[[quoteright:300:[[Film/HouseOfGames http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/housegames_8388.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Don't you listen to this man's offer.]]

The Con Man (also known as a grifter, matchstick man, scam artist or con artist) attempts to gain the confidence of [[TheMark naive people]] and [[AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted part them from their money]], or at least play them for a fool long enough to get what they want--that is, to pull off TheCon. Con artists often spin a '[[TheTale sob story]]' to hook the victim--maybe their dog is lost, or their car is being towed, or their mother may even be in the hospital. After that, it's all SocialEngineering; a truly gifted con artist can get away with almost anything, simply by virtue of appearing sincere and naïve (usually slightly moreso than the victim, on the theory that sympathy almost always gets you something). For complicated cons, the CaperCrew may come into play: large teams might be involved, with each member of the team playing a distinct role.

Hollywood tends to treat Con Men as being one of two extremes. In shows where the Con Man is [[VillainProtagonist the star]], they are a suave, sophisticated LoveableRogue, who confine their schemes to [[KarmicThief cheating the rich and the unlikable]]. The CopShow, however, tends to show a darker side. When a Con Man is an antagonist, they tend to target the vulnerable and sympathetic, such as [[ElderAbuse the elderly]], widows, and desperate poor people. They may even be murderous and trick people into their deaths.

See also TheCon, a lift of specific methods used by con men, ShortCon, which is a penny-ante con, and LongCon, which is a more elaborate conning operation. TheMark (the victim) and TheTale (the story that convinces them to part with their money) make up the rest of the con; a FakeMark or TheShill may optionally be involved too.

!!{{Sub Trope}}s: Specific types of/roles for the Con Man:

* AmbulanceChaser[=/=]AmoralAttorney (one that is a lawyer or pretending to be one)
* TheBarnum
* BiblesFromTheDead
* CardSharp
* ConMenHateGuns
* FakeMark
* FellOffTheBackOfATruck
* TheFixer
* FourOneNineScam
* HighSchoolHustler
* HonestJohnsDealership
* {{Hustler}}
* LandmarkSale
* LittleMissConArtist
* MedicineShow
* MockMillionaire
* PhonyPsychic
* {{Ponzi}}
* TheRoper
* ShadyRealEstateAgent
* TheShill
* SnakeOilSalesman
* SpanishPrisoner
* WhiteCollarCrime