The online dating scammers who used Match.com to steal £220,000 from vulnerable women have been jailed.
The gang were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court, and received 14 years between them.
One scammer, 29-year0old Emmanuel Oko, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering and was given concurrent sentences of eight and four years.
Other sentences given included 46 weeks for money laundering for Chukwuka Ugwu, a three and half year sentence for Monty Emu, and 18 months for Adewunmi Nusi.
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.
Women gave money in sums ranging from £700 to £174,000.
Match.com made the following statement:
“The result today is a positive one. Sadly, there is a tiny minority of people who set out to exploit others, and while this is not confined to dating sites or even the internet, those who do should be convicted for their crimes as they were today.
“Our member’s safety is of the utmost importance to us and the dating industry as a whole and we fully support the stand the Online Dating Association is taking on the issue. We are committed to doing more to help educate consumers about how to approach online dating safely and guide them on how to look after themselves online.”