“I’ve always thought of myself as a wise person, so I don’t know how he managed to deceive me, but to be honest, in hindsight, there were a lot of red flags that I missed,” said Alicia*, a 50-year-old woman from Limpopo who was swindled out of almost R1-million by a man she was dating.
Stories like Alicia’s have become popular on Netflix, portrayed in shows like The Tinder Swindler and Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Alicia’s story begins in 2017 when she co-owned a clothing shop. One day a well-dressed man walked into the shop. The pair chatted and two days later got in touch again. The man, Pierre*, claimed that he was from central Africa and was in South Africa for business.
“He soon professed his love for me and we went on dates. He was also a religious man, he kept telling me: ‘Everything I do, I make sure to include God’. And sure enough, he gained my trust,” said Alicia.
Pierre had told Alicia…