Saturday 1 October 2016

Romance scam: Two men to be sentenced after woman duped out of €2.28m on dating site

Published 27/11/2015 | 15:04

Ife Ojo (left), 31, and Olusegun Agbaje, 43, who have been convicted of duping a woman out of £1.6 million on a dating site after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud have had their sentencing adjourned. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Ife Ojo (left), 31, and Olusegun Agbaje, 43, who have been convicted of duping a woman out of £1.6 million on a dating site after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud have had their sentencing adjourned. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Two men are due to be sentenced after a woman was duped out of £1.6 million on a dating site in what police have described as a "romance scam".

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The victim had befriended a man on a dating website who she thought was a well-to-do engineer.

She was then convinced to loan money over a period of 10 months to the man, and others who posed as his associates.

The Met Police said in the last year they have investigated the loss of £4 million to 100 victims who have been "ruthlessly manipulated by men and women pretending they love them".

Police said those subjected to the scams are usually showered with compliments as they speak to the suspects online or on the phone for lengthy periods each day.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles said: "Romance scams are not the most prevalent fraud but the financial and emotional impact to victims is huge. Many victims borrow money from friends and family to pay the suspects."

He said victims often feel embarrassed and ashamed when they realise they have been scammed, but urged people to come forward and report if they think they have been defrauded.

He added: "Victims of this fraud must understand that they are not foolish and they are not alone - the reality is that the fraudsters are extremely manipulative and go to great lengths to convince their victims they are in love and desperately in need of their financial assistance."

Police said two members of the gang responsible for the £1.6 million scam were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

Ife Ojo, 31, and 43-year-old Olusegun Agbaje will be sentenced later today at Basildon Crown Court.

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