'Although a little voice had been telling me Richard had to be too good to be true, it was the first time I had actually considered he might not be who he said he was.'That evening I emailed him asking, "Are you real?" and he sent me a copy of a passport with his photo on it, making me feel guilty for hurting his feelings. He reassured me further by saying when we met, he would prove how real he was.' 'He had left luggage containing secret Army papers in Ghana for safekeeping, but it had been impounded by the corrupt government there, and they were demanding £30,000 to have it released,' says Kathleen.Handsome, educated and eloquent, the distinguished soldier had exchanged hundreds of heartfelt emails with the lonely 68-year-old British divorcee since they were matched on a dating website five months earlier.So desperate was her paramour to lay eyes on his new love that he had insisted on booking her plane ticket so they could meet face to face.Kathleen Fortun snapped shut her suitcase and headed for her front door.
She also felt utterly foolish, for when police gave Kathleen a folder showing a selection of the pictures such con-artists use regularly to fool women like her, she soon spotted the very photo 'Colonel Allman' had sent her, purportedly of himself.'Kathleen, who lives in a three-bedroom granite cottage, joined - aimed at the over-40s - in July 2012.Having divorced in 1973 after 11 years of marriage, she'd devoted herself to raising her sons.'He said he was 61 and an officer in the American Army,' says Kathleen.
'Born and brought up in London, his family had moved to California when he was 17.
'Bells should have rung but he sounded so convincing.