During the first week of vacation for Easter Week 2023, several extortion attempts have been reported against tourists staying in hotels in the municipalities of Carmen and Champotón in the state of Campeche.
The Attorney General’s Office of the State of Campeche warns about this modality that seeks to affect mainly guests with the purpose of demanding deposits to bank accounts making them believe that there is a criminal organization in the hotel, to then force people to participate in a new extortion.
“In Ciudad del Carmen we had one person arrested there, the modus is, as mentioned by the prosecutor’s office and yesterday or rather today in the early morning we had in a hotel in Champotón another same modus we also have two people arrested,” stated Yosafat García Villalpando, Undersecretary of Public Security Operations.
Through a press release the authorities point out and ask citizens and businessmen to alert guests and take measures to avoid falling into these crimes. Among the recommendations, the authorities ask the population to hang up the call and report to 911.
The Ministry of Public Security confirmed that three people have already been arrested for extortion attempts using this method and ruled out the existence of cases reported in the capital city of Campeche.
What is telephone extortion?
Telephone extortion is the modality of the crime in which the delinquent selects random numbers to make the call, there are several variants, in which they pretend to be a family member, a minor, in trouble or kidnapped, there is also the modality of the text message that warns you of a “sweepstakes” that you won, of the threats of a supposed criminal group or the notice of the temporary suspension of your telephone line due to service failures.
During the holiday season, other variants have appeared, such as impersonating a family member who will be visiting for the rest period, dialing hotels saying that they have the place surrounded by representatives of a criminal group and that if you do not follow certain instructions they will kidnap you or shoot at you.
These calls to the hotels are also made at random, they dial the receptionists asking for communication with a room number pretending to be a family member in trouble and therefore does not remember more information about the guests, once the call is transferred the extortion begins for tourists who are unaware of this situation.
According to the Federal Criminal Code, extortion is punishable by several years in prison and a fine.
Where can telephone extortion be reported?
Reporting is very important, the Federal Police receives reports through 088 24 hours a day. Also on social networks through the twitter account @CEAC_CNS, the email firstname.lastname@example.org and through the #PFMóvil application, available for all cell phone platforms.