Cruel dating scam robbed me of £200,000
As Sharon Turner’s phone lit up with a new message, she couldn’t wait to read it.
It was from ‘Kevin Churchill’, a businessman she’d recently met online.
“Good morning beautiful. How are you?” he said.
Excited to hear from him, Sharon quickly replied.
What Sharon didn’t know, however, was that the message wasn’t from a businessman and he wasn’t called Kevin.
In fact, he wasn’t a person at all. Instead, Kevin Churchill was a generic dating profile set up by a gang of ruthless criminals, specifically designed to exploit money from vulnerable people.
Today members of the gang are being sentenced after being convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation at Guildford Crown Court earlier this month.
And others have been convicted of “converting criminal property”, a form of money laundering, in connection with the fraud ring.
“This is the first time a gang has been convicted of this type of crime,” says Detective Rebecca Mason, of Surrey Police.
I spoke to Sharon for a feature in the Daily Mirror and Daily Express.