'Love Fraud': A Primer on the Story Behind the Showtime Docuseries

Love Fraud Docuseries Preview
Preview
Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Hell hath no fury like women scorned. In this titillating four-part docuseries, the jilted wives, fiancées and girlfriends of Richard Scott Smith band together to turn up the heat on the elusive con man — who's accused of leaving a 20-year trail of broken hearts and empty bank accounts.

Here's a primer on their quest for justice in Love Fraud

1. The numbers are astounding.

In 2017, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady stumbled across a blog that Smith's Midwestern, middle-class marks were using to compare stories and track his whereabouts. The directors spoke with roughly 25 victims — some left five or six figures in debt.

"A lot of the women had the same soft spot, which is they had been married before and wanted a do-over," Grady says, explaining their willingness to trust him. "They wanted that feeling of when you think you [finally] found the one. That was his talent." 

Richard Scott Smith Love Fraud

Richard Scott Smith (Courtesy of SHOWTIME)

2. A Kansas bounty hunter is in their corner.

Badass Carla (top right, alongside the wronged Ellen, Sandi, Tracy and Sabrina) agrees to help them find the slippery Smith, pro bono. "I met her and I was like, 'Calamity Jane lives!'" says Ewing. 

3. You'll feel almost guilty for how much you enjoy the chase.

Fake-outs, twists, Carla's unpredictable mouth — even Smith's side of the story (we won't spoil how it's heard). "To the very last second, I was surprised," Ewing says. "It's just a blast."

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The true-crime docuseries offers a chilling close-up of an unrepentant sociopath.

Love Fraud, Series Premiere, Sunday, August 30, 9/8c, Showtime