A Doncaster man who was swindled out of £100,000 by online sex scammers has spoken of his heartache in a BBC documentary.
Roy Twiggs was robbed of his life savings by a woman he had never met after meeting her on an online dating site.
Now he has told how his search to find love led him to paying thousands of pounds to a woman called Donna who he called his ‘wife.’
In last night's episode of BBC One current affairs show Panorama, Mr Twiggs explained how he had been duped by the woman who he had swapped a number of explicit text messages and photos with.
He told reporter Athar Ahmed: “I wanted to try to find somebody. It’s just nice to have somebody to talk to.”
We revealed exclusively earlier this year how Mr Twiggs had been scammed.
“I’m looking for someone to love. I just want someone to be with and to talk to. I’m not a brilliant catch.” he said.
The 67-year-old who lives in Woodlands began swapping messages and emails with a woman who calls herself Donna Falco in 2017.
The pair exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos and ‘Donna’ began referring to herself as ‘Mrs Twiggs’ and began refererring to her ‘husband’ as ‘King Roy’ with outpourings of love and affection.
He told the programme: “We have never spoken. She used to message and call me The King. I wasn’t suspicious. It’s how Americans talk – they called you The King.”
The pair talked for weeks before she asked for money for a building project in Malaysia.
“It seemed to be for plausible things,” he said. “When you're sending £3,000, £4,000, it sort of all adds up.
"After I'd worked everything out I'd actually paid her the best part of £100,000."
Despite never meeting the woman, Mr Twiggs, of Windmill Balk Lane, continued to pay ‘Donna’ and took out a series of loans to meet the spiralling demands.
But his world came crashing down when police contacted him to say that he had been the victim of an online fraud.
He told Panorama: “I’ve lost everything. It’s fraud – she’s not who she says she is.
“I thought we were in love with each other. I thought we'd get together and get married and that would have been it. I had no suspicions whatsoever.
The programme revealed that after being duped out of his life savings he had started paying money to another woman he’d met online called Sherry – who also started referring to Roy as ‘the King.’
He said he’d paid her $500 and added: “It’s not nearly £100,000 is it? She told me she needed a little bit of money to sort something out.”
He added: “Loneliness is a bigger killer than drugs and drink. Trying not to be lonely is what I do every day.”
He told the programme that he has now cut all ties with Sherry and Donna – and the documentary showed him meeting with an Hungarian woman called Elizabeth he met online, with the pair filmed holding hands after meeting at Doncaster station.
Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, who investigated the matter on Mr Twiggs’s behalf said in a letter: “I have been advised by Supt Neil Thomas that you really need to refrain from your online activities.”
“You have been given explicit advice to stop online activities in order to safeguard against you losing further monies.”
You can watch BBC Panorama's Billion-Pound Romance Scam on BBCiPlayer.