Mexican Cartel Targets Americans

( – In a study last year, it was revealed that the Mexican cartels are the fifth largest employers in Mexico with roughly 175,000 working in some way for the organized crime groups. The numbers could be even higher if people who have sold information to them or been coerced into short-term cooperation were counted.

While earlier Mexican cartels specialized in the production and sale of illegal drugs and human trafficking, the modern versions have made successful, and sometimes deadly. inroads into legitimate businesses like avocados and real estate.

The FBI has made repeated warnings over the past few years about timeshare scams targeting Americans. In 2022 alone, they received over 600 complaints from the victims of scammers in Mexico with financial losses totaling about $39.6 million. Owners are contacted by seemingly legitimate agencies offering to help the owners sell their timeshares, often high-pressure sales tactics and emotional manipulation. Then, the scammers start asking for money saying it is for legal fees, and advertising costs. In at at least one case, an urgent and fraudulent plea for money to rescue them from prison which the owner was told only happened because the person was working so hard on their behalf.

A Mexican drug cartel known for extreme violence, Jalisco New Generation, has apparently moved in on the timeshare industry and is bilking Americans of millions. They now run call centers that offer to buy retirees’ vacation properties. It is believed by some that the operations have netted the cartel hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade. While draining Americans, as well as others who own timeshares in Mexico, they still exert violent control over their workers. In June, the remains of at least eight Mexican workers from an illegal call center were found in plastic bags in a ravine on the outskirts of Guadalajara.

The U.S. Treasury Department has levied its first of sanctions against 40 Mexican companies and several individual Mexican criminals as part of a federal crackdown on the cartel’s scam. These sanctions banned American citizens and businesses from dealing with any of the listed companies and fugitives as well as froze assets that are in the U.S. The FBI has also issued guidelines to help Americans avoid being scammed. It is estimated roughly 80% of those who have been victimized by these scammed do not report it due to shame.

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