‘I’m Writing From Barcelona; Your Cash Awaits’

SANATOGA PA – A wary and cautious resident of Sanatoga Ridge Community, 2461 E. High St., refused to be conned last week by what the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department, on its CrimeWatch website, described Tuesday (July 30, 2019) as “an attempted mail scam” and fraud that appeared to have its origins overseas.

Maybe it was the Barcelona, Spain, address of the sender’s letter that prompted the Sanatoga recipient’s suspicions.

Police reported the intended victim received mail last Wednesday (July 24) “from a party claiming to be an administrative manager of a vault at the “Financial Security Institute” in Barcelona. No, it doesn’t exist.

“In the letter,” police stated, its alleged author announced the institute had “discovered unclaimed funds in the bank belonging to potential relatives of the victim, who died several years ago in an accident, along with other family members.” The letter indicated the funds totaled $26.7 million, but were “subject to being confiscated by the Bank of Spain and forfeited to the government.”

Don’t let that sum slip away!, the letter urged. It “encouraged the victim to enter into a secret agreement” with the institute “to claim the funds and split the proceeds,” township police said. Instead the intended victim, whom police did not identify, notified the department.

As it turns out, the scam is an oldie and a no-goodie: a Google search indicates it, or versions of it, have been operating worldwide since at least 2012.

“Anyone receiving similar-type letters (should) not contact the sender before discussing the matter with police, an attorney or at least another family member,” the department website warned. “NEVER give out personal banking information, or other personal information, to persons you do not know and trust,” it added.

Photo from the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department

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