Former police officer was scammed out of 500k by romance fraudsters

Former police officer scammed out of £500k by lonely hearts fraudsters who convinced her to sell her house and car is praised by GMB viewers for being ‘brave’ enough to tell her story

  • Anne Larkin, 55, from East Yorkshire, was conned out of almost £500,000
  • Her beloved husband of 34 years, Graham, died unexpectedly in November 2019
  • Met man claiming to be a U.S. Army medic on photography website weeks later
  • Was also duped by second fraudster called ‘G’, who she later met on social media

A former police officer who was scammed out of nearly £500,000 by romance fraudsters was praised for being ‘brave’ after she shared her story on Good Morning Britain. 

Anne Larkin, 55, from East Yorkshire, was conned by two men online after her beloved husband of 34 years, Graham, died unexpectedly from liver and kidney failure in November 2019. 

Blinded by grief, Anne started chatting to the first fraudster – who would eventually ask her to sell her home and car, on an amateur photography website – before being scammed by another man on social media shortly afterwards. 

Appearing on the show today, former special constable Anne said losing her husband had ‘turned her world upside down’ and that it was ‘easy’ for the fraudsters to sense her vulnerability and manipulate her. 

Anne Larkin, 55, from East Yorkshire, who was scammed out of nearly £500,000 by romance fraudsters has been hailed ‘brave’ by Good Morning Britain viewers for sharing her story

Anne started chatting to the first fraudster -who would eventually ask her to sell her home and car, on an amateur photography website – before being scammed by another man on social media shortly afterwards. Pictured, a fake image used by the first fraudster 

‘When you’re going through the grief of a loved one, especially of a husband, wife or partner, the grief is completely different and it turns your world completely upside down’, said Anne. 

‘It was easy in that sense for them to manipulate me in that way and I never even thought, it didn’t enter my head I was being scammed.’  

Sympathetic viewers were quick to take to Twitter to show Anne support, with one lashing out at social media companies for not doing more to protect vulnerable users. 

‘Bless Ann’, wrote one. ‘But this is constantly going on in Instagram, bombarded by these false profiles. And when you write to the boss of Instagram not even a simple response. This is affecting many people’s lives and needs to be stopped by ID for new profiles.’ 

Sympathetic viewers were quick to take to Twitter to show Anne support, with one lashing out at social media companies for not doing more to protect vulnerable users

Another angry viewer commented: ‘In this day and age still going on.’ 

A third said: ‘A very very brave lady. My heart goes out to her on what has happened to her. I hope something can be done to help her recover at least some of her funds. All power to her for bringing this out in the open and telling her story.’ 

The first conman Anne started chatting to was on an amateur photography website, he told her his name was Clinton and claimed to be a U.S. Army medic from New Jersey serving in the Arab state, Yemen.

Anne admitted she wasn’t suspicious of the stranger: ‘It was because they were talking about my photography, other photographers who use this site talk about each other’s images’. 

For the first time since her beloved husband of 34 years, Graham (pictured: Anne Larkin and Graham), died unexpectedly from liver and kidney failure in November 2019, Anne felt herself smiling

Appearing on the show today, former special constable Anne, pictured with late husband Graham, said losing her husband had ‘turned her world upside down’

The fraudster said he had lost his wife and daughter in a terrible car accident five years previously and was missing his adult son back in the States.  

However around five-weeks into the relationship, the scammer started asking Anne for money, eventually asking the former police officer to sell her house   

‘It was when I was asked to sell my house and car around Christmas time last year that my brain was functioning correctly’, said Anne, ‘It said something is not quite right here and I didn’t answer the message.’ 

Shortly afterwards Anne met a man calling himself ‘G’, claiming to be an actor involved in charitable work in America. 

One fraudster told her his name was Clinton. He claimed to be a U.S. Army medic from New Jersey serving in the Arab state, Yemen and often pressured her into sending money 

She admitted that her terrible grief meant she did not suspect the second scammer despite her experiences with the first.

‘When they contacted me, I would have been talking with my husband Graham which was the evenings or the weekends, said Anne. 

‘During the day you have to behave as normal when there are people who know you and ask how you’re doing, you put a brave face on and say nothing is wrong.

She added: ‘It makes me feel angry, at myself for being able to be duped by these people.’ 

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