POLICE have issued a warning over fraudsters targetting vulnerable women on dating websites.

A 52-year-old woman from the town, who does not wish to be named, was recently duped into sending £2,000 to a man she met when online dating.

Feeling lonely after the break down of a long term relationship, she joined website girlsdateforfree.com.

It allows you to join for free, view other people’s profiles and swap messages. Facebook details can also be linked.

She was contacted by a man who claimed to be a widower from Bury whose wife had died from cancer a year before.

He said he worked overseas and swapped e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

They spoke every day with the victim hoping for new romance.

Then, pleas for money started, with the man claiming to be in Nigeria with a credit card that had failed.

He needed a flight home, to get to her, and that the cost of the flight kept increasing.

The woman sent 10 payments using MoneyGram before her suspicions were aroused.

After contacting police she was told she had been scammed, and broke down in tears.

DC Victoria Date, of Cheshire Police’s financial investigation unit, investigated the case.

She said: “The victim said she is normally so careful and is surprised and angry with herself for allowing this man to manipulate her, she said his stories were so detailed and far-fetched she had not imagined that they were untrue.

“The victim has said she will now stay away from dating websites and urges other women to take heed of the advice that is displayed on the sites about not sending money.”

“The financial investigation unit are warning women not to send money to men they meet on dating sites.

“The men will provide detailed local information, telephone numbers and addresses but they are all fake.

“The men are part of a bigger scam and their 'job' is to meet vulnerable women on dating sites and swindle them out of their money.

“Once the money stops the men disappear.”

Anyone with information on dating scams can call police on 101.