I was conned out of £160,000 by a ‘woman named Esther’ after I fell in love with her online | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams

A MAN who fell in love with a Canadian nurse online before sending her £160,000 was left heartbroken after learning he was the victim of a cruel scam.

John Rousakis met stunning brunette ‘Esther Anderson’ on dating site Match.com before their relationship quickly intensified.


John Rousakis and his father lost a total of £160,000 to a romance fraudster who begged for cash over the course of a yearCredit: Mirrorpix

The pair spoke daily for a year and even planned to live together in Lincoln.

But ‘Esther’ never existed – and John learned he’d been conned after going hungry himself to make sure ‘she’ had enough money.

Every time Esther asked him for help, John would transfer money from his account. He was told he’d become the owner of two 12kg gold bars worth £1.15milllion, the Sunday Mirror reports.

John, 43, took out loans to give Esther £80,064. He also borrowed £80,000 from his dad.

Esther sent him receipts for the gold – but they were counterfeit.

Now John, who has an IQ of more than 135 and a masters degree in engineering and robotics, has told his story to warn others of the heartache they could face at the hands of fraudsters.

He said Esther first asked for £400 a month for food, telling him she was desperate.

But her requests quickly began to spiral, and soon John was going without himself to make sure she was fed and comfortable.

He told the paper: “I always help people around me. I felt bad and I sent the money.

“She said ‘Thank you, my love, and I can’t wait to come and meet you’ and things like that.

“How would anyone feel when he hears affectionate words?”

After that, Esther said she was travelling to Ghana in Africa to build a children’s hospital. Days later, she claimed to have been arrested and jailed for hiding gold bars in a case.

John paid a fee to free her from prison, before receiving more demands for money to release the gold. He eventually took out four loans to cover the cost.

In February last year, Esther disappeared.

John was later awarded £56,093 after Barclays admitted partial liability for allowing him to withdraw such large sums.

A bank spokesperson said: “This is a tragic case of a romance scam and we have every sympathy for our customer.

“The complaint has been thoroughly investigated, following which our customer chose to refer the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service and we await the conclusion of their review.

“A scammer will use a variety of scenarios to target your emotions and get you to part with your money, often using a family emergency or an overseas crisis as a reason.

“We encourage customers to always be vigilant and ensure they’ve taken the right steps to determine the person they are speaking to is who they say they are.”

Mr Rousakis has told his story to warn others of the dangers posed by scammers


Mr Rousakis has told his story to warn others of the dangers posed by scammersCredit: Getty

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