A four-part documentary for Showtime, Love Fraud is a thrilling manhunt of the criminal Robert Scott Smith. He is a serial con-man who befriends middle-aged women, starts a whirlwind romance, injects himself into their lives, and bank accounts, then takes everything and vanishes.
For over twenty years, Smith has been preying on women, and the numbers swindled grow day-to-day. This number is so large that his victims have come together on a blog to share their experiences, warn others, and maybe figure out a way to catch the guy. Catching the guy is where directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing come in. Unlike most documentaries that tell the story after the fact, Grady and Ewing start from their first contact with Smith’s victims. They use their documentary resources and gather the right people to locate Smith, and without the guarantee, they will catch him.
“…a serial con-man who befriends women, starts a whirlwind romance, injects himself into their lives and bank accounts…”
Episode one sets the stage by introducing a few of Smith’s targets, the blog, and the chain-smoking, no-nonsense bounty hunter, Carla. One thing about Smith is he’s smart. No one can find him until after he’s used up his latest victim. We hear about how charismatic he is and how caring and attentive he is while reinforcing the fact that anyone can be conned.
In Episode two, Smith targets a woman and convinces her to clear out her husband’s 401k. Together they disappear and open a seafood restaurant. They’re showing how creative Smith is getting in his con and showing how sociopathic he’s become. The rest of the documentary gets deadly serious about catching the man, how the bloggers use the internet to track down his whereabouts, and then the inevitable chase.
"…cruel, crazy, and ingenious…with a dash of narcism to even things out."