There’s an Imposter Among Us: Our 5 Best Stories on False Identities
Before "Inventing Anna" and "The Tinder Swindler," these folks tricked the public with their antics, schemes and false identities. Bizarre, thrilling and comically wrong, we're bringing you 5 stories that will have you doubting everyone you think you know
5. I Woke Up From a Coma and Couldn't Escape the Guy Pretending to Be My Boyfriend
Story by Brooke Knisley
I fell 20 feet out of a redwood tree and when I came to, my memory was shattered and a man I’d broken things off with was telling everyone we were together. Then I found out why.
4. The Black Pastor Whose “Turban Trick” Exposed American Racism
Story by Paul Kramer
Rev. Routté bluffed his way into first-class treatment in the Jim Crow-era south — unmasking the ridiculous hypocrisy of segregation.
3. A Casino Card Shark's First Time Getting Caught
Story by Roze Travis
As a struggling grad student, I happened upon a lucrative side hustle with an elite team of card-counters—and found the community I'd been looking for.
2. How an International Man of Mystery Scammed My Grandma
Story by Rob Wolfe
My 91-year-old grandmother leapt into action the moment I called to tell her I was in jail and needed $3,000 wired instantly. Only problem: It wasn’t me.
1. The Audacious Tabloid Couple Who Scammed Their Way Into New York's High Society
Story by Lauren Harkawik
The vaudeville dancer and his beguiling Parisian wife arrived in Manhattan in 1911 with secret identities in tow. They enjoyed wealth and notoriety for years—until it all came crashing down.