Conmen have been impersonating famous personalities in Monaco, including Prince Albert II, to obtain money from high-profile victims, reports say.
One well-known journalist was contacted via WhatsApp by the fake prince and asked for money to help free a local journalist allegedly kidnapped by an Islamist group, Monaco-Matin reports.
The Monaco government has issued a statement confirming the stings, but without naming the prince.
Police have launched an investigation.
In one instance, a fake Prince Albert II apparently in his office at the palace made video contact with one victim, Monaco-Matin says.
In other instances, documents with official letterheads and signed by officials from the principality have been used; phone calls also seemed to come from official institutions, with the switchboard numbers appearing during the calls, the government said in a statement quoted by Ouest France newspaper.
The aim of those stings is for money transfers to be made to foreign bank accounts, notably in Asia, it added, reports BBC.
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