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Extortionists Target 900,000 Homes And Businesses By Phone In Tijuana

November 15, 2012 1:05 p.m.

In the state of Baja California, Mexico, a new poll by a market research firm shows that many businesses are victims of extortion over the phone, just like private individuals.

Related Story: Extortionists Target 900,000 Homes, Businesses By Phone In Tijuana

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Across the border in Baja, Mexico, a new poll by a market research firm shows that many businesses are victims of extortion over the phone, just like private individuals.

In the first eight months of 2012, businesses in Tijuana and Baja California were asked to hand over nearly 2 million dollars. That's according to Mario Escobedo Carignan, coordinator of Baja's State Business Council.

Within the same period, the state's Center for Anonymous Complaints received nearly 900,000 reports of attempted extortion.

Threats typically mention kidnapped family members, and victims are told to deposit cash into specific bank accounts.

Now, a new survey released this week by Mexican market research group Imerk shows that local businesses are also targeted.

The findings have strengthened collaborative efforts between state authorities and business organizations. Public awareness campaigns are underway, including distributing free manuals on Facebook.

Those who receive threatening calls are encouraged to remain calm, hang up, and dial 089 to report the crime.

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