28 episodes

Why would anyone give thousands of dollars to a Nigerian prince? Or play a well-known scam like Three Card Monte? Scammers and con artists convince people to do it every day. We will tell you why people become suckers and how it is done.

Scams & Cons Jim Grinstead

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 16 Ratings

Why would anyone give thousands of dollars to a Nigerian prince? Or play a well-known scam like Three Card Monte? Scammers and con artists convince people to do it every day. We will tell you why people become suckers and how it is done.

    Coupon scams

    Coupon scams

    Those little slips of paper -- coupons -- are real money and someone has to pay for the discount you just received. It could be the store, the manufacturer or someone else. You may have paid for it before you left the house.

    The world of coupons is complicated and there are lots of ways scammers can creep in. The average person is the most common way. It happens when we buy coupons online or try to print our own.

    Then there is the coupon processing system that provides another entry point.

    We'll explain it all to you so that you're not standing at a cash register, getting the hairy eyeball from a manager who believes you're trying to use fake coupons.

    • 15 min
    Long cons: Patience is the reward

    Long cons: Patience is the reward

    Three-card-monte can take all your money in fewer than eight minutes. Long cons can take days, weeks, months or years -- just ask Bernie Madoff.

    The con artists generally have to put up significant amounts of money to pull it off.  They usually enlist others and must gain use of offices and facilities.

    On top of that, they have to think on their feet because many things can happen over time. 

    You've got to be good to run a long con and in one case we'll tell you about, the sucker took the bait, then came back so the same con could be run on him again.

    For the scammers, that's a great ROI!

    • 17 min
    Sex scams

    Sex scams

    Don't you just hate it when the new $5,000 sex doll you ordered turns out to be a cheap knock-off? Or that super-fun-pack of condoms you bought is counterfeit?

    Men thinking with the wrong head are mostly the victims of these crimes, but their variety may surprise you. Like that help-wanted ad you saw for a sex toy tester. I don't want to spoil this one -- you just have to listen.

    Vice article about online adult games

    • 14 min
    Art scams -- the play's the thing!

    Art scams -- the play's the thing!

    Art scams are like no other. They are like a theatrical play with scammers and art forgers producing, writing and directing the show. Even the suckers are part of the script, anxious to play their roles, even when they suspect there may be an unhappy ending for them.

    The majority of the rules that apply to most scams, don't apply here. Some people get involved for fame, some for ego and others for fortune. Those that are in it for fame or ego, usually don't get a cut of the fortune, and they are just fine with that. 

    As the curtain goes up, listen closely. Things are going to get freaky.

    The Art Thief and other books by Noah Charney

    • 18 min
    Unbelievable cons

    Unbelievable cons

    Most cons are well planned. After all, the con artists don't want to go to jail.

    But sometimes, things come together in such a way that the scams have to be pulled off quickly while the con artists make things up on the spot.

    Today we'll tell you the story of three scams that were run only once. OK, there's a fourth one, but you'll know it when you hear it. Listen closely.

    The Kitchen Table Historian

    • 13 min
    The Pigeon Drop: No dry cleaner required. Scammers will clean you for free.

    The Pigeon Drop: No dry cleaner required. Scammers will clean you for free.

    Recently -- and I kid you not -- I found a $100 bill as I got into my car after buying groceries. It was on the ground beside my door, folded in thirds. I immediately thought someone was setting me up for a Pigeon Drop, but no one approached and no other people were around, so I put the bill in my pocket.

    It took weeks before I used that money. Finding $100 is just too rare a thing. I wondered if was counterfeit. I eventually went to a bank, they looked the bill and marked it. It was real.

    This is the essence of the Pigeon Drop. Money is found, two strangers approach, suggest dividing it, then set up a series of moves designed to send you to the bank where you'll withdraw thousands of dollars and willingly hand it over to the scammers.

    Listen in as we tell you how scammers magically turn pigeons into suckers.

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

ILickedThis ,

New, but good.

This is a high quality show that goes into a deep dive on both well-known and more obscure scams and grifts. It takes an almost academic disinterest in the victims and focuses instead on how the con actually works.

There are some technical issues with the show (such as each quoted audio playing twice in the psychic episode - once correctly and the second time over the host speaking), but I suspect these represent growing pains and not legitimate problems with the podcast.

Joshdone ,

I'm suspect

After listening to the house scams episode, it had a pronounced alarmist, very right wingy tone. I'm surprised it's not a New York Post podcast. I'll pass - there's way better (Swindled) pods out there.

KO ESQ ,

Just too short

Love the show but wish it were longer. Great for quick trips though!

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