Woman conned out of thousands

Police are looking for a man who's allegedly tricked a woman out of thousands of pounds after meeting her through a dating agency.

The victim, from Milton Keynes, was contacted by a man calling himself Ben Williams.  She met him twice before lending him more than two thousand pounds.

Not long after that she was told he'd died in Spain and had left her three and a half million dollars.  She paid out thousands more, as instructed, but never received any of the money.

Thames Valley Police say all of this started in June 2009.  The man calling himself Ben Williams (pictured right) said he was born on 3 January 1959 and had a home address in Bristol.

For several months, the woman communicated with Williams by email, until he invited her to visit him in Bristol. She travelled there by train and was met by the man, who took her to a five-bedroom house with a pool, at an unknown location somewhere in the Bristol area. The woman met him at the same location on one other occasion.

Williams apparently travelled frequently for business reasons. He claimed that while abroad on business, he was experiencing problems with his bank card and asked to borrow £2,500. The woman transferred the money to him.

A few weeks later, she received a message from his ‘business partner’ that Williams had died in Spain while on a business trip. She was then told that Williams had left her US$3,500,000, and received instructions on how to access this money.

The woman paid out several thousand pounds as instructed, but has not yet received any money. She became suspicious and reported the incident to police in December 2010.

PC Angi Harrell, investigating officer, said: "The man calling himself Ben Williams also has a Facebook page, where he gives his date of birth as 1 February 1961.

"We are appealing to anyone who recognises the man in the photograph, or who has any information as to his current whereabouts, to come forward and assist with our investigation."

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Harrell on 0845 8 505 505. If you don’t want to speak to police or give your name, please call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.