Evil’ Ian Beale Lookalike Scammer, John Eric Wells, Leaves Victims Devastated as Police Escalate Search

Evil’ Ian Beale Lookalike Scammer, John Eric Wells, Leaves Victims Devastated as Police Escalate Search

As police escalate efforts to apprehend the elusive fraudster, John Eric Wells, victims, including 74-year-old Hazel Wilkins, recount devastating tales of being duped out of life savings.

Wells, resembling Eastenders’ Ian Beale, has managed to evade capture for nearly five years, leaving a trail of heartbreak and financial ruin.

Romance Fraudster’s Elusive Run Continues

John Eric Wells, known as the ‘Casanova Conman,’ remains on the run, accused of swindling lonely women out of £400,000.

Despite his distinct resemblance to the iconic Ian Beale character, played by Adam Woodyatt, Wells has successfully evaded arrest for over four years.

The manhunt, initiated by South Yorkshire Police in 2019, intensifies as authorities seek leads on his whereabouts.

Devastating Impact on Victims

Victim Hazel Wilkins, now in a care home, reveals the life-altering consequences of falling prey to John Eric Wells.

Forced to sell her home after he allegedly tricked her out of her life savings, Wilkins describes Wells as the ‘devil incarnate’ who destroyed her happiness.

Her daughter, Lynsey, attributes her mother’s current plight to the traumatic experience, resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The ‘Casanova Conman’ Modus Operandi

Wells, believed to be in his 60s and also using aliases Howard Walmsley and Howard Hemmings, is wanted in connection with three romance frauds.

He allegedly fleeced victims out of their entire life savings, initiating spending sprees with their money.

Hazel Wilkins, who appeared on This Morning in 2019, shared her harrowing experience of meeting Wells online, leading to financial ruin and emotional distress.

Previous Crimes and a Film Adaptation

John Eric Wells has a history of deception, having been previously jailed for faking an £8.9million lottery win.

His elaborate scheme, defrauding banks and individuals, inspired the film “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Tracked down to a bar in Vietnam by The Mirror in 2019, Wells is reported to be running a bar purchased for him by a wealthy lover in Asia.

Wells’ Current Whereabouts and Police Appeal

While a former friend suggests that Wells is still in Asia, supporting him with funds from a wealthy lover in Vietnam, authorities urge anyone with information on his recent activities to come forward.

South Yorkshire Police confirms that Wells is still wanted, and they encourage individuals who may have seen or spoken to him to contact them promptly.

The possibility of Wells residing outside the UK adds complexity to the ongoing manhunt.