Spanish police arrest 23 in fake inheritance email scam

19th March 2009, Comments 3 comments

The gang sent out 20,000 letters every day to potential victims, making them believe they had been left an inheritance of up to 53 million euros from an unknown family member, it said in a statement.

Madrid -- Spanish police have arrested 23 people, mainly Nigerians, who are suspected of running an email and letter scam that is thought to have defrauded over 150 people in the United States and Europe, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

The gang sent out 20,000 letters every day to potential victims, making them believe they had been left an inheritance of up to 53 million euros (69 million dollars) from an unknown family member, it said in a statement.

Those who responded received official-looking but faked documents asking them to pay administrative costs or taxes to collect their inheritance and some were even encouraged to come to Spain to speed up the process.

"Once they were in Madrid they were taken to the supposed offices of a security firm where they were shown chests or safes which apparently contained large quantities of money," the statement said.

Officials did not say how much money the victims lost but in similar schemes operated by other groups thousands of dollars are requested from those who show an interest in the letters.

Those arrested operated from Madrid and the surrounding areas.

Police searched 13 residences and seized over 20,000 letters which were ready to be mailed, 30,000 euros and 55,000 email addresses of possible victims and a large amount of fake documents as part of their operation.

AFP/Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • johnny with another comment!! posted:

    on 20th November 2012, 00:18:41 - Reply

    Good Work!! Hope every "Scammer" gets Caught an Arrested ...trying to scam people out of their Hard Earned Money..[edited by moderator]!
  • Claire Bywater posted:

    on 19th November 2012, 22:05:25 - Reply

    I received one of these letters today. From Madrid. I apparently have a relative who was killed with the rest of his family in the Madrid bombings. I was apparently the only surviving relative, with that surname, in all Britain. Well as I have a brother and sister and Dad plus other relatives this immediately started alarm bells ringing. I checked Google and no company existed with the name of the solicitors and nothing added up. So, I googled inheritance scams and a man who got conned by someone in Hong Kong came up. So I took a picture of my letter and posted it on Facebook with a warning and my friend posted a link to this article. Be careful out there folks - lots of dodgy people about!
  • johnny posted:

    on 15th June 2010, 11:53:25 - Reply

    oh yes...here it is..another scammer..."euro finance bank"..cant find that Bank?...any bank is registered even in the united kingdom...

    check out the "truth" before any communication...be safe...not Sorry.

    dont be Fooled Like I was in Beliving the ...LIES...