OPINION: Can you help to catch Captain Crook?

How can someone go through their life lying to everyone around them and taking money from innocent people?

How could you live with yourself?

This is the question on my mind this week, after we revealed the identity of conman Brett Turton, who was posing as a number of different identities, including a US pilot and a Royal Caribbean cruise line captain, to swindle money from Mandurah women. 

Online commenters have asked how someone could believe Mr Turton’s lies. 

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“I mean c'mon. How can people fall for that?,” was one reader’s comment. 

Others were not so friendly and blamed the female victims, saying they deserved to lose money if they could fall for a conman’s lies. 

I don’t think that is fair.

You don’t hear a story like this everyday.

Of a person befriending innocent people and lying about their identity to scam money, in such an elaborate way.

We hear about online scams all the time and most people are aware of things to avoid and email attachments not to open.

But scamming someone in person is completely different and requires a whole new skill set. 

These victims were obviously not expecting someone to go to those lengths to steal their money.

After speaking to several victims of Mr Turton’s scams, it is clear this man was very convincing and well-versed in lying.

He knew his stories back to front. 

Most victims thought they genuinely had a romantic connection with Mr Turton, or believed he was a good bloke. 

I want to thank those victims for coming forward and sharing their stories with me.

They opened themselves up to scrutiny from the public by sharing these personal experiences.

These were stories I am sure they would prefer to forget and put behind them. 

Without people opening up and putting their trust in journalists, we are not able to make a change in society. 

Hopefully Mr Turton is brought to justice so that other innocent victims aren’t taken advantage of in the way that dozens across the nation already have been. 

Do you know Brett Turton?

Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

  • Get in touch by emailing me at carla.hildebrandt@fairfaxmedia.com.au.