What is it about certain scammers that beguiles so? There are plenty of people who commit fraud, tell lies and manipulate others for their own gain, but not all capture the public imagination. Those who do become something strange in our collective consciousness: not heroes, not to be emulated, but not villains either. They occupy a space somewhere between “I can’t believe someone did that” and “Could I do that?” The likes of Anna Delvey—the imprisoned Russian faux-socialite who scammed New York elites and hotels to the tune of $275, 000—are capable of charming us partly because their victims are not ordinary people. Nobody finds the fraudster conning grandmothers out of pensions alluring or seductive. But we can allow ourselves to indulge in salacious enjoyment of Delvey’s crimes because those who were swindled had so very much to lose in the first place. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Peace & Quiet In the UK, a centuries-old Quaker meeting house encourages quiet reflection. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Free Wheelers On the road with London’s Velociposse Cycling Club.