A woman duped into paying £69,000 to a conman who posed as Scots singer Marti Pellow is using private investigators in a bid to track down the person responsible.
The mum, who we have agreed to only name as Claire, has vowed to “fight to the end” to track down the fraudster who tricked her into handing over cash instalments for months after contacting her online and convincing her he was the Wet Wet Wet star.
During the scam, Claire thought she was putting money towards a £940,000 house in Windsor after the individual promised they would move in together – and claimed he had received cash from ‘his godmother’ to obtain a place.
But the penny dropped for Claire when he demanded £35,000 to ‘pay off a contract manager.’
When she called him a crook who only cared about money, the messages turned threatening and nasty.
Email harmonies, seen by the Record, from a private investigator firm based in London discloses initial enquiries have been made into tracking down the fraudster.
Speaking to the Record, Claire said: “I am trying to find out who is behind it and gather enough evidence. Once I get that, I will go to the police.
“I just want justice and a sense of closure from this. Who else is this person doing it to and who has he done it to before? Not everyone comes forward about these things. I will go right to the end with this.
“I will be going back to the investigator who I’ve been in touch with and see if they can dig any deeper.”
Emma Coles, director of Verity Henton Private Investigations Ltd, said they confirmed with a source close to the real Marti Pellow that none of the contact details used by the individual belonged to him.
She additional: “We would love to work further with the victim to dig deeper with more information to work on.”
Claire says she will also be making contact with other private investigators should her current enquiries grind to a stop.
Claire, who is in her 40s and lives in England, told the Record in October she was first contacted by the conman in May 2020 after ‘liking’ one of Marti Pellow’s music videos on Instagram.
In June last year, Marti Pellow himself warned fans about scammers pretending to be him on social media and urged fans to ignore direct messages from anyone on any forum claiming to be him.
Claire said she was “sucked in” by the scammer’s flirtatious messages and compliments and the pair hit up an online romance.
The profile already sent pictures and videos appearing to show the singer at home – but Claire now acknowledges these were doctored.
In March, he already sent flowers and a card to her home with a personal message signed from ‘Marti Pellow.’
The person behind the profile also sent Claire pictures of a house he claimed to have bought in Windsor – where the singer himself lives – to lure her into making multiple transfers totalling around £30,000 to bank accounts under false names between January and August this year.
Claire said she had the money obtainable to pay towards the house from proceeds of a house sale in London by a recent divorce.
She said the fraudster convinced her to send £15,000 for a car because they ‘could not be seen driving round in a taxi’, another £1,000 for an engagement ring he claimed to have bought for her and numerous other payments for gifts on iTunes and Amazon.
In messages given to the Record, the man is shown to have then sent messages threatening to harm Claire, her loved ones and himself, after she refused to move any more cash.
later messages from the profile included pleas for Claire not to tell anyone about their conversations.
In one Google hangout message exchange, Claire told the con man he planned the scam well and that all he cared about was money and no one else.
The message in response from the fraudster reads: “I do.
“It’s only when I’m being treated bad that’s when I feel like ending my life.
“I know you want me to end my life so you can move on with your new man, but trust me if I’m dying you Nd your son will die with me.”
Claire responds to this by saying: “Leave my son out of this.”
Another message from the person behind the profile said: “I will kill that p****, you Nd your son then end my life or go to jail.”
In June last year, Marti Pellow issued a statement which said: “If you receive any direct messages from anyone on any social network or forum claiming to be ‘Marti Pellow’, please ignore this.
“I do not send out any direct messages on social media. Anything I want to proportion with fans will always be done by a post on my official channels or on my website – martipellowofficial.co.uk.”
He also urged his fans to report those people responsible.
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