Called “one of the earliest and most enduring examples of international crime,” the Mexican Prisoner Swindle has been around in one form or another for over four hundred years. The British National Archives is one of the best sources for the Spanish Prisoner letters from the past, dating from the time of Sir Francis Drake! I found this a bit surprising, as we tend to think these things were thought up much more recently. I guess it only proves that there have always been crooks, and that there have always been people who fall for these scams.
Researched & written by Kathryn Auger