Gran duped by fake profile of famous singer who wooed her & ‘promised diamonds’

Denise Vick was convinced she was on the verge of being rich and famous after her favourite singer supposedly reached out to her – only to be left skint.

The retired gran thought she'd fallen in love with the superstar but later learned she was cruelly catfished.

She spent six months believing she was flirting with American Idol judge, Luke Bryan.

And despite the real Luke being a wealthy married father, the 55-year-old ended up sending the impersonator more than £3,500.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star, Denise said: "He used to tell me ‘don’t worry baby I have your back’ and he will give me everything I want in life.

“He promised riches and diamonds, vacations and touring with him."`

Denise added: “I was so excited and thought I finally don’t have to worry about the future of my grandchildren and I can look after my daughter.

“I let myself dream of the potential. I got totally caught up in it.

“He told me as soon as his divorce came through we would be together and we’d get married.”

So how exactly did a person pretending to be Luke Bryan manage to manipulate Denise?

The gran explained that it all started in October last year.

She was sat outside on her front porch when a message popped up.

“I recognised the face and name instantly and I just thought 'wow',” Denise said.

“I was just a simple gal, how could I even have the privilege of meeting someone like this?

“I questioned if it was real and he told me that celebrities don’t always share everything with the media.”

From that moment on, the pair chatted every single day.

But two weeks later, fake Luke had a confession – he was divorcing his wife and she'd "frozen his bank account".

Soon after, he started asking Denise for money.

She said: “I told him I’m not a woman of wealth and I can’t afford him and he was totally out of my league.

“He would tell me how much he loved me and he needed money for his boys birthday for video games.

“I started sending little bits at a time in steam cards. I felt sorry for him.”

Fake Luke pleaded with Denise to keep their online fling a secret until his divorce was finalised.

But Denise said as time went on she began to question if it was too good to be true.

She explained: “I was naive to social media and I had heard of romance scams but never thought it could happen to me.

“At one point I even showed some messages to my son-in-law John along with the pictures Luke sent me.

“John said it was either a very good professional scammer or I am really talking to Luke Bryan.

“I so wanted it to be true.”

But as time progressed, Denise, who lives in Colorado, grew more concerned.

At one point, her Google account was hacked and her pals were receiving messages asking for money after being told she was in the hospital.

Then, fake Luke’s contact slowly stopped.

Denise said: “At first I thought he was at home with his wife and he asked to be discreet so I understood.

“He had a busy life with touring etc.

“But in the end he would only message me when he wanted something, usually money.

“I confronted him and asked for more proof but nothing was enough.”

Denise eventually realised she had blown thousands of pounds and ended up blocking him in March.

No longer dating and planning an exciting future with the hunky celeb left her crushed.

She said: “I was heartbroken. What a blow to my self-esteem for someone to build you up so high only to shoot you down so low.

“I now struggle to trust people and I don’t accept male friend requests. Before I was a people person.”

Despite the setback, Denise said she is still a huge Luke Bryan fan, but said listening to his music is strange.

After the scam, she even DMd the performer and wrote: “Will the real Luke Bryan please stand up".

The gran is now warning women about romance scams and said she’s helped three other people from falling for fake Luke Bryan messages.

She added: “I’m trying so hard to advocate this and to warn others.

“My advice to women on dating sites is to FaceTime the person.

"Make them wave at you or even dance around the kitchen, anything to make sure they are real.

“Hopefully I can keep reaching out to help others, that’s what has helped me cope the most.”

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