The Man who sold Eiffel Tower twice

Boy oh boy. The connman, the legend, of course we are talking about none other than Victor Lustig. Considered as a very gifted and smart child, he was born in 1890 in Austria-Hungary at that time. He developed quite a criminal record across Europe and USA during the 20th century by scamming. His most notorious scams are selling off the Eiffel Tower twice and being a part of the Rumanian Box scam. 

Selling off Eiffel Tower. Consider at that time, this now symbol of France ,was once facing maintenance problems since it was very expensive and quite an innovation. Victor traveling to Paris saw this in the newspaper and the idea was born. He hired a forger in order to produce government stationery for him. Then invited a group of metal dealers for a meeting in a nice, upscale hotel and introduced himself as a Director General of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. He gave the impression that Paris had too much trouble with the new architecture miracle and that France was willing to sell it. And emphasized on secrecy in order not to spark public madness. He would watch closely who could become his prey only to discover bingo, Andre Poisson. Andre Poisson just needed to hear that, by this “purchase” he will become the top businessman in high circles of France. Mister Lustig attended his second time around to sell the Eiffel Tower but this time police were informed about the scam and he had to escape to the US in an attempt to avoid arrest.

As for the Rumanian Box scam it was about a mahogany box with two small slots designed to take in bills and paper to print a duplicate and compartment with mechanisms that had nothing to do with it claiming they are behind this revolutionary machine. He would also claim that the machine can duplicate any currency that once is inserted in the box. One of the people who bought the device, a Texas sheriff found out that he was scammed for thousands of dollars, only to chase Lustig to Chicago and to become scammed, again. He convinced the sheriff that the device was malfunctioning and that he would be compensated. But the compensated money was counterfeit.In the end he got arrested. Nevertheless, his genius and evil mind led him to commit many scams. In the past, there was no way to check the validity of all information so that can be said as a counterargument.

Yet he will be remembered as one of the most profound scam artists in the world. Now we know why.

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