A woman has opened up about being scammed out of over £25,000 after meeting a man on a dating app – who she only met up with three times for 10 minutes each.
Angela Whitbread, 45, met army guardsman Nathan Walker on a dating app – but he ended up scamming her out of £26,300 after asking her to be a guarantor on several of his loans.
Sadly, despite Nathan being convicted of fraud, Angela is still tied to paying the loan back.
Appearing on This Morning, she explained that she had split from her partner of seven years when her work colleagues suggested an app to try out and meet people on.
She decided to sign up and spotted Nathan’s profile, telling hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary: “We swapped numbers and were chatting away. It was quite flattering coming out of a relationship.”
Yet, it didn’t take too long until Nathan asked her for some money.
Angela explained: “He said to me that his phone contract would be cut off and he wouldn’t be able to speak to me or his daughter. So he was making me feel kind of sorry for him.”
As it was only £50, she said that it didn’t jump out at her as a red flag.
I’ve always been taught to help people out if they need it and that’s just what I was doing,” she said.
But Angela continued: “A few weeks later he actually sent me a link for a guarantor loan and he said ‘I really need some help with it.
This girlfriend, she’s left me with loads of debt.’ And, again, playing on my heartstrings with the little girl, he said ‘Oh, I’m going to try and help her out.’
“He said, ‘If you do this I promise I’ll actually pay the loan and you won’t have to pay anything.
I will pay it all.’ And I thought, surely this guy has got family, maybe he can ask his family? And he actually said to me that he didn’t have any family, so then I agreed to be the guarantor.”
Dermot pointed out: “It’s interesting this because it’s not like he said, ‘Can you give me that £10,000?’ he said, ‘I need you to be the guarantor of the loan that I’ve already taken out’.
So he transferred his debt back onto you. Did it go south after that?”
“Well, he made payments for this loan and another load for about £5,000,” Angela replied. “He made them for about three months and then he stopped paying.
“And then I was getting slightly worried and he kept on saying, ‘Oh, I can’t afford it, I’ve got to pay this out for my daughter and stuff as maintenance.’
So it kind of left me in a quandary. I needed to pay this money but I also needed to keep a roof over my head and pay all of my bills at the same time. So it was very stressful.”
Stunned, Alison asked: “Did he even take you on a date?”
“No,” she replied. “I met him three times and all three times were for a maximum of ten minutes.”
“Oh Angela, I feel so sorry for you,” Alison said.
Nathan was sentenced to 32 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud against three women and four financial institutions. The offence related to Angela totalled £26,300.
Asked how it had affected her, Angela said: “As a result of him not paying these loads, I actually had to get a load out from my bank to keep them away from me because they were going to send the bailiffs after me, basically, because I wasn’t paying them and he wasn’t contacting them or anything.
“So I had to get a loan out from my bank, pay the loan off and I’ve had to downsize everything from bills to food to not going out, no holidays, everything.”