The Current

Inside the con artist's confidence game

Why is it that people who are otherwise smart and rational keep getting sucked in by the con artist's magic? From snake oil, to email scams, psychology writer Maria Konnikova gets inside the con artist's head in her book, The Confidence Game.
Frank Abagnale, Jr. is portrayed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can, a film based on the con artist's many impersonations. (Lucy Nicholson/Associated Press)

In 1967, Frank William Abagnale, Jr. posed as a pilot, doctor, and attorney before getting caught forging cheques worth over $2 million. Frank William Abagnale, Jr. is now a successful consultant and world expert on forgery. His story was the subject of the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can.

How con artists such as Frank Abagnale do just that... again and again... is the subject of a new book by New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova. It's called The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It... Every Time

Maria Konnikova was in New York.

Bernie Madoff's decades-long Ponzi scheme was the biggest fraud in U.S. history. His victims were embarrassed that they were such easy marks, but author Maria Konnikova suggests in her book The Confidence Game, even the most savvy person can be sideswiped by the careful con. (Timoth A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Do you have a story about a time you fell for a con artist? ... Please don't be shy or embarrassed. 

Tweet us @TheCurrentCBC, find us on Facebook or send us an email.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.

Here are some other famous imposters through history including The Current's interview with Christian Gerhartsreiter: