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two phones with a woman on the left handing over money to a man in a burglar mask on the right

When will they ever learn? Lonely British women, that is. Yet again we hear a sorry tale that some women of a certain age have fallen for the charms of an online ‘lover’ whose only interest is to relieve them of their hard-earned or inherited dosh. These women don’t just fall in love and give their hearts away willy-nilly to some stranger, but it seems they are just as eager to part with their money. One such scammer is a Maurice Asola Fadola from Ghana who passed himself off as a dashing American major general, who charmed his unsuspecting victims with stories of his bravery dodging bombs and saving lives on the battlefield when nuttin’ nuh go so! 

He scammed £800,000 out of his victims based on variations of this lie – like needing money to pay for a legal dispute to get his war medals and buying his way out of the army. What a load of tosh! Why would any self-respecting man who hadn’t even met me want my money to bail him out? That’s what I’d be asking. Doesn’t he have friends or family? Why ask me? As a result of this conman’s trickery, some women have been left penniless and homeless, some having re-mortgaged their homes to help out lover-boy. Where do these women get the idea anyway that they are supposed to give men money? Especially ones they have never clapped eyes on. But this ginnal Fadola, he did send them poetry. That’s a red flag flying right there. 

Giving money to a man you have never met in person? What were these women thinking? One day, brushing their teeth or lying in bed, they surely must have thought, “This isn’t quite right”, or “That’s the third time he’s asked me for money.” Clearly, it did not occur to them that Fadola seemed oddly friendless and appeared to have no family. And it doesn’t end there.

When an elderly Cardiff woman befriended a young waiter while on holiday in Tunisia, she told him that if he ever visited the UK, he should drop in to see her. Well, there was an invite he could hardly refuse! It appears that even if he was on his way to Mars, he would be sure to go via Cardiff, so as not to disappoint this old dear. Two twos our young Tunisian opportunist finds himself in Cardiff and takes up residence in the lady’s house – and before you know it, he has eaten her out of house and home.

You might think the above is a ‘new thing’ doing the rounds now. But it might surprise you to know that I wrote this piece for my column in Jamaica Times UK, nearly 10 years ago! You would also think that these lonely ladies would have read my column and heeded my advice. You would think that wouldn’t you? But no. Romance scams are very much alive and well and are still reeling in victims, still taking up column inches in national newspapers and are the substance of television shows, even now in January 2024.

In a recent edition of the Daily Mail, we hear the sorrowful tale of Sammie. Sammie was a soon-to-be divorcee who met 45-year-old civil engineer Rob on Instagram. Weeks later, although not having met in person, Rob tells Sammie that his father is sick and that he needs money for an operation – Sammie’s money, I might add. Because his own bank account was frozen. You would never guess what happened next. Or maybe you have. That’s right, Sammie sent Rob several thousand pounds for his father’s surgery. And wait, there’s more. Sammie later finds out that the pictures Rob (was that even his real name?) used to reel her in were stolen and basically everything he told her about himself was a lie.

Do I feel sympathy for Sammie or others like her? Not in the least. And neither do most people: not even when they have lost thousands of pounds or even their homes to romance scammers.

I have never been duped by any man in such ways, so there’s no point in telling me that these misfortunes could befall anyone. As my mother used to say, “duppy know who fi fright’n.” And no duppy man is going to frighten me. As I said ten years ago and I will say it again, you women of a certain age, and wealth, wise up! And if you have any money you don’t know what to do with, call me!

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