October 15, 2013 catherinetownsend

Case Study: The Fake Doctor

My client, ‘Amy’, believed that she had found her very own Dr McDreamy: A handsome, wealthy and well-educated doctor who adored her – and was talking marriage within weeks. Amy is beautiful, intelligent and at the top of her game in her career – but being too trusting in her private life has gotten her burned in the past. When she invited me to be her ‘wingwoman’ and tag along on a group date, I had the perfect opportunity to spot red flags. 

During dinner, I was able to discreetly ask her date several seemingly casual questions about work and life. What he didn’t know was that I was specifically looking for certain pieces of information that I could follow up the next day, while observing his body language and micro expressions.

I noticed several inconsistencies: For example, he gave huge amounts of detail about the technical side of his work, but very little about his home life. At other times, his answers did not match his body language. But was he hiding something, or just feeling first-date nerves?

The next day, I was back on the case. I used the information that I had to get his complete address history in a detailed file, then checked the status of his medical license in all of the states he called home. That’s when I figured out that Mr Right had a rap sheet, and several holes in his story.

Lie # 1) He was a doctor.

He was NOT a doctor, but a nurse – and he had been disciplined in three states for drug charges, including theft of pain medicine from a patient.  Because nursing licenses are reviewed by individual states, it is sometimes unfortunately possible for shady nurses to cross state lines and start working without their criminal past coming to light.

Lie # 2) His divorce was amicable, and he had a good relationship with his kids. 

After the criminal background check, I found the civil suit related to his divorce. Though he had not gotten married in any of his home states, I was able locate and interview his ex – then confirm that his child support was more than $30,000 in arrears.

Lie #3) He owned an apartment, a house and a Bentley.

After an asset search, I found that he owned neither the condo he was living in nor the ‘Palm Springs house’ he claimed to be renovating. The car was a rental traced to a luxury car lot in Beverly Hills. It was only ‘his’ for two days.

boyfriend background check

Lie #4) He took a career sabbatical in the tropics. 

After scrolling through the state inmate locator, I learned that the ‘me time’ he spent in ‘the meditation room’ was code for prison.

Lie #5) He was helping his sister get back on her feet. 

Surveillance showed that she was not his sister, just another woman he was dating – unfortunately, she has now let him move into her house and drive her car.

It was hard for me to break the news to my client – who I considered a friend – that her boyfriend wasn’t who he claimed to be. But she thanked me, and explained that she probably would have figured all of these facts out eventually on her own –  but she would have wasted a lot of time and money.

This case really resonated with me because the front the fake doctor put on was very convincing. It’s also a great example of why it’s smart to bring in an impartial investigator in during the first flush of passion.

Because once love comes through the door, logic often goes out the window.

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