Pros at Cons: Grifters, Scam Artists & Swindlers. Con men are both romanticized and reviled. The morally ambiguous, ethically grey nature of the con man (or woman) makes him a compelling antihero, particularly when there is a code of honor underpinning the characters’ wrongdoing. The con man also acts as the lawful hero’s cunning nemesis or even as a shadow character, an unseen foil that influences the protagonists’ choices and actions. From Brownsburg Public Library.