The Monégasque government released an official statement on Saturday warning people that conmen were using His Serene Highness Prince Albert’s identity to extract money from rich targets. The Government said that this scam has been going on for weeks and that the conmen are also using the identities of several well-known personalities of Monaco.
“For several weeks, individuals in an organised gang usurp the identity of well-known personalities of the Principality and try to get in touch with corporate leaders or persons with responsibilities by email, SMS or video conference using WhatsApp-type applications,” wrote the Government.
The conmen are reportedly using a man who looks like Prince Albert to personally reach out to Monégasques and ask them for money for different reasons. The conmen are using a very elaborate scam: “The documents they show or send have the official letterheads of institutions in Monaco and look like they were signed by officials. The phone numbers they are using display the names of the institutions, too […] The purpose of the staging is to obtain, under the pretext of solving an urgent financial problem, transfers of funds to bank accounts opened abroad, particularly in Asia.”
According to Monaco-Matin, a journalist had already been targeted last fall by a similar attempt, the fake prince trying to scam her on the pretext of having a Monegasque citizen kidnapped by an Islamist group released. A police investigation had been opened then, but it seems that it didn’t prevent the conmen from trying again.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has been on the throne since 6 April 2005 following his father, Prince Rainier’s death. He married Princess Charlene on 1 July 2011, and they have two children together Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, born on 10 December 2015. Prince Albert privately celebrated his 60th birthday earlier this year.