An “American” tourist and lothario posing as a cruise line captain has scammed at least five women and two men in Mandurah and Perth, with an international organisation warning residents to not fall for his tricks.
‘Brad Collins’ who claims he is a 50-year-old Royal Caribbean International cruise line commander from Boston, has allegedly stolen money from victims by getting them to fork out cash for travel down-payments, events and flights.
The victims told Mandurah Mail, Mr Collins claimed he was in Perth for a short period of time and had few belongings because his luggage was stolen at the airport.
Mandurah women Bree Hunter and Dianne Dunstan met Mr Collins separately on dating website Oasis.
Ms Hunter said she formed a friendship with Mr Collins and later quit her job as a beauty therapist after he offered her a job on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship. That was three months ago.
“I left my job and haven’t worked since,” she said.
She said she often met Mr Collins at several Mandurah locations, including Mandurah Foreshore, Dome Café and Murphy’s Irish Pub.
Ms Hunter said she was still in contact with Mr Collins as recently as 13 June in an attempt to recover the $170 she gave him for an overseas visa she was told was required for her to secure the job.
“I thought he was legit,” she said. “It took me a while, then I noticed something didn’t add up.”
She later discovered Mr Collins did not work for Royal Caribbean International at all.
At the same time Ms Hunter was in contact with Mr Collins, he was living at Ms Dunstan’s house.
“I gave him about $500 for various things, and he lived at my house for eight weeks, for free,” she said.
The pair were planning a trip to America, for which she had given him downpayments, and she believed they were in a “loving” normal relationship.
A Perth woman, who did not want to be named, said she fell for Mr Collins’ charm and personality in May, and dated him for about two months.
“He was probably the best lover I’ve had for a while,” she said.
The woman met Mr Collins at the Queens Hotel, in Highgate, and said he “had an answer for everything”. He told her he was a “commander” for Royal Caribbean International cruises.
“He ... invited me to the commissioning of a ship in London and through Alaska on another ship,” she said.
But the woman never paid him any money.
The beachfront home
Mr Collins told Ms Dunstan he owned a beachfront mansion in Dawesville, where the couple spent some time one evening.
In fact, the property was Jenny and Grant Morgan’s holiday home.
Mr Morgan said he was scammed by the “imposter”, who stayed in the house for 10 days.
“He completely fooled me and some of my friends,” Mr Morgan said.
Mr Morgan said he met Mr Collins at a Saturday morning football match in Leederville.
There was s*** everywhere...it was disgusting. He scammed me big time.Dawesville holiday home owner Grant Morgan
“I had been kicking a football with my daughter at half-time and he came over to ask if he could feel the football, because it was different to the ones they had in America,” he said.
“He was asking lots of questions and came out with such a good story.
“He seemed like a really nice, genuine guy.”
Like he did with other victims, Mr Collins invited Mr Morgan on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship tour and lunch.
“I had never been on a boat, I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “I thought it was really generous.”
Mr Morgan received confirmation of the event by email. He later allowed Mr Collins to stay at his Dawesville property for “one or two nights” while he was on holiday overseas.
“When I got home, I had an inkling something was not right, and checked on the Royal Caribbean website,” he said.
“There was no boats coming in on the reservation he sent me.”
Mr Morgan then went to the house thinking Mr Collins had probably left, but he had “made himself at home”.
“There was s*** everywhere...it was disgusting,” he said.
“I kicked him out and changed the locks. He scammed me big time.”
The Mandurah Mail contacted Mr Collins on a mobile number he used to contact victims but he did not answer and failed to return several calls.
Future victims warned
Royal Caribbean International has warned of the scammer on its website.
“It has been brought to our attention that an individual by the name of Brad Collins and Jenny Holland has been posing as recruiters,” the website said.
“This individual is not a legitimate recruiter for any of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands.
“If this individual attempts to contact you claiming to be a recruiter for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, or Azamara, contact us immediately through firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Do you know this man?
- Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- For more information on scam types or how to report a scam visit: www.scamwatch.gov.au.