A woman has told of how she saved her fiancee from being duped by an online Nigerian scammer. Rebecca Lewis’ world fell apart when she found out her fiance planned to leave her for a pretty blonde he had met online.
He had been flirting for months with the woman he had “met” weeks after proposing to her.
Calling herself Kristen White, the mystery woman had contacted Paul Rusher on social networking sites at least 10 times a day for months, after sending a Facebook friend request out of the blue.
Rebecca, 30, read the messages between them and saw that, despite never having met her, sales assistant Paul, 29, had declared his love to Kristen and told her he planned a future with her.
When Rebecca confronted her fiance, he told her she was dumped and she packed her bags and left the home they shared.
But instead of moving on, devastated Rebecca became suspicious of Paul’s new romance and turned detective.She soon found he had been the victim of a Nigerian romance scam, where fraudsters use pictures of Russian models to trick unsuspecting men into parting with thousands of pounds.. She admits:
“I suspected Paul had been cheating on me, but I never thought he’d dump me for someone he hadn’t even met.I was heartbroken when I saw the messages from Kristen. It was a slap in the face, especially as they’d started talking so soon after Paul had proposed.”
“We’d set a date for our wedding and I should have been getting excited, but alarm bells started ringing when he made me go to a wedding fayre on my own.
“I suspected he was cheating on me. We’d been so in love, but overnight, he hardly wanted to look at me. There had to be another girl.
“I’d set up his Facebook profile for him, so I decided to log in as I knew the password. I was absolutely distraught when I saw he’d been chatting to Kristen for months. She was stunning.
“He told her he’d always dreamed of travelling the world. She replied that she was due to inherit a lot of money and suggested they go on a trip together.”
I was gutted. It was like he’d been brainwashed. I ran from the house in tears and went straight to a friend’s. Over the next few days I moved back in with my parents.
“But even though Paul had treated me so badly, I was still in love with him. I couldn’t see myself growing old with anyone else. I had a gut feeling all wasn’t as it seemed with Kristen.
“She used several different numbers to contact Paul and when he asked her about the money she was due to come into, she insisted it was tied up in the shares of a Nigerian company. It was all a bit suspicious.”
Desperate for answers, Rebecca looked online for information on Kristen, who told Paul she was the 26-year-old daughter of a Californian millionaire.
“I sent Kristen a message myself, but she replied telling me to leave her alone as Paul had chosen her.I was crushed, but one of my friends suggested Paul could have been the victim of a scam.”I typed the words ‘romance scam’ into Google. A picture of Kristen popped up on the first page of results.”
Rebecca texted Paul the links to the forums outing Kristen. He didn’t believe her at first, but she bombarded him with evidence about his so-called girlfriend.
“At first, he was in denial and insisted what he had with Kristen was real. But eventually, he admitted she had asked him for £2,000 so she could fly to the UK to be with him – despite the fact her dad was a millionaire.
“He’d replied saying he loved her and couldn’t wait to see her. I’m so glad I sent him the links before he sent any money.”
He spent a year trying to win her back and they reunited in May 2014 after Rebecca decided to give him another chance.
Paul says he is grateful Rebecca rumbled Kristen and agreed to give their relationship another go.
“I was flattered that this pretty girl was taking such an interest in me and we were talking to each other for months before she even mentioned money.
“It was nice to have someone else to talk to and I was chatting to her at night, while Rebecca worked night shifts.
“She just managed to completely turn my head, to change my perspective on my life.
“She made me feel that I was unhappy with Rebecca. I didn’t believe it was a scam at first. She caught me off guard and convinced me she was real.