Torrance residents are being contacted via cellular and landline telephones by suspects claiming to be members of a Mexican drug cartel in Mexico City who have kidnapped their children (male and female, adult and minor) and instructed on how to pay the ransom. The victims are asked how much money they can access (via bank account withdrawals and credit card advances) and directed to take that amount (usually $1,000 to 5,000) to CVS and wire it via WESTERN UNION. The suspects will put someone pretending to be the victim’s kidnapped child on the phone who says: “Mom, help me. I’m in trouble. Do what they say. They got me in their truck. Help me! Help me!”
While the suspects are currently directing the victims to wire funds via WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM, GREENDOT MONEYPAK and RELOADIT are also possibilities.