Life·6 min read

11 Shows to Watch When You’re Done Binging Inventing Anna

Amanda Seyfriend (portraying Elizabeth Holmes in "The Dropout") on the floor talking on the phone
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStockphoto
May 2, 2022

There’s something strangely enticing about watching someone—or a group of someones—pull off a fraud, a con, or a scam and get away with it… until they get caught at least. Don’t believe us? Ask the millions of people who watched “Inventing Anna."

Filled with sex, lies, and plenty of money, these stories are so outrageous it’s hard to believe they’re based on real life. But we assure you that everything you’re about to see is true… except for the parts that are totally made up. Here are 11 shows and documentaries about scammers you need to binge stat.

“WeCrashed”

When the company WeWork came on the scene in 2010, it quickly redefined co-working spaces and was valued at 47 billion dollars. And Adam Neumann as the CEO and founder was at the helm. That is until he crashed. Starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway, WeCrashed is the dazzling portrayal of this eccentric company and its even more eccentric CEO who may have bitten off more than he could chew when it came to running a company.  

Where to watch: AppleTV+

Watch the trailer


“The Dropout” 

In 2014, Elizabeth Holmes was on top of the world. CEO of tech start-up Theranos, and was on the cover of Forbes magazine, it seemed like nothing could touch her. That is until it came out that Holmes was defrauding investors. Cue: the slew of podcasts, books, and documentaries about what went so wrong. The Dropout is one of the latest effort. In this series starring Amanda Seyfried, we get a new dramatized look into the young CEO who would do anything to stay on top. 

P.S. If you can't get enough of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, check this out.

Where to watch: Hulu 

Watch the trailer


“Inventing Anna” 

Thanks to Shonda Rhimes we finally get to see the story of the infamous Soho grifter brought to our screens. Anna Sorokin aka “ Anna Delvey” scammed her way through New York’s elite and almost got away with it too. She pretended to be a German heiress and was notorious for not paying her tabs at the most exclusive restaurants and hotels before she got caught in 2017. This show is fictionalized so Rhimes and her team take a lot of liberties, but it’s still a fun ride that’ll leave you wondering how Anna faked it till she made it for so long. 

Where to watch: Netflix  

Watch the trailer


“Tinder Swindler”

The apps can be a pretty treacherous place for dating nowadays, but they’re even more treacherous if Simon Liev swipes right on you. This doc chronicles Simon Liev’s long con of multiple Scandinavian women. Pretending to be the son of a billionaire, Liev got these women to fall in love with him… before scamming them out of their cash. 

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch the trailer


“Operation Varsity Blues”

Remember when Aunt Becky from “Full House” got arrested for trying to get her daughter into an elite college? This doc tells the story of that entire operation. From a sketchy college counselor to the countless other celebs and one-percenters who used connections to get their kids ahead, this doc has you pondering the things that money shouldn’t buy. 

Where to watch: Netflix 

Watch the trailer


“Dirty John” 

The first season of this show is based on the uber-successful podcast which is based on the real-life terrifying crimes of John Meehan. Aka Dirty John. This true-crime thriller follows Debra Newell, a successful interior designer who falls head over heels for Meehan. Of course, she thinks he’s a well-adjusted doctor, not a violent pathological con man. After they marry, Debra finds out who John really is and has to do whatever it takes to save herself and her family from this man. 

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch the trailer


“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened"

One of the OG scammer docs. This documentary chronicled the epic failure of Billy McFarland’s 2017 Fyre Festival. Hulu also had a Fyre fest doc that came out around the same time. Their doc features a paid interview from McFarland himself (watch the trailer here). Netflix’s take on this story features the Bahamian vendors McFarland defrauded as well as all the drama that made this festival pop into headlines in the first place. Think: cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents.

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch the trailer


“Bad Vegan” 

Sarma Melngailis is credited with starting a vegan empire with her hot spot New York City restaurant Pure Food and Wine. She’s also responsible for not paying her employees and defrauding her investors. Though, there’s a bit more to the story than that. Bad vegan gives an inside look into the rise and fall of this vegan mogul.

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch the trailer


“Art & Craft” 

Art forger Mark Landis has had a 30-year prolific career recreating everything from Picasso to Walt Disney. Unlike the other scammers on this list, Landis didn’t do it for the money. Posing as a philanthropist, he donated all his art to museums and galleries. And unlike some of the other documentaries featured on this list, Landis actually goes on camera and talks about his experience. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime 

Watch the trailer


“Sour Grapes” 

We like our wine as much as the next girl but hopefully not enough to have bought it from Rudy Kurniawan, the fraudster that sold fake vintage wines. He became infamous for conning countless experts and making millions of dollars doing it. Check out this documentary to see exactly how he did it.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Watch the trailer


theSkimm

Some of us tell ourselves we're hooked on these shows so that we know how not to get scammed, while some of us just love the thrill. But whatever your reason is, enjoy the vicarious ride. Meanwhile, we'll be wondering if Fyre Fest 2.0 will be next to get the doc treatment.

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