BEWARE: I Was Catfished and Scammed by Fred Lawson Harris aka Fred E. Harris, Fred Lawson or Fred Harris (A Cautionary Tale)

16 min readJun 29, 2023
Chris Wright and Fred Lawson Harris (the second version) Will the real Fred please stand up?

I am writing this story to warn other women because a simple story could have saved me from the predator who tried to destroy my life.

March 17, 2023, was the day my life would change forever. I was already going through a dark time. It was wintertime, and my sons were getting sick a lot. The winter colds and viruses were making their rounds and as a coparenting mom, I was the one primarily stuck with nursing them back to health.

Then, after everyone finally got better, I got sick myself and thought I was having a heart attack, but thankfully, after getting checked out at the ER, it was confirmed that I just caught whatever bug my sons had.

After months of vomiting and pink eye for my 3 boys, and months of nausea then myself vomiting for a week, I went into a dark place and decided I just wanted to withdraw and take some time away from social media.

I was really only actively on Twitter at the time and no other social media platforms.

Some days before March 17, 2023, I hopped on Twitter to share some inspirational tweets and check my notifications and noticed I had a few new followers. I went to each of their pages, like I always do, to decide if I would follow them back or not.

The page of a make believe Fred Lawson Harris. This is really Chris Wright in the photo and video.

The last page I went to was FRED LAWSON HARRIS.

I was immediately taken aback by his profile photo.

This is Chris Wright, but "Fred Lawson Harris" was pretending this is him at first. Until I found out the truth via

Very attractive man in shades. But, I was also caught off guard by the name “Lawson”. I had been seeing the name “Lawson” a lot over the past year, and I thought it was a spiritual sign that Fred Lawson Harris was my Divine Life Partner.

But, I didn’t want to get too carried away, so I simply followed him back after checking out his tweets, a Fitness video of him working out at the gym and some tweets about politics.

Fred Lawson Harris' Twitter Page, posing as Christopher Wright

Then, I closed my Twitter app.

I didn’t get back on Twitter for a few days because I was still in a depressed state after all the illnesses I recently endured. I was skeptical of Fred Lawson Harris, too, so I wasn’t putting much stock into him having the “Lawson” name. Though it did pique my interest because of how deep I was into my spirituality.

March 17, 2023, I opened my Twitter app and saw Fred had slid into my DMs. He left some canned message that made me feel like he was just selling something so I responded to be polite then closed my Twitter app and went on about my day.

Fred Lawson Harris first message in my DMs.
Fred Lawson Harris Direct Message

March 20, 2023, I went back onto Twitter and saw Fred had responded to my politely generic message, so I responded back. Again, to be cordial because now, I felt like he wasn’t selling anything but maybe was just a player. I wasn’t too far from the truth.

Fred Lawson Harris Direct Message (DM)
Fred Lawson Harris DM response

On March 21, 2023 was when things changed, and how Fred got me. He sent me a very long spiritual message, and I have to admit that this message changed the game for me because I am highly spiritual, and I had never had a man send a message like that before. I felt like this was a sign from God that this was my Divine Life Partner, so this is when I began to look at Fred differently.

Fred Lawson Harris Spiritual DM, reeling me in
I began warming up to Fred Lawson Harris
I began talking to Fred Lawson Harris on a more personal level

Fred would send me these long spiritual messages and this made me begin to really like him.

March 22, 2023, we exchanged numbers and began texting on our personal cellphones.

Long spiritual message from Fred Lawson Harris (1st part of it)
Long spiritual message (2nd part of it)

We began texting and telling each other more about ourselves. His background story was so crazy that I did not believe it.

Fred went right in telling me about his ex-wife who cheated on him with his best friend, stole $400,000 from him, and moved to Canada with the best friend. Fred said the ex-wife later called him to tell him she was dying of cervical cancer. So he is now a widowed, single father of 2. His daughter, Kristen is 20 (but I later saw her picture said “Happy 22nd Birthday!” on it) and she was in medical school to become a doctor.

His youngest son was named Kendall, age 10, and still lived with him and went to private school (he never told me the name of the private school).

Fred told me his father passed away when he was 9 years old and that he and his father were born in America but, originally from South Africa. Pretoria to be exact.

