By now we have watched countless movies and shows that give us a peek into the beginning of a fairytale romance only to watch it crash and burn by the end. Showtime’s latest docuseries ‘Love Fraud’ gives us a peek into some such romances. It opens with a 40-year-old woman named Tracy, who can be seen lamenting about how it is extremely difficult for a woman of her age to find a good suitor. She then reveals how she took to dating apps with the hope of finding someone nice, but according to her, even that hasn’t always gone well.
She recounts an incident when she saw a man on one of the online dating portals and the two decided to meet for a date. On meeting him, Tracy realized that he had no teeth. She pointed out how it gets difficult and messy when you try to date after a certain age. But Tracy sees light at the end of the tunnel when she comes across the profile of a handsome gentleman named Mickey. Based on his photographs, it appeared as if he had all his teeth intact, owned a small business and was also religious. Since Mickey checked all the boxes for her ideal suitor, Tracy excitedly swiped right on him, with hopes of matching with him. Luckily they matched and ended up going on a lovely date.
Things were going very smoothly for the couple. Tracy’s daughters too admitted how they were glad to see their mother happily in love. Pretty soon, Mickey began professing his love for Tracy and uttered the three magical words. Shortly after that he told her that he couldn’t stay away from her and moved in with her. Then in the natural order of events, he even proposed to her. After their proposal, he began insisting on merging all their bank accounts into a joint account. Tracy didn’t think much of it and happily agreed to it. He then kept insisting to push their wedding date to an earlier date so that they could get married earlier than they had originally planned.
By this point, Tracy’s daughters began seeing red flags and began cautioning their mother. But it was too late. Mickey stole all the money from Tracy and disappeared from her life. A heartbroken and angry Tracy stumbled across a website created to warn women against falling for Mickey, who by the way, happens to be a big con artist. On the website, Tracy learns how Mickey’s real name was Richard Scott Smith. She then read accounts of other women who fell for his scam and ended up with not just a broken heart but also a negative bank balance. The women on the website began counting to see how many women he had married and scammed. They then realize that he was currently married to seven women from seven different states.
These angry women aren’t ready to back down or move on with their lives, they are ready to get their justice. But after not getting much help from the police, they zero in on a female bounty hunter named Carla. Two of them go and meet Carla and explain how Richard scams unsuspecting, middle-aged women and then steals all their hard-earned money and disappears. When Carla heard their story, she was left wondering how smart women fell for that.
But she was so upset by the injustice meted out to these women by the police authorities and society in general that she agreed to take on their matter pro-bono. She then revealed how she too was in an abusive marriage many years ago, but got out of it. Since then she had decided that she wouldn’t ever allow herself to be hurt by a man and would also protect other women against abuse. So, when she realizes how Richard abused these women by toying with their feelings and trust and also stealing their hard-earned money, Carla gets furious and takes on the challenge of locating him and delivering justice to these women. We can’t wait to see Carla in action and hopefully these women will get a closure that they rightfully deserve from all the hurt and pain caused by Richard Scott Smith.
‘Love Fraud’ airs every Monday at 9/8 c only on Showtime.
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