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Tinder scammer Christopher Collins jailed for stealing $100,000 from women he met online

Within hours of meeting Christopher Collins on Tinder, he had scammed thousands of dollars from a Melbourne woman.

But that was just the beginning of her nightmare.

Weeks of manipulation followed, including threats of blackmail. And then a lengthy legal process.

Collins, 33, pleaded guilty to 24 charges including financial deception, fraud and theft and was sentenced Friday to 22 months in prison.

He stole more than $100,000 from three women he met online from January 2020 to January 2021.

Christopher Collins pleaded guilty to 24 charges including financial deception, fraud and theft and was sentenced to 22 months in prison on Friday

Christopher Collins pleaded guilty to 24 charges including financial deception, fraud and theft and was sentenced to 22 months in prison on Friday

Collins was silent when he appeared on a video link from prison in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

The court heard that he had just completed an 18-month work assignment for similar offenses – stealing money from women he met online and used for gambling – when he started stealing from a woman on January 3, 2020.

The woman, who spoke to AAP, said Collins had left her “ruined” physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

She met Collins on Tinder, where he went by the name CJ.

They talked about sports and he said he was a professional gambler. She invited him to watch some cricket, and then the scam started.

The court learned that Collins had just completed an 18-month work assignment for similar offenses — stealing money from women he met online and using it for gambling — when he started stealing from a woman on January 3, 2020.

The court learned that Collins had just completed an 18-month work assignment for similar offenses — stealing money from women he met online and using it for gambling — when he started stealing from a woman on January 3, 2020.

The court learned that Collins had just completed an 18-month work assignment for similar offenses — stealing money from women he met online and using it for gambling — when he started stealing from a woman on January 3, 2020.

Collins encouraged her to put money on a “sure bet” and convinced her to open new online gambling accounts.

Then they went to a pub in Richmond, where Collins sat in a dark corner with her phone after she went to the dance floor. Within 20 minutes, he had transferred $96,000 from her bank accounts and moved $72,000 into gambling accounts.

After they went home together, he stole her credit card while she was sleeping and used it to pay for a taxi and then drink at a strip club in Melbourne CBD.

When she confronted him, he manipulated her and threatened to send a harmful video of her if she went to the police. He texted her as if he were his mother, told her she owed money on bicycles and threatened suicide.

She became scared, worried and confused.

“That confusion and sense of urgency, that’s not a scenario I’ve ever been in, and you don’t know how to deal with it,” she told AAP.

She failed to recover $45,000 from the money he stole from her and spent nearly $15,000 on lawyers while the legal process continued.

“It’s had such an adverse impact on me emotionally, mentally and physically since it all happened,” she said.

“I’m a senior executive, I’m familiar with the street. I never thought this would happen to me and have the long-term lasting effects.”

Another victim, a single mother of four, told the court she had to live for months after the alms crime.

One victim said she was financially and emotionally 'ruined' after Collins' crimes (stock image)

One victim said she was financially and emotionally 'ruined' after Collins' crimes (stock image)

One victim said she was financially and emotionally ‘ruined’ after Collins’ crimes (stock image)

She has lost faith in men and hasn’t dated anyone since she met Collins.

Magistrate Cecily Hollingworth described Collins’ behavior as “brutal and cunning” and said it showed his disrespect for women.

“You could have stopped, you could have stopped at any time, but you continued to scam these women,” she said.

“You exploited women you knew had limited resources.”

Collins must spend 16 months in prison before being eligible for parole. He has been in custody for more than 10 months.

He paid back $10,000 to the court.

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