Thu, 05 Jan 2017
A FRAUDSTER who posed online as a series of attractive young women to con men out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.
Kerryann Williams set up false profiles on dating agency websites using fake pictures to lure her 19 victims.
The married 33-year-old Thatcham woman gave sob stories to vulnerable men and persuaded them to give her money or send her mobile phones for her to use.
She avoided meeting her victims and managed to con them out of more than £20,000 in total.
Williams even duped one pensioner four separate times using different profiles and fleecing him out of a total of £6,000, a judge heard.
She told the 68-year-old she would be his carer, but each time he handed over money, she stopped messaging him and set up a new profile before going through the scam again, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Williams, of Glebelands, used Plenty of Fish, Tagged.com, Hi5.com and Facebook to carry out her frauds.
She would gain sympathy by claiming she was a victim of domestic abuse and needed help.
Williams would then tell victims she was going to travel by train to see them – but each time, at the last minute, would avoid meeting by claiming there were engineering works, delays or a crisis that meant she could not make the trip.
However, her actions aroused suspicion and one victim hired a private investigator while another informed police.
Once caught, Williams admitted two counts of fraud by false representation and asked for 17 frauds to be taken into consideration.
Jailing Williams for two years, Recorder Nicolas Gerasimidis told her: “These were, in my judgement, mean offences. You knew perfectly well what you were doing.
“These were carefully planned, carefully executed offences. The lies were spun, woven, in a way which caused your victims to believe what was being said to them.”
Speaking after Williams was jailed, one 68-year-old victim, from Portsmouth, Hants, said: “I’ve had a nervous breakdown due to what she put me through.”
During the fraud, he travelled to Slough and Reading to give Williams nine phones after she begged him for them.
He never met her but gave the handsets to other people on her behalf.
The pensioner, who suffers from asbestosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, is still paying out on the contracts.
He added: “I did get visits from two debt collectors from the phone company. I don’t think there’s a remote chance I’ll get my money back but I’m satisfied with the two years – she deserved that.”
Another victim, aged 76, sent her two phones and was conned out of £4,760, believing he was speaking to a woman called Tara Smith.
He became suspicious and hired a private investigator, not knowing the net was already closing on Williams as police were investigating the case.