In December last year one Colin Johnson, 64, from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, UK, was duped into handing over £4,000 to a woman called Lydia who said she was a nurse in Ghana, Africa. She contacted him after he placed an ad in Matchmaker magazine.
After several letters, phone calls and an exchange of photos, she announced she wanted to visit Mr Johnson but could not afford the £429 air fare. A few days later she called asking for £1,500, saying it was needed to convince immigration officials she was not destitute.
The requests for money didn't end there, Mr Johnson told the Yorkshire Post. A man posing as a her lawyer called saying he needed more money as Lydia had been arrested and needed help.
In total he paid out £4,263, including fees to Western Union, but never got to meet the elusive Lydia.