Oh, how I love swindlers.
BBC has this show - maybe you've seen it? - it's called The Real Hustle. The premise of the show is...well, it's kind of a Candid Camera for grifters and marks. Essentially, every episode involves one or more actual con artists actually conning an actual victim. We watch the preparation, we watch the setup, we watch the takedown, and we watch the reveal. Of course, at the end of each scam, the money's given back to the marks, but I'll tell you, some of the operations they pull are downright clever - and each of them is based on a real-life con game.
Check this out:
Ever since I was slightly shorter, I've been a sucker for such stuff. Maybe I saw a few too many David Mamet plays growing up. Maybe I enjoyed Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" a little too much. Or maybe I just get a kick out of situations where people prove victorious not through a show of superior arms but through a flurry of intellect, guile, and wit.
And isn't storytelling the oldest confidence game of all?
Here's another of my favorites: