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For example, the scammer may claim to have been arrested and require money wired, or gift cards purchased for bail, and asks the victim not to tell the grandchild's parents, as they would "only get upset." The call is fraudulent impersonation, the name of the grandchild typically obtained from social media postings as well as obituaries listed either in newspapers or from a funeral home's website.
Any money wired out of the country is gone forever.
Persuasion fraud, when fraudsters persuade people only to target their money, is an old-fashioned type of fraud.
A grandparent gets a call or e-mail from someone claiming to be their grandchild, saying that they are in trouble.
Victor Lustig, a German con artist, designed and sold a "money box" which he claimed could print 0 bills using blank sheets of paper.
The cheques are often completely genuine, except that the "pay to" information has been expertly changed.
A wide variety of reasons can be offered for the trickster's lack of cash, but rather than just borrow the money from the victim (advance fee fraud), the con-man normally declares that he has checks which the victim can cash on his behalf and remit the money via a non-reversible transfer service to help facilitate the trip (check fraud).
Of course, the checks are forged or stolen and the con-man never makes the trip: the hapless victim ends up with a large debt and an aching heart.
This list of confidence tricks and scams should not be considered complete, but covers the most common examples.
Confidence tricks and scams are difficult to classify, because they change often and often contain elements of more than one type.
The traditional romance scam has now moved into Internet dating sites.