Love Fraud Image

Love Fraud

By Alan Ng | August 30, 2020

Sprinkled throughout the series are glimpses into Smith’s abusive childhood. He was abandoned by his father and watched from a distance him raising a new family. His mother was never the same when she saw his grandmother and great-grandmother commit suicide. She would beat and humiliate Robert, and maybe this is why he does what he does. Clearly, in the end, any attempt to bring sympathy to Smith through his past is futile.

Love Fraud is also an indictment on our justice system that places zero importance on capturing a man like Robert Smith. We see he’s smart and cunning—always a step ahead of everyone chasing him. While law enforcement is tracking down violent criminals and more significant crimes, prosecuting fraud, and identity theft is a low-to-non-existent priority. If it weren’t for Grady and Ewing willing to do this documentary, Smith would continue to defraud more and more women, knowing that justice doesn’t care. Equally frustrating is the fact that the sentencing for this crime is minimal and hardly enough to convince anyone to rehabilitate.

“If it weren’t for…this documentary, Smith would continue to defraud more and more women…”

From an artistic standpoint, Love Fraud has some of the craziest animation to go along with an equally crazy criminal. The animation is striking and reminds me of Terry Gilliam’s cartoon on Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

I would suggest not doing what I did and binge-watch the series. The lengths that Smith goes through to hurt his victims are cruel, crazy, and ingenious…with a dash of narcism to even things out. The series will take you to some emotionally dark places, especially as more and more victims begin to surface. You need a week-to-week break.

I should mention there are an exciting man-hunt and chase at the end. Most of it’s involves tailing the unsuspecting Smith and looking for the right moment to get the police involved (which is just as crazy). The ending is shocking, insane, and a great case study for anyone who wants to become a forensic profiler in the future. And the ending-ending will leave you heartbroken and frustrated about our justice system. This type of con will continue, and still, no one will care.

Love Fraud made its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Love Fraud (2020)

Directed and Written: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing

Starring: Robert Scott Smith, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Love Fraud Image

"…cruel, crazy, and ingenious…with a dash of narcism to even things out."

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