The telephone has revolutionized the art of the big con. Once upon a time, a con man had to travel from place to place, then spend time to establish their identity and gain the confidence of some key figures in a community. All as the precursor to even beginning to think about starting a long con. It meant that a true long con really did take a long time to execute.
The telephone changed all that.
Suddenly it was possible to visit people in their homes or offices, almost without their even knowing they had invited you in.
Since a large part of the early effort is spent just to establish the trust needed to be invited in, the long con got significantly easier to play.
Of course, you still need to have a mark, a tale, and a payoff. And you probably can’t play it all solo.
But if you can master the art of sounding sincere on the phone, you can play the game without leaving your home.
You can even play more than one mark at a time, taking turns to advance each tale.
How could it ever get easier?
Then I got the letter.
“Dear most noble sir,” it began, “Greetings from the rightful heirs of the minister for imaginary trade outside of my country, who died unexpectedly in a most tragic and horrific fashion, with a sum of not less than ten million US dollars on deposit in an imaginary bank in your country. Which I know I can count on your help to return to its rightful owners. Accepting a generous fee for your services, naturally….”
I wonder what strange and wonderful technology will come next that advance the art of the con?
I can barely wait.