I was approached by a lady (who I shall refer to as “Deborah”) who had met a gentleman on an Internet dating site. For this case study I shall call him “Richard”.
She described Richard as very attentive. Being a solicitor, they had a lot in common as Deborah also worked in the legal profession.
For the first couple of months they were in regular contact. Richard asked Deborah to complete some research on cases he was working on. He also encouraged her to keep a record of her hours engaged and money owed to her. Richard was said to be “a great talker” and often spoke about his life, his mother and ex-wife. He appeared open and honest with nothing to raise any alarm bells.
Around this time one of the Caribbean islands suffered terrible devastation from a hurricane. In this connection Richard started a relief fund. He told Deborah that he owned many charitable organisations. Richard persuaded my client to donate a large sum of money on his behalf, assuring her he would later reimburse, once he had received payment from his clients. The money was handed over with Richard asking for more later. Deborah refused to give any further money and Richard ceased all communication with her.
I was then instructed to investigate Richard with the objective of Deborah being able to reclaim the money owed to her.
Using information gained from Deborah and my own in-depth research I was able to locate “Richard”. It turned out that was not his real name and he used many aliases.
He was not a solicitor and did not own any charitable organisations.
The subject was, in fact, a convicted paedophile. He was also claiming asylum after a decision was made to deport him. Unfortunately, “Richard” had also been declared bankrupt, so there was no real prospect of recovering monies by legal proceedings.
Deborah was understandably shocked by my findings, but nevertheless grateful that she had never introduced this man to her daughter. The money owed was no longer the important issue in this case. My client was a very, very relieved mother.