‘It’s more than painful’ Widow in tears after losing over £150,000 and her home in scam

For Love or Money: Widow loses her house in fraud scheme

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During their relationship, Barbara had sent him over £150,000 and sadly had to sell her home to cover the debt. On the BBC programme For Love or Money, Kym Marsh and Ashley John-Baptiste tried to track down the culprits behind this online romance fraud in an effort to help Barbara draw a line under this horrific chapter in her life.

After losing her husband in 2011, Barbara was encouraged by her friends to join a dating site to help her move on.

In 2012, she met Frank Wadsworth. He told her he was a 60-year old security officer for the US secret service based in Ghana with a 10 year old son.

She was drawn to Frank as he sounded like her ideal man. She soon “fell in love with him”.

Within a year of them speaking, Frank started to ask Barbara for money.

He would ask her to help him send money over so he could buy some gold.

She said: “Whilst he was in Ghana, he wanted to buy some gold, and insurance for lawyers, different things to get it out the country, he sent me all these certificates to prove what he wanted me to help him with.

“I got in such a mess, I had to sell my house. I can’t explain how I felt.

“I’m moved from the flat, to where I am now – a caravan park.

“I’m saying he’s not real but still in the back of mind I think is he.

“He sent me a picture of his account saying that had over £3million in there.

“Of course in my mind I’m thinking, ‘If I’m paying this of course I’m going to get it back.’

“In the end I ended up losing my house’.”

Barbara had sold her house to pay for the debts she had accrued over time while sending money to Frank.

He would send her legal documents that he said proved everything he was saying was true to persuade her to send more when she was reluctant.

She continued: “I was sending him money again because he said he could not access his account. Then all the promises came.

“He told me we would live the luxurious life and we will buy a house.

“I don’t know the exact amount I gave him but it’s probably in the region of £150,000.”

After a seven year relationship, Barbara knew she had to cut Frank off as the demands for money grew to be too much.

She explained to Kym that she was 99 percent sure he was fake, but she was still hopeful that he was real.

In tears, she said: “It’s more than painful, I don’t know how I’m holding it together.”

After investigating Barbara’s case, Ashley found that Frank was completely made up by these scammers.

He said: “From what I can see, Frank – the person Barbara thinks she’s talking to isn’t real, and the photos of Frank belong to another man.”

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