23 Legendary Con Artists Who Pulled Off the Impossible

1Henry Terry

Henry Terry

An ex-con named Henry Terry passed himself off as a police officer for years, equipped with a fake uniform, fake police car, and even his own "police station": an office where he kept criminal files and interrogated suspects.

2Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko

Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko

A con man named Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko from Mali stole $242 million from a Dubai bank, by convincing the bank manager that he could double money using black magic.

3George C. Parker

George C. Parker

A con man named George C. Parker would sell the Brooklyn bridge to tourists twice a week which gave rise to the saying "If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you."

4Nomatter Tagarira

Nomatter Tagarira

A con woman named Nomatter Tagarira convinced Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe and his cabinet that she could tap a rock and produce diesel fuel. She then sent his cabinet members on a wild goose chase which lasted 13 days.

5Eleanor Fletcher Bishop

Eleanor Fletcher Bishop

A 19th century con woman named Eleanor Fletcher Bishop convinced everyone she was a Russian Princess and willed Houdini her fortune.



An Indian con man named Natwarlal repeatedly "sold" the Taj Mahal and Parliament House of India along with its 545 sitting members. He was sentenced to 113 years in prison, but he made daring escapes from different jails eight times in his life.

7Lou Pearlman

Lou Pearlman

Lou Pearlman, the con-man behind one of the largest Ponzi schemes in US history, defrauding investors out of more than 300 million dollars, was also the mastermind and impresario for N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys. He is also Art Garfunkel’s cousin.

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8Victor Lustig

Victor Lustig

In 1935, a con man named Victor Lustig was arrested for selling his victims a "currency copier", purportedly capable of reproducing $100 bills. The day before his trial, he fashioned sheets into a rope and slipped out the window, pretending to be a window washer as he shimmied down the building. Victor Lustig swindled everyone from respectable bankers to Al Capone himself. He even succeeded in selling the Eiffel Tower for scrap, not once but twice. He used 24 aliases, spoke 5 languages and had been arrested 46 times but never convicted.

9Albert Johnson Walker

Albert Johnson Walker

Albert Johnson Walker is a Canadian con-artist who is serving a prison term for embezzlement and murder. Walker convinced a co-worker to swap identities before murdering him with an anchor and tossing him from a boat. Police identified the victim by his Rolex, which also recorded the time of death.

10Wilhelm Voigt

Wilhelm Voigt

A con artist named Wilhelm Voigt once dressed up as a Prussian army captain and ordered several soldiers to follow him. Together they arrested the mayor and plundered the entire city treasury. He wasn't arrested until more than a week later, and the Kaiser later pardoned him.

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