The Perfect Scam podcast: Jonathan confronts the ‘Irish heiress’

Jonathan Walton: So, unpleasant stuff.
Mair Smyth: Okay.
Jonathan Walton: You’ve been lying to us the whole time about everything
Mair Smyth: About what?
Jonathan Walton: The whole time. That was a lie. That last four grand you needed that came out of nowhere, that was a lie. You’ve been scamming us out of money this whole time.

I just started hosting AARP’s The Perfect Scam podcast with Frank “Catch Me if You Can” Abagnale. In the first episode of this season, you met reality TV show producer Jonathan Walton, right as he met the “Irish heiress.” Today, you’ll get to hear Jonathan confront the woman and accuse her of being a scam artist. Then, you’ll see how Jonathan chased her through court records and cyberspace, found a host of other victims and ultimately helped put Mair Smith in jail. Along the way, there’s a happy ending. I hope you’ll listen by clicking play below, going to AARP’S The Perfect Scam website, or find the episode wherever you get your podcasts. There’s a partial transcript below:



[00:05:36] Jonathan Walton: I started a blog and a website,, where I started telling my story. You know, she had texted me a picture of a guy she was dating when we were best friends. This was the last guy she was dating. His name was Bob, and he lived in Newport Beach, and that’s all I knew. So my first blog post was, I posted that picture, and I said, “I know his name is Bob, I know he’s an engineer in Newport Beach, if anyone knows who this guy is, warn him.” Then about a month and a half later, I get a call. It’s Bob. He’s like, “Thank you so much. You saved me from her.”

So, she’d met Bob on Tinder, they start dating, she convinced him of this Irish inheritance she’s going to get, 25 million euros, right. So she finds this $12 million house in Newport Beach that she’s going to buy. She gets a realtor. Her and Bob look at this 12 million house a dozen times with the realtor. The last time she takes Bob’s kids there, and has them pick out their bedrooms, right. She puts in a written offer on the house because she tells Bob and the realtor, this inheritance is changing accounts any day now. Bob’s, and she says to Bob, “I want to know, I want to put your name on this house too with me,” and Bob’s like, “I can’t let you do that. Because if our relationship goes south, I’m going to own half the house. That’s not fair. I’ll owe $6 million of your house.” She’s like, “Listen, if you want to make it fair, just add my name to the titles of your two homes.” And she was drawing up paperwork to do that.

So around that time, Bob’s ex-wife is curious, who is this woman all of a sudden around her kids? She wants to know more about this woman. She googles the name, Mair Smyth, she finds my blog, she sees the picture of Bob and the warning, she prints it out, calls Bob and she’s like, “Hey, I need to meet with you right away.” He’s like, “All right, Mair and I are coming right down.” She’s like, “No. I don’t want Mair around. Come by yourself, meet me at the park down the street.” “Okay.” She hands Bob the, the printed out blog. He looks at it in disbelief. He doesn’t believe it’s true. He is, he’s shocked, so he brings the printed out blog home where Mair is. Mair, Mair was staying with him at the time at his house in Newport Beach, and she doesn’t say a word. She doesn’t say a word. She just packs up and walks out,

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About Bob Sullivan 1538 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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