This post deals with the topic of emotional abuse and may be triggering for some readers.
It seems we cannot get enough of con master stories. Inventing Anna. The Tinder Swindler. The Puppet Master. Dirty John. And even podcasts like Who The Hell Is Hamish. Even on nightly current affair programs, there is often a con victim example, someone swindled by a dodgy businessperson promising the world or even an online romantic interest that manipulates their target into thinking they can be trusted.
And when we hear about the elaborate schemes con artists use to scam money from innocent victims, we all wonder how the hell they pull it off and how do people actually fall for it.
This week, Mamamia's podcast The Quicky spoke to someone who fell victim to a con master, uncovering the tricks he used and the damage left in his wake.
Watch the trailer for The Tinder Swindler. Post continues below.
In 2014, Stephanie Wood - an award-winning profile writer, editor and journalist - matched with *Joe on an online dating app.
At first, Stephanie didn't feel all that interested in him. But after persistently asking her out, she thought: "Oh well I'll go out with him, I haven't done that in a while."
One thing led to another, and for 15 months Stephanie found herself in a relationship with this man.
"He told me he was a retired architect who previously had his own business. He said he had dabbled in private equity work and also was a major property developer, developing left, right and centre. But he never told me any of these things in a boastful way," she shared with Mamamia.
Listen to The Quicky: Why everyone's talking about the Tinder Swindler. Post continues after audio.
Ultimately, Joe was an unassuming guy to Stephanie.