Cartel Members Pulled Off Major Scams By Posing as US Officials

Cartel Members Pulled Off Major Scams By Posing as US Officials

( – Mexican cartels are responsible for much of the drug trade in the United States. The increasing amount of fentanyl coming across the southern border has led to much strife between the two governments. Now, the US Treasury Department has sanctioned several Mexican companies and individuals over a scam.

On Thursday, November 30, the Treasury Department issued a press release announcing it had sanctioned 13 companies and three individuals for “timeshare fraud led by the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).” The scam involved several people calling Americans who own timeshares and extending fake offers to buy them out of their interests. In doing so, they represented US government employees, namely representatives from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

When they make these calls, which come from Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco state, the home of the cartel stronghold, the scammers tell the owners that they have buyers lined up. The crux is that before the deal can take place, they must pay fees or taxes on the property. Unsurprisingly, once timeshare owners pay those fees, the deal is off the table. While some of the callers have tried to quit, the cartel has made it very clear that doing so would result in death. It has reportedly killed some who wanted to leave the job.

Such scams have bilked Americans out of approximately $40 million. And it’s not the first time the Treasury Department has taken action against Mexican companies for their part in the con. In March, OFAC sanctioned eight companies it considered involved in CJNG’s timeshare fraud in some way. Then, the agency issued sanctions against seven individuals and 19 companies in April. Finally, on November 30, it targeted 13 companies and three individuals.

Earlier this year, the FBI issued a public service announcement cautioning timeshare owners about the scam, how to recognize the signs of a scam, and how to avoid becoming a victim.

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