The "Spanish Prisoner" is a type of confidence game has evolved since it inception in the 19th Century.


(1) a person of great wealth or an object of great value is held, imprisoned, or impounded

(2) the value of the person or object is secret for now (those holding the person or object are unaware of the situation)

(3) a certain amount of money is needed to get the person or object released

(4) the release has to be secured quickly, before the holders become aware of what they have

(5) once the person or object is obtained then the person who provided the money will be rewarded

(6) the person who is being approached ("mark") has been selected/chosen based on reputation and trustworthiness



(1) opportunity for quick and easy money

(2) secrecy

(3) needs to be done quickly

(4) chosen


Depending on the skill of the con artist, this con can be simple or complex, with repeated requests for more money.

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.