business scam

10 Books About the Biggest Business Scams of Our Time

Business scams have been the subject of numerous books. People have always been interested in reading about not only the success of businesses but also how scammers deceive them. Reading books about scams is an excellent opportunity for a young business to learn the secrets of scammers and prevent the emergence of such an issue in their company.

Business scams occur every day, resulting in large financial losses. According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022, 46% of surveyed businesses reported experiencing fraud or other economic crimes in the previous 24 months. While minor business scams fill the court registers, major scams become the subject of books. Which books about business scams have you already read?

Best Business Scandal Books


The best business scam books are popular not only with new entrepreneurs. They are recommended for reading in university courses and can be found on the bookshelves of famous businessmen and business coaches. Why?

Because this type of literature poses pertinent questions and teaches the human brain not to relax during critical moments. “How to distinguish scam moments from regular operational processes?”, “When to act and when to take a break to avoid fraud?” – these are just a few answers you will gain from them. So, let’s take a look at ten best-sellers dedicated to the subject.

1. “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou

The book was written by research journalist John Carreyrou. It is about the rise and fall of the well-known Theranos company. For ten years, the company managed to maintain the myth of its advanced medical technologies and attract investors. Elizabeth Holmes was able to secure approximately $400 million in investment. Already in 2015, the cost of Theranos was estimated to be $9 billion. At the same time, Holmes owned more than half of the company. Theranos found itself at the centre of public attention in the fall of 2015. It occurred following the publication of many news concerning Theranos analyses. They not only did not use new technologies but also made errors when using standard analysis tools. The book quickly became a best-seller.

2. “The Wizard of Lies” by Diana B. Henriques

The book by journalist Diana Henriques is about Bernard Madoff, who constructed the world’s largest financial pyramid. In the early 1960s, he established a firm on Wall Street. Over time, a small business venture has grown into one of the largest investment funds in the area.

It earned Bernard Madoff a reputation as a successful and influential financier, broker, financial adviser, and philanthropist over the years. However, it was revealed in 2008 that the fund had grown into the largest financial pyramid in history over the previous decade and a half. The biggest scandal erupted, resulting not only in multibillion-dollar losses but also in the collapse of both Madoff and all those who trusted him.

The court sentenced him to 150 years in prison. The book so impressed the directors that it was adapted into a film of the same name. Furthermore, the journalist who conducted the investigation played herself in the documentary.

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3. “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

This book became a best-seller in 2003. It was written by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. It is regarded as one of the most important books in the book market.

It is especially useful for entrepreneurs who are interested in learning about management issues and leadership. It gives advises on building a career and organizing a business.

The best-seller serves as a reminder to all entrepreneurs of the power and importance of ethics and teaches that the most spectacular falls are the result of a series of small careless decisions. The book recounts the collapse of Enron Corporation, which resulted in criminal charges being filed against the company’s management.

4. “The Spider Network” by David Enrich

“The Spider Network” is a story written by Wall Street Journal journalist David Enrich. It describes a group of six bankers who had sway over the people who set the LIBOR rate, allowing them to make millions. 

However, this scheme eventually fell apart. The author used a complex financial history as the basis for the book and turned it into a thriller that will be understandable and useful to anyone interested in business.

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5. “Red Card” by Ken Bensinger

The book “Red Card” was written by Ken Bensinger. It manifests itself as an unbelievable narrative of the FIFA scandal, widely regarded as one of the largest international corruption scandals.

The corruption scheme was unveiled by American investigators. It impacted many countries and the authoritative organizations associated with the popular sport.

6. “Billion Dollar Whale” by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope

The book “Billion Dollar Whale” tells the story of financial fraudster Jho Low. He duped Wall Street, Hollywood, and the entire world. Journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope discuss the fraudster, his schemes, and his talent for manipulating people.

He could manipulate anyone, whether it was an investment banker, a politician, or a Hollywood star. This book will be useful to anyone who enjoys reading unknown stories about the exploits of con artists and wants to learn how to evaluate people objectively so that they do not become victims of con artists who play tricks on them masterfully.

7. “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is an American author and journalist. In his book, he describes the origins and progression of the mortgage crisis in the United States in the 2000s.

The book provides highlights of the financial world conditions of those years and tries to identify the causes of the crisis. The author uses his experience and conversations and interviews with the book’s heroes to find the answers.

This book is a narrative with real heroes, company names, and a timeline of events. The book’s main characters were the winners, i.e., those people who were able to spot emerging problems on time and profit from them.

8. “American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal” by Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist and author. His book tells the incredible story of a man who built a multimillion-dollar online drug empire. The most amazing thing is that he did it almost entirely without leaving the room.

The book is written in the style of a thriller. It has a new format and is intended for a modern audience, with each chapter resembling a TV series story. The story revolves around the main character and his transformation from an ordinary guy to the sole mastermind and owner of the network’s darkest resource named Silk Road.

9. “The Big Spying, Scandal, and Ethical Collapse at Hewlett Packard” by Anthony Bianco

Anthony Bianco’s book details the operation of Hewlett Packard and related scandals. Almost every American wants the largest corporation to succeed. The history of Hewlett Packard reflects the struggle that takes place within a corporate environment and the business morality behind it.

10. “Too Big to Fail” by Andrew Ross Sorkin

This book is an inside look at the company’s work. The author interviewed more than 200 participants in the events and recorded nearly 500 hours of interviews while working on it. In addition, he gained access to sensitive information.

The heads of the world’s largest banks, as well as members of the government and even the then-president, are among the heroes of his documentary economic thriller. The book was adapted into a film, which received three Golden Globe nominations and a TV Emmy nomination.


Big money brings big temptations and drives people to desperate measures. However, fraud is not a tool that has ever made people happy. These books discuss not only a brilliant career but also the moral and ethical norms that underpin every choice and decision a person makes to achieve success.

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Author: Wanda Lafond