"he provided a false name and date of birth."
Tayyab Iqbal, aged 30, of Rochdale, received a suspended sentence after he conned a besotted student out of £17,000.
He gave a fake name and age to the woman and claimed he was a Birmingham-based pharmacist whose business was in trouble.
However, Iqbal was taking advantage of her generosity to feed his drug and gambling addictions.
His scam was eventually rumbled by his wife when she contacted the victim.
Syed Ahmed, prosecuting, said:
“The defendant met the victim on an online dating platform in June 2019.
“From the outset, he provided a false name and date of birth. He also claimed to be a pharmacist and partner at a pharmacy business in Birmingham.
“The victim was a university student at the time.
“During the relationship, the defendant claimed to be in financial difficulty with his business and asked to borrow money.”
Over a period of 10 months, Iqbal fleeced the victim out of £17,150.
Mr Ahmed continued: “She continued to make payments until she received a call from the defendant’s wife informing her of the fraud and informing her he had children and was married.”
Mr Ahmed added that Iqbal told police that he was in debt due to his drug and gambling addictions.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Iqbal admitted one charge of fraud.
Rajinder Gill, defending, said Iqbal had a “difficult” upbringing which led him to take drugs.
Since Iqbal’s arrest, he had “turned his life around” by repairing his marriage and getting a job with HM Revenue & Customs.
Judge Penelope Stanistreet-Keen told Iqbal:
“You targeted a young Muslim woman on a dating app.
“She thought it was a safe space where she could meet someone.
“The harm was not just financial. She failed papers at university. She didn’t have a lot of money.”
“You continued to lie to her even after your wife blew the whistle.
“You used an app that deleted messages after six days. You manipulated and exploited her. These were despicable actions.”
On September 3, 2021, Iqbal was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.
He was ordered to repay the £17,150 back to the victim.
Iqbal must carry out up to 30 days of rehabilitation activity, mainly to address his drug and gambling issues, and pay the victim compensation at a rate of £500-a-month.
A restraining order was also imposed, banning him from contacting the student.