143 episodes

PRETEND exposes the masterminds behind some of the most notorious scams and cons. From cult leaders to con artists and undercover FBI agents, this podcast pulls back the curtain on those who've pretended to be someone they're not.

Pretend - a true crime podcast about con artists PRETEND+

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 1.4K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

PRETEND exposes the masterminds behind some of the most notorious scams and cons. From cult leaders to con artists and undercover FBI agents, this podcast pulls back the curtain on those who've pretended to be someone they're not.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Stalker part 1

    The Stalker part 1

    Couple terrorized by a sadistic cyber stalker for years
    For more than three years, Claudia and David Rodriguez (not their real names) have been the targets of a sadistic cyber stalker. Despite their attempts to involve the police and stop the stalking, it has continued to this day. In fact, the couple has faced accusations from the very detectives assigned to their case. One detective suggests that Claudia may have a split personality and is causing the stalking herself.
    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon

    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast

    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter

    TikTok

    YouTube

    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. 

    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, & Netflix.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 29 min
    The Stalker part 2

    The Stalker part 2

    Harassed by a Cyber Stalker Claiming to be the Doctor's Husband: The Strange Story of Claudia and David Rodriguez
    Claudia and David Rodriguez claim they have been the victims of a cyber stalker for the past three years. The person behind the messages claims to be the husband of Claudia's daughter's doctor, a man they've never even met. As bizarre as this situation sounds, it's been a constant source of harassment and anxiety for the Rodriguez family. In this podcast episode, we'll delve into the strange story of Claudia and David Rodriguez, including their ongoing battle with a mysterious cyber stalker and the surprising twist that led to them being accused of stalking.
    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon
    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter
    TikTok
    YouTube
    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia.
    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, & New York Magazine.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 23 min
    The Stalker part 3

    The Stalker part 3

    From Victims to Suspects: The Bizarre Turn of Events in the Rodriguez Family's Cyber Stalking Case
    In the world of cyberstalking, it's not uncommon for victims to have an idea of who their perpetrator might be. It could be an ex-partner, a disgruntled employee, or even an obsessed friend. But for Claudia and David Rodriguez, the situation was much more complex. For the past three years, they've been the victims of a cyber stalker who claims to be the husband of their daughter's doctor, a man they've never even met. The messages started off benign but quickly turned sadistic and threatening. Despite their efforts to report the harassment and seek help from the authorities, the Rodriguez family faced disbelief and suspicion. In this podcast episode, we'll explore the mysterious case of the Rodriguez family's cyber stalker and how a simple IP address couldn't provide all the answers.

    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon

    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast

    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter

    TikTok

    YouTube

    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. 

    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, & New York Magazine.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 28 min
    The Stalker part 4

    The Stalker part 4

    Rodriguez Family Fights to Prove Daughter's Innocence in the face of Stalking Accusations
    For over three years, Claudia and David Rodriguez have been dealing with the terror of being stalked. Despite their efforts to involve the police and get help, the Stalking has continued to this day. In fact, the detectives and even the postal inspector assigned to their case have accused their oldest daughter of being the perpetrator, despite her claiming to have a solid alibi.

    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon

    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast

    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter

    TikTok

    YouTube

    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. 

    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, Discovery+, & Netlfix.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 23 min
    The Stalker part 5

    The Stalker part 5

    Claudia and David Rodriguez have five children, four of whom are adults, and most have severe medical or mental health issues. Two of their adult children are so disabled that the Rodriguezs have guardianship over them, meaning they have no rights. One child has undergone multiple surgeries, including spinal cord surgery, brain surgery, and stomach stoma surgery.
    The Rodriguez family has faced accusations from their daughter's neurologist, Dr. Grisman, accusing Claudia of having Munchausen by proxy, a disorder in which a caregiver intentionally causes or exaggerates the medical symptoms of someone in their care. Claudia vehemently denies these claims, stating that she is a mother who would do anything for her children and that others shouldn't judge her unless they have been in her shoes.
    Despite their claims of innocence, the authorities suspect that Rodriguez's oldest daughter, Logan, is the one sending the stalking messages. However, Claudia and David say this is impossible as Logan was in a mental health facility without access to any devices at the time the stalking started up again. In this podcast episode, we discuss this complex and confusing case that poses the question, who is behind these threatening messages?

    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon

    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast

    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter
    https://twitter.com/PretendPod

    TikTok
    https://www.tiktok.com/@pretendpod

    YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/@pretendpod


    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia.

    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, & New York Magazine.

    The Stalker part 6

    The Stalker part 6

    Cyberstalker Resumes Harassment of Rodriguez Family, Targets Infant Daughter
    After months of peace, the cyberstalker who has been tormenting Claudia and David Rodriguez for years has returned. This time, the stalker has directed his rage toward his own infant daughter, causing great concern and fear for the child's safety.

    Rodriguez Family Reports Alleged Abuse to Child Protective Services
    In response to this disturbing development, the Rodriguezes have reported the alleged abuse to child protective services. They've also contacted the medical board in hopes of stripping Dr. Gressman from her medical license.

    This situation is maddening. The Rodriguezes hoped to find a sense of normalcy and safety. Instead, more fear and uncertainty have consumed everyone's lives.

    It's unclear at this time what actions child protective services will take, but it is clear that the Rodriguez family is not backing down.

    BINGE ALL 10-EPISODES
    Patreon
    Listen to the first 10 episodes. Plus...Get Member-only bonus episodes, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
    Support PRETEND on Patreon

    PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast
    Binge the entire season with ad-free episodes plus bonus interviews that didn't make it on the show
    Subscribe to PRETEND+ on Apple Podcast

    Follow Pretend on social media:
    Twitter

    TikTok

    YouTube

    PRETEND is consistently in the top True Crime Podcasts about con artists in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia.

    It has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, & New York Magazine.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

CindyLouMurph ,

Interesting, gripping

Javier has a unique ability to befriend his subjects yet be honest with them about what he thinks and how their situation looks (to him and to the overall public) all the while keeping himself neutral facing his audience and retaining the respect and trust of those in question.

Kwkr ,

Mind is blown!

On episode 5 of the stalker. Oh My God. I want to binge it but then it’ll be over. Javier, you picked a doozy! Am flopping back & forth about who it is. The language in the message to the husband, I think it’s the adpoted son. I know one thing if I had those kids, I’d be nuts, for sure. Have followed your podcast since the beginning, this has gotta be number 1. It’s 4AM, do I keep listen ping or sleep? Bravo man, bravo!

Podfan78 ,

Top Notch True Crime Pod

I’ve enjoyed every episode since the first but became a subscriber for the Stalker season. Excellent research and story telling. Javier says the next episode will be the last of the stalker episodes but I can’t take it. I want more! Thanks Javier for your hard work and classy story telling style! Keep it up!

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