Copyright held by The John Cooke Fraud Report. Reprint rights are granted with attribution to The John Cooke Fraud Report with a link to this website.
PERHAPS THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN INVESTIGATION
Si, Senor! En Mexico, Tienemos Databases! Fact: Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world.
Fact: One aspect of identity theft is phantom identities — electronic people who were never real.
Fact: Another aspect of identity theft is borrowed or stolen identities.
Fact: The insurance industry, the financial industry, and H.R. have never fully addressed this problem.
The Census Bureau places the number of illegal immigrants residing in the US at 12 million. Other published figures say those numbers should correctly be shown as double that amount. No matter the precise numbers, fraud runs rampant throughout these communities because industry is woefully behind on identifying resources that can help control the systemic milking of the proverbial cash cow. It’s said that only 1 in 20 cases of social security identity fraud is reported — and only 1 in 50 of those reports results in a prosecution or deportation. Do the math.
The Feds are quick to talk about ICE. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is able to run a search of their immigration database and tell (for instance) a prospective employer or an underwriter if the applicant has any charges/convictions in the US. But the report fails to do two very important things: (1) advise with any degree of certainty if the person who claims to be Juan Jose Salazar-Morales, DOB 1-1-71, is indeed who he says he is (or if he has instead “borrowed” his cousin’s information); and (2) provide any information at all about serious charges he may have had in Mexico prior to his coming to the US. For instance, did he murder his wife and three children … or was he killed in an industrial accident?
US investigators, in large part, are unaware of what people-tracking databases actually do exist in Mexico. In fact, most of our investigators don’t have a clue what identifying information would routinely be found in a male Mexican citizen’s wallet or a female Mexican lady’s purse. And for sure they are unaware that such information is obtainable during the course of a US investigation. Like we said, it’s one of the best kept secrets yet to be told!
We didn’t have any idea either; until a particularly difficult case prompted us to find out. Crossing the border into Mexico and relying on an introduction from a trusted private investigator, a treasure chest of information emerged. Mexico has 31 states and a federal district. While that sounds similar to the 50 US states and Washington, DC, the main difference is that our states cooperate with one another in the sharing of data. An Arkansas licensed driver, driving a vehicle with Texas plates, may be pulled over by a California (city) police car for running a stop sign. That officer can instantly obtain information on the outof- state driver, the out-of-state vehicle registration, and learn of any arrest warrants from any jurisdiction — local, state or federal. Right from his squad car. Mexico, on the other hand, maintains as many (actually more) identifying records as the US; however, the Mexican states do not share information with one another. The federales and the states share less, and there is no central repository that all levels of law enforcement can access. Full information can only be obtained by direct contact (phone, fax, email or person-to-person) between the various jurisdictions. The best centralized source of identifying data — in fact the only sizeable source that we could find — is privately owned and counts the Mexican federal government, all 31 of the states, hundreds of local jurisdictional agencies, a large number of foreign security-conscious corporations, and a few US federal agencies among its customer base. The records, all 900 million of them, come from both public and private sources and go back more than 20 years.
It’s the story behind their gathering into a single database that is the most interesting. Blame it on the Japanese.
The Japanese are intensely security conscious, so when they build a factory in Mexico (usually within miles of the US border) to produce parts for Japanese autos, appliances, electronics, etc. sold in the US, they run security checks on every person in Mexico they employ or do business with. From the architects, to the factory workers, to the builders, to the delivery personnel. Everybody gets checked. Interestingly, due to the locations of these businesses, they tend to be a temporary stopping place for those wishing to enter the US. Men and women leave their villages, — homes where there is little work and far less money, — and travel north to the rivers, the tunnels, and the other crossing points known only to the traffickers. Passage is expensive; to afford the one-way crossing, many people will stop and work in the Japanese factories until they have saved enough money to complete their journey. The result is that many US illegal immigrants have dossiers in the Mexican data systems that detail their movements and include identification information.
One enterprising family began compiling these records many years ago; first in a single file cabinet, then in many file cabinets, and eventually — when technology caught up — on computers. The information was gathered for the Japanese and sold to the Japanese. While the data was never intended to be used by US insurers, banks or HR departments, the current accessibility of this data can indeed change the scope of claims and/or underwriting investigations.
Prior to this new-found source being deemed credible, it was eye-balled by a few USbased investigators and some test cases were run. The response was, in unison, “Holy Shittake Mushrooms,” or a variation thereof.
One case search revealed that a dead claimant (life insurance) had received a traffic ticket after he died. Another showed that a penniless California heart-surgery patient who claimed to be penniless (pesoless?) actually owned millions of dollars of Mexican farmland. One more case documented previous treatment that had been received for a “new” US workplace injury.
As