Ever since the American press coined the term “confidence man” in 1849, countless people have been referred to as con artists after attempting to defraud someone by gaining their confidence. Con artists play on human emotions such as greed, honesty, compassion, and naiveté to get objects of value. Confidence tricks – also known as cons – are a criminal offense and offenders can be prosecuted for this crime.
If you or a loved one has been accused of fraud or theft, you need professional legal advice. Contact the criminal defense attorneys to discuss your legal options. Let us fight for you in your time of need.
Famous Con Artists
The purpose of a confidence trick is to get someone to hand over money or other valuables as the result of a trick in plain sight of the owner. Some famous con artists of the past century include the following:
- Bernie Madoff is famous for running a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors
- Frank Abagnale Jr. forged checks while posing as a doctor, pilot, prison inspector, and lawyer
- Clifford Irving claimed he was writing a biography on Howard Hughes and used forged handwritten letter to convince his publishers
- Eduardo de Valfierno was the main planner of the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa
- David Hampton passed himself off as the son of Sidney Poitier and played off the naiveté of wealthy New Yorkers
Con artists are often viewed as masterminds because they steal from people right in front of them, praying on people’s own emotions.