In the last 18 months Australians have lost more than $1bn to scammers. This week is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s national scam week.

Not all of the people below are scammers, some just got caught up in scandals and some may have just gently massaged the truth a little to navigate their route through the highways and byways of commercial entrepreneurship and social ascension.

So how credulous are you?

1.After pleading guilty to multiple fraud offences in 2009, New York financier Bernie Madoff admitted he was surprised he got away with the world’s largest Ponzi scheme for so long (almost two decades). He attributed the longevity of his crimes to the incompetence of which famous fictional sleuth?

2.Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, best known for her appearances in the Iron Man and X-Men franchises, freaked out her 63m Weibo followers after totally vanishing from public sight and social media for three months in 2018. Her disappearance was later attributed to…

3. Norma Khouri caused an Australian literary scandal in 2004 when it was revealed her Random House bestseller, Forbidden Love, supposedly based on the true story of the honour killing of her best friend in Jordan, was a hoax. Khouri claimed she would put things right by writing a sequel. The name of the sequel was…

4.US Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway collected a vast audience for her aspirational life on social media. Then things went awry in a spectacular way for the…

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