How The Living in Mexico Scam Works:
Scammers target North-American citizens living in Mexico by looking in the phone book. Once they have formulated a list, they will do in-depth research and find out the victims’ info, such as the names of their best friends, nicknames, former clients, etc. Most of the details are collected from places like Facebook or personal blogs. When they have enough material to work with, crooks contact the victims with friendly approaches.
“Hi John, this is Peter Mayers – I am a very good friend of your ex-classmate, Michael Smith. He recommended I contact you, because you live in Mexico now.”Naturally, the victims will let their guards down, as the scammers will know a couple of things about the ex-classmate as well. “However, the reason I contacted you is that I want to buy a property in Mexico and I guess I need some advice if you don’t mind. I know it’s a hot market and just like you, I might consider moving there”.
The crook and the victim will start a new friendship over a few weeks, with several phone calls and emails in between. When the scammer decides to “come down” to buy the house in Mexico, he will inform the victim, who will be happy to help with whatever.
The day when he is supposed to arrive, the scammer will inform his victim about the whole itinerary: when he arrives, what time he will get to his hotel, etc.
All of a sudden, the victim’s phone rings. It’s the Mexican authorities who just found at the airport’s customs that the traveler has more cash on him (along with a lot of checks) than allowed. (Of course, this is not the “authorities” at all, but the scammers).
When trying to explain this is for a down payment on a house, the victim is informed that his friend is subject to arrest for money laundering. The “authorities” say he could be released if he pays a fine, but the cash is confiscated.
They even put the traveler on the phone for 30 seconds after which they take the phone back. The traveler asks the victim to pay the “fine” and promises he will give him back the money as soon as he cashes those checks he has. A seriously common scam.
How To Avoid The Living in Mexico Scam:
Now that you read the whole story, you know what to expect if you are in this kind of situation.
How To Report The Living in Mexico Scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
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