Roush Review: The Riveting ‘Love Fraud’ Has Movie-Caliber Suspense

Love Fraud Review Showtime
Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Dirty John, step aside.

Vengeance is a dish served steaming mad in the astonishing four-part true-crime docuseries Love Fraud, which follows in real time the manhunt for love-’em-and-leave-’em con artist Richard Scott Smith. “I was in love with him. He made me feel like No. 1,” says one of Smith’s many victims, who described their courtship as “like a golden ticket for me.”

Until he walked off with her gold. Over a 20-year period, Smith wooed—and sometimes wed—a parade of women he would swindle and abandon. (Smith’s taste in TV, CNBC’s American Greed and Lifetime’s women-in-peril movies, should have been a tip-off.)

“The best way to get over a guy is revenge. I’m sorry, it is,” says Sabrina, who doesn’t sound the least bit sorry as she joins a group of Smith’s furious and humiliated exes who find each other online. Leading the charge: Carla, a salty bounty hunter they hire to track and take down this creep, who changes his name and identity like they’re so many socks.

With movie-caliber suspense, these determined women close in on their target, even as he juggles two more romantic patsies. And in the final chapter, the riveting Love Fraud ends with an extended probe of Smith’s psyche, a chilling close-up of an unrepentant sociopath.

Love Fraud Showtime Docuseries

(Courtesy of SHOWTIME)

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