The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines "fraud" as the "intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right."
But those who have engaged in fraud successfully probably would say there's a great deal more to it than that. Capable con artists combine psychology and magic to identify the right mark, devise the best deception and, most important, gain their victim's confidence (that, after all, is the origin of the term).
Read ahead to see CNBC.com's list of famous fraudsters, con artists and scammers, many of whom remain legends.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 1 Oct. 2013
CNBC follows the money trail in search of the most wanted white-collar fugitives."American Greed: The Fugitives" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.