It was an error of judgment that cost Suzanne Hardman dearly. Not only did the wealthy divorcee lose a huge amount of money but, by the time the fraudsters who scammed her were finally caught, it had stripped her of her confidence and self-respect.It doesn't matter how old they are. It's always someone else's fault. This is what John Adams meant when he referred to the tyranny of the petticoat.
For Suzanne, 58, a mother of grown-up daughters, had turned to online dating for a last chance at romance, ending up as the unsuspecting victim of professional conmen hiding behind fake but convincingly elaborate internet profiles.
An office manager who had recently lost her mother, Suzanne was lured by the attentions of an attractive, middle-aged widower. Or so she thought.
Lonely and vulnerable, she believed his hard luck stories and within weeks she had – foolishly, she now acknowledges – handed over £174,000 of her hard-earned savings.
Sadly, Suzanne is far from being alone. Last week, the fiance of children’s author Helen Bailey, whose body was found dumped in a cesspit, was jailed for more than 30 years after killing the 51-year-old for her multi-million pound inheritance. The two had met on a Facebook dating group.
Then another victim, teaching assistant Anna Rowe, 44, who was duped on Tinder, called on the Government to pass laws against ‘catfishing’ as it is known – the practice of using a fake profile to start an online romance.
Women can't even stop themselves from handing over money to sob stories. How well do you think they'll do when spending everyone else's money?