Loneliness is a terrible thing, it makes sensible women do stupid things and 61 year old Jan Marshall gave every cent she had saved over her lifetime to Nigerian scammers.
She joined a dating site Plenty of Fish and released her personal details to the world and it wasn't long before Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn responded to her profile, complete with his photo.
Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn
Jan was hooked and before long the pair graduated to personal email and then instant messenger and after a suitable time frame had elapsed, he proposed marriage. Even though they had never met, she said yes.
'He'd returned to England and then supposedly took a short-term contract in Dubai and promised he'd come to Australia six to eight weeks after that.
Once he said he was in Dubai, the money requests started. Initially, he said he had some taxes he hadn't allowed for. It all happened over six weeks and what I paid out to him, I expected to get back.
Then it was money for business materials and it got worse, he told me he got robbed on the way to pay those taxes.
It was always amounts of $40,000 which I gave to him twice, then he said he was in trouble with those he'd contracted work to and had to buy out the contract for $77,000.
The larger amounts went to bank accounts, those of $40,000 and $30,000 went through Western Union, even though there is a limit of $10,000 and I was doing it in multiples of 10.
Then when he was apparently on his way to the airport to come to Australia, he had a car crash and was in hospital, they had other people like nurses and doctors contact you, a document showing the expenses and others playing different roles.
I didn't realize it was a scam until he got on a plane to England and he said "I'm on my way now, thanks for everything."
He always told me 'I am a wealthy man, but I can't access my funds.'
I paid over $270,000 to them which included savings, additional credit and money taken out of my self-managed super fund which I wasn't supposed to do. I now have a $76,000 tax bill on the super which is at 46 per cent interest.
Now Jan is fighting the Australian Tax Office who is pursuing her for $76,000 after she accessed her super fund.
"The only follow-up I received is that the money was collected in Nigeria, although it was sent to Dubai."
It's a tragic tale and one that men and women the world over need to learn from. Thirty three percent of women who have never been on a dating site have also been scammed. Once you release your details to the world, you are fair game.
And always remember, the photo you receive is most likely just some innocent person's picture taken off the net.