Mum lost £6,000 to a man she met on a dating app

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The single mum-of-three was left devastated after losing £6,000 to “James” after matching with him online and believing they had hit it off.

A distraught Natalie, from Winsford, Cheshire, confessed: “I feel stupid; I feel ridiculous – I can’t believe I’m one of these women I read about in magazines.”

Natalie, who is currently unable to work due to her multiple sclerosis (MS), revealed that James was very forward from the moment they matched online.

She said: “He looked like a really good-looking guy, he had nice dogs, and was being very forward.” Not long after matching on the dating app, James turned the topic of conversation to cryptocurrency.

James mentioned an uncle who had amassed a fortune in the crypto world, convincing Natalie to set up a crypto wallet and to start trading.

Natalie admitted: “I’m not a gambler but he was very convincing. He told me to put in £300 and then transfer it to a trading platform. I did it and then made £80 profit.”

Natalie decided to invest an additional £100 on the trading platform, making a further £93 on the platform – money she would never see in real life. A few days later, James hinted at “a very big night” ahead.

Natalie recalled: “He convinced me to put in even more money, so I put £2,000 down. He then said he had been in touch with his uncle who had told him there was a once-in-a-century deal about to go down and I could make 800 per cent profit.”

In response, Natalie withdrew all her remaining savings and transferred it to the crypto trading account, amounting to £3,500. She was subsequently added to a WhatsApp group with a man claiming to be James’s uncle.

Natalie stated that they executed a trade which yielded £67,000 profit on her trading platform account. However, when she checked her account, it briefly indicated that she had exceeded the maximum balance before her total funds abruptly dropped to zero.

Natalie explained: “I then contacted customer services who said I owed them 20 per cent tax to a New York bank account totalling £20,000.” But then, James transferred £4,000 into Natalie’s trading platform account.

Natalie admitted: “At this point I thought it was still legit but I then talked to my ex-partner and he gave me a reality check. I realised I had literally fallen for a textbook crypto scam.”

Unfortunately, none of the profits from the trades ever returned to her, except for the initial £80, resulting in Natalie losing £6,000 in total.

She confronted James about the scam, only for him to tell her she should “go and die quickly”. He then unmatched her and disappeared without a trace.

Looking back, Natalie admitted there were “all these red flags” about James she overlooked, including him claiming to be German but not having a German accent, and even mixing up the names of his own pet dogs.

Natalie has reported the incident to Action Fraud and has hired a solicitor who is optimistic about recovering her money. Natalie said: “It was my whole life savings which I inherited off my grandad – it’s left me totally distraught.

“I just feel stupid and ridiculous. It’s so awful – I don’t know how they can do this to other people.”



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