The audacity of selling things that don’t belong to you

Date:July 3, 2007 / year-entry #240
Tags:non-computer
Orig Link:https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20070703-01/?p=26163
Comments:    8
Summary:NPR some time ago reported on a most audacious scam: Selling someone else's property out from under them. But this guy was small potatoes, selling properties owned by churches and other non-profit organizations. The king in this category of fraud is Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower... twice!

NPR some time ago reported on a most audacious scam: Selling someone else's property out from under them. But this guy was small potatoes, selling properties owned by churches and other non-profit organizations. The king in this category of fraud is Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower... twice!


Comments (8)
  1. Leif Landén says:

    Just as trivia:

    Lustig is the swedish word for amusing/funny.

  2. autist0r says:

    It’s first of all a German word…

  3. I also was thinking about his name Lustig. Was it taken or just a coincidence?

    According to a great new Swedish English lexicon tyda.se:

    http://www.tyda.se/?w=lustig

  4. J says:

    OK, selling the Eiffel tower I can see.  I mean, there were already rumors in the news so the contractors probably already had the seed of plausibility implanted in their brains.

    But selling people a box that supposedly duplicates money, and the banks say it’s OK and not counterfeit?  This con has holes on so many levels that I can’t fathom how anyone would fall for it.  Even in the 1920s when I guess institutional banking in the US was still a relative mystery to the average joe.

  5. Jeanne says:

    Haha. What a penguin! Didn’t he know already I bought la tour d’Eiffel last time I was in Paris!  Haha.

    Oh. Wait.

  6. poochner says:

    Then there’s "The Man Who Sold The Moon."  He just didn’t realize he *could* actually do it.  I haven’t thought about or read that story in ages.

  7. anon says:

    Kind of related, from yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle newspaper:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/02/MNGONQPG2N1.DTL&hw=unclaimed+property&sn=001&sc=1000

    except it’s not a con, the state does it. (Is it even worse then?)

  8. will dieterich says:

    This has been a huge problem in Canada for a while.

    What happens there is people will rent(or in some cases not even that) a place then do an ID theft of the real owner(or get a fake letter of authority), and then sell the property or they will take out a mortgage on the property and run.  Canada law, may of been changed by now, says the sale or mortgage is legal as long as the lender/purchaser is not in on the scam.

    In the US the lender would be the one to take the loss, so they tend to do a good job of checking out the title owner.  For a sale the purchasers can recover any costs they may of paid if they had purchased title insurance.

Comments are closed.


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