Conmen often appeared audacious. Typical was Count Victor Lustig, who operated in the 1920s. Known as the man who sold the Eiffel Tower, he persuaded a Parisian scrap-iron dealer that it was unsafe and was to be pulled down.
The dealer paid him the going rate of 100,000 Dollars. The Count then fled, waiting for the coming storm when the dealer realized he had been conned. But the storm didn’t come, for the dealer was too embarrassed to admit to the con, and kept quiet.
Which was fortunate for the Count. He returned to Paris and sold the tower again. Lustig realized the two golden rules of the conman. Always aim big. And a patsy cannot resist the temptation.
(c) Anthony North, Feb 2007