How Does A Bible-Selling Scam Work?

I’ve seen several references to this scam (especially as a scam of the '30’s), but I’ve never seen it fully explained how this scam works. Does anyone know?

Overpriced Bibles were sold to recent widows / widowers. The con artist gets the name of the deceased and the next of kin from the obituaries, and then uses a cheap gold-embossing machine to personalize a cheap Bible. He then shows up at the home asking for the deceased, expresses surprise when hearing of the death, and reluctantly reveals that some months ago, as a gift, the deceased had ordered a personalized Bible. Priced rather steeply, but when grief is still fresh this is seen as a last wish – and what kind of grieving spouse could resist this?

As seen in the film Paper Moon.

Ahh, so that’s how they made the money! I had remembered the part about selling them to widows, but hadn’t understood how one made money off of this, or how it would be a scam. Thank you!

Like most of the things I know, I actually learned about it from The Simpsons, as oppossed to Paper Moon (although The Simpsons did let me know that it was in Paper Moon.)

great movie by the way. not to mention the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the thread title.