Valentine’s Day online dating scam warning from Hampshire woman who laundered £200,000

Police promoting safety messages at Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth

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A WOMAN who laundered £200,000 is speaking out with police against the dangers of online dating fraud.

The unidentified woman, nicknamed Jenny and who lost £20,000, received a suspended sentence for what she did after speaking to a man online for three years.

He was never caught, police said.

She said ‘What I really want to get across to anybody or everybody is the minute anyone asks you to send them money, if you’ve never met them or received money from them, just don’t do it - don’t do it, contact the police or talk to somebody else about it.

‘I never thought that I was naïve; I didn’t think anything like this could ever happen to me – it could happen to anybody.’

The warning comes on Valentine’s Day.

Hampshire Constabulary crime prevention advisor Sarah Cohen said: ‘We’re proud of ‘Jenny’ for her courage and decision in wanting to protect others by talking about these distressing events and their effects on life.

‘The consequences of romance and online dating fraud can be emotionally destructive because offenders prey upon a victim’s deepest desires and longing for love.’