Top Ten All Time Con Men

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Wondering how to pull off a con job successfully? Here is the perfect inspiration as you take a look at the “jobs” pulled off by the top ten con men  of all times.


1. William Thompson – Mid 19th Century

William Thompson Mid 19th Century

Often known as “The Confidence Man”, William Thompson was the first of his kind, a con man. His appearance as a highly civilized gentleman was the most instrumental factor in pulling off his jobs successfully. His modus operandi would be to get acquainted with the target and take him into confidence to relieve him of his precious watches or jewels and then make escape.


2. Ben Marks – 1870s

Benjamin Marks

Highly skilled in card games, this man prepared the blueprint for the biggest con jobs in the recent times. A ‘shill’ (a disguised partner) was used by the dealer, who would bet and win therefore attracting big players to the ongoing game. Although it was not highly profitable, Ben Marks perfected it in his times and set the foundation for con jobs in card games.


3. Phillip Arnold & John Slack – 1880s

Phillip Arnold  John Slack

Responsible for the diamond hoax of 1882, these men claimed to have found a perfect diamond site by scattering some poor quality jewels at the site to lure potential investors. Many highly reputed firms including Tiffany’s were duped by this near-perfect scam and lost a great deal of money in it. Later apprehended, the matter was solved outside the court.


4. Charlie & Frederick Gondorf – Early 20th Century


Gondorf brothers upped the level of the “big store” scam by playing the “wire” job. They made the target bet on races after they had finished by making him believe that they could prolong the time between the end of race and announcing of results.


5. George C Parker – 1920s


This clever man devised an ingenious way to dupe people by selling those fake landmarks and famous monuments which included the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden’s and the Booklyn Bridge. His greatest assets were a smooth talking tongue and an impressive personality which made the target believe his ingenuity.


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