Dating scam nearly cost Lilliana £5,000

Lilliana Jones

Lilliana Jones

First published in News by

ELDERLY people looking for love are falling victim to fraudsters on internet dating sites.

Seventy-one-year-old Lilliana Jones, of Queenfield, had a lucky escape after being targeted for £5,000 last month, and wants to warn people of the dangers of online romance.

Spanish-born Lilliana joined the Global Personals website when she felt ready to move on after her husband, William Jones, died in 1992.

William had served in the Royal Navy, and Lilliana found herself drawn to those in uniform, being contacted by who she thought was a general in the American army last year.

“We became very friendly, but we were only speaking by email at first,” she said. “He asked me not to tell anyone I was talking to him because they have strict protocol in the army. He had pictures of himself on his profile wearing full army gear in a conference.

“I took him very seriously because he seemed so respectable. He won my heart and I fell in love with him just from writing back and forth.”

One day last year Lilliana got jilted but decided to persevere with the site before meeting a strangely similar user.

“In January another person contacted me who said he was a doctor with the army out in Afghanistan and was close to retirement,” she said.

“We were emailing each other every day, and he asked if I would be able to look after some things for him before he returned to the UK. He asked if I could keep a packet containing gold bullion, jewellery and personal items.”

Lilliana agreed to meet a courier at Heathrow on February 20.

“That night I had a phone call from Germany to my mobile phone,” she said. “The courier was stuck in German customs and said he needed to pay £5,000 to be released. I told him I do not pay for friendship but I kept getting calls, saying the package was in my name. I called the police.

“He broke my heart and destroyed my self respect.

“People need to be aware of what is going on. It is lucky my neighbours stopped me from sending the money when I told them what was going on.”

A spokesman for Global Personals said: “We’re sorry to hear this has happened to Ms Jones. We take a number of steps to protect our members.

“Our specialised team check all profiles and monitor suspicious activity to prevent fraudulent behaviour, often stopping scammers before they have chance to reach members.

“We also have a Report this Member button on every profile page, for members to alert us instantly.

“The online safety tips feature on our site advises members never to give money, personal or bank details to someone they have never met.”

For more information and guidance in dealing with internet fraud Action Fraud should be contacted first on 0300 123 2040 .

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:30am Fri 14 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

It is sad that this happens and I think by now the majority of the population are aware of scams like this, but am glad she saw through it in time. Get out and meet a real person, far too many lie online.
It is sad that this happens and I think by now the majority of the population are aware of scams like this, but am glad she saw through it in time. Get out and meet a real person, far too many lie online. house on the hill
  • Score: 7

9:35am Fri 14 Mar 14

Morsey says...

Loneliness ... it's everywhere!

There is someone out there for everyone, it would be nice if paths were to cross, but we have become a world apart from face to face socialising.

Pensioner groups in some areas of town have more applicants hoping to become members than they can take, but others are worth a look. It is far better to mix with a group to try and find that special person than a risky one-to-one with a face on a screeen and words, which can be anyone's identity.
Loneliness ... it's everywhere! There is someone out there for everyone, it would be nice if paths were to cross, but we have become a world apart from face to face socialising. Pensioner groups in some areas of town have more applicants hoping to become members than they can take, but others are worth a look. It is far better to mix with a group to try and find that special person than a risky one-to-one with a face on a screeen and words, which can be anyone's identity. Morsey
  • Score: 4

12:44pm Fri 14 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

Around 35 percent of relationships now start online. That's over 1 in 3.

It's perfectly safe as long as you observe basic 'rules'. In fact, it's certainly safer than meeting a stranger in a bar, coffee shop or wherever. People are actually more likely to believe what people who are standing in front of them say... when, of course, they could be lying about their name, where they live, what they do and what they may have done in the past.

In many ways, meeting people online can actually be safer - as long as you go about it the correct way.
Around 35 percent of relationships now start online. That's over 1 in 3. It's perfectly safe as long as you observe basic 'rules'. In fact, it's certainly safer than meeting a stranger in a bar, coffee shop or wherever. People are actually more likely to believe what people who are standing in front of them say... when, of course, they could be lying about their name, where they live, what they do and what they may have done in the past. In many ways, meeting people online can actually be safer - as long as you go about it the correct way. ChannelX
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Moth says...

