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    Nov 10, 2014

    Conned out of $22,000 by FB 'lover'

    NOT only was her dream to marry the man she loved crushed, but all of Ms Suzannie's (not her real name) savings vanished as well, leaving her in debt by as much as $19,000.

    All this because the 44-year-old single mother of three fell for the sweet nothings of her Facebook "lover".

    Ms Suzannie trusted her "lover", who called himself Troy Williams, so much that she gave money and gifts totalling $22,000, of which $3,000 was from her savings, while the rest of the amount was borrowed.

    Her "lover" then vanished suddenly, leaving the photocopy-machine operator to bear the consequences.

    According to Ms Suzannie, her misfortune began when Williams asked to be her friend on Facebook in April, claiming to be a United States soldier aged 42.

    They started to chat often on Facebook, and he frequently lavished her with love poems and called her "wife".

    A month after that, Williams began asking Ms Suzannie for money on the pretence that he needed to undergo treatment at a hospital in India after injuries sustained during his deployment in Syria.

    "Each time I said I didn't have money, he asked me to borrow from my friend.

    "I wanted to help him because he begged me. He said he loved me and he would return the money when he comes to Singapore. But he never came," she said.

    Besides money, Ms Suzannie, who earns $1,000 a month, sent an Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Lenovo laptop to the address in India given by her "lover", who had asked for them as gifts.

    After sending money and gifts a few times, she suspected that something was not right and began questioning him.

    However, he kept deceiving her with sweet promises.

    After Ms Suzannie stopped sending money to him because she could not afford it any more, Williams admitted that he had tricked her and disappeared.

    She reported the case to the police last month.

    Ms Suzannie now faces a debt problem - the friend who had lent her the money still does not know she was scammed.

    "The husband of my friend was angry when he found out that my friend lent me that money. But now, I haven't revealed I have actually been scammed.

    "I also don't want to tell my parents because I am scared they will scold me," she said.

    Ms Suzannie lives with her parents, aged 67 and 68, her younger brother aged 41, and her three children, aged between 10 and 19, at a three-room flat in Jurong West.

    Her brother works part-time from Fridays to Sundays, while her eldest child is looking for a job.

    "Now I don't have any savings. I really am stupid. Now I'm disheartened, I don't want to meet men again. I am scared," said Ms Suzannie.