The Big Con: Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts, and Swindles in American History, 1st Edition

  • Nate Hendley
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1610695860
  • ISBN-13: 9781610695862
  • DDC: 364.16
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 369 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2016 | Published/Released February 2017
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2016

  • Price:  Sign in for price

About

Overview

This book examines a broad range of infamous scams, cons, swindles, and hoaxes throughout American history—and considers why human gullibility continues in an age of easy access to information.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Dedication.
Contents.
Acknowledgments.
Introduction.
Classic Cons.
1: Short Cons.
2: Big Cons.
3: Rigging the Numbers Racket.
4: The Spanish Prisoner.
5: Classic Card Scams.
Business Fraud.
6: Advance Fee Fraud.
7: Affinity Fraud.
8: ATM Skimming.
9: Counterfeiting.
10: Charles Ponzi.
11: Pyramid Schemes.
12: Pump and Dump.
13: Leo Koretz.
Despicable Scams.
14: Disaster Scams.
15: Faking Cancer.
16: Faking Car Accidents.
17: Funeral Fraud.
18: Scamming Senior Citizens.
19: Surrogacy/Adoption Fraud.
Great Pretenders.
20: Frank Abagnale.
21: James Capone (aka Richard Joseph “Two-Gun” Hart).
22: Emperor Norton of San Francisco.
23: Iron Eyes Cody.
24: Joseph Pistone (aka “Donnie Brasco”).
Hoaxes, Urban Legends, and Popular Delusions.
25: Alan Abel, Master Hoaxer.
26: The Bermuda Triangle.
27: The Black Hand Extortion Racket.
28: Blackout Babies.
29: The Cardiff Giant.
30: Daycare Devils.
31: Extraterrestrials.
32: The Great Chess Automaton.
33: Kentucky Fried Lies.
34: Learned Nonsense.
35: The Lurid Confessions of Maria Monk.
36: New York Newspaper Hoaxes.
37: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
38: The War of the Worlds Broadcast.
Dubious Remedies.
39: Drugs.
40: Curious Cancer Cures.
41: Goat Gonad Therapy.
42: Health Care Fraud.
43: Energizing Elixirs.
44: Psychic Surgery.
45: Radium Medicine.
46: Repressed Memories and Multiple Personality Disorder.
Online Scams.
47: Internet Dating Fraud.
48: Malware.
49: The Nigerian Letter.
50: Phishing/Vishing.
51: Phony Rentals and Auctions.
52: Phone Fraud.
Para-Abnormal Fraud.
53: The Amityville Horror.
54: Sylvia Browne.
55: Dowsing for Water—or Bombs.
56: The Fox Sisters.
57: Remote Viewing.
Pop Culture Cons.
58: Buffalo Bill and the Myth of the “Wild West”.
59: Fake Sports/Celebrity Memorabilia.
60: James Frey: A Million Little Falsehoods.
61: The Mis-Education of Little Tree.
62: Movie Cons.
63: The 1919 World Series.
64: Damon Runyon, Chronicler of the Underworld.
65: Subliminal Messaging.
66: Politics.
A Gallery of Rogues (and One Hero).
67: P. T. Barnum, Showman Extraordinaire.
68: Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
69: Steve Brodie, the Bridge Jumper.
70: Rita Crundwell, Municipal Menace.
71: The Lonely Hearts Killers.
72: Bernie Madoff.
73: Old-School Swindlers.
74: Linda Taylor, the Welfare Queen.
75: Kevin Trudeau, TV Pitchman.
76: Harry Houdini, Ghost Buster.
Interviews.
77: Interview with Alan Abel.
78: Interview with Dr. Stephen Barrett.
79: Interview with Dean Jobb.
80: Interview with James Randi.
81: Selected Bibliography.
82: Index.
83: About the Author.