When you work with a group of professional criminals, it helps to develop a form of shorthand. That’s why the “Leverage” team often refers to specific cons by catchy names like “Little Orphan Annie” or “The White Rabbit,” so they can employ them at a moment’s notice in any situation.
In some cases, the names given to the cons are invented by the show’s writers. In others, the cons are real-life scams used by actual thieves and grifters. For instance, in the Season 2 episode, “The Bottle Job,” the team updates a classic con known as “The Wire.”
Made popular in the 1973 Robert Redford film “The Sting,” the “Wire Scam” involves stealing a mark’s money by promising advance knowledge of the outcome of a sports game, such as a horse race. Once the mark places a lot of money on the bet, the information proves to be bad and the con artists take the money.
While the traditional wire scam is considered slow and out-of-date, the “Leverage” team uses some high-tech tricks to fool a loan shark into putting his money onto a rigged basketball game bet and robbing him in a handful of minutes. In the words of the team’s hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), “We just pulled off the wire in the time it takes to order a pizza!”