Tricky Vic - An Impossibly Good Con Man - Tricky Vic and His Money Box Scams

An exterior view of the type of money box which Victor Lustig used to scam fellow passengers on luxury liners sailing between France and America. Online via The Bygone Days.


Victor Lustig made a small fortune convincing people that he'd created a money box which was capable of producing ... money.

American dollars, to be exact.

American One-Hundred Dollars bills, to be more exact.

It is actually surprising how many intelligent people Lustig could swindle with his money-box scams.

At one end of the money box was a blank sheet of paper. On the other end was a $100 bill. After the “Count” turned a few cranks and knobs, the blank paper became a “C Note” (which, he said, could be retrieved from the box, and used, six hours later after the ink dried).

When Victor announced he’d sell his money-making box to the highest bidder, during his transatlantic crossings between France and America, his fellow passengers started bidding against each other. Near the end of the cruise, Lustig would accept the highest bid, exchanging his box for cash.

By the time a duped buyer realized the box contained real hundred-dollar bills, made by the U.S. Mint, and the blank paper was still blank paper, not currency, the Count was gone—with the purchase price of the money box in his hands.

With lots of gullible people traveling on cruise ships, Lustig was making a good living. Then World War I erupted, and the cruise industry could no longer send pleasure boats across the Atlantic.

Lustig had to find another place to run his scams.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 19, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"Tricky Vic and His Money Box Scams" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 19, 2015. May 26, 2020.
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