Cons, Frauds, and Cheats: Audiobooks for Scammer Spring

Move aside, low-rise jeans and crochet halter tops: scammer stories are the real trend for spring. From The Dropout to Inventing Anna to the Fyre Festival that started it all, we just can’t get enough of charming, sneaky frauds and the folks that get duped by them.

If you’ve already cruised through every Edison device misstep and unfortunate cheese sandwich available to stream, keep the cons coming with audiobooks about every scam you’ve never heard of, a few you have, and advice to avoid getting got from a former fraud:

Author: John Carreyrou
Read By: Will Damron

In 2014 Elizabeth Holmes was a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup Theranos promised to revolutionize the medical industry. There was just one problem: the blood-testing device they built didn’t work. Erroneous results put patients in danger, leading to misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments. All the while, Holmes worked to silence anyone who voiced misgivings—from journalists to their own employees.

The Cult of We is the story of the rise and fall of WeWork by the journalists whose reporting rocked the company. Today WeWork would be worth $10 trillion, but founder Adam Neumann was burning through cash faster than WeWork could bring it in. Nearly $40 billion of value vaporized in one of corporate America’s most spectacular meltdowns. Peppered with eye-popping, never-before-reported details, The Cult of We is the gripping story of careless and often absurd people—and the financial system they have made.

Think you can’t get conned? Think again. The Confidence Game asks not only why we believe con artists, but also examines the very act of believing and how our sense of truth can be manipulated by those around us in this compelling investigation into the minds, motives, and methods of con artists—and the people who fall for their cons over and over again.

The Smartest Guys in the Room

The Smartest Guys in the Room is the definitive volume on American energy, commodities, and services company Enron’s amazing rise and scandalous fall, from an award-winning team of Fortune investigative reporters.

“[Dennis] Boutsikaris makes the tawdry, sometimes-complex story easy to listen to.”–AudioFile

Ponzi's Scheme

You’ve heard of the scheme. Now comes the man behind it. In the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi promised to double investors’ money in three months, raising the “rob Peter to pay Paul” scam to an art form and raking in millions at his office in downtown Boston. Ponzi’s Scheme is the story of the irresistible scoundrel who launched the most successful scheme of financial alchemy in modern history.

Author: Paul Willetts
Read By: Ray Porter

Edgar Laplante was a smalltime grifter, an erstwhile vaudeville performer, and an unabashed charmer. But after years of playing thankless gigs, he decided to undertake the most demanding performance of his life. Laplante reinvented himself as Chief White Elk: war hero, sports star, civil rights campaigner, Cherokee nation leader—and total fraud. In King Con, Paul Willetts brings this story to life in all its absurdity, showing us how our capacity for belief and our obsession with celebrity can make fools of us all.

Author: Frank Abagnale
Read By: Jason Culp

Former con artist and bestselling author Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today’s scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information–often online and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips to evade those trying to steal your information, your money, and your life.

Don’t miss a single trend. Sign up for the Penguin Random House Audio newsletter.