Welcome my guest, Nancy Raven Smith. Grab a cup and enjoy the post!
As a writer and a reader, I am intrigued by frauds, cons, and scams. I recently wrote the first book in my new mystery/romantic suspense series, Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra. For me, land sharks stands for people who prey on others. In my story, the major fraud involved is a sweetheart swindle.
A sweetheart swindle, a Casanova con, or a love con are all the same. They occur when a con artist pretends to love their victims, when in reality, all they want is their target’s money. My research for on the subject shows older people are the predominant targets, because they are often alone and lonely. But it can happen to anyone at any age.
We’re all aware of possible misrepresentations on online dating services. But one of the recent occurrences of this type scam occurs on Facebook. I must get five or six friend requests a week from (supposedly) men who are retired, generals, businessmen, writers, doctors, etc, and who are widowed. If you go their Facebook page, there are very few entries, indicating a new account. There will be three or four pictures, the main one of a handsome man, another maybe of a cute dog, or a pretty little girl, but not with the man whose page it is. Their “stats” will say they live in Berlin or St Petersburg and went to school at Princeton and vacation in California or work at the U.N or something similar. Is you alarm bell ringing yet?
You’ll also see they’re friends with a couple people you know. That’s misleading. Somehow they got a couple of your friends to ok them. If you’re really interested in the person wanting to friend you, call or email that friend and ask how well they know the person. My guess is they won’t. If you do friend this type person in error, they will try to start a personal conversation immediately with you. It may be as simple as “Hi, I’d like to know you better” or “You look beautiful.” How are your alarm bells doing now?
A friend of mine has a picture of a toad up as her personal picture. She was told how beautiful she was. She hit the unfriend button as fast as she could and reported the person to Facebook as spam. That’s the right thing to do.
So how do you know when relationships and love are real? That’s the question the female protagonist in Land Sharks has to answer for herself.
Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra
A bank fraud investigator goes undercover in Sumatra to find a young woman who may or may not be kidnapped. Her job might be easier if she didn't have to deal with her boss's untrained son who has a crush on her and the unexpected appearance of an ex-boyfriend who’s a conman and always has a secret agenda.
From Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra
I sense Andre studying my face as I force myself to stare fixedly at the passing landscape. I can’t believe I’m sitting within two feet of him. It’s not fair. It’s like waving a box of See’s dark chocolate butter creams in front of a diabetic. You know it will destroy you, but you can’t resist having one -- or two . . .
Nancy Raven Smith grew up in Virginia where she ran horse sport events. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work as a production coordinator and enrolled at UCLA to study screenwriting. Her scripts have won numerous awards, but she decided to write one idea as a novel. To her surprise, she discovered a passion for writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Women in Film, Romance Writers of America, & Mystery Writers of America. Her debut novel, Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra, was chosen as an Amazon/Kindle Scout Program Selection Winner.
Land Sharks Available on Amazon - http://amzn.to/1JuIHku