His story was so wild that I told him to call me to confirm that it was true, including his African accent (which he does have).

So, this is how we began talking on the phone.

Fred and I would go on to talk on the phone at least twice a day, in the morning and before I went to bed at night for over the next 2 months. Fred would pray with me every single night before I went to bed.

Every. Single. Night.

Around the first or second day of talking on the phone, Fred and I began to talk about what the other one was looking for in regards to a relationship.

I said I was looking for something more casual because I was still living with my ex-husband and I just wanted to take things very slow and maybe it can grow into something serious in a year or two.

But, Fred became very serious and intense. And he said, “Samantha, I want to tell you my intentions. My intentions are for you to be my wife.”

And he was pushy, saying I was the woman he was meant to be with and he wanted to get married by June 2023.

I thought he was losing his mind and I wouldn’t commit to any of it.

The whole situation felt surreal and like everything was moving too fast. But, I felt like this is what God wants so that is what kept me from just hanging up, blocking him and walking away.

It took several days to process what was even happening because I had never dated a man who was so direct about marriage.

My previous ex, Tony, was pretty direct about me being his girlfriend. He asked me to be his girlfriend on our first date. We had talked for a while on the phone after meeting in a Facebook group where we’d had some conversations/arguments for some time before Tony, eventually, slid into my DMs. Then we exchanged numbers and we later went on to have 3 children and date for almost 7 years. Neither of us were very direct about marriage.

Fred was not the first man I’d met online.

I’d married my ex-husband after 3 weeks of knowing him, after we met online. We were married for about 6–7 years. We divorced around 2011 then reconciled right after our divorce was final and lived together for another 3 years before I met Tony.

20 years and 2 sons later, and I am now back living with Brandon, my ex-husband, after Tony and my relationship became abusive, and I needed financial help getting out of it.

I never told Fred that I was living with my ex-husband because I didn’t think he’d be happy about it. I thought he would break up with me, and because I didn’t 100% trust him. I felt like it was OK to have my very big secret because deep down, I knew Fred, and no man, has ever been 100% honest.

For the last 2 years, my ex-husband has lived in the basement with our 2 sons bedrooms down there. I live upstairs with my 3 younger sons that I have with Tony. My ex-husband and I are not intimate or in any type of relationship except 2 coparenting parents raising our sons, now aged 16 and 19 years old.

After about a week of taking in the pictures of the beautiful single family home that Fred sent me and his lovely family, his Mom, sister, Santrese and his beautiful children, Kristen and Kendall, I decided that I did want to marry Fred. I prayed and had a talk with God and my angels and decided this was it. This was meant to be.

When I looked over my mental checklist, Fred was everything I had prayed for. There were many signs that told me that he was The One.

So, after a week of pressuring me…

I said, “Yes”, but with some conditions.

Fred would have to meet my entire family, and we had to push our wedding back to September of 2023.

I still had not seen Fred on video cam, yet. He claimed he had an old iPhone 5 (I had an old iPhone 5 so I could relate) and he said the camera didn’t work well on his old iPhone. That made sense because my cameras were always the first to go as my smartphones deteriorated.

I bought his story hook, line, and sinker.

But, no man or woman should feel bad for falling for “Fred” or any other catfish because the Freds of the world do their scamming bit every day, all day.

It is like their full-time job.

So, at some point, it’s like he was reading a script and playing a part.

Fred was an actor and could probably be making millions instead of conning regular women out of our hard-earned dollars.

Over the next few weeks, Fred and I talked every day and I began doing intense research of South Africa and the culture of South African men.

Fred lived in Augusta, GA. I used to live there with my ex-husband when he was still in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Gordon. And my Mom lives 2 hours away in Marietta, GA. These 2 details made me feel safer about moving to Georgia, though I originally did not want to move to Georgia at all.

After discussing where we would live, I wanted to stay in Maryland, near my younger sons’ Dad (Tony) and Fred could move to Maryland. Fred, eventually, convinced me to move to Georgia.

Once I found out the truth, I realized Fred would have, literally, let me pack up my whole house and have nowhere to move to. He kept his scam up and allowed me to tell my sons’ school that this would be their last year.

He allowed me to tell my parents and my entire family I was getting married. My Mom was so excited for me after she saw Fred’s family photos that he sent to me and because she saw how happy I was.

