10 most notorious scammers in human history

The stories of these con artists show the lengths people can go to trick others.

Scammers go great lengths to trick others [TheNigerianVoice]

Throughout history, the world has seen some cunning and clever con artists. These are people who tricked others in unbelievable ways.

They're famous not for good deeds, but for their sneaky and often brilliant scams. From selling famous landmarks that weren't theirs to selling fake medicines, these con artists have done it all.

Let’s dive into the stories of these con artists:


Victor Lustig was famous for selling the Eiffel Tower. Not once, but twice! He tricked people into believing he was a government official and made a lot of money from the scam.

Charles Ponzi's name lives on in the famous Ponzi scheme. He fooled people into investing in a postage stamp scheme, promising big returns, but he just used new investors' money to pay the old ones.


Frank Abagnale was a genius at pretending to be other people. He tricked people into believing he was a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, among other things, and made money from these disguises.

George Parker was known for selling things he didn’t own, like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. People actually believed they were buying these famous landmarks!

Bernard Madoff pulled off the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. He tricked people and organisations into investing billions of dollars in a fake investment scheme.


Gregor MacGregor made people believe he was the ruler of a fictional country called Poyais. He sold land and raised money for this non-existent country.

Soapy Smith was known for his soap prize scam. He sold bars of soap, claiming some had money inside them. But it was all a trick to get people's money.


Edward Rulloff was considered a genius but used his smarts for crime. He was a murderer and a con artist, known for his cleverness and for escaping the law multiple times.

Charles Dawson fooled the world with the Piltdown Man – a fake fossil he claimed was the missing link between apes and humans. It took 40 years for scientists to find out it was a hoax.

Cassie Chadwick pretended to be the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy industrialist. She borrowed money from banks, claiming she’d inherit a fortune, but it was all a lie.


This article was written by ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: