'I was scammed out of £25,000 after just three 10-minute dates with a man I met on an app'
A WOMAN was scammed out of £25,000 after just three 10-minute dates with a man she met on a dating app.
Angela Whitbread, 45, was conned out of her hard-earned cash after she met guardsman Nathan Walker.
The brazen soldier asked her to be a guarantor on several loans he was taking out after the pair had met briefly three times.
Speaking to Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond, she said that pals had encouraged her to meet new people after she had been separated from her partner of seven years.
She matched with Walker, and the pair instantly hit it off.
"We swapped numbers and were chatting away. It was quite flattering coming out of a relationship," she said.
But then Walker asked Angela for help: "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."
Kindhearted Angela said as it was only a £50 loan, it didn't seem like a red flag to her.
"I've always been taught to help people out if they need it and that's just what I was doing," she said.
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.
But this was just the beginning. 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 said: "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.
ABUSE OF TRUST
"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.”
Gobsmacked, Alison asked: “Did he even take you on a date?”
"No," Angela 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 added.
Tragically for Angela, despite Walker being convicted of fraud, she still has to pay the loan back and has been forced to take out further loans to keep the bailiffs away.
He was slapped with a prison sentence of 32 months after pleading guilty to 10 counts of fraud against three women and four financial institutions. The offence involving Angela was found to total £26,300.
Angela added: "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."
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