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 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.