News: Woman has ‘lost trust in men’ after Tinder date faked kidney transplant to swindle her out of thousands of pounds

News: Woman has ‘lost trust in men’ after Tinder date faked kidney transplant to swindle her out of thousands of pounds

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

A woman says she has been left embarrassed and devastated after a man she met on Tinder lied about a kidney transplant and conned her out of thousands of pounds.

Rebecca Rouse, from Saxilby near Lincoln, thought she was on to something good after swiping right for 28-year-old Paul Gillett.

The 35-year-old quickly became smitten and within a week the pair exchanged numbers.

 

Miss Rouse said: “At first he seemed like a really nice guy.

“He wasn’t like all the other people on Tinder and he appeared genuinely interested in me.

“All his messages were so flattering – whenever I got one it would put a huge smile on my face.

“He did asked to meet me quite early on, so I was a bit wary of that.

“Now I realise why he was being so keen.”

Paul Gillett, and Rebecca Rouse when dating
Paul Gillett, and Rebecca Rouse when dating
(Image: Rebecca Rouse / SWNS)

The two arranged to meet after Miss Rouse had finished her shifts at the Co-op where she was working at the time.

Shortly afterwards, they became an item and Miss Rouse introduced Gillett to her mum Marianne, 65, who gave her seal of approval.

She said: “He came around the night we met and my mum really liked him.

“We started seeing each other most days and Paul was so generous.

“He’d take mum and me out for meals and insist on paying.

“He even mentioned taking me to see Ed Sheeran for my birthday so everything was going really well between us.

“Paul was always talking about his family and showing us photos. He kept saying he’d arrange for us to meet.

“He was so romantic and everything seemed perfect.”

Paul Gillett.
Paul Gillett.
(Image: Rebecca Rouse / SWNS)

Gillett moved in with Rebecca and her mum in March 2017 after he told her his flat had become uninhabitable after a bad storm destroyed his chimney.

And that’s where Miss Rouse – who suffers with benign intracranial hypertension, a build-up of fluid on the brain – began to learn about her partner’s supposed health issues.

“Paul started telling me more about himself and mentioned a problem with his kidney,” she said.

“He told me he had an operation as a kid and he still had issues with it.

“I’d been in and out of hospital over the years with my condition so it was nice to meet someone who knew what it was like.”

Paul Gillett.
Paul Gillett.
(Image: SWNS)

One evening a few weeks later, Rebecca received a call from Gillett. He told her he’d gone into the hospital with kidney pains.

She said: “I tried to call him but he told me the signal was bad on the ward so he couldn’t speak.

“He told me they were keeping him in on a drip and running tests – I was so worried.

“I wanted to go to hospital to be by his side but he insisted he was fine and couldn’t have a visitor.

“Luckily he was back after a few days and he told me that he’d been put on dialysis.

“He even showed me the surgical dressing on his side after having treatment.

“He knew exactly what to say so it was all very convincing.”

Rebecca Rouse, 35, of Lincoln, was conned by a man she believed to be her boyfriend, after meeting on dating app Tinder
Rebecca Rouse, 35, of Lincoln, was conned by a man she believed to be her boyfriend, after meeting on dating app Tinder
(Image: SWNS)

Love-struck Rebecca believed Gillett then went for another hospital visit, where he was told he’d need to go for an MRI and a kidney transplant.

Believing he was genuine, she didn’t hesitate to hand over £3,182 when he said he needed ‘private medical treatment’ and travel in April 2017.

But when he didn’t return her calls, she grew suspicious.

She said: “He told me the waiting list on the NHS was too long and he’d have to go privately to a clinic he found in Cornwall.

“I transferred him the money from my savings account so he could cover the cost of scan and his travel costs.

“But once he left he got harder to reach and I started to get suspicious.

“He wouldn’t answer my calls and when he gave me his mum’s number, no one would answer that either.”

 

The stress even started to affect her own health.

“The whole situation was so stressful that it made my condition flare-up,” she said.

“I got a horrible pain in my head and I collapsed. I was then rushed to hospital and they had to drain the fluid off my brain.

“I threatened to call the police and he said he would get my money back to me but I stopped hearing from him.”

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Determined Rebecca eventually tracked down Gillett’s parents online to find out the truth.

She said: “I had a phone call with his parents and they told me they hadn’t heard from him for eight months.

“They told me he wasn’t a funeral director and he never had any kidney problems.

“They kept saying ‘sorry’ for what he’d done.

“It was all a lie and I was completely devastated.

“Paul had also left his car in front of our house the whole time he’d been gone and when my mum and I went to inspect it, we saw a packet of surgical dressings in there from Boots.

“We started to doubt anything he’d told us was truthful.”

 

Rebecca contacted the police and they informed her that Paul was already on their radar for selling fake Ed Sheeran tickets online.

She nearly lost hope that Gillett would be caught until she got a call from West Mercia Police in January 2019 saying he had been tracked down and arrested.

Gillett admitted three frauds and 21 similar matters at Worcester Crown Court and was sentenced to three years in prison in March 2019.

Combined with his kidney con, Gillett raked in £7,500 from other scams.

Speaking after his sentencing, Rebecca said: “I was completely devastated and so disappointed when it all came out.

“I feel foolish for falling for his lies, but I really believed he was a good guy and I thought we had something good.

“I started to lose hope that the police would find him and then I got the call from them.

“I was so relieved even though it bought it all back up again but I’m glad to see that justice has been done.”



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