By Rowan Forster
A self-described Berwick hopeless romantic who was swindled by a con artist is warning serial swipers to be vigilant on dating applications in the aftermath of Valentine’s Day.
Greg Wills, 24, was desperate for love when he spent 14 February alone playing Call of Duty.
In a desperate bid for change, he outed himself to the singles of Casey-Cardinia – signing up to Plenty of Fish.
When he came across Sophie, 23, the two established an instant connection – or so he thought.
As it developed, his new love interest was less a potential “soul mate” and more a Nigerian prince masquerading as a young woman.
“Soon after talking, the threats came and I was in a world of trouble,” he said.
“I made the stupid mistake of sharing pictures with her – or it – and that came back to bite me.”
He was forced to change his Facebook surname, tighen his privacy settings and remove his profile picture to escape “Sophie’s” wrath.
In hindsight, Mr Wills believes he became overly desperate to find love – ignoring signs that Sophie was not a genuine person.
“She had a full profile, but when she spoke her English was a bit broken but I just tried to ignore it,” he added.
“It wasn’t until she threatened to destroy me that I knew something was amiss.”
One year on from the romantic hoax, and Mr Wills has found himself a legitimate partner.
They have been an item for several months.
“We’ve been on a few dates now, so I don’t think she is a Nigerian prince,” he said.
“There’s a happy ending for everyone.”
To report a scam, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.