How do you fall for a fake? Podcast rips apart romance scam | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

“The first was the slow-burn nature of it, where it was simply an online friendship for five years instead of the typical romance scam where people are bombarded with love messages very early. Secondly, Kirat was being told that Bobby existed by someone in the real world who she trusted. And thirdly, it quickly turned into a coercive and controlling relationship, and it’s common knowledge that a person’s sense of reality is knocked around when that happens.”

It would spoil Sweet Bobby to reveal the perpetrator’s identity before listening to it, but an obvious hint is given halfway through the series, and when the penny drops, it’s shocking. Suffice to say it is someone close to Assi and they made a confession in 2018. Assi did win a civil case and was paid a settlement, but despite the UK passing laws in 2015 about coercive and controlling relationships, police have maintained that no crime was committed and charges have never been laid.

Mostrous says that the fact Assi and the perpetrator are both members of the tight-knit London Sikh community has meant that family honour and an unwillingness to air dirty laundry have also made things difficult for Assi.

Kirat Assi is now 42. She has reclaimed her old radio slot and is working in marketing, but she lost her entire thirties. Mostrous still checks in on her regularly.

“She’s living a hectic life with work and other commitments and I think she could do with a holiday. But with every month that passes I think she gets closer to being fine again. She is still trying to overturn the original decision of the complaint board, which decided that police were justified in not taking the investigation further.”

As for the perpetrator, Mostrous tried to interview them with no luck. Their motivations for what they did are still unclear to him.

“My theory is that [the perpetrator] was obsessed with Kirat,” he says. “The time and effort and dedication [they] put into all this for so long makes me feel that it was filling a hole in [their] life and meeting some kind of need. In the end it was a symbiotic relationship but only one of the two people knew what the reality was.“

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