@House on the Hill

It's not so easy to get out and meet people. What happens when you fall into the category of too old for nightclubs but too young for pensioners clubs? I am on a couple of the dating sites (I'm widowed) and so far have met two men, both were completely unsuitable. One couldn't keep his hands to himself and the other was rude beyond belief yet, writing to them, both were as nice as pie.

I haven't bothered since. In any case, I'm quite happy on my own.

People do need to be aware that there are scammers out there. Usually they're quite easy to pick out - IF you read between the lines.

The moment they ask for money or ask you to look after possession, warning bells should ring. As stated in the article, all sites have a report feature and each one has a block facility. I have used that on more than one occasion.

Dating sites can work very well but people need to be very aware that there are some people (usually from another country) who will try and part you from you hard-earned cash.
@House on the Hill It's not so easy to get out and meet people. What happens when you fall into the category of too old for nightclubs but too young for pensioners clubs? I am on a couple of the dating sites (I'm widowed) and so far have met two men, both were completely unsuitable. One couldn't keep his hands to himself and the other was rude beyond belief yet, writing to them, both were as nice as pie. I haven't bothered since. In any case, I'm quite happy on my own. People do need to be aware that there are scammers out there. Usually they're quite easy to pick out - IF you read between the lines. The moment they ask for money or ask you to look after possession, warning bells should ring. As stated in the article, all sites have a report feature and each one has a block facility. I have used that on more than one occasion. Dating sites can work very well but people need to be very aware that there are some people (usually from another country) who will try and part you from you hard-earned cash. Moth
  • Score: 0

8:43am Sun 16 Mar 14

umpcah says...

MOTH : It`s great that you`re happy on your own but life with a suitable partner could be even better ! My advice , and I know you`re not asking for it, is to join a " club " which functions for likeminded people. A choir or foreign stamp collecting society perhaps ? You know what your interests are . There is , it seems , no urgency for you to locate Mr.Right so don't embark on a search for him - just enjoy making new friends and see what happens ! Good luck, UMPCAH
MOTH : It`s great that you`re happy on your own but life with a suitable partner could be even better ! My advice , and I know you`re not asking for it, is to join a " club " which functions for likeminded people. A choir or foreign stamp collecting society perhaps ? You know what your interests are . There is , it seems , no urgency for you to locate Mr.Right so don't embark on a search for him - just enjoy making new friends and see what happens ! Good luck, UMPCAH umpcah
  • Score: 1

7:50pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Moth says...

umpcah wrote:
MOTH : It`s great that you`re happy on your own but life with a suitable partner could be even better ! My advice , and I know you`re not asking for it, is to join a " club " which functions for likeminded people. A choir or foreign stamp collecting society perhaps ? You know what your interests are . There is , it seems , no urgency for you to locate Mr.Right so don't embark on a search for him - just enjoy making new friends and see what happens ! Good luck, UMPCAH
Aw. Thank you Umpcah. What a lovely reply :) Sadly, I can't sing or would join a choir (I sound like someone stood on the cat's tail - yeowl). I am musical and play quite a few instruments and have had a look to see who needs instrumentalists but they are mostly rock bands etc. - not my kind of music. Stamp collecting - hmm too boring LOL.

I never say never because none of us know what the future holds so, who knows, my knight in slightly rusty armour might just happen along :)
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: MOTH : It`s great that you`re happy on your own but life with a suitable partner could be even better ! My advice , and I know you`re not asking for it, is to join a " club " which functions for likeminded people. A choir or foreign stamp collecting society perhaps ? You know what your interests are . There is , it seems , no urgency for you to locate Mr.Right so don't embark on a search for him - just enjoy making new friends and see what happens ! Good luck, UMPCAH[/p][/quote]Aw. Thank you Umpcah. What a lovely reply :) Sadly, I can't sing or would join a choir (I sound like someone stood on the cat's tail - yeowl). I am musical and play quite a few instruments and have had a look to see who needs instrumentalists but they are mostly rock bands etc. - not my kind of music. Stamp collecting - hmm too boring LOL. I never say never because none of us know what the future holds so, who knows, my knight in slightly rusty armour might just happen along :) Moth
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree