Crime in the Archives
Before the internet...
This confidence trick - dating back to 1897 - is an early version of the Nigerian email scam. In the 'Spanish Prisoner' trick victims receive a letter (postmarked from Barcelona) from a prisoner who writes:
"I beseech you to help recover" a large sum of money "my portmanteau containing a secret pocket... As compensation I will give up to you the third part of the sum, viz, £25,000."
The letter goes on to say,
"I cannot receive your answer in the prison, but in case you accept my offer you can send a telegram to a person of my confidence..."
There are many references about this confidence trick to explore in Trove »