A mother who thought she had met the man of her dreams has revealed he turned out to be a “Tinder Scam” – and tricked her into losing her life savings and costing her her job.
Sunita Brittain, 51, believes “Michael Anderson” is the love of her life – and fell in love with him after meeting him online.
He told her that he is a successful businessman and multi-millionaire working as a global engineer and crypto analyst.
They exchanged thousands of texts and photos, and he even told her he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her – even though they had never met.
However, in the chilling echo of Netflix’s hit show “The Tinder Swindler,” he then started begging for money.
Sunita Brittain / SWNS)
He said he needed £9,000 to get him out of prison in Northern Cyprus – after an “accident” at his engineering project there.
Michael begged her for this money on numerous calls, she even lost her job as a teaching assistant because she left her phone at work.
She then deposited the money into an account that Michael said was his lawyer.
‘Michael’ claims he needs money for flights to the UK.
Sunita then realized something was wrong and called her bank and told them she was afraid she had been scammed – and they told her they had frozen the account.
‘Michael’ then started calling her threateningly, harassing her and telling her he would find out where she lived.
Sunita met him online in January but has now had no word from him for several weeks – and it is unknown if she will ever get her money back.
Sunita, a mother of two from Harworth, Notts, said: ”My story parallels Tinder Swindler, it’s crazy.
“I’m so vulnerable, I’ve just come out of a loveless marriage, about to get divorced, and I just want some kind of attention to make me feel wanted again.
” He started talking to me in a very intimate way and made me feel like the only woman in the world.
“He was telling me things that you would imagine in a fairy tale, with that happily ever after.”
She met her scammer on the Facebook dating site ‘Facebook Dating ❤️’ on January 9.
‘Michael Anderson’, who says he is the owner of a multi-million pound global engineering firm and crypto analyst, has started a conversation with Sunita.
Michael quickly asked for her number and the pair exchanged thousands of WhatsApp messages, and Michael began a “heavy conversation”.
Michael tells Sunita that he was born on the same day as her and was adopted – like her – by his parents from Zurich.
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On January 13, Sunita and Michael spoke on the phone for the first time, and she was convinced of the scammer’s feelings.
Sunita, who has children aged 13 and 11, said there were several signs that led her to admit to “putting her off” because of her feelings for Michael.
One is that he refuses to show his face during the video call.
“I find it strange why he never wanted Facetime,” she admits.
“He said he was shy in front of the camera – on one occasion I tried it, the image from his side was blurry and he looked about 20 years older than his image.”
Michael conjured up his sophisticated ruse on January 17, when he told Sunita he had to immediately get to one of his engineering projects in Northern Cyprus.
Sunita said: “Michael told me he had to get out of there because there had been a ‘tragic accident’ and he had to provide a whopping £160,000 to one of the families.
“Three days later, he told me that the Cypriot Police were holding him in custody.
“He went on to say how much he loves me and how we will be together when this is all over.
“He calls himself ‘King’ and I ‘Queen’ and tells me how he feels the connection of great love.”
Mr. Anderson instructed Sunita to make three separate bank transfers to the lawyer’s offshore bank account.
Sunita logged into her fake account on HorizoGlobal – no affiliation with Horizon Global – then she found out that HorizoGlobale was a fake bank – but where she could see Michael had over £7 million in his fabricated bank account.
He told her to turn over three separate transactions to his solicitor – two for £60,000 and one for £40,000 – which were rejected.
“I could see the money in his account going down, it was very real and I don’t even think it was a fake website,” she said.
“He kept telling me the connection was interrupted and there was no Wifi, so I had to keep transferring money in installments because he couldn’t do it himself.
On January 26, Sunita received a fake email from ‘HorizoGlobal’ stating that Mr Anderson was unable to transfer any more funds for “security reasons”.
The email warned her that they had frozen Michael’s assets until they could meet him in person at their Los Angeles-based Headquarters.
“I got a call from Michael and he started stressing – saying he was going to have to sell his bitcoins and get a loan from his lawyer,” Sunita said.
“He told me to send identification to the bank and lied that I was his financier.
“He said he would rather pay compensation than lose his business license and need to buy a plane ticket to come home with me.
“He started tricking me, begging me to help him – saying he would give me my money back.”
That was the moment Sunita made a £9,000 transaction into the bank account of this second false identity, the bank account of ‘Mr David Gana’s’ – Anderson’s “lawyer” based in Coventry.
Michael sent Sunita screenshots of his flights back to Doncaster on January 28, where she was due to pick him up from before heading straight to LA on Sunday so they could “prove their identity.” Michael’s for his offshore bank account”.
Sunita said: “My suitcase was packed and I am delighted.
“I couldn’t keep Michael all afternoon, and all of a sudden I got a call from one of his ‘lawyers’ saying that Michael had been arrested by police on the flight home for ‘tax evasion. ‘, his phone was taken and he. was trapped in Police custody.
“I called my best friend and told her about everything that had happened and how I was supposed to come to America.
“She asked how much I gave him so I told her.
“That’s when she said, ‘Sunita. Wake up. You’ve been tricked – you have kids to think about, he could have killed you’.
“She could tell right away and that’s when the coin dropped and I knew I was screwed.
“The whole thing seems desperate but when you are alone, these scammers play with your mind and people don’t understand it.
“When you isolate yourself from people, you can go blind because someone gets into your head.”
Sunita immediately notified her bank, who froze her account and contacted the Action Fraud Police Unit.
Michael has since harassed Sunita, calling her to “open her bank account”.
“He suddenly became upset and started threatening me that he would find out where I live,” Sunita said.
“He was calling me on different numbers and screaming, it was horrible and horrible.
“On February 1, I opened the curtains and saw a suspicious lorry parked right outside my house so I immediately called the police.
“I have two kids and have nowhere else to go and just want to prevent this from happening to anyone else.”
Meta has been approached for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-who-thought-shed-met-26408808 The mother thinks she will meet the man of her dreams who cheated on her for saving her life and work expenses.