Frequently Asked Questions

Frauds and other Security Warnings

As the nationals of other countries, Canadians can be the target of attempts of fraud using the method known as "Nigerian letters". Although scarce and unlikely to happen, the Embassy deems fit to inform about its modalities and how to avoid it.
The Nigerian scam, also known as scam 419 (the article number of Nigeria’s penal code that it violates) is a fraud in which the scammer gets the victim's money as an upfront payment or security deposit in exchange for a supposed millionaire sum of money that has been promised. This scam is particularly prevalent today through unsolicited email.

PERPETRATORS:
Organized groups based in foreign countries.

TARGETS:
Any person, with or without a Spanish connection. The data of potential victims is mainly obtained from public telephone guides or the Internet.

 

MODUS OPERANDI:
There are several variants of the scam, but they all have in common the promise of great wealth, as well as the various tricks that perpetrators use in order to make the victim pay a sum of money in advance as a condition of access to that money. The victims are reached via telephone, mail, fax or email, informing them that they have won a prize or that there is a large amount of money at their disposal, from an inheritance, or similar award. In order to receive their prize, the victims must send an amount to cover administrative procedures, taxes or any other similar expenses. After this first payment, the criminals either disappear or continue to request "upfront payments" using different excuses. Documents provided to the victims are always forgeries.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
•Never ever send them money.
•Contact the police and follow their instructions.
•Report the case to the Spanish Embassy (Ottawa) or the Spanish Consulates at Montreal and Toronto, or directly to the Home Affairs Office at the Spanish Embassy in Washington (consejeria.estadosunidos@mir.es)
, Fax +1 202 530 0509
•Pay special attention to words such as: "Cash Only", "Secret Plan", "Hurry", "Take action today and don’t miss the opportunity"

Useful sites:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Government of Canada

Spanish Home Affairs Ministry

Spanish Police

Guardia Civil 

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