I like to troll the Internet while I eat my breakfast. Blogs have replaced the morning newspaper and Missed Connections on Craigslist make me laugh more than Family Circus and Kathy comic strips.
This morning as I was lurking amongst my favorite sites when I stumbled upon The Encyclopedia of Scams. Part Wikipedia and part obscure collection of old time con artists, this site truly represents the best of the web. Before the days of Internet how would I have learned about the “Lock Stock Scam” which targets conservative men with fetishes or the infamous “Melon Drop” scheme?
The best entry that wins first prize for its awesome alliteration is the Soap Sell Swindle. Popularized in the late 19th century, the slippery “soap seller” would try to sell his bars of soap with money wrapped in the package. Using a slight of hand he would remove the money before handing over the soap to a customer. While the profit per bar must have been small the con could be used over and over again.