Historical scams that would be stopped today

We all face the problem of keeping our personal details and banking details out of the hands of scammers and fraudsters. With the introduction of our digital world it’s become even harder for banks and financial institutions to protect us as well. Having a robust KYC (know your customer) is a priority of banks the world over. If these examples from History had known who they were dealing with these stories may have been a little different.

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  • The case of the Diamond necklace. It’s not uncommon for someone to buy their girlfriend a gift to show how much they love them. It is uncommon when that person is a Cardinal in the French Roman Catholic church and the girlfriend in question is Marie Antoinette. Cardinal Prince de Rohan thought he was getting a necklace for the Queen but it was actually his ex-lover who was posing as the Queen.
  • The crimes of Whitaker Wright. Wright was able to convince the gentry of the day that he was a master of business and finance. Many of them took up his offer of joining the vastly successful companies he had created. The only trouble was they were companies that were lending to each other to stay afloat. Eventually the whole thing crashed and everyone lost huge amounts of money.

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  • Selling the Eiffel Tower? Victor Lustig was the king of con men but even he outdid himself when he convinced several scrap metal dealers that the Eiffel tower was due to be demolished and the girders used for scrap.

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