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Home Breaking Cruel Romance Scam Couple Preyed on Elderly Victims, Conning Thousands of Pounds

Cruel Romance Scam Couple Preyed on Elderly Victims, Conning Thousands of Pounds

In a distressing case of deception, Ibrahim Moro, aged 33 and hailing from Bromley, along with Rebecca Patrick, aged 32 from Croydon, have been convicted of orchestrating a heartless romance scam that targeted vulnerable elderly individuals, swindling them out of thousands of pounds.

Operating through dating websites, the callous duo exploited the deep-seated desire for companionship among the elderly, luring them into fictitious relationships.

One elderly Australian man, deceived by Rebecca Patrick, believed he was in a genuine relationship. Initially, he was asked for small sums of money to purchase winter clothing. However, the situation took a sinister turn when Patrick claimed to be entitled to a staggering 78kg of gold in Ghana, asserting that she needed funds to release it. She convinced the elderly man that she would move to Australia to be with him once the gold was released, ultimately extracting almost £138,000 from him. Tragically, the Australian victim passed away before Moro and Patrick could be sentenced.

The malevolent duo did not stop there. They manipulated an elderly woman into believing she was in an online relationship with a non-existent man, then coerced her into sending £18,000 by fabricating insurance issues. Another victim, under the impression that she was helping a German widower residing in Ascot purchase precious metals for clients, sent £2,500 after being told that her “close friend and confidant” needed the funds to pay taxes on overseas purchases.

Prosecutors revealed that hundreds of thousands of pounds were funneled into Moro’s bank accounts in Ghana, with investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) connecting Moro to an email account used in the fraud. Furthermore, the couple had provided their victims with the same address given to their banking providers, leaving a trail of evidence.

On Tuesday, Moro received a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence, while Patrick was given an 18-month suspended sentence. Both defendants had denied the charges, with Moro claiming the money came from a clothing business and Patrick alleging that she had granted Moro access to her accounts.

Paul Boniface, NCA Operations Manager, emphasized the emotional and financial toll of romance fraud on victims, urging individuals to remain vigilant when confronted with suspicious or unexpected requests for money, even from trusted sources. He remarked that victims of romance fraud often grapple with the painful realization that someone they thought they could trust has deceived them. The case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of staying cautious and questioning unusual financial requests.

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