There is one crime that seems to be expanding faster than any others in Baja California Sur, and even tourists to the beach resort destination are at risk of this criminal activity.
In fact, more than 530 of these crimes have been reported to authorities so far this year. Who knows how many have gone unreported.
Cybercrime in Los Cabos
The amazing explosion in cybercrimes has government public safety officials worried about how to keep locals and tourists in Los Cabos safe from the crime.
According to the Public Security Secretariat of Baja California Sur Alfredo Cancino Vicente, the troubling part of the rapid growth in cybercrime in the area is the connection to even worse crimes such as virtual kidnapping, extortion, and even identity theft.
The cybercrimes are not limited to traditional desktop or laptop computers. In fact, much of the growth is coming among cell phone users with the potential of affecting travelers to Los Cabos.
Los Cabos is home to most of the cybercrime incidents connected to telephone extortion crimes.
It tends to peak during the holiday season and then slows during the year. So far, the incidence of this crime, with the potential to put tourists in Los Cabos at risk, is on the decline.
However, they already have awareness prevention campaigns in place to protect Los Cabos visitors during the upcoming peak winter holiday season.
Law Enforcement Strikes Back
The Public Safety Department of Baja California Sur has been investing in technology to combat cyber criminals and protect visitors to Los Cabos.
In fact, Cancino Vicente cited the tools and training the team recently received to crack some of the cases and prosecute some of the criminals.
For example, several members of the team recently received Digital Forensics training from the Public Security Secretariat of Pachuca, in the state of Hidalgo, to be able to investigate these crimes in Los Cabos.
Specifically, it will enable law enforcement investigators to deploy state-of-the-art techniques to protect Los Cabos visitors, such as digital evidence, suspect tracking, and extraction of evidence for prosecution.
Before the end of the year, the Public Safety Department of Baja California Sur will have different security strategies in place to proactively prevent extortion and personal data theft crimes before they even become an issue for visitors in Los Cabos.
Virtual Extortion Kidnapping Calls
Virtual extortion kidnapping calls are where a person receives a phone call claiming that a loved one has been kidnapped in Mexico by criminals or drug lords and a ransom is needed for their release.
No one is actually kidnapped. However, many people have sent money to protect loved ones out of stress and fear.
According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) El Paso Division, there are many instances of U.S. numbers being called from Mexico related to this crime.
However, there are a number of things people can do to protect themselves from becoming victims of this crime.
How Tourists Can Protect Themselves
The main way tourists can protect themselves from becoming a victim of this crime when visiting Los Cabos is to avoid giving out their cellular numbers when visiting the area.
Numbers and personal information given out when visiting Los Cabos can easily fall into the wrong hands and lead to these extortion, virtual kidnapping, and private data theft cases.
Also, be careful of providing identification such as passports and driver’s licenses unless absolutely required to. These identification documents can often lead to identity theft and the making of fake illegal documents.
One final reminder: should a visitor believe that their information or documents may have fallen into the wrong hands, it’s a good idea to notify the local consulate office serving the Los Cabos area.
There is a United States Consulate Office in Los Cabos at Tiendas de Palmilla, Carretera Transpeninsular Km 27.5 Local B221, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, C.P. 23406. They can be reached at 011 52 55 8526 2561.
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