Vulnerable women were conned out of £220,000 in a scam that used fake profiles on Match.com, a UK court has heard.
The four people who appeared in Winchester Crown Court deny all charges.
The prosecution said fake profiles of attractive men on Match.com were used to gain the women’s trust.
One such profile was for a James Richards, who was used to ensnare women, then the relationships were moved to email and texts.
One of these read:
“I knew our friendship would grow from the first day we spoke but neither one of us could imagine the love exploding, no thundering into our hearts.”
Prosecutors said the women were then asked for money to help release a £100m inheritance in India.
The alleged scam included a fake solicitor by the name of Rod Thompson and falsified documents to make the fraud more believable.
The prosecutor Simon Edwards said:
“The operation of the conspiracy was fairly straightforward and its success depended on the trust and co-operation of the victims in this case.
“It is fair to say — and I hope I do not do them a disservice in this — by and large the victims were financially vulnerable and also to an extent emotionally vulnerable.
“The conspirators exploited their emotional vulnerability to ensure financial reward for them and those who laundered the money.”
Women gave money in sums ranging from £700 to £174,000.
However one woman became suspicious when she received two identical emails asking for money.
Prosecutor Simon Edwards spoke of “elementary mistakes” by the alleged scammers, such as an affidavit listed for £1.5m starling, rather than sterling.