“We know that you have two children, we know where you live and where they study. We also know where you work and we have many details of your intimacy… so, be good and pay us”.
At a first glance the information provided by these individuals seems to be precise, so convincing that the person receiving the call has enough reasons to panic and thinking in paying.
But… what can be done? Most of the experts recommend to disconnect the phone and not conduct any negotiations because this can lead to much more critical situations. Of course that the threats should not be ignored and the security profile should immediately be raised by breaking routines, seeking additional protection, perhaps getting out of the city for a while, among other measures but above all, do not respond to new calls coming from those phone numbers. Entering into discussions or seeking to negotiate with these people is not advisable.
It is good to know that most extortionists in the cities have neither the capacity nor the logistics to carry out their threats.
A high percentage of extortion calls that occur in cities such as Caracas, Valencia, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo and Puerto Ordaz, come from criminals who are serving sentences in jail. They look for information in classified sections of newspapers and magazines, and then they call these local numbers by posing as other people, looking for ways to get more specific information about the potential victim and his family. Their “involuntary” accomplices are usually domestic workers or secretaries who release valuable information to the extortionists. Later, those criminals communicate directly with the person they want to extort and ask them to purchase phone cards and pass the codes with the excuse that they will call later from other numbers in order to avoid detection.
People who have been victims of this type of crime, have paid thousands of Bs. on phone cards. With these codes, the criminals will carry balances on their cell phones and sell calls in prison.
In addition to this mode, there’s also another one that begins with the involvement of people close to the potential victim, family or workers who know details about fortune, family issues and concerns, places they frequently go to, private relations and more. All that goes to the extortionist and the most insignificant movement or event within the family group is immediately known by the criminals; for that reason is so important to get professional advice, to detect or at least to establish barriers to avoid leakage of information
There are many cases where authorities have found out that domestic employees with years of service with the family, despite of been treated as a family member, beloved and appreciated by the family, have been forced to provide information under death threat or any other pressure of different nature. In other cases simply this domestic servants are part of a gang.
In both referred cases, the recommendation is avoiding any conversation and not conduct any negotiations, not answering calls from unknown numbers and raise the security profile, breaking routines as well as increasing communications among affected family members. Seek professional advice and depending on the severity, report it to police authorities as GAES.
As a precaution, it is important to train the family, domestic staff and other employees in what to say and not to, when receiving inquires of information.
Source: El Universal