It’s all about deceit, drama, and jaw-dropping ‘how?’ moments in these true stories.
Nothing beats watching something involving some kind of elaborate ruse. It is strangely fascinating and wildly addictive. After all, the humanity of its central characters is usually what makes a truly gripping deception tale successful - be it the famous faces who were tied to the ill-fated Fyre festival or the brilliantly charming Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes.
Most recently, we’ve been entirely hooked by the tale of Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin), the infamous “fake billionaire Russian-German heiress” who scammed her way into New York’s upper crust—a story that’s been captured in a new Netflix mini-series treatment called Inventing Anna, produced by Shonda Rhimes. Apart from that, the streaming service has also released the internet’s latest obsession, The Tinder Swindler, which tells the tale of Shimon Heyada Hayut aka Simon Leviev, the “son of a Russian diamond trader” who allegedly used the Tinder dating app to live a life of luxury while defrauding millions of dollars from women across Europe.
From the ruthlessly shocking, to the plain bizarre, and every so often heartbreakingly tragic - there’s plenty of fraudsters to learn about. Whether you're searching for a razor-sharp individual character study or a thorough dive into large-scale corporate malfeasance, we have you covered.
So if you want to whet your appetite for everything to come, here’s a round-up of the best-twisted documentaries and dramas that delve into the white-collar world of fraud, scams and cons.
4. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal
Chris Smith’s riveting documentary digs deep on the 2019 college admissions scandal, which saw the elite upper class going to extreme lengths to get their children into elite colleges. It also explores the illicit methods employed by William Rick Singer, the man at the centre of it all, to persuade celebrities and the ultra-rich to cheat the educational system.
This series will not only provide a chilling insight into the level of shortcuts money and contacts can buy, but it will also make you wonder how many people have gotten away with it.