A man who used dating websites to meet potential victims has been jailed for 18 months for fraud.
Mohamad Yousef, 37, met the 30-year-old female victim on a well known dating site in May 2017. Yousef told the victim that he was a 33-year-old doctor and sent her a picture of him wearing his hospital ‘scrubs’.
The relationship progressed quickly and the couple became engaged within the month.
At the end of May 2017, Yousef asked the victim to loan him some cash as he was short of money for their wedding, which he was arranging at the Dorchester Hotel. She transferred £800 into his bank account. In addition, he convinced her to take out a loan of £15,000 to cover the cost of their wedding.
However, once he had the £15,000, Yousef broke off all contact with the victim and despite trying, she couldn’t reach him.
When she contacted the hospital where he claimed to work they had no knowledge of him. She called the Dorchester and found that no booking had been made for the wedding.
Mohamad could not be located and so was circulated as wanted on the Police National Computer.
On 13 September 2017 Yousef was arrested at Heathrow when he landed on a flight from Africa.
He claimed that the victim took out a loan against his wishes, but he still accepted the money from the loan into his account.
He said he received over £14,000 from the loan, but only had £6,000 left, having spent the rest on an emergency as his father was not well.
During interview Yousef was asked about the picture of him wearing hospital scrubs that he sent to the victim on the dating site. He claimed that the photo was taken when he was doing voluntary work with Oxfam, when he was providing vaccinations. He said that his actual occupation was mini-cab controller.
Yousef was charged with fraud on 30 January 2018. He appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on 1 July 2019, where he entered a guilty plea.
At Wood Green Crown Court, Mohammed Yousef was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Detective Sergeant Milan Pandya, said: “It is so important that anyone scammed by online fraudsters comes forward so that we can make a start in putting a stop to their activities.
“Victims should absolutely not be embarrassed. These unscrupulous people are convincing and tenacious in their deceptions.
“Please don’t hesitate to contact police if you have been a victim of this crime – at the very least contact us to ensure that you receive any support that you may need.”