She ended up giving away £4,000 before she discovered she was the victim of an elaborate scam based in Nigeria.Even to this day, Sheila has no idea who she was actually talking to or where her money went.She said: 'As soon as I opened the email and saw his photo it was love at first sight, we spent time chatting with emails going backwards and forwards getting to know each other.

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He said a payment had to be made right away in order for them to get the goods he needed from a supplier - and that he couldn't make the transaction from Afghanistan.

She recalled: 'As I was showing prospective buyers around my house I was so excited as Glen was due to be coming home tomorrow.

I couldn't help telling them all about it and showed them Glen's picture on my laptop.' Sheila was sent this picture by 'Glen', who she believed was a medic in the Canadian Navy based in Afghanistan.

Claiming to be a military man is a common ruse used by scammers as it makes them attractive to women and provides a plausible explanation as to why they are unable to meet He said they would send the woman a picture of a handsome man they would 'fall for' and concoct a back story about their life.

A decent person with a good job or business in search of a good, honest partner to settle down with.

You or someone you know may be dating this person online right now. No matter how good they sound, things aren't what they appear to be.In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafé with a well-rehearsed script he's used many times before.He said they often pretended to have a military background as this is attractive to women and gives them a plausible reason why they can't meet.He said: 'Most women say they want security and someone with a good job.One of the best jobs we believe is in the military and with a military man you can say you are travelling. In fact, they're someone you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with.