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Scam warning: Devastated widow targeted for £1,400 by ‘charming’ scammer | Personal Finance | Finance

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Susan was widowed, and left devastated on the passing of her husband, but after a passage of time, her children encouraged her to satisfy another person. It was at this point, her daughter set her up on a web-based dating website within the hopes of revitalising her mum’s social life.

Here, she got here across the profile of a person who she thought she could strike up a relationship with. The person was using a fake identity and alias “Perry Powell”.

Appearing on BBC One’s For Love or Money, Susan said: “Once I saw Perry Powell on the location, I assumed he was attractive and he was very charming.”

The person claiming to be Perry said he was a divorced surgeon, currently working in Israel after being posted there by the United Nations. 

It wasn’t long before the pair moved off the dating website and communicated via phone.

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Nonetheless, to bring it back to the UK legally, he would wish to pay the duties – asking for £470 for a customs certificate from Israel.

Susan said: “He kept making excuses. They were quite convincing. He said it might only be a loan, and I swallowed it and believed it. I went with my heart as an alternative of my head.”

Perry then sent Susan a receipt which appeared to be from Israeli customs, which she thought proved the matter was legitimate.

In total, Susan had sent £1,400 to the person she believed she would have a relationship with. 

Nonetheless, the connection between the 2 quickly unravelled when presenter Ashley-John Baptise spoke to DCI Gary Miles, economic crime specialist with the Met Police. 

The officer was capable of determine the customs papers were fake, as names didn’t match up and spelling errors were included.

The image of the person supposedly holding Susan’s book had been digitally altered, and a reverse image search also showed the photographs utilized by the person claiming to be “Perry Powell” were actually of an innocent man called Fred who relies in Holland.

Confronted with these details, Susan said: “I feel quite sad about all of it. I feel silly, like I’ve made an idiot out of myself.”

However the show’s presenters were keen to take the matter further, calling the scammer at first posing as Susan, after which in search of answers.

Presenter Kym Marsh said: “You’re being recorded for broadcast on the BBC. We imagine Perry Powell is a fake identity you’ve created as a part of a scam.”

The scammer quickly refuted this, saying: “That’s all lies. That’s nonsense. How can she be saying this? I don’t see any truth in that.”

He followed by putting down the phone.

Susan, while upset, seemed resolved to place the entire saga behind her.

She added: “Although I’m quite shocked, he gave the impression of a completely different person than I had built up an image of. I just feel he’s out of my life now, and I’m pleased.”

For Love or Money continues on BBC One weekdays at 10am.

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