A mother-of-two who was duped into a 14-month relationship with a man who created a fake profile of Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan has now lost her job after calling for a change in the law which would enable prosecutions against those who create fake profiles.
Anna Rowe, 44, opened up about how she was used like “a hotel with benefits” during the 14-month relationship, leaving her needing counselling when she finally discovered she had been duped.
The online relationship began when they started talking after she became attracted to his profile on the Tinder app.
Anna said: “His profile was grounded, sincere. He said he was single, solvent, honest, genuine, not afraid of commitment.
“He disliked mind games, endless cyber chat and communication was key.
“He asked me to marry him several times, called me his life, his heart, his soul.
“He called me his wife and told me to call him my husband.
“He would be there for me always and we had the rest of our lives together.”
“By late October I was hooked. He had drawn me in. He clearly stated it was more than sex he wanted, it was a meaningful relationship, a passionate one-to-one.”
Anna grew suspicious after he vanished on their six month anniversary, claiming he was taking care of his mother who was seriously ill.
She repeatedly asked if things were fine over the next five months and he reassured her they were.
She eventually enlisted the help of a private investigator and finally discovered that she had been duped and the photos she had been sent where that of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan.
She also found that the man she had been in a 14 month relationship with had set up fake Facebook and Twitter profiles to dupe other woman into relationships.
Devastated by the deception she went to the police who told her there was nothing they could do because there was ‘no legislation to protect people against what he did’.
Anna has also revealed that she lost her job at the primary school she was working at after calling for a change in the law to help protect victims from internet hoaxers.
Anna told KentOnline: “People were horrified to learn that I had lost my job just for speaking up about my campaign.
“The school was saying it had to do it because of the sexual content of the article and the mention of Tinder.
She added: “The irony is that the school has been running an anti-bullying campaign in which the message has been that children must speak up if they want things to change.
“If you stay silent, then nothing happens.”
She has now launched a petition called ‘Making a fake online profile with the intent to use women/men for sex, should be a crime’ in the hopes it will protect other women.
Anna, added: “If this man had asked me for money, he would have committed a criminal offence under the fraud act.
“If he had used his fake profile to cause distress by trolling me or posting an intimate picture he would have committed a criminal offence under the communications act.
“But creating a profile to lure me into a fake relationship is not deemed a crime and it should be.
“What he did has almost destroyed me.