Tracking down the ‘Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen’ with Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis
The “Hollywood Con Queen” was a master of disguise, carrying the ruse for years, and notoriously sending folks on wild goose chases toward their dreams. But how could this have been possible? Preying on ambition was the Con Queen’s MO, as the swindler’s victims were coerced into enticing film industry opportunities. Campside Media’s true crime podcast, “Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen,” details the scammer’s intricately woven webs the victims were caught in, and treads the winding trail leading to stop the fraudster.
With the ploy wreaking havoc since around 2013, most business in Hollywood was conducted over the phone. This was a factor in the Con Queen’s success.
Hollywood hopefuls were lured into gigs that sounded like once-in-a-lifetime opportunities by the con artist’s impersonation of film industry executives. Sketchy, much? The victims even had to sign non-disclosure agreements so they would not reach out to the alleged film executive’s company. The Hollywood Con Queen effortlessly switched vocal cadences, tones, and pitches to carry out many false identities of all genders.
Promised a job abroad in Indonesia, the victims would travel far and wide in hopes of achieving their dreams. Once committed to their new gig, screenwriters, filmmakers, photographers, stuntpeople, hair and makeup artists, consultants, and trainers were all scammed. They shelled out their savings with good faith they’d be reimbursed. Once arriving in Indonesia, the victims were billed with random charges such as studio bookings and driver fees, and it is reported that the Con Queen had at least two accomplices on the ground collecting cash.
After given the run-around through constant contact and confusing correspondence with the Con Queen, there would always be a litany of excuses as to why the scheduled meeting was delayed or the shoot was cancelled. The victims then realized the promised projects would never actualize and didn’t exist in the first place.
The victims had enough. Hosted by investigative journalists Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis, the duo chased leads with victims across 6 countries and 3 continents for the podcast. Listeners will be floored with their discoveries along the way as law enforcement gets involved, the podcast tracks major breaks in the case, and a suspect is identified.
“Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen” is one of Trey Wingo‘s podcast picks, as he shared in his exclusive interview with Podsauce.
“Chameleon’s” universe investigates different sketchy characters each season. In the latest season, the series heads to Las Vegas for a two-year FBI investigation in “Chameleon: High Rollers.”
All episodes of “Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen” are available to stream wherever you listen to podcasts.