The Masked Scammer review – the secrets to being a good con-artist

December 1, 2022
Romey Norton 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service


Another good true crime documentary. I’ve learned that if you want to be a con artist, there are two main rules; don’t get attached and get good at disappearing.

We review the Netflix true crime documentary film The Masked Scammer, which was released on December 1st, 2022.

The Masked Scammer is a true crime documentary directed by Yvann Yagchi and Dominic Sivyer and surrounds the story of how master con artist Gilbert Chikli scammed French elites out of millions of Euros. Between 2005 and 2017 Chikli scammed over 100 million Euros by impersonating CEOs. If you’re craving some more true crime drama after Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler, this documentary piece is a must-watch and will hit the spot. With a runtime of one hour and thirty minutes, it goes by fast, and the documentary is in French, so there are subtitles and voice-over available. 

His story is so action-packed and unbelievable that Chikli himself approached a movie producer to make a film about his life. That film is called Je Compte Sur Vous, and his wife Shirly said she was very happy at how Vincent Elbaz portrayed Gilbert. Maybe this could be one to watch after this documentary if you’re left wanting to know more. 

Like most true crime documentaries, this one features first-class interviews with his accomplices, victims, journalists, lawyers, the police, and most interestingly, his ex-wife and current wife. All shared their experiences and opinions on this story and reflected on how and why he was so successful and, even after going to prison and being released, was able to go and do it all again. As each person talks, there is excitement in their eyes, as really this is a non-violent crime, so no one is getting hurt physically, so I suppose we can take more pleasure in enjoying someone rinsing the rich.

We also hear from Gilbert himself, but we don’t get to see him. There’s an ego to his voice, confidence, and a flare. He does apologize, but with no real remorse. 

What’s so interesting about these documentaries is the intelligence and suave these con artists have. Their lies, their roles, their acting, and their impersonating do become an art, as in this case, people were giving this man millions and millions of their money. He was able to get away with this as he was fleeing countries. From France to Israel to Ukraine, while he’s a fugitive in one, he can live like a king in another. 

His ex-wife Shirley describes herself as a victim and Gilbert as the ‘scam king.’ Even though she was an accomplice and spent time in jail for her involvement, she is stern in her innocence.

His second wife, also called Shirly, describes him as a modern-day Robin Hood, someone who wants to help the poor, as he came from a poor background himself, and he wanted to alleviate his family from suffering. By the end of the documentary, we learn he’s in an online relationship with another woman, so he is not only a con man but a ladies’ man too. 

Chikli was captured in Israel and extradited back to France, where he spent 20 months in jail and was released on bail awaiting trial. He then fled to Israel again and, surprise, surprise, committed more fraud and stole millions more. Eventually, he had to flee to Ukraine and was eventually captured there. 

Overall this documentary is a good watch. Gilbert Chikli pretended to be a gentleman thief, Arsene Lupin, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, but really he ruined people who had the money and power to do good. He was a thief, con artist, and ladies’ man whose selfishness could have landed him with blood on his hands.

What did you think of the Netflix true crime documentary film The Masked Scammer? Comment below.

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