Susan Luzzaro 5:30 p.m., Dec. 7
TIJUANA BC (El Sol de Tijuana, Adam Mondragón, 5/20/11) - Baja California registered around 15,000 calls for extortion and telephone fraud during 2010, nearly 50% of them were received for complaints within the city of Tijuana. Rogelio Rodríguez Alcocer, Coordinator of C4 in Tijuana, said of the total extortion calls, barely 6% of them materialized, while the remaining 94% were terminated. According to statistics from the Centre of Control Command Communication and Computer (C4), 52% of the calls made were carried out with the intention of committing extortion, 48% were telephone fraud. In an interview, the State official said that due to crime attempts that were uncompleted, the criminal organizations missed getting approximately 210 million pesos ($18,030,865). He explained they must differentiate when it comes to a call; from one of simple telephone fraud or extortion. When you call to extort, you are trying to intimidate with profanity and are looking for quantities of cash between 10,000 and 100,000 pesos ($860 – 8600). Just the opposite happens when committing a fraud phone call, as a matter of speaking. They are looking to earn less, from 2,000 to 10,000 pesos ($172 – 860). According to the cases we have documented, we know that persons who commit this type of illicit gain key-in on the yellow pages or information flyers obtained in the streets. He noted that 40% of the calls for extortion in 2010 were performed in the State of Tamaulipas. A lot of the fraud comes from the State of Jalisco or Ciudad de México. Rogelio Rodríguez Alcocer recommended that to avoid becoming a victim of one of these people: don’t listen even a little, hang up and block their calls. If you have caller ID, it is important you write down the number. The State official said it is virtually impossible for extortion or fraud calls to be made by criminals in Baja California, by the technology that has been implemented to suppress this type of crime. In conclusion, he said that it’s estimated we will reduce the number of extortion or fraud calls in 2011. In addition, he recommended that they don’t answer unknown phone numbers. This is important for older people as well, because they are more likely to obey the criminals.