The scam world is populated by amazing people with unique stories. If scamming is not the kind of activity we recommend (insofar as it is illegal, cqfd), we can recognize the talent, or at least the inventiveness of some of its biggest followers. . We are not necessarily talking about the best, but about those who had a good idea at the start.
1. Rudy Kurniawan, the biggest wine hustler
This man with an extraordinary palate managed to rip off several billionaires by selling them fake collectible wines: he changed labels, made basic wine blends to recreate great wines and did it really well. In any case until being unmasked by a winegrower. He served a ten-year prison sentence but remains to this day the biggest wine scammer in the world, something that few people had thought of.
2. Franck Abagnale, the craziest of them all
Well you must have seen the movie Stop me if you can so I’m not going to retype the whole story for you, but Abagnale managed to pass himself off as a doctor, an airline pilot or even a lawyer before he was thirty. Where the guy is actually brilliant is in his ability to take on completely different professions without knowing too many tricks and always knowing when to disappear to start again elsewhere.
3. Han van Meegeren, one of the best art forgers in the world
During his trial (where he faced the death penalty for selling paintings belonging to the Netherlands to the Nazis during World War II), Meegeren bluffed everyone in the courtroom by declaring that the paintings sold were false and that he had painted them himself in order to fool the Nazis. If he is one of the best forgers in history, it is above all by conning the Nazis that he managed his business since he suddenly passed for a kind of resistance fighter.
4. Marco Mouly, the carbon tax hustler
This famous scammer had the technique of carrying out a VAT scam by recovering carbon credits from fake companies at tax-free prices to resell them to French companies with VAT. The clever thing in there is simply that no one had thought of scamming this “product”.
5. Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower
I imagine you have heard the story a lot of times, that of this man who managed to sell the Eiffel Tower by posing as a representative of a company that wanted to sell the metal. Some poor guy bought it and was too ashamed to tell after the fact, so Lustig never had any issues. A real heartthrob.
6. Anna Delvey, the one who invents a life as a princess
This is the story you’ve probably seen on the show Inventing Anna, about a Russian woman who arrived in New York posing as a wealthy German heiress. The story might have worked if she hadn’t been so greedy and stopped changing her fake personal story all the time. Too bad, she had managed to make a lot of money.
7. The guy who made his girlfriend pay rent for 8 years when he was a landlord
A beautiful story of love and passion, that of this couple who ultimately didn’t care much. The gentleman owned his apartment and still made his girlfriend pay half the rent for 8 years until she discovered his deception. It’s abused, but admit that it’s not so stupid.
8. Those who created the bird droppings scam
Basically the trick is to spray passers-by with a disgusting liquid that looks like bird shit and then go to the person to help them clean themselves up, taking care to relieve them of their wallet or his personal affairs. It looks very stupid but in reality it is rather well thought out.