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Woman jailed for writing scripts for romance scammers

Patricia Wutaan is jailed for two years after offering scammers tips on how to tug at the heart strings of unsuspecting victims

Jailed: Patricia Wutaan

Jailed: Patricia Wutaan Photo: Metropolitan Police/Handout

A woman who wrote scripts for romance fraudsters to use, including one about losing a loved one in the 9/11 attacks, has been jailed for two years.

Patricia Wutaan offered scammers tips on how to tug at the heart strings of unsuspecting victims and also laundered the money from a 70-year-old victim.

The 55-year-old was arrested following a tip off in February 2014 and when officers searched her home they found a number of hand-written notes including one which purported to be from the widow of a victim of the terror attacks in New York in 2001.

The script read: “I am a widow. Lost my husband to 9/11 terror attacks in New York. He made it out of the collapsed building but he later died because of heavy dust and smoke and he was asthmatic.”

Script One Script One   Photo: Metropolitan Police/Handout

Another note claimed to be from a widow who was waiting for money from her late husband’s will.

“Wutaan’s home was an Aladdin’s cave of fraudsters’ scripts and false IDs. It was almost like she was compiling a fraudsters’ handbook.”
Detective Constable Neil Sykes

And a third script suggested she needed money to pay her rent after spending every penny she had to fix her broken sewing machine.

Script Two Script Two   Photo: Metropolitan Police/Handout

The notes also included instructions such as: “Stay calm and moody until you get his final word” and “Let him do most of the talking, be sad and worried about taking care of bills for rest of the month. When he asks what he can do to help ask him for $2000 – $3000.”

Script Four Script Four   Photo: Metropolitan Police/Handout

 

Wutaan initially denied writing the notes, but handwriting experts proved they were a perfect match with her hand.

Police said there was no evidence that she had used the scripts herself, but they also recovered fake passports and drivers’ licenses from her Bromley home.

Script Five Script Five   Photo: Metropolitan Police/Handout

Detectives also discovered she had almost £30,000 paid into her bank account from a man in Switzerland, who had fallen victim to one of her associates.

Detective Constable Neil Sykes, of the Central Criminal Finances Team, said: “Wutaan’s home was an Aladdin’s cave of fraudsters’ scripts and false IDs. It was almost like she was compiling a fraudsters’ handbook.

“The scripts she had written demonstrate exactly the kinds of stories that victims are fed by fraudsters; designed to manipulate the victim into feeling sorry for them and wanting to help them.

“I urge anyone using a dating site to question what they are being told by other ‘daters’, especially when they are being asked for money or personal details.

“If you think you have been a victim, please don’t be embarrassed – tell police, so we can try and stop the fraudsters.”

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