From Anna Delvey to Elizabeth Holmes and the Tinder Swindler, we’re endlessly fascinated by the stories of people who aren’t who they say they are. Scam culture is rife, and while it’s incredibly frightening and dangerous, it’s equally as enthralling. How do people get sucked into these scams? And what is it about the scammers that makes them so enticing?
Several podcasts have attempted to answer these questions, by re-telling the stories of infamous (and not so infamous) scammers who lied, cheated and stole from innocent people. Hoodwinked, bamboozled, swindled — whatever you want to call it, there’s a story out there to appeal to your curious interests.
Below, 12 of the most interesting scam podcasts available to stream right now, for your next fix of fraudulence.
Kirat is a radio presenter who meets a charming cardiologist named Bobby. She thinks she’s found the perfect match, but she’s actually become entangled with one of the world’s most dangerous catfishers. Before she knows it, she’s wrapped up in a complex scam that spans the course of eight years and involves up to 60 people (none of whom were real). Sweet Bobby explores the idea of victim-blaming, cyber-crime and above all else — betrayal.
Listen to Sweet Bobby here.
What if you could find your one true love? Your ‘twin flame?’ It’s something many of us are looking for, and one dating platform offered users their perfect match on a silver platter. The only catch? They’d have to sacrifice almost everything in order to get it. Jeff and Shaleia Ayan, two well-known Youtubers, promised hundreds of people that they could find their twin flame, but before long, the obsession with true love became dangerous. Some followers claim they were encouraged to cut ties with friends and family and claim their soulmate by any means necessary. How far will they go for love?
Listen to Twin Flames here.
Hollywood Con Queen
Over the past seven years, hundreds of Hollywood workers (from hair and makeup artists to aspiring filmmakers and physical trainers) have been tricked into flying to Indonesia for a movie that doesn’t actually exist. The person behind it was an international con artist who impersonated hundreds of Hollywood’s elite in order to scam millions of dollars out of people. Worse still, their victims would draw in other victims, widening the scammers net of prey every day. Known as the Hollywood Con Queen, this is the story of how they managed to do it.
Listen to Hollywood Con Queen here.
Private investigator Julia Robson is used to hearing about jilted lovers and relationships gone wrong. She thinks she’s been presented with another open-and-shut case when Vivien approaches her with a new case. What she doesn’t realise, is that she’s about to embark on a seven-year manhunt for a conman named Charlie, whose victims are spread out across all corners of the globe. From Paris to the French Riviera, the hunt for Charlie will become the biggest case of her career, if she can just catch him.
Listen to Chasing Charlie here.
If you’re looking for a podcast with a new scam every episode, this is the one for you. From charismatic healers to respected financial insiders and dating experts, there’s no shortage of tales involving deception and betrayal. Investigating cases you’ve likely never heard before, like the Black Swan murder and the Hollywood Ponzi schemer — these are the stories of dangerous people and the wake of destruction they leave behind.
Listen to Scamfluencers here.
Multilevel marketing companies (also known as MLM’s) or more colloquially, pyramid schemes, are rife. They’re appealing to those who want to make an easy buck, promising maximum return for minimal effort. The more people you recruit, the more money you’re said to make. While people feel like it’s an entrepreneurial adventure, more often than not it’s a complex scam that sees them make next to nothing, while drawing even more people into its orbit. The Dream explores how people get sucked in, why the idea is so enticing and just how bad the fallout can actually be.
Listen to The Dream here.
Anna Delvey is a name almost everyone is familiar, particularly since the release of Netflix’s Inventing Anna series. This six-part podcast meshes drama with documentary, offering real-life interviews with the people she scammed alongside compelling court reports and press coverage. We may never know who the real Anna actually is, but you might have a better idea of who she was trying to be.
Listen to Fake Heiress here.
Who The Hell Is Hamish?
Hamish Watson is whoever his victims wanted him to be. Cherry-picking his victims from all over the world, including Hong Kong, Canada, Britain and the United States, the Sydney-born con artist managed to swindle almost $7 million from innocent people. For years he managed to evade authorities, but in the end, a single photo would prove to be his undoing.
Listen to Who The Hell Is Hamish here.
In late 2020, Sydney woman Melissa Caddick mysteriously vanished. The seemingly successful businesswoman was running from a crime she’d committed which had dramatically unravelled before her eyes. Authorities were on her tail for scamming $23 million from investors through her financial planning business. Caddick had been living the high life with flashy cars and expensive trips, but she’d been doing it with stolen money, and found herself living on borrowed time. So how did she do it? And is she really gone for good?
Listen to Liar Liar here.
The Shrink Next Door
How well do you think you know your neighbours? Joe Nocera thought he knew his pretty well, but it turned out he knew next to nothing about Ike — a respected therapist for celebrities and Manhattan’s elite. One summer, Joe realises that Ike has gone and everything he thought he knew about him (and what was really going on in the house next door) was a complete lie. As it turns out, Ike had a very alarming relationship with a man named Martin Markowitz, a patient he had been seeing for 30-years. Working as his therapist, Ike had scammed Martin out of $2.5 million, isolated him from his family and convinced him to change his will. But why would somebody do something so awful? You’ll have to listen to find out.
Listen to The Shrink Next Door here.
Queen Of The Con
Jonathan Walton was a reality-tv producer who thought he’d found a best friend in Mair Smyth — an Irish heiress fighting with her family over a $30 million inheritance. One day, after helping her resolve a slight legal hiccup, he stumbles upon a harrowing truth. The woman who he thought he knew so well is actually an international con artist, with scams spanning from Belfast to Los Angeles. Having successfully swindled a slew of victims out of hundreds of thousands, this wild story involves a BDSM sex rings, witchcraft, a fake cancer diagnosis and the scamming of a Los Angeles politician. Jonathan bands together with her other victims, but will they be able to stop her?
Listen to Queen Of The Con here.
Elizabeth Holmes had big dreams to revolutionise the health space, promising a first-of-its-kind technology that would allow people to test their blood for disease in the comfort of their own homes. Unbeknown to them and her impressive lineup of generous investors, the technology behind her idea actually didn’t work, and maybe never would. Despite knowing of its shortcomings, she continued to seek more investments, publicity and fame while putting people’s lives at risk. This is the story of Holmes’ cruel ambition and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire who had it all, then crumbled spectacularly.
Listen to the Dropout here.