Troubador Fifty Scams and Hoaxes

Released: 28/10/2018

ISBN: 9781789015775

eISBN: 9781789012408

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Fifty Scams and Hoaxes

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Fifty Scams and Hoaxes is a light-hearted investigation into some of the worst examples of financial skulduggery, medical quackery and ingenious hoaxing from history. Along the way we will come across a Pope advocating a drink based on cocaine, a pill to avoid hangovers, a woman who gave birth to rabbits, the man who broke the bank twice, the first examples of insurance fraud and scam emails and much more.


Author Martin Fone explores the psychology and methodology deployed by the scammers and shows what can happen when avarice preys on credulity and gullibility. The key characteristics he unearths amongst his despicable gallery of scammers includes; incredible claims, creative use of advertising, playing on people’s fears and aspirations, unscrupulous business practices and, when it all goes wrong as it often does, a propensity to flee the scene and leave others to pick up the pieces.

Well-paced, fascinating, entertaining and informative, this book will delight the general reader as well as providing food for thought for the more serious student of the foibles of human nature.

Country Life Online

Wow, ok so this was an entertaining read. From describing how a tonic of extra strong pharmaceutical grade morphine was marketed as a way of getting people un addicted to morphine (yeah really) to a youth restoring face cream that was full of lead. This book recounts multiple stories of hoaxs and scams from the last few centuries helping us remember that people have been trying to take other people for a ride as long as can be remembered.

An interesting read, good for a few chuckles and a few WTF moments like the explanation of the woman who gave birth to rabbits.

by Kyle Davis


Fifty Scams and Hoaxes is an enjoyable read. Taking peoples gut feelings to the limit. Preying on the gullible and the down right stupid it tells tales of skullduggery and shenanigans that was rife in the 18th and 19th Century. Some of the scams are still used to this day and are relevant in the world we live in right now. The book also explains the origins of certain hoaxes and how some sayings got into the English language. For example I didn't know where the term 'Quack' for a clinical Doctor came from, I do now! All in all a great read, well written humours in parts and defiantly a buy for the people out there who a curious about the history of scams and hoaxes.

by Peter Harriman


I often wonder if people who take the time to think up scams and execute them, how productive they would be in the buisness sector legally. This is a nice look at various scams and hoaxes and how they were exectuted. It takes a specail person to want to scam people. Very good flow, and very interesting. I enjoyed this book.

by V Nunez


This book is exactly as advertised in the blurb; a light-hearted history of fraud and hoaxes. It's not meant as a very funny book, but it IS amusing and very enlightening, as history tends to repeat itself. All of us should read it.

by Terje Olsen


Martin Fone

A Classics graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge Martin Fone had a successful career in the insurance industry. He co-authored two books on public sector risk management which were adopted by the Institute of Risk Management as their standard text books.

Since retiring Martin has had the opportunity to develop his interests, mainly reading, writing and thinking or, as his wife puts it, locking himself away in his office for a few hours a day. In particular he has been blogging and writing in his tongue-in-cheek, irreverent style about the quirks, idiocies and idiosyncrasies of life, both modern and ancient. His latest books, Fifty Clever Bastards, Fifty Curious Questions, and the soon to be published Fifty Scams and Hoaxes reflect this change in direction.

In May 2018 Fifty Curious Questions was a Category Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Award 2018 and has been serialised inCountry Life magazine's social media platform.

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