The biggest scam in history is without doubt, religion.
Religion has been thwarting the human race's progress for thousands of years. It is supposed to be a moral and ethical path for humans to follow but is simply violent and divisive and the direct reason for millions of deaths every year.
Religion breeds hatred and promotes inequality, it defines humanity in away it chooses and threatens acts of violence against non believers and those who question its authority.
Religion scams the poor even more than the rich, making unfulfilled promises and lies so the poor accept their hardship to make themselves easier to control. Religion gets richer as the poor struggle to survive. Promises of a heaven don't put food into mouths.
Religion scams people into believing that women are slaves to men, that they are only put on earth to serve men.
I could go on for hours...
Religion - My nomination for the biggest scams of all time
Enron was probably the biggest corporate scam in recent history. Enron was one of the biggest companies in America at its peak.
Enron was essentially financial mininformation and fraud - at the most basic level they were misreporting profits, in an effort to increase share prices. It was lies upon lies and more and more sub companies had to be open to show profits. It all came crumbling down after a reporter wrote an article questioning where all their profits came from.
1000s of people lost their retirement funds when Enron fell, and although the main people have been found guilty there are still ongoing trials.
For more information I reccomend the movie 'The smartest guys in the room' or the book of the same name.
For months prior to the shutdown of Bitconnect, it was one of the popular lending and exchange platform in the Crypto world. However, people have been suspecting that the platform itself is running a Ponzi Scheme.
January this year, after two cease and desist orders , Bitconnect finally shutdown promising to refund their users. However with the Bitconnect token crashing down $200+ to ~$37 by January, a lot of people lost their money. I personally think it is the biggest scam in the history of the Crypto world.
This list is ranked 1 because this fraudster managed to become a Russian Tsar with his fraud.
Grigory Otrepyev (fake Dmitriy I) is the Russian Tsar, from July 21, 1605 until his death on May 17, 1606, under the name Dimitriy Ioannovich. He was one of three fraudsters who claimed, during a period of civil unrest in Russia, to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, tsarevitch Dmitriy Ivanovich, who was thought to have escaped the 1591 assassination attempt.
Generally, people believe that the real Dmitriy was actually killed in Uglich and that the fake Dmitriy real name is Grigory Otrepyev, even though this is far from what it should be. Otrepyev claimed that his mother (Tsar Ivan's wife) had anticipated the murder and had sent him to the monastery to hide.
A number of people who knew Tsar Ivan later claimed that Dmitriy did not resemble a young tsarevitch. Dmitriy displayed aristocratic skills such as riding and literacy and spoke well in two languages; Russia and Poland.
A number of nobles agreed to support him against Tsar Goudonov. He attracted a large number of followers and formed an army that fought on his behalf in two battles.
When Tsar Boris Goudonov died suddenly, Russian troops began to defect to Dmitriy's side and, on June 1, Moscow nobles were imprisoned as well as the newly crowned tsar, Feodor II and his mother who was later killed.
Grigory suddenly declared himself a Tsar.
In the end, because of the rumors that Grigory intended to convert Russia to Catholicism, the rebellion ensued and after only ten months of power, he was shot dead in the Kremlin.