I was seduced by a ‘legendary 1960s British pop star’ – I was living my fantasy but then lost £60,000 from my account

I was seduced by a ‘legendary 1960s British pop star’ – I was living my fantasy but then lost £60,000 from my account

AN artist who almost died after suffering a stroke has revealed how she was duped out of more than £60,000 by a scammer posing as a beloved 1960s singer.

Kirsten Zuk, from Edmonton, Canada, is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy after a heartless conman claiming to be Herman’s Hermits star Peter Noone targeted her for nine months.

Kirsten Zuk was duped out of £60,000 by a conman on social media

GettyThe con artist was posing as Herman’s Hermits star Peter Noone, pictured end right[/caption]

SuppliedMessages the scammer sent to Kirsten via Telegram[/caption]

The 58-year-old, who famously used part of John Lennon’s tooth in a sculpture of the late Beatles star, says she has been left without a penny to her name.

Kirsten’s ordeal saw her swindled out of large chunks of money in the form of gift cards and bank transfers she thought she was handing over to I’m Into Something Good singer Noone.

But she later realised the Manchester-born artist, 76, had nothing to do with the money demands and that she had been scammed.

Kirsten told The Sun: “I didn’t know people existed who were so heartless and cruel.

“I lost my inheritance from my mother, which was $64,000 (£50k), plus my checking of $14,000 (£11k), plus about $2,000 (£1.5k) in art sales.

Noone fan Kirsten said she had met the star at least six times following shows in her home city as he signed autographs after shows.

So when she was contacted by a scammer posing as the singer, she says she was deceived into believing it was him.

The heartless conman convinced Kirsten he “couldn’t trust anyone” and it was “safe” for them to speak over Telegram.

Kirsten said: “If this was anyone else I hadn’t met maybe six times I couldn’t have been conned.

“But over months the scammer was able to get me to believe it was the real Peter Noone – even playing me off of the other scammers coming at me in order to build trust.

“I was honest from the start about my stroke and being a relatively poor artist.

“But he seduced me emotionally with his story of needing help and not being able to trust anyone.”

The callous con artist called Kirsten “my love” and desperately reassured her as they exchanged messages on Telegram after the scammer initially contacted her via Facebook.

After nine months of dishing out money in good faith, Kirsten realised she had been cruelly duped.

She said: “In the summer he sent me a check to pay me back supposedly on September 28, after his summer concert season.

“Of course it never showed up, with a story to explain why.

“Even before Christmas he was to come to cash the check, but he was supposedly at the airport without the passport and needed money.

“Finally I had to admit to myself and tell my family and friends I had been scammed.”

Noone – whose hits with Herman’s Hermits include Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter and There’s a Kind of Hush – urged Kirsten to call the cops after her brother Dr Michael Zuk contacted him about her ordeal.

This experience has been both financially and emotionally devastating.

Kirsten Zuk

The star, who enjoyed a number one hit with I’m Into Something Good in 1964, has urged his fans to stay vigilant.

Noone shot to fame in 1964 as the teen frontman of Herman’s Hermits -billed by their record label to be “the new Beatles”.

The dad-of-one, who lives in California with his wife Mireille, performs at dozens of venues in the US each year – and occasionally makes the trip back across to the UK for shows.

He has a legion of loyal fans, who he has remained he has an official Facebook page that is verified.

He told The Sun: “Fans and friends are two different things.

“Of course if people meet their teen idol and he or she is kind and pleasant and listens to their story, then they think they are now on the next level – friendship.

“The reason I set up Facebook Live was to let people know it is me. Look at me and look at the blue tick.

“Almost almost the shysters don’t have a blue tick. Beware of troublemakers.”

Kirsten said she has filed a report with Edmonton Police, but fears she will be left out of pocket.

She said: “I feel that I am still in shock over this. I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

“I had a stroke two years that left me paralysed on my left side and unable to get a phone for one and a half days. I almost died.

“I am still working daily on my recovery.

“This experience has been both financially and emotionally devastating.

“I have gone through shock, anger, sadness and feeling bewildered that society has come to this stage of collapse.”

She has now called on Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta team to do more to banish scammers from Facebook.

Kirsten said: “People take their lives over this kind of thing.

“This issue is so serious. Facebook has got to deal with the scammers that are ruining people’s lives.

“The problem is not one of being stupid. It’s that scammers play off our very real human emotions of empathy and compassion.

“Scammers are so advanced on the internet. The police said this is happening all the time now.”

A Meta spokeswoman told The Sun the page that targeted Kirtsen had been “automatically detected and removed by tools which scan for spam activity”.

A spokesman for Edmonton police said: “Police are looking into this matter, and the file remains under investigation.”

GettyManchester-born singer Noone performing in New Jersey in 2016[/caption]

SuppliedKirsten with the sculpture of John Lennon she made using part of the late Beatles star’s tooth[/caption]

GettyNoone, centre, with his Herman’s Hermits bandmates[/caption]

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