An online dating fraudster from Woolwich scammed more than £100,000 from at least seven men, and police believe she may have targeted even more.
Grace Akintaro, 24, of Pettacre Close, found her victims on the Match dating website using the alias Amanda Jenson.
The men who contacted her thought they had found the love of their lives, but instead were bombarded with repeated requests for money.
They were asked to cover her travel costs so they could meet up, paying the money directly into her bank account, but “Amanda” never appeared.
Various excuses were given to explain why Amanda couldn’t meet them on that date, followed by more requests for money for travel expenses and more excuses why she didn’t appear again.
None of the men ever ended up meeting Amanda, despite transferring thousands of pounds into her bank account.
As well as travel costs, the men were also asked for other short term loans to pay for rent or other costs and would be given different bank account details they were told belonged to her mother or landlord.
Fake documents were used to provide evidence that Amanda Jenson was due to receive an inheritance from a relative and would then be able to pay the money back.
Amongst her victims include a man who had been tricked into handing over more than £46,000, and another who sent money from his wife’s death in service insurance policy from her employer.
Others lost proportions of their pension and another took out an equity release on his house.
All the men ceased contact with Amanda after it became apparent they would never meet her and were unlikely ever to receive their money back.
Police were alerted to the fraud after receiving information from four different men from across the UK saying they had been part of a romance scam. Three further victims of Akintaro’s scam were found as part of the investigation.
Most of the bank accounts involved in the fraud had an address of Pettacre Close, Woolwich, where Akintaro lived.
In total, Akintaro received £104,962.88 into accounts she directly controlled from August 2014 to December 2015.
As for Amanda Jenson, police could find no evidence that this person existed, and the picture Akintaro used on Match appeared to be of a woman who has no idea this fake profile exists.
Another woman, 22-year-old Victoria Nwogu, of Piedmont Road in Plumstead, received £3,490 into accounts she controlled as part of this scam.
Akintaro pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud, while Nwogu pleaded guilty to money laundering, at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday, June 12.
The women will both be sentenced at the same court on June 20.
Detective Constable Mark Cresswell said: “We managed to identify seven victims of this fraud but I suspect there are many more who have not contacted police.