Public Warning.-Scammers passing themselves off as Spanish lawyers and law firms
Foreigners should be well-advised that there are many scammers trying to pass themselves off as legitimate Spanish law firms and lawyers. They prey exclusively on foreigners and are in fact not Spanish themselves. They are mostly Nigerian (lately there's a surge of British and Irish citizens involved too). It is calculated there are over 300,000 Nigerians worldwide scamming people. The golden rule is they never scam nationals of the country in which they live in. So Nigerians located in Spain (Madrid, Málaga and Granada) scam everyone except Spanish themselves. Nigerians are among the best educated elite in Africa and their command of English is often superb.
Spanish lawyers belong to one of the Bar Associations throughout Spain. There are a total of 83. Every colleged lawyer has a registered number. It is very easy to check in less than a minute if a Spanish lawyer is legitimate i.e. registered to practice Law in Spain (just follow this link).
Besides, registered lawyers have Professional Indemnity Insurance.
These fraudsters will contact you by a cold-call, e-mail or letter offering you either of the following 'services':
1.- As the only beneficiary of a Spanish inheritance from some distant (and unknown) relative in Spain that has passed away.
2.- Offering to recover resale time share deposits in ongoing court proceedings (Reclaim Certificates). They will offer you "group actions" against timeshare companies through cold-calls. Ask them how they obtained your contact details and the details of your timeshare investment. Remember that legitimate Spanish law firms never cold-call potential clients.
3.- Notifying you that you have won the Spanish Lottery (despite never having played it) as a promotion from the generous Lotto Administration.
4.- Contacting you regarding using your bank account, in exchange of a commission, for some million dollar bank transfer with origin in some dodgy place in Africa. This is known as the Nigerian Letters.
5.- Offer to assist in verification and payment of unclaimed funds of which you are the beneficiary.
6.- Acting as intermediaries in car sales at very reduced prices. They will request you deposit the funds in their lawyer's account.
Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.
2.009 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.