The FBI warns San Diegans of a bogus threat. Scammers pretend to be part of a drug cartel -- but they are not. They are con artists using the brutal drug war south of San Diego as a scare tactic.
FBI agents say the drug cartel impostors claim they'll murder or kidnap family members if they aren't paid. It's a devious plot which has worked on some families here in the Southbay.
San Ysidro businessman Christian Cruz has not only heard about these impostor drug cartel calls. His family has received them.
Cruz told San Diego 6, "The (impostor) starts telling them he knows where they live, and unless they deposit money into an account they are going to kidnap her children."
Such a call was made to Cruz's aunt who was told that a relative had already been kidnapped.
"The person on the phone told them they already had them. They had them in the house or else they were going to kill her," Cruz said.
Luckily it was all a lie. The FBI knows about these threats and wants the public to know they come via e-mail and over the phone.
FBI spokesperson Darrel Foxworth said, "If you receive a threat like this -- and certainly if you know you don't have anything in your background which would make someone want to kill you -- then you should report that to FBI."
In some instances, families have wired thousands of dollars to these thieves.
Foxworth said, "We don't want people to over react to this and send money to people that they don't know."
October 8, 2009
San Diego 6
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Drug Cartel Impostors Use Border Threat to Scam