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Teenagers detained for extorting victim over Facebook

August 25, 2013

online extortionists

Four teenagers were arrested in Guadalajara last week for using Facebook to threaten and extort an 18-year-old male, the Jalisco Prosecutor’s Office (FGE) revealed on Saturday.

Lesley Sanchez Perez, Maria Guadalupe Mora Moreno and Ines Margarita Rubio Saldate, all 18, and Juan Manuel Mendoza Delgado, 19, stand accused of creating a fake profile on the social network in the name of Serafin Zambada, the supposed son of a drug-trafficker.

The suspects allegedly used Zambada’s account to add the victim as a friend and then repeatedly demanded money in return for not hurting him or his family. The victim made several payments, but finally filed a complaint with the FGE on August 16 after receiving more threatening phone calls from a woman posing as Zambada’s sister.

The victim agreed to meet the extortionists outside a department store on avenues Lapislazuli and 8 de Julio on August 22, but FGE officers were waiting to arrest Sanchez and Guadalupe when they arrived to collect the money.

Sanchez reportedly confessed to having created the Zamabada account on Facebook, while they also revealed that their two accomplices were waiting at the intersection of avenues Lopez Mateos and Mariano Otero, with the aim of going out and spending their earnings. The authorities detained Rubio and Mendoza at said location and all four now face charges of extortion.

The case highlights the importance of online security and the dangers of interacting with strangers on social networks. The suspects may have chosen to identify their Zambada character as the son of a drug-trafficker in order to exploit the public sense of fear that still lingers after the recent high-profile killing of two 15-year-old boys in Guadalajara. The pair went missing in June after being invited to a party via Facebook, but were later found dead in the Primavera forest, supposedly in retaliation for having bullied the son of an imprisoned narco.

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