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‘It’s more than painful’ Widow in tears after losing over £150,000 and her home in scam

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During their relationship, Barbara had sent him over £150,000 and sadly had to sell her home to cover the debt. On the BBC programme For Love or Money, Kym Marsh and Ashley John-Baptiste tried to track down the culprits behind this online romance fraud in an effort to help Barbara draw a line under this horrific chapter in her life.

After losing her husband in 2011, Barbara was encouraged by her friends to join a dating site to help her move on.

In 2012, she met Frank Wadsworth. She claims he told her he was a 60-year old security officer for the US secret service based in Ghana with a 10 year old son.

She was drawn to Frank as he sounded like her ideal man. She soon “fell in love with him”.

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Within a year of them speaking, Barbara claims Frank started to ask her for money.

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He would ask her to help him send money over so he could buy some gold.

She said: “Whilst he was in Ghana, he wanted to buy some gold, and insurance for lawyers, different things to get it out the country, he sent me all these certificates to prove what he wanted me to help him with.

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“I got in such a mess, I had to sell my house. I can’t explain how I felt.

“I’m moved from the flat, to where I am now – a caravan park.

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“I don’t know the exact amount I gave him but it’s probably in the region of £150,000.”

After a seven year relationship, Barbara knew she had to cut Frank off as the demands for money grew to be too much.

She explained to Kym that she was 99 percent sure he was fake, but she was still hopeful that he was real.

In tears, she said: “It’s more than painful, I don’t know how I’m holding it together.”

After investigating Barbara’s case, Ashley found that Frank was completely made up by these scammers.

He said: “From what I can see, Frank – the person Barbara thinks she’s talking to isn’t real, and the photos of Frank belong to another man.”

For Love or Money continues tomorrow on BBC One at 10am.

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