An Australian grandmother identified as Suzie says she’s lost AUD $480,000 (£264,768 / USD $359,088) to three different online scammers is now warning others about the dangers of looking for love online.
Suzie, who chose not to reveal her surname, admitted to ‘info-tainment’ show A Current Affair that she was ‘gullible’ but also says she was ‘brainwashed’ in her pursuit of finding the one.
She revealed that her first online love scammer called himself, David Fisher: a British gentleman, based on his online appearances.
David sweet-talked his way into gaining access to Suzie’s bank account so that he could buy a laptop he wanted – and eventually disposed the Australian grandmother of her father’s $76,000 inheritance before disappearing from her life entirely.
Suzie then got chatting to a man calling him Johnson Williams – he told her he was an American soldier, fighting the Taliban. Before long, he also started asking for cash.
Suzie said: “I went along with it because I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve actually got somebody in my life now, and I’m committed to this man’.”
Eventually, her bank got in touch after it spotted she was sending large sums of cash abroad. During a meeting with bank workers, she was told that the account she was transferring money to was also being sent cash from at least five other women. The account was based in Ghana – not the US.
In total, Suzie sent ‘Johnson’ almost AUD $300,000 (£165,531 / USD $224,440) before the bank intervened
The third time Suzie found love was with a man named Godfrey Kyzungo, from Uganda, whom she met on Facebook.
This time Suzie went to Africa to meet her courtier in person, and even went so far as to marry him in the flesh before regularly sending him bank transfers.
But Suzie has since confessed that she believes Godfrey’s motives were simply to marry her for the money and move to Australia.
She is now looking to get her marriage annulled and is speaking out to warn others about potential ‘romance scammers’
“I’m not proud of what I’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proud of it, but I just want it to be known to other women and men that this is what happens. You’re not alone. These people are evil how they manipulate your mind.”