My Mom asked to speak to Fred on the phone and Fred even reminded me a few times that he wanted to talk to my Mom on the phone.

Fred’s deception knows NO bounds.

Fred started setting up his scam for money after I agreed to marry him.

During our phone conversations, Fred told me that there was this competition in Hawaii and he would just pray to get the funds. He told me he knew no matter what he did, he would win a large sum of money, no matter where he placed in the competition.

He believed he could do this competition and just needed an opportunity to go.

And he said the competition was like 2 weeks away.

Tip #1: Catfish con-artist scammers will always make everything seem rushed so that you won’t have much time to think about what they are asking of you.

We felt like we needed this money for our wedding and for me to move to Georgia. I felt like I didn’t want to let this opportunity slip away.

So, I offered to pay for his plane ticket. Then he needed money for his sick Mom and claimed he had to leave work and handle his Mom being sick.

Then, he needed money to enter the competition.

Once the different needs for money came up, Fred became more forceful and greedier. Trying to milk as much money out of me as he could, even demanding I ask my elderly parents for the money. I did ask my Mom because I knew she’d had a recent windfall of funds. But, I told him I couldn’t ask my Dad because both of my parents are retired and living on fixed incomes and they are older.

I just wasn’t going to involve them much more than I already had.

I still had not seen Fred on video and I just didn’t feel comfortable involving my family until I knew for sure that what Fred and I had was real.

Fred would send me videos throughout the day of him being at work and tell me the landscaper was at his house and send me videos of his finished backyard. That I later learned is Chris Wright’s backyard.

Fred even sent me a video of his son (really Chris’ son, Kendall) seeing his new bedroom furniture and being happy about it.

I thought I had the most wonderful guy. He was perfect.

He was too good to be true.

That sentiment would never leave my subconscious. But, I didn’t want to defy God, so I moved forward and told myself that this is what I prayed for. I wasn’t going to dismiss it and then be punished for that.

So, I continued to force myself to believe that Fred Lawson Harris is real, and we are to be married September 2023.

Fred sent me photos of him before he headed to Atlanta to talk to the Fitness Competition team. He would call me before he left and when he was headed back home. So many lies and storytelling.

So many pictures and videos of someone else’s life.

Fred’s eventual undoing was when he was in Hawaii. I sent him 2 iPhones (the iPhone 14 and a BOGO free iPhone 13) because Fred kept saying his old iPhone was broken. I wanted to do video chat and he claimed he would use the phones for making videos at his work for YouTube. Fred and I were supposed to go into business together. That was another lie.

Fred was on the phone with me the entire time I was in T-Mobile purchasing the phones.

The. ENTIRE. Time.

These Nigerian scammers are ruthless.

As time went on, Fred became greedier and greedier. He would say his Mom was sick, so I sent money to help him get her medicine even though I wondered why she wasn’t on Medicare. I wondered why his sister, Santrese Lawson, couldn’t help with some of these costs when she was living with him for free while she went through her divorce.

My sister is, currently, going through her own difficult divorce, so I bought that story and understood it. Divorces suck. They are rough mentally and financially. So, I let Santrese’s lack of funds and lack of help with their elderly mother slide, but I did complain to my Mom about how Santrese didn’t keep a job and seemed to be a lazy leech.

When Fred I voiced my concerns about living with his whole family, he promised that once we got married, we’d buy our own house and leave them that house.

Fred’s undoing was when he sent me some photos of him in Hawaii. I went to Google to search and see where he was in Hawaii. I had a best friend that had been stationed in Hawaii and I was really curious about Hawaii because I’d always heard it was a beautiful place.

So, as I searched Google to see where the location Fred was at when he took the photos he sent me.

I pulled up search results that said the photo was of Half Moon Bay.

In the Bahamas.

The Bahamas is nowhere near Hawaii.

Fred was too stupid to get photos from actual Hawaii and that was his undoing.

That one photo that was a lie made me feel that other things could be lies too.

I signed up with and specifically signed up for the reverse image lookup service. And the first photo I put in was the photos Fred sent of himself.

I remember the air leaving me and feeling like I was in a slow-motion surreal nightmare when I saw that Fred Lawson Harris is really a man named Christopher Wright. The final nail in the coffin was when I went to the YouTube channel and saw Chris Wright having an interview with another guy. I clicked on the video, praying Chris had an African accent. He did not. He had a nice Georgian southern drawl.

