Nine out of 10 extortions are by telephone: Citizen Council

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Nine out of ten extortions are via telephone, according to data from the Citizen Council for Security and Justice of Mexico City.

The most common way to carry out such a crime is by pretending that they have kidnapped a relative of the victim or by posing as members of criminal organizations.

The most frequent extortion attempts are made via cell phone (...). It is said that they are from cartels, threats are made or any criminal maneuver is attempted to generate a sense of emergency and uncertainty,” Salvador Guerrero Chiprés, president of the Council, said in an interview.

In an interview with Excelsior, the specialist in security issues assured that only between eight and ten percent of telephone extortions are carried out.

Extortionists' primary targets are vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.

Such is the case of Socorro, 66, who deposited seven thousand pesos after being made to believe that her daughter was kidnapped.

It was on October 3, around 4:55 p.m., when the woman received a phone call from an unknown number.

We have kidnapped your daughter, if you don't do what I tell you or tell someone, you will never see her again," the male voice warned her.

The criminal told him that the alleged victim was wearing white, which coincided because Socorro's daughter is a nurse.

Then, Socorro heard a female voice: “Mom, I'm kidnapped.”

The criminal demanded that she deposit whatever money she had on hand or she would never see her daughter again.

The complainant went to a convenience store to deposit seven thousand pesos into the account provided by the criminal.

However, when she hung up the call, her daughter contacted Socorro and that was when she realized that everything had been a hoax.

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Personnel from the capital's Prosecutor's Office dedicated to the investigation of extortion who were consulted by this newspaper pointed out that 50 percent of the people who report extortion through electronic means are between 50 and 70 years old.

Due to their lack of knowledge of technology, it is easier to deceive them; "When they hear a woman scream and tell them that she is her daughter or her mother, or send them an image of a kidnapped woman, they come to think that it is her relative," the official said.

In addition, he assured that 60 percent of extortion complaints involve a technological device, such as a cell phone, computer or tablet.

Regarding the investigations into extortions committed by alleged accused members of criminal groups, the public servant stated that they represent less than 10 percent.

In addition, he emphasized that there is a large black figure, because the victims do not report out of fear.

Data from the Citizen Council indicate that the extortions in CDMX They have decreased 61 percent, from January to October 2023 when compared to the same period in 2019.

At the national level, on the contrary, we have an increase of between 15 and 16 percent,” said Chiprés.

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