Narratively

Cons (and their victims) come in all shapes and sizes.

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The “Gay for Pay” Porn Star Who Hatched a Million-Dollar Blackmail Scheme

Teo Brank found a lucrative side hustle arranging escorts for sex parties. But when his business soured, he turned to extortion.

How the Great California Dispensary Heist Went Horrifically Wrong

One of the most outrageous crime sagas of the 21st century starts with a severed penis...and only gets stranger from there.

The First Family of Counterfeit Hunting

Robert Holmes taught his sons everything he knew about exposing black-market knockoffs. Now they take down the world's biggest scammers while dodging threats from the mob.

This Indian Cop Took Down a Massive IRS Call-Center Scam

Millions of Americans have fallen for a ruse claiming they owe back taxes and must pay immediately. On the other side of the globe, one dogged inspector finally delivered justice.

My Psychic Told Me to Date a Psychopath

She was so certain that this guy was “the one,” and I was so desperate to believe her that I ignored all the signs telling me he most definitely wasn’t.

How an International Man of Mystery Scammed My Grandma

My 91-year-old grandmother leapt into action the moment I called to tell her I was in jail and needed $3,000 wired instantly. Only problem: It wasn’t me.

Confessions of a Morally Conflicted Champagne Hostess

My waitressing gig at the strip club was supposed to be a quick way to make easy money for college. But then coaxing tips out of wasted men gradually turned into more elaborate...

How I Fell Face First for an Epic IRS Scam

As an Ivy League-educated journalist who has reported on scams and their victims, I certainly never thought I’d fall for one myself. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My Awkward Undercover Life Demolishing Housing Discrimination

I’ve always had a fear of telling even the smallest white lies. So when I took a do-gooder job built on deception, the results were equal parts terrifying and hilarious.