Why we fell for the con artist


Some people hunger for thrillers. Others feast on true-crime podcasts. My underrated source of tales of mind-boggling malfeasance is the ‘Scams’ section of the Guardian’s money pages, where no gimmicks are required. Here are stories of deception to chill the blood: the man on a dating site who extorted money from a new partner by claiming that he was being held hostage by loan sharks; the retired nurse who was tricked into paying £160,000 to a phoney financial company in Indonesia; the widower who thought he was assisting the National Crime Agency but ended up losing everything, including his house, and living with a “courier” who, in a further twist, was the fraudster’s victim-turned-employee.

If I’m right in thinking that none of these real-life horror stories has yet been adapted for the screen, then I’m surprised, because the scam, the fraud, the grift, the hoax, the long con, has become a cultural obsession….

Read full article at unherd.com