Earlier this month, I wrote a short post on the "conmando" as The Daily Record dubbed him. This 24 year old guy who runs around scamming people by playing on their sympathies as a Royal Marine Commando.
Since then, I have been contacted by the conmando's (who goes by Phil, his middle name) American ex-girlfriend, Maria Anderson. She is the one that helped to shed light on the situation for the Daily Record article. She emailed me a photo of Phil that I have checked out with the Daily Record, and invited me to post it on this site, so that others may see him.
Maria noted that the sweater he is wearing does show the Royal Marine insignia, the Globe & Laurel. Ladies and gentleman, STAY AWAY. For your own good, as much as his.
Here is her email in part (I am witholding details, as I wanted double permission from her to post, hopefully soon!):
"Yes, i was fooled - but i got even in the end with some justice when i was able to expose Phil in the biggest national paper in Scotland, The Daily Record. I just want to say thank you so much for exposing the story a little more so this person will be stopped!!
There's actually so much more to the story. Phil actually paid for my flight home (because i stayed an extra 2 weeks in Ireland). And he paid for me to come see him in Ireland a month later ( i stayed about a week). Well, obviously he paid for it using none of his own money i should add. It was later that the stories became unbelievable, such as getting shot, and being in trouble due to a file he once stole. He even pretended to have two friends in the military die while i knew him. I some-what stayed in touch with him so i could keep an eye on him and encourage him to get help. "
Maria also pointed out this archived page from the Orkney News, which says the following:
"A conman posing as a war hero claiming he was trying to raise cash for a children's charity has been exposed. Grahem Eckerman preyed on the goodwill of residents when he visited last month, claiming to serve with 42 Commando, Royal Marines, and that he was trying to raise £20,000 to send a friend's son to the USA for a dream holiday. But a Royal Marine spokesman has confirmed the 23-year-old, who is believed to be from Sunderland, England, has never been in the unit and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have no records of him."
From a separate email from Maria:
"I just want to make sure to tell you that his full name is Graham Phil Eckerman. He told me once that his first name is spelled 'Grahem,' not 'Graham,' i don't even know if that's true. But if you do an internet search of 'Grahem Eckerman' you'll find info about him from The Orkney Newspaper - which is where i first found out the truth about Phil. He probably goes by his middle name so less people will find out about him."
What. Kind. Of. Jerk. Does. This? Maria is doing a brave thing by standing up and showing him for what he is. She is still working to gain more exposure for these kinds of sickening scams. It's too bad that things like this have to happen. The girls he fools don't deserve it, the people who gave money to a "good cause" don't deserve it, and the actual Royal Marine Commandos don't deserve to have this man degrading their service.
There are men and women putting their lives on the line, and he's mocking them behind their backs. Their service doesn't mean anything to him, except money and respect he didn't earn and doesn't deserve.