Fake anti-virus software falsely claims that a computer is infected with viruses, and renders the machine inoperable with bogus warnings unless blackmail is paid.In the Datalink Computer Services incident, a mark was fleeced of several millions of dollars by a firm that claimed that his computer was infected with viruses, and that the infection indicated an elaborate conspiracy against him on the Internet.A common ploy of investment scammers is to encourage a mark to use money concealed from tax authorities.
Many swindles involve a minor element of crime or some other misdeed.
The mark is made to think that he will gain money by helping fraudsters get huge sums out of a country (the classic advance-fee fraud/Nigerian scam); hence a mark cannot go to the police without revealing that he planned to commit a crime himself.
Get-rich-quick schemes are extremely varied; these include fake franchises, real estate "sure things", get-rich-quick books, wealth-building seminars, self-help gurus, sure-fire inventions, useless products, chain letters, fortune tellers, quack doctors, miracle pharmaceuticals, foreign exchange fraud, Nigerian money scams, and charms and talismans.
Variations include the pyramid scheme, the Ponzi scheme, and the matrix scheme.
The traditional romance scam has now moved into Internet dating sites.
The con actively cultivates a romantic relationship which often involves promises of marriage.
These cheques are altered to reflect the mark's name, and the mark is then asked to cash them and transfer all but a percentage of the funds (his commission) to the con artist.
The cheques are often completely genuine, except that the "pay to" information has been expertly changed.
Throughout this list, the perpetrator of the confidence trick is called the "con artist" or simply "artist", and the intended victim is the "mark".