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David Hazel, 59, who has lived in King’s Lynn for 20 years, thought he had found love - but today he is recovering from the intricate con, which he said “took my life away”.Mr Hazel said: “It was a horrible situation to be in and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”Mr Hazel has worked at M & S Softwood on Estuary Road for the last 10 years, began speaking to the woman back in 2013 after he thought a dating profile picture resembled someone he met while working in London.“She said she could remember meeting me in London,” he said, “So I thought it must be genuine.Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request to Norfolk Constabulary revealed the number of crimes the force has recorded with mentions of dating apps and websites Tinder, Grindr, and eharmony.Since 2014, the force has recorded 76 crimes, of which 18 were sexual offences and six included victims who were aged under 18 - below the stated user age for all the sites.
“We just want to cut through all that is awkward about a first date,” said Charlie, who used to work as airline cabin crew.
Mr Hazel spoke with someone he thought was the scammer’s solicitor, who confirmed she needed money for the correct immigration papers - and even emailed a photo of the papers to him. Staff members at Mr Hazel’s local bank noticed an error in the paperwork when shown by Mr Hazel and contacted the police.
Unfortunately, both the police and the bank have not be able to trace the money, saying it would be impossible to do so.
- Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you've only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.- Pick a reputable dating website and use the site's messaging service.
Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there's no evidence of Once a fraudster using a fake dating profile is confident that they've won your trust, they will tell you about a problem they're experiencing and ask you to help out by sending money.
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