'Charming' doctor tries to con SA woman

2013-11-02 14:26
Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - Dr Valentino Cole Smith is charming, kind and sensitive. He is also a fraudster who scams women out of money.

A Pietermaritzburg woman, who does not want to be named, was charmed by the bad doctor, and struck up an online friendship with him. They have been chatting on Face­book, e-mailing and SMSing each other since August.

Smith told the woman that he was from Rome, and that he was an orthopaedic surgeon based in Baghdad. He was on contract there, working for the United Nations (UN) helping victims of bombings.

When it came to face-to-face visiting, Smith said he was not sure when he could come, as he had to see when his contract ended. Suddenly, despite there being no flights out of Baghdad, the UN arranged a private jet for him, and he was coming to South Africa.

“I got a message from him saying he was detained at OR Tambo airport. He said the UN had paid him $850 000 (R8.6m), which he had in cash, and that made the customs officials suspicious.

"Later I got a call from a lady saying she was from customs. She asked me if I knew Dr Smith and when I said yes she said they could not allow him into the country with only foreign currency. If I did not pay them R40?000 they were going to deport him.”

The “customs official” insisted that the woman had to pay the money as she was Smith’s only contact in the country. “I’m not stupid … I didn’t part with any money and we haven’t spoken since.”

The woman initially contacted Weekend Witness wanting assistance for the plight of the doctor. After a quick internet search on his name, Weekend Witness realised the woman was being scammed and advised her to have no further contact with him or anyone wanting money for his release.

The internet search had revealed that no Dr Valentino Cole Smith, based in Baghdad, could be found.

What was found was a website named whocallsme.com, which carried complaints from women all over the world who have been scammed by a Dr Valentino Cole Smith, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Baghdad.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.