Cons, Swindlers, and Cheats

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Credits per quarter

Compare offerings and share your lists with others.

Taught by

Despite access to all sorts of information, people continue to be conned, swindled, and cheated out of their hard-earned money. Is it true anyone can be conned? How can we protect ourselves and our communities against cons who by their very nature make situations seem reasonable and socially compelling?

This program provides an overview of various schemes and trickery that fraudsters employ in the financial world and elsewhere. From the original Charles Ponzi and his schemes in the early 1900s to the current-day massive affinity fraud perpetrated by Bernie Madoff, we will look at the schemers and their victims. If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But the success of real-life swindlers shows how often this simple advice is ignored. We will explore what makes investors and others reach for the fool’s gold of seemingly foolproof and lucrative investment opportunities. We will also look at the psychology of fraudsters and try to determine what makes them operate outside the normal laws of society.

The program is designed for students with a strong interest in finance and investments or those interested in what drives the most basic of human instincts, greed. Spotting a con requires us to think critically about situations and to find a balance between trusting and self-preservation. By the end of the program, you should be able to think creatively about ways to protect yourself and society from fraudsters.

Fields of study: 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: business and finance.

Online learning:
  • No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia