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This trick was featured in the HBO series Deadwood, when Al Swearengen and E. Farnum trick Brom Garret into believing gold is to be found on the claim Swearengen intends to sell him. The Spanish Prisoner scam — and its modern variant, the advance-fee scam or "Nigerian letter scam" — involves enlisting the mark to aid in retrieving some stolen money from its hiding place.
The victim sometimes believes he can cheat the con artists out of their money, but anyone trying this has already fallen for the essential con by believing that the money is there to steal (see also Black money scam).
Persuasion fraud, when fraudsters persuade people only to target their money, is an old-fashioned type of fraud.
Many con men employ extra tricks to keep the victim from going to the police.
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.
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.
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During gold rushes, scammers would load shotguns with gold dust and shoot into the sides of the mine to give the appearance of a rich ore, thus "salting the mine".