When it comes to fraud, we come across unimaginable examples from all over the world. Victor Lustig is one such example! Lustig, who made history by selling the Eiffel Tower twice, was not limited to this. He even escaped from there after he was sent to prison! We searched for you the story of Victor Lustig, who was known as an “excellent student” in his childhood. It’s hard not to be surprised by these scam stories that look like Pheasant Osman! Here’s what you need to know about Victor Lustig, who made history by selling the Eiffel Tower twice…
Victor Lustig was born in the early 1900s. He was Austro-Hungarian
He was born into a humble family who did not have much money. He was a smart boy, knew several languages, and his teachers admired him. According to what is written in his school yearbook, he was an excellent student. It was also popular with students. He flirted with girls and made close friendships with boys. In the coming years, he would show everyone that he was much more than a successful student.
One day he got into trouble at school. He allegedly saw a boy cheating and decided to confront him. Things escalated and turned into a fight. Lustig was badly beaten when the fight got out of hand. He was so affected by this event that his whole character changed and he started stealing from greedy people in order to survive. He turned into a world-class criminal, perfecting all known tricks.
One day he packed his bag and ran away. His aim was to defraud people.
He spent several years navigating ships, sipping cocktails and finding new destinations. He ensnared women wearing expensive clothes and possessing jewels through various tricks. It not only affected women, but also their families. He extorted money from the wealthy families of women through various deals. With the onset of the First World War came sanctions restricting ship travel. Unable to find any more victims, Lustig had to change his plan.
His new plan was to find naive Americans who would believe everything he said.
He fooled many people with a box called the Romanian box. Allegedly, the money you put in this box was folding itself within hours. Many believed it, including the Texas sheriff. Lustig sold this simple box to the sheriff for several thousand dollars. Lustig had already left the state when the sheriff realized the box wasn’t working.
The sheriff didn’t give up and chased Lustig all the way to Chicago. He then asked Lustig to give him a working box. 😊 So he didn’t realize that Lustig was cheating on him. Thinking that the opportunity had come his way, Lustig scolded the sheriff for mishandling the box. The sheriff then apologized and left.
Not content with ordinary citizens, Lustig defrauded the most famous mafia of those years, Al Capone.
Capone gave Lustig $50,000 for a job. Lustig used this money to defraud more people. Instead of giving Capone his share at the end of the job, he apologized, saying the business had failed. He did not neglect to give back some of the money he had left. Capone, impressed by Lustig’s honesty, rewarded him with a thousand dollars.
Lustig came across a newspaper article about the Eiffel Tower in 1925.
The tower had been built 40 years ago and had to undergo renovations. The renovations were so extensive and expensive that many citizens thought the tower should be demolished and sold to scrap dealers. So who would buy these scraps?
Lustig arranged a meeting with five scrap dealers and introduced himself as a civil servant. Since the subject is still controversial, he asked the attendees to keep this information confidential.
The plan was pretty simple
Lustig asked each scrap dealer to submit a bid for the tower. He then disappeared, taking the money from the highest bidder. Of course, she did not neglect to analyze the characters of the men she met while doing this. She took note of the ambitious men and determined the people she would defraud in the future. One of the names he chose was André Poisson. He arranged a private meeting with Poisson and said that his offer was too low, and that he would give him a privilege if he raised it a little. So he made it look like he was doing Poisson a favor. Fearing to lose the bid, Poisson raised his budget. Additionally, he bribed Lustig. In the end, Lustig made close to $30 million in today’s money.
He wasn’t so lucky on his second try
Lustig tried to sell the Eiffel Tower a second time, but one of the scrap dealers got suspicious and called the police. Lustig, who fled to America in haste, continued his fraud there. However, things got out of hand and he was caught for a minor mistake. When he was caught, he had a strange key in his hand, and he tried to defraud the cops again by saying that this key opened a secret locker in his house. He was tried and sentenced to prison. From there he escaped disguised as a cleaner. He was soon caught again and sent to the high-security Alcatraz Prison. He died of pneumonia on Alcatraz in 1947.
Before he lost his life, he wrote 10 rules for those who are new to fraud 👇🏻
- Be a patient listener. This is the most important thing that leads a scammer to their scam.
- Never look bored.
- Wait for the person in front of you to explain his political views, then keep up with him and give him the right.
- Wait for the other person to explain his/her religious view, then follow him/her and agree.
- Refer to sex, but don’t push it if the other person isn’t interested in it.
- Never discuss diseases unless there is a special situation.
- Do not meddle in other people’s personal affairs.
- Never brag.
- Don’t be disorganized.
- And never get drunk!
If they have Victor Lustig, we have Pheasant Osman! 😅
You must have heard of Pheasant Osman before, who defrauded them by selling the most valuable places of Istanbul, such as Taksim Square and Galata Bridge, to naive citizens. To get details about him 😊 👇🏻