5 Other Female Con Artists Who Deserve Their Own Movies

Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Anna Delvey's latest scam might still be happening. The New York City socialite took over pop culture these past few weeks after outlets like Vanity Fair and New York magazine detailed her extensive suspect activity that mainly consisted of convincing people and companies to give her money for larger projects while living a lavish lifestyle she could not afford. It all caught up to her in the end, and she's currently in Rikers awaiting trial. However, Shonda Rhimes heard the story and swiftly acquired the rights to Jessica Pressler’s New York magazine article for her first project at Netflix. In the end, Delvey might be getting exactly what she wanted.
That's because we currently can't get enough of scammers, and luckily, there's no short supply of totally bonkers female con artists. Throughout history, a handful have popped up in varied and wild ways, scamming their way into fortune and fame through the world of beauty, paranormal, and even ISIS.
Ahead are five more female con artists who should get the Hollywood treatment.
1 of 5
The Women Who Conned ISIS

In 2015, three Chechen women discovered that it was actually pretty easy to get money from ISIS. Much of their recruitment of "jahadi brides" happens on social media, so when one woman received a message from a Syrian fighter asking her to come live with them, she decided to try her luck. She said she didn't have any money, and he immediately transferred 10,000 rubles. Then, she blocked him on all accounts. She and two other women kept up this habit until they were caught by Chechen police.
2 of 5
The Great Victorian Beauty Scam

"BEAUTIFUL WOMEN – MADAME RACHEL begs to inform her lady patronesses, the nobility, the aristocracy, that she has opened her ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION list for the ­supply of her Costly Arabian Preparations for the restoration and preser­vation of female loveliness," read an advertisement printed in the Morning Post in the 1800s. Madame Rachel, or Sarah Russell, made a name for herself selling sometimes toxic beauty products and services to rich women. In addition to the £20,000 she made a year, she would also blackmail and steal from her clients. She was foiled in 1868 when one of her clients finally ratted her out.
3 of 5

Patricia Wutaan

The Dating Game

In 2015, a woman named Patricia Wutaan was discovered to be running a ring of women who scammed men on dating websites. Wutaan would write scripts for the women, who would lament their fictional sorrows to convince men to send them money — sometimes around £70,000.

"My sewing machine is faulty," one note read. "Although I have now fixed it but I used the money I am supposed to pay my house rent to fix it and now I am broke and can’t afford to pay my house rent. Told him I am worried because if I don’t pay I’ll have to leave."

After police raided her home, they found countless scripts and fake IDs that Wutaan used for the con. She was found guilty of three counts of money laundering and two counts of possession of articles for use in fraud.
4 of 5
The Paranormal Pranksters

Three sisters from New York who have been credited with playing a huge part in the creation of spiritualism later revealed it was all a hoax. In the 1800s, Margaret and Kate Fox gained popularity by convincing audiences that they could communicate with spirits via a series of mysterious clicking and rapping noises. They would snap their fingers, and the spirit would snap back. The two women would perform this feat for large audiences, managed by their sister Leah. However, in 1888 the women confessed that the noises actually came from their cracking joints.
5 of 5
Photo: Daisy Johnson/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images..
The Hipster Grifter

The precursor to the Soho Grifter, Kari Ferrell would seduce men in Brooklyn and then milk them for all they were worth. Of her many schemes, she falsely convinced people she had cancer, faked jobs, forged checks, and used her successful lies to get her way into social circles and parties where she would meet a victim and do it all again. She was sentenced to nine months in jail in 2009.

More from Movies


R29 Original Series