The dating scammer is the bogeyman of the digital age and finding love in a socially distanced world

Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Romance scammers are so fiendishly clever, using a degree of hypnosis and brainwashing that even in the face of warnings, people reject what they're being told in favour of the conman. Illustration photo by Getty Images
Romance scammers are so fiendishly clever, using a degree of hypnosis and brainwashing that even in the face of warnings, people reject what they're being told in favour of the conman. Illustration photo by Getty Images

It took less than three months for Jan Marshall's online lover to convince her to give him $260 000 (over R3.8 million). Or "lend" it, rather, since he was a British engineer with millions of pounds in his bank account and the (forged) statements to prove it.

He would pay her back, he said, he was just having trouble on a job site in Dubai and needed a little bit to tide him over; his taxes were due, but he couldn't access his account; he was robbed on his way to pay those taxes, so needed to borrow the same amount again.

After 72 days of contact, she never heard from him again.

There’s more to this story
Subscribe to News24 and get access to our exclusive journalism and features today.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Voting Booth
After 365 days in lockdown, in what way has your life changed the most?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nothing's changed. Everything in my life became stagnant.
26% - 139 votes
I've focused more on making my house/apartment a more comfortable, beautiful place to call home.
10% - 55 votes
I don't think I could ever not work from home again. Remote work has saved me so much money.
17% - 88 votes
I just appreciate the people in my life more and take nothing for granted.
33% - 175 votes
I've developed a healthier relationship with alcohol.
5% - 27 votes
I've had to reconsider my career options after retrenchment.
9% - 45 votes
Vote