Victor Lustig is my favorite con man. (Sorry, Sawyer.)
He actually sold the Eiffel Tower to a metal scrap dealer, convincing him that the city of Paris had decided to get rid of the monument because it cost too much money to maintain it.
And convinced the sucker that the deal had to be a secret so the citizen’s of Paris wouldn’t revolt.
My favorite part of the con, however, came when the mark become suspicious of Lustig, thinking that Lustig, posing as a city official, was somehow dirty.
To allay the suspicions, Lustig told the mark that he wouldn’t sell him the Tower unless the mark paid Lustig a bribe. Apparently asking for a bribe was the only action that the mark needed to believe that Lustig was indeed a bona fide city official.
Lustig got the money for the Tower and a hefty bribe to boot.
For those interested in a career in the world of The Sting, head over to Letters of Note, where you can see Lustig’s 10 Commandments for Con Artists.
Just my thoughts,