I knew right then that what I thought all along was true.

I sent the photo with the name “Chris Wright” and the video link to Chris Wright’s interview to Fred.

Chris Wright of Grindhouse Fitness Club, Augusta, GA

Fred went radio silent for about a day or so.

Text message I sent to Fred Lawson Harris when I discovered the Catfish scam from

He knew his scam was up.

I was calling and texting Fred. Asking what was going on and why did he do this to me. I knew he was lying but I didn’t know for sure so when I did find out the truth, I was incensed and confused. I wanted answers. I wanted an explanation why Fred would do this.

Fred did not really begin talking to me again until I told him that he didn’t have to pretend to be some other guy. And he didn’t have to lie to get money from me. I didn’t care how Fred looked. I loved Fred because of the person I thought he was. Because somewhere in between the scamming me for money, my identity and my private parts, Fred and I had a connection on a deeper level. We talked about so many things. Our dreams, our kids. Fred had even talked to one of my sons.

I think after I told Fred I still loved him and he didn’t have to lie to ask me for money, Fred returned with another story to explain why he was using Chris Wright’s photos and videos and pretending to be him.

Apparently, Chris Wright was the man who’d slept with Fred’s now deceased wife, Kiana.

But, the interesting thing is the names Fred had used for his children, sister and Mom were the names of Chris’ children, sister and Mom.

Fred had essentially stepped into Chris’ life.

While I was reconciling with the new Fred after I discovered his lies, I was talking to Chris via Facebook to ask him if he knew what was going on with Fred impersonating him.

Chris was well aware that someone was using his identity. He didn’t seem to put anywhere on social media that this was happening to him, and he didn’t seem bothered by it. I thought all of that was strange, and my sister and I wondered if Chris and Fred were working together. Fred claimed they used to be business partners. The whole thing was crazy and extremely confusing.

I didn’t talk to Chris after that conversation because I wasn’t sure who I could trust anymore.

To this day, Fred never used the iPhones that I sent him to video chat with me. He mad excuse after excuse. But, I watched him texting and calling other people on the iPhones I will have to pay off, totaling close to $2,000.

After about a month, I blocked both phones and reported the phones stolen on June 29, 2023.

I didn’t turn off either phone until I got more data from Fred Lawson Harris.

Fred sent me new photos of some man that is supposed to be him and I continued talking to him until I was able to emotionally detach from him.

New fake person that Fred Harris claimed to be. But he still never would video chat with me.

I never sent Fred another dime after I learned he was pretending to be someone else. I never bought his lies as to why he was pretending to be Chris Wright.

The last story Fred called me with was that he was in the hospital and needed money to pay the hospital bill. Not my problem.

Fred Harris attempting to scam me even after I discovered he is a liar. The scammers are very persistent and greedy.

I sent Fred nothing.

Then, Fred promised that “The Company” was going to pay him and as we always discussed, the money would go into my bank account. Fred told me that all I had to do was click on the link he sent me.

He sent me a text message and the link was the link.

Fred sending me the link to get my login info under his control so he could steal my identity and siphon more money from me.

Fred was trying to get me to give over my credentials. I felt sick when I realized what he was doing and didn’t speak to him for 3 days.

Me giving Fred an excuse why I couldn't sign over my credentials on the website, then I didn't speak to him for 3 days. I was livid.

After the hospital story, I just stopped speaking to Fred for good. I just ghosted him.

But, the damage had been done. Fred had scammed me out of photos and videos of me naked, my social security number, 2 iPhones and several thousand dollars.

I am writing this story to protect other women out there. Don’t let this happen to you.

If someone had written this story for me, I would have seen it through my initial Google search and known right away that the profile of “Fred Lawson Harris” was a fake. I would have blocked him and moved on without much of a thought.

But, no one did.

So, I’m doing it. I am determined to bring Fred down so that he can’t hurt anyone else with his lies.

So, now I must ask this.

Will the real Fred Lawson Harris please stand up?

Fred might also go by the following aliases:

Fred Harris

Fred Lawson

Fred E. Harris

He claims to be from Benton, TX and widowed.




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