How to con others by pretending to be famous

"I believe I keep going to prison because 
I have no skills other than being a con man."

What's amazing about this story is not that Alan Young is so good at conning his victims, but even when he's found, convicted, imprisoned and released, he continues to deceive others with similar scams.

(A  "lost briefcase" helps, too.)
While Young's scams certainly have gained finesse over the years, police and court records show they almost always adhere to the same template. Young blows into town posing as the musical celebrity du jour, impresses his marks with name-dropping and insider knowledge, then wows them with promises of hefty investments or donations. Young invariably discovers that his briefcase, along with his wallet, credit cards, and identification, is missing. He usually claims they have been accidentally shipped down to Los Angeles with his band's equipment. Young then throws himself on the good graces of his host, promising to reimburse him promptly. The host generally pulls out all the stops to offer his newfound friend Hollywood-style hospitality. Some of Young's marks have paid off hookers, monstrous bar tabs, or bills for unauthorized limousine rides, according to police records. As soon as the victim catches on, Young simply slips away. Within a few days, Young has usually locked onto a new target, and the whole charade repeats itself...

The story of how Young swindled Harvey Stein, and the police's reaction to it, is a prime example of how difficult it is to catch a celebrity impersonation con...
Read more: The Talented Mr. Young, East Bay Express>>

- The above article is from 2002. Eight years later, he's still at it. See Wait a minute mister con man, The San Francisco Examiner>>

- And in 2011: Alan Young Wanted -- Again -- for Impersonating Motown Celebrities You've Never Heard of, SF Weekly>>

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