Border Crisis

Mexican Cartel Running Call Centers to Scam U.S. Citizens Out of Millions

One of Mexico’s most violent cartels is running a series of call centers that target U.S. citizens in order to scam them out of millions. The scam points to the ongoing diversification by criminal organizations, which have been moving into more traditional schemes, including racketeering and fraud. In at least one case, this scam is linked to the murder of a U.S. citizen from Arizona.

Estimates by U.S. authorities point to U.S. citizens being scammed out of nearly $300 million in a five-year span. The scam deals with call centers set up by Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco New Generation, where they have their employees call individuals who own timeshares and offer to buy them out, only to fool the victims into paying unending fees.

A report by the  New York Times points to FBI stats claiming that in five years, U.S. victims wire as much as $288 million to cartel scammers. However, this type of crime usually goes unpunished because the FBI relies on Mexican authorities to go after scammers in Mexico.

In June 2023, CJNG gunmen kidnapped and killed Carlos David Valladolid Hernandez, along with several other victims. Breitbart Texas reported that Valladolid was a U.S. citizen born in Arizona but moved to Jalisco. Before the murder, Valladolid and the other victims began working at a time-share call center run by CJNG. For unknown reasons, gunmen kidnapped a group of their employees, dismembered them, and then dumped their remains in several parts around the cities of Zapopan and Guadalajara. Most of the killings carried out by CJNG in Jalisco remain unsolved.

In Mexico, phone scams are commonplace since authorities rarely investigate or prosecute them. The methods used in those scams vary, but the ultimate goal is to have the victims wire or deposit money.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     



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