Dating apps scam committed by criminal from inside prison

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Age: 2023
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Points: 10


"It's one of the easiest ways to get money to be honest. If you've got a girl and she works and she's into you, why not ask her to send over money? Lawyers are the best obviously."
Jamie - not his real name - is in his early 20s .
For the last few years he made money by scamming women, usually those a lot older than him, who were looking for love.
He did this while in prison for an unrelated crime, using an illegal mobile phone he had hidden.
He was recently released and spoke to the BBC's File on 4 programme.
He says he will not commit the fraud again, and wants to make amends by exposing some of his tactics to serve as a warning to others.
'It was work'
"It was a last resort kind of thing, I just saw how easy it was," Jamie says.
"The most I ever got from a girl was £10,000... every week she was sending me £100, £200.
"I've forgotten her name now, I don't see it as a relationship, I [saw] it as work."
He says his accounts were blocked after the victims reported them, but he was never punished for the frauds.
He says people using dating apps should watch out for men contacting them who are a lot younger or "better looking", who start asking for money, especially if they have never met in person.
Jamie says he picked his targets by looking for those he thought likely to be lonely and lacking attention from others on the apps. His theory was that they would be more willing to "do anything" to avoid risk losing the connection.
And he says he would use his real photographs, confident that his looks would help lure victims in.
"I would go for older women and look for the desperation," he says.
"Keywords would be like 'I just want happiness' or something like that. I'll act cool at the start and if she talks back then I know she's interested just from my pictures.
"From then, that's when I start putting my game on, selling you dreams like 'I want a kid with you.'
"[I] just say everything that she wants to hear until she's fallen in love."
Until he felt that his victim was emotionally attached, Jamie said he wouldn't tell them he was in prison.
He claims that he often messaged women for months, charming them before revealing the fact.
When he did, he says he lied about the reason he was jailed, telling women it was for driving offences rather than violent crime.

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Posted 23 Feb 2021

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