Scam Warning: Retiree Devastated After Sending Scammer ‘Everything He Had’ | Personal Finance | Finance

Gill is now a retired nurse who has been single for over eight years, however in 2018 she received a random Facebook message from a man using a false identity and the alias ‘Michael Roberts’. They started a relationship and eventually she sent him over £3,000.

She said: “I lived alone, my life revolved around work and sleep. It was good to have someone to talk to.”

On the BBC’s For Love or Money, Kym Marsh and Ashley John-Baptiste uncover the truth about the alleged Michel Roberts in an effort to help Gill put an end to the horrific online romance fraud she’s been a victim of.

Gill explained that Michael claimed he was a New York doctor with a 13-year-old son. Over time they grew closer and shared personal details about their lives. He told Gill that he was falling in love with her.

After a month of talks, the first request arrived.

READ MORE: Woman, 70, devastated after losing over £17,000 to scammer – ‘I knew I was vulnerable’

She said: “He had trouble with his bank and getting in touch with his account as it had been blocked.

“He said his son’s birthday was coming up and asked if I could send him a gift card.”

Gill agreed to send a £100 Amazon gift card. This was the first of many gift cards. She sent around £700 in them.

As time passed, Michael asked Gill to come to America to see him so they could start a new life together. He told her that he could get her a visa for £3,000.


She said: “I sent him everything I had. Every penny.

At the time, Gill was so excited to see him that she used her salary to add the £3,000, however this was the money she needed for rent, bills and food.

But after a while, he realized that something was wrong as he never received the visa.

Worried that she was being scammed, she cut off contact with Michael. However, she continued to be bombarded with requests from him and from people who physically resembled the man in the photographs.

“It’s infuriating,” Gill said.

While Michael claimed he was in America, he and Gill spoke frequently on the phone, however, Ashley revealed that the number Michael used to speak to her was in the UK.

When he looked at the number, it had repeatedly been identified as a scam call.

He also discovered that the scammer was using fake photos of someone else online and posing as ‘Michael Roberts’. The photos were linked to many fake accounts.

In shock, Gill said, “No, you just blew me away. It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words. I feel like I got hit with a concrete slab or something because they invaded my life and destroyed my confidence. They took a part of me.”

For Love or Money is available on BBC iPlayer.

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