupe bank staff into paying out thousands of pounds owed her by the love rat she met on internet.

In a desperate and bizarre bid to claw back the cash, Anji Anderson crammed a plastic bag inside her mouth, scraped her hair back, and donned a baseball cap before trying to withdraw nearly £6,000 from his account.

But as Anderson watched the pile of notes being counted out, the bank cashier became suspicious at her disguise - and her claim to be unable to talk in the wake of "a mouth operation".

After police were called, Anderson, a 57-year-old singer from Ipswich, ended up being charged for obtaining cash by deception.

She admits she only went into the bank to drain all but £1,000 in his account, after an earlier bid to buy flash cars with his credit card failed.

She claimed it was an attempt to get back all the cash she gave her boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, during their relationship.

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Anderson now admits she finds the whole saga ridiculous – as the divorcee made an unlikely potential bank thief.

She even laughed in amazement at CCTV pictures of her in the bank.

Yet today she insisted she was blinded by love for a wiley man she met on the internet and had planned to abandon her life in Ipswich to be with.

Now she wants to warn other women about the pitfalls of internet love and claimed her ex had also been stringing other women along.

She said: "I first knew of him when he instant messaged me on the Internet on January 17. We spoke on the phone at midnight and talked at great length. I have kept every e-mail he ever sent me," she said.

"The next night we had another long telephone call and I started having feelings for him. I wasn't thinking straight.

"He came down to Ipswich on January 23, and turned up in the middle of the night at 5am. He met my aunt, and you'd have thought butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. But then he left the day before Valentines Day, which I thought was a shame. Now I think he was probably seeing someone else that night."

When he fell into financial difficulty in Ipswich, Anderson took pity on him and loaned him £6,000 - which he said was the value of his car and computer, on the agreement the items were signed over to her as insurance for the loan.

She said: "I was on cloud nine. I wasn't myself. Other people saw me as ecstatically happy but that is not my personality. Within days we were contacting estate agents, and I was sure I would be moving up there. I kept putting money from my account into his.

"But by 2am after the day he left, he hadn't rung me and I phoned the police because I was worried. They told me that after they'd found him at home, he'd asked which girlfriend had been worried about him."

She resigned from the Lexus garage in Ipswich, and drove north to be with him.

But the minute she arrived at his council house near Manchester, things turned sour.

"He was like a different person. He got angry and then I got really scared. He was always on the computer sending secret messages to women.

She said he slowly turned her against all her family and friends who had warned her he was after her money.

One day she grabbed his wallet containing £1,500. She drove off and called an emergency service, who booked her into a hotel.

That was where the police found her after he had reported the theft, but the allegation was later dropped.

She said she went back again because he had all her things, and acted as if the relationship was back on track. She then agreed to give him another £4,000, and agreed to him seeing other women - as she plotted her escape.

Eventually, Anderson fled to her son in Shropshire who enlisted a car load of heavies to accompany her when she asked the love rat to return jewellery he had taken from her.

On the day he took a 21-year-old Australian girl who was living with him to the airport, Anderson snatched his bank card and resorted to the criminal act.

At Bolton Magistrates Court last week, Anderson admitted attempting to obtain £5,900 by deception - money which she still considers to be hers.

She was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £150 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

She said: "After I explained the circumstances to the magistrates, they understood my predicament and were sympathetic.

"They did say I was of impeccable character."

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