A bankrupted con-artist from Oregon was able to purchase a bank license and opened a offshore bank in Grenada by claiming to own a 4 pound ruby worth $20 million dollars and a appraisal document proving its worth. The ruby was owned by a man in California who didn’t know the scammer.
The melon drop scam was a con that targeted Japanese tourists. Scammers would buy a watermelon for a low price and then bump into an Asian tourist and charge them about $100 for the broken melon. This is due to the higher fruit prices in Japan. These days the scam involves any broken item.
The USSR renamed its rocket base Baikonur in 1961 to keep the Soviet space program a secret. Residents of the original Baikonur, hundreds of km away, took advantage of the resulting confusion by ordering many valuable supplies for themselves before the scam was discovered.
Someone tricked a Nigerian scammer into hand writing an entire Harry Potter novel, the whole 293 pages and scanned with a scan width of 1200 pixel. He offered to pay him $100 per page if he was willing to do the work.
Nigerian 419 scammers convinced Banco Noroeste executives to deposit $242 million in their Cayman bank accounts.