A British “Tinder Swindler” has been jailed for four years after conning a woman out of £157,000 in a romance scam.
Frank Adozi, 32, from Nottingham pleaded guilty on Friday to false representation after using dating sites to dupe women out of money.
His scam mimicked those seen on Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, which saw Simon Leviev allegedly scam multiple women out of thousands of pounds.
Adozi, from Nottinghamshire, tricked one victim by claiming he was working on an oil rig and had taken the wrong bank card with him.
He used a fake profile on a dating website and presented himself as a middle-aged man called Michael McCarthy, police said.
Adozi used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, buying designer clothes, a Range Rover and “large amounts” of jewellery.
One of the women who were conned had recently split from her partner and was scammed out of £157,352 over a two-month period.
The woman made 34 transactions to Adozi, who she believed was “McCarthy”, and said she expected him to return the money so she could buy a house.
In a witness statement, the woman said: “He explained to me he was born in Australia and grew up in the United States. He said in 2005 he relocated to the UK to be with his wife Lisa who had now sadly died.
“He had a 13-year-old daughter Tamara who was attending a boarding school in New York. He told me he was thinking of leaving the dating site as he was worried about attracting the wrong kind of person who would just be after his money.
“He came across as a nice family man who was down-to-earth and genuine.”
When the money wasn’t returned, she reported him to the police and said she had been emotionally blackmailed into sending large amounts of money.
Adozi was arrested during a traffic stop on 6 January this year after officers noticed he was a wanted criminal.
On analysis of his mobile phone, police found he had targeted at least six other women conning them out of £3,000.
Adozi had previously been jailed for four and a half years for similar offences, and was released from prison in 2020.
His dating profile described him as a 6ft tall 60-year-old man from Nottinghamshire.
Det Con Carl Miller, of Nottinghamshire Police’s fraud investigation team, said: “Adozi had no regard for his victims. He went to great lengths to build rapport and gain their trust, before fabricating stories to exploit them out of thousands.
“The fact that one victim lost £157,000 – money she planned to buy a house with – makes this one of the worst romance frauds we’ve ever come across. It is also a unique case in that the fraudster operated from the UK as opposed to being based overseas.
“Fraudsters like Adozi target people in vulnerable situations and have no care that they may financially ruin their victims.
“In this case, a number of victims were identified who had not contacted police. We want to encourage all those who think they’ve been a victim of romance fraud to not feel embarrassed or ashamed but rather report it.
“Romance fraud is a particularly callous offence and Nottinghamshire Police will always seek to get justice for victims.
“We do this because not only do fraudsters inflict financial loss on their victims, they also cause an enormous amount of emotional hurt and pain.”
Additional reporting by SWNS