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The Grift


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When we hear about confidence games, we think, “never me.” Welcome to The Grift, a show about con artists and the lives they ruin. Best-selling author and New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova takes us to the darker side of human nature and deceit. Ten s...Show More
Genuine Fake

41:32 | Apr 11th, 2017

The only thing Ken Perenyi loved as much as art was swindling the art world. He relished the contest of wits, the risk of getting caught, the thrill of deception, the sense of power that comes with a successful con. But more than anything else, he wa...Show More
1: Calvin's Last Shot

57:52 | Mar 28th, 2018

A story of murder, betrayal, and a man who fought the law for two decades. Calvin Buari, who once drove BMWs and dealt crack from a violent corner in the Bronx, has served 22 years of a life sentence. The charge: double homicide. Cal insists he’s no ...Show More
Introducing Empire on Blood

04:40 | Mar 27th, 2018

From the Producers of The Grift and Revisionist History, Empire on Blood is a new podcast from Panoply that chronicles award-winning journalist Steve Fishman's seven-year investigation to uncover the truth behind a Bronx double homicide and one man's...Show More
The Grift Presents: Family Ghosts

55:02 | Dec 11th, 2017

The Grift presents an episode of another Panoply podcast we think our listeners will love: Family Ghosts.When Nick's grandfather died in 1994, something bizarre happened: his aunt Susan stole the body and hid it. Susan died shortly thereafter, and fo...Show More
The Greatest Impostor

40:02 | Jun 6th, 2017

Ferdinand Demara is quite possibly the greatest con artist you’ve never heard of. With good reason: he hardly ever used his own name. Demara was a professional impostor. In his long and prolific career, he passed himself off as a surgeon on a warship...Show More
Crooked Carnival

33:04 | May 30th, 2017

Peter Fenton made a career out of crafting that con we’ve all fallen for: the con of fantasy, of alternative realities that are much more pleasant than the existing one. This week, we go inside the world of carnival game scams, why we fall for them e...Show More
Psychic Faith

32:39 | May 23rd, 2017

A fraud is lurking on most every block of most every city and town, all over the world: the psychic. When you’re down, when you’re alone, when you’re uncertain: that’s when you’re perfectly vulnerable to that old teller of the future, the person who ...Show More
For a Small Investment...

33:29 | May 16th, 2017

Oscar Hartzell, born to humble beginnings, would go on to craft one of the most elaborate and successful mail fraud cons of all time. Pirates, lost treasure, the Wild West — it's the Spanish Prisoner, with a very English twist.Learn more about your a...Show More
The One Who Almost Got Away

32:07 | May 9th, 2017

Sam Israel not only ran one of the most successful Ponzi schemes in history, he would eventually go on to the single most extreme con there is: the con of life and death. Who knows how often it happens? After all, its success stories are dead….or so ...Show More
Loving a Lie

31:57 | May 2nd, 2017

Maria talks with the Atlantic’s Emily Yoffe about the most common grift of them all: the sweetheart scam. It’s a catfishing bait and switch where the person you fall in love with isn’t the person you thought. It has likely happened to someone you kno...Show More
The Religion of the Black Dog

45:12 | Apr 25th, 2017

A small secretive cult was started in the 1970s and operated out of New Jersey for decades without notice. A survivor tells us her dark story of abuse and manipulation at the hands of the charismatic cult leader, and how she eventually escaped his cl...Show More
The Self-Made Heiress

33:21 | Apr 18th, 2017

Cassie Chadwick was one of the most famous, or infamous, seductresses of the Gilded Age. She excelled at impersonating high society royalty—and at getting everyone in her path to shower her with cash, even though they never got anything in return. An...Show More
Fast Jack, the Card Shark

36:18 | Apr 4th, 2017

“Fast Jack” Farrell is one of the greatest card and dice manipulators of the twentieth century - an undisputed leader in the vast world of crooked gambling. He cheated John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, worked for mobs in several states and several contin...Show More
Introducing: The Grift

02:19 | Mar 30th, 2017

Coming soon from Panoply and Maria Konnikova, The Grift: stories about con artists and the lives they ruin.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices