A spurned lover is calling for the Government to force people to use their real names on dating sites – because she fell for a lying married man.
Anna Rowe was seduced on Tinder by a high flying city lawyer for almost a year – before learning the name he had given was fake and that he had a wife and children.
The hoaxer, ‘Antony Ray’ used a picture of a famous Bollywood actor on the dating app and kept their passionate relationship going by repeatedly asking the 44-year-old teaching assistant to marry him.
She claims he used her like a “personal hotel with benefits” while making her think he was committed to a loving relationship and even made her call him her husband.
Anna, from Rough Common, Kent, said: “He broke my trust, took away my right to choose.
“I did not consent to having a relationship with a married man, or a man who was actively having relations with multiple women simultaneously.”
“This man used me like a personal hotel with benefits under the guise of wanting the romantic, loving relationship he knew I craved.”
After the pair chatted on the app for several weeks Antony claimed it was more than sex he wanted, claiming he was honest and “genuine” and not afraid of commitment.
Anna was instantly smitten when met for the first time on November 3 2015 and in a whirlwind affair he visited her at home twice a week for six months.
He claimed that his work as a businessman often required to work abroad in Germany and Ireland.
His Tinder profile photo was in fact a photograph of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan and the pair switched from Tinder to WhatsApp when he sent through real photos of himself.
As 2015 turned to 2016, she says Antony’s passion appeared to be cooling and that he explained this because his mother had become ill, showing signs of ovarian cancer.
Anna said: “He walked into my house with a quiet confidence, calm and an ease that felt like he had done the same every night for years.
“It was like he was supposed to be there. He instinctively knew how to hold me. It was like I’d known him and him me for far longer than we had.
“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.
“He constantly told me he loved me and sent me voice messages saying we would get through any obstacle that came our way.
“He told me he couldn’t get through this without me.
“My heart hurt for all he was going through. He would tell me how much it meant to him that he knew I was there for him, that I had his back.”
Antony’s visits suddenly became infrequent and after he arrived on May 3 Anna would not see him for five months until she confronted him about his lies.
By September last year the distance, lack of contact and unanswered phone calls were too much to bear and she reloaded Tinder on her phone and found Antony Ray looking for women.
Anna created a fake profile and began to chat with him and he gave the same speech, claiming he wanted a relationship that was “all or nothing from day one”.
After a day of chatting she let on who she was and he claimed his mum had been ill with a series of strokes and that he wasn’t looking for a relationship.
She then found out who he really was, a top legal executive who spent his working week in the capital and his weekends at home with his family in the north of England.
Anna said: “His alias was a clever twist on his real name. Then I sat and cried and cried.
“Worst of all was finding out he was married.
“Everything that hadn’t added up over the months, all the red flags and bad gut feelings over things that I had felt and pushed aside because I trusted him more than I did myself, or he had given me a reasonable answer to a question or I’d told myself I was being paranoid.”
After going public about her ordeal Anna has started a petition to force anyone with an online dating profile to use their real name.
Creating a fake persona on the internet with the intention of duping others into a relationship is known as “catfishing”.
She said: “I am a victim of a catfish approach. Using a fake profile and online identity as a platform to lure women or men for sex should be illegal, but it’s not.
“The result is the other party believing they are beginning a real relationship with the hope of a future together and having sex is part of that believed relationship.
“Creating a fake online profile with the intent to use women or men for sex, should be a crime under the fraud act, communications act and sexual offences act.”
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