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Conman posing as Prince Harry 'steals from Diana charity'

Last updated: 06 December, 2010
London, Dec 6 (PTI) 11:20 IST

Prince Harry has reportedly become a victim of identity theft, after a conman posing as the third -in-line to the British throne diverted donations away from a charity which he created in memory of the late Princess Diana.

The fraud is thought to have cost Prince Harry's African orphans' charity 'Sentebale' thousands of pounds, the 'Daily Express' reported.At least 20 women in the US are understood to have been tricked by the fraudster posing as Harry on social networking website Facebook. They handed over money through a fake account in West Africa, the report said.

St James's Palace said: "Prince Harry has been informed about the scam and is saddened to hear that women have been taken in by it."

The trickster is Raji Abass Agboola, or someone using that name and bank account, in Nigeria and neighbouring Benin, the newspaper said, claiming that it didn't get any response from any of the phone numbers he used to contact the victims.

One victim, Carolyn Nelson, 65, a widow, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, lost US dollars 2,500 after sending it to the fake Harry. "This has just broken my heart," she said.

Nelson, an arts director who has worked with orphans in Botswana, thought she had talked on the phone to the real Prince about setting up an arts festival aiming to tour the world and raise up to 4.4 million pounds for the charity.

She had lined up artists and a venue for a festival when she discovered the man posing as Harry was a fake. On official-looking documents, he used a signature photographed and copied from a message attached to a wreath the Prince laid at Ground Zero in New York.

Sentebale, which Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho set up in 2006 in memory of their mothers, is in touch with Nelson about her ideas for an arts festival

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