Links to the Con


The Blonger Bros.

by Craig and Scott Johnson
The most comprehensive site on the web about the Big Con, concentrating on Lou Blonger and Denver, with a bottomless trove of photographs, primary documents, biographies, and timelines


On Cooling the Mark Out: Some Aspects of Adaptation to Failure

by Erving Goffman
The classic sociological essay that uses the final stage of the Big Con to explain how our culture saves face in situations like firing someone from a job


The Perfect Mark

by Mitchell Zuckoff in the New Yorker
How a Massachusetts psychotherapist fell for a Nigerian 419 scheme

Pirate of the Caribbean

by Bryan Burrough in Vanity Fair
Robert Allen Stanford—the Madoff wannabe


Broken Trust in God’s Country

by Diana B. Henriques in the New York Times
The Amish Ponzi scheme; or, Capitalism, the equal opportunity corrupter


The Pickpocket’s Tale

by Adam Green in the New Yorker
Apollo Robbins steals from you for fun, not profit


The Encyclopedia of Scams

Created by Nicholas J. Jonson, Australia’s Honest Con Man, this website is perhaps most useful for its list of swindler movies.

Secrets and Lies about the Bailout

by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone
Just what you suspected: the financial industry bailout is a Ponzi scheme


Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence

by Daniel Kahneman in the New York Times Magazine
Magicians and con men: 1; Malcolm Gladwell: 0


When Dickens met Doestoevsky

by Eric Naiman in the TLS
A very, very long con in academia. If no one pays attention to your work, just fake your own audience.



with your suggestions for the best writing on the web about confidence artists and American culture.

Back to top