She said she needed to pay for utilities, her phone bill, car insurance and a loan she had taken out to further her career by getting a qualification.
I didn’t suspect anything as I felt I could trust her. I was happy to help her. I could hear the stress in her voice.
Following that, a few weeks later she told me she had fallen ill with a heart condition. I panicked, worried that I might lose her and I was so scared. She needed money for hospital treatments and asked me to help. I sent her £1,000 immediately, never thinking at all that something was off with her requests.
This went on for a few months. She said she was having further tests, that they could not identify the problem and that she was in and out of hospital.
Every time she told me she had to go back into hospital, I sent her more money, hundreds each time. But, even when she was out of hospital, the requests came.
She said another family member had fallen ill who had mental health issues and was in a care home. It was always a case of something coming up that she couldn’t afford to pay for.
By this point, I had been sending her money for eight months. But I couldn’t stop myself from offering to help. This was someone who I thought was going to be my wife, so I didn’t see the red flags. I was blinded by love.
I was desperate to settle down and I had never experienced the kind nature that this woman had from other women.
In the end, I got to a point where I just wanted to see her. We met online during the pandemic, so there had always been restrictions on travel conveniently in our way. When the ban on travel lifted, I booked my flight to Singapore, due to leave in a matter of days after booking.
I felt nervous, anxious, scared and at the same time had butterflies in my stomach as I had fallen for Sandi.
She was really happy that I was coming and was excited to see me. Taking into account covid tests, the flight, and having to quarantine on arrival, it cost me around £3,000.
I set off feeling full of anticipation and excitement. When I arrived, 13 hours later, I couldn’t wait to be picked up at the airport by my future wife. All I wanted to do was run up to her, hug her, feel her warmth.
But when I came out of arrivals, I couldn’t see anyone waiting. I thought she must have got delayed, so I sent a message and called but there was no answer.
I sat down and I waited for her. One hour led to the next, and the next. And after five hours of sitting there on my own, the penny finally dropped: this person wasn’t real.
I had been catfished.