60 episodes

Pretend Radio is a documentary-style podcast about real people pretending to be someone else. I interview con artists, snake oil salesmen, undercover FBI agents—pretty much anyone living a lie.

Pretend - a true crime documentary podcast Creative Babble

    • True Crime
    • 4.8, 53 Ratings

Pretend Radio is a documentary-style podcast about real people pretending to be someone else. I interview con artists, snake oil salesmen, undercover FBI agents—pretty much anyone living a lie.

    COVID-19 Scams: The Rattlesnake King

    COVID-19 Scams: The Rattlesnake King

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a conman’s Super Bowl. In times like these, when there's so much uncertainty, snake oil salesmen are ready to promise you a cure.

    In this episode, you'll hear from a woman who takes one of these miracle drugs. I ask her why she takes it.

    Special thanks to:
    Joe Terrell with Instrument of Mercy https://instrumentofmercy.com/
    A Concerned Citizen and host of Swindled

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    • 41 min
    COVID-19 Scams: How to Steal a Stimulus Check

    COVID-19 Scams: How to Steal a Stimulus Check

    COVID-19 Scams
    I wasn’t expecting to be back with a new PRETEND episode so soon. In fact, I’m still wrapping up the final episodes for my new show called CRIMINAL CONDUCT. But the world around us has changed. And scammers are on the prowl. 
    If you live in the US, chances are you probably received your stimulus payment. It went either straight into your bank account through direct deposit. Or some of you may have cashed the check that you received in the mail. 
    We’re talking about much-needed money for tens of millions of Americans out of work due to the Coronavirus. $1,200 for individuals and $3,400 for a family of four. 
    The IRS has sent out 150 million payments so far since the time of this recording… but more payments are still expected to still arrive through the end of June. 
    And if you haven’t received your check, you’re probably wondering what’s the hold-up? Unfortunately for some, your money is probably gone and in the hands of thieves. 
    Today, I’m going to show you exactly how easy it is for scammers to steal your money. In fact, I’ve challenged a privacy expert to try and hack into my private information. I was really shocked at what he was able to find.

    Password managers
    1Password.com (User-friendly and secure)
    Bitwarden (More secure cloud-based password manager)
    KeePassXC (More secure computer-based password manager) 

    Search to see if you’re password is exposed in a breached database

    Credit freezes
    Credit Freeze Tutorial (Full Workbook) 
    Annual Credit Report (Free credit report to detect fraud)
    Enable 2-factor authentication on all platforms that support it https://twofactorauth.org/

    Online removal workbook

    Additional resources
    Michael Bazzell’s website Intel Techniques
    Eva Velasquez Identity Theft Resource Center
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    • 35 min
    Inside Criminal Conduct

    Inside Criminal Conduct

    //Criminal Conduct debuts on March 23rd.//

    Get an inside look into the making of the new podcast. Thank you to Jerri Williams from FBI Retired Case File Review for helping us with this bonus episode.

    You can listen to the episode one now on Patreon.

    Subscribe to Criminal Conduct now so you won't miss an episode.

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    • 19 min
    BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Criminal Conduct

    BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Criminal Conduct

    On September 2nd, 2010, 24 year-old Michelle O’Connell broke up with her boyfriend, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Deputy, Jeremy Banks. Minutes later, she was dead.
    The St. Johns Sheriff’s Office quickly ruled the case a suicide, without examining crucial forensic evidence or interviewing any key witnesses. A medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, yet other investigations failed to gain traction.
    Her boyfriend, Deputy Jeremy Banks was never charged and is still working as a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Deputy.
    Years later, an amateur sleuth named Eli Washtock winds up murdered after investigating Michelle O’Connell’s death. What did he find out?
    ‘Criminal Conduct’ is an investigative true crime podcast series hosted by John Taylor and Javier Leiva. The hosts retrace the footsteps of Eli Washtock, the slain sleuth; picking up the investigation where he left off.
    ‘Criminal Conduct’ will be released in the spring of 2020. Subscribe now on all podcast platforms.

    Apple Podcast
    Google Play
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    • 2 min
    S510: The Joe Schmo Show

    S510: The Joe Schmo Show

    The Joe Schmo Show is a real-life Truman Show—where everyone is an actor except one unsuspecting guy. It’s a reality show within a reality show. 
    The series everyone watched on SPIKE TV was called The Joe Schmo show. But the show Matt Kennedy Gould thought he was participating in was called The Lap of Luxury—a Big Brother style television show. He had no idea that the people he was living with were all actors. 

    The series was created by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool). It was hosted by Ralph Garman and written and produced by J. Holland Moore. Season one starred a young Kristen Wiig who played a quack psychiatrist. I must warn you. This show did not age well. It would not survive in today’s #metoo movement. Despite what it lacks in sensitivity, it makes up for in its ingenuity and heart. 

    In this episode, Melissa with Moms and Murder and I talk with Chase Rogan, season three’s Joe Schmo, to find out what it’s like to be the star of television’s biggest hoax.

    Today’s episode was written and produced by me and Melissa. 
    Original music was provided by thechicken.net
    Additional music by Blue dot sessions
    All clips in this podcast were used in compliance with the US copyright act for fair use exemption, for criticism and commentary 
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    • 1 hr
    S509 The Santa Claus Man

    S509 The Santa Claus Man

    A con artist save Christmas
    Brian Earl with the Christmas Past podcast shares a Christmas story you’ve probably never heard before. In the early 1900s, children’s letters to Santa Claus never made it to the North Pole. They landed in the dead letter office and were eventually destroyed.
    But along came John Gluck, a hustler who took these letters to Santa and turned it into an opportunity to get rich and famous.
    It’s the strange and true story of government agents, spies, an art thief, U.S. presidents, and gun-toting boy scouts.
    Check out “My Dear Santa” with Brian Earl from the Christmas Past podcast

    CreditsToday’s show was written and edited by Javier Leiva.
    Our theme music was written and composed by Joe Basile with TheChicken.net.
    Additional music by Podington Bear.

    Support for this episode is brought to you by Detective TrappAnaheim investigator Julissa Trapp is not like other detectives. She’s the only woman on the homicide squad, and a skilled chameleon: undercover cop in vice stings, crime-scene commander, patient confidante of killers. A master interrogator, she invokes her personal experience – and deepest griefs — as a tool to elicit confessions. When a young woman’s body is found at a trash-sorting plant, Trapp learns the murder may be linked to the disappearance of three other women in nearby Santa Ana. Trapp embarks on a dark journey that brings her face to face with a man who takes “a little piece of her soul.”
    Listen now at Wondery.fm/PretendDT
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    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
53 Ratings

53 Ratings

Jo Laptop ,

The best podcast

Love it!🧡

Sugar Hiccup ,

Addictive Listening

Wow. What a great podcast. It has some absolutely brilliant ‘stories’ and I am hooked. I love Javier’s documentary style delivery. If you like true crime, listen to Pretend Radio.

40th nickname attempt ,


Really good, well researched and delivered. Loving the cult series.

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