Seo, and the p-word..
The Spanish Prisoner is a confidence trick originating in the late 19th century. In its original form, the con-man tells his victim (the mark) that he is in correspondence with a wealthy person of high estate who has been imprisoned in Spain under a false identity. Supposedly the prisoner cannot reveal his identity without serious repercussions, and is relying on a friend (the confidence trickster) to raise money to secure his release. The confidence trickster offers to let the mark put up some of the funds, with a promise that he will be financially rewarded when the prisoner returns. After the mark has turned over the funds, he is informed that further difficulties have arisen and more money is needed. With such explanations, the trickster continues to press for more money until the victim is cleaned out or declines to put up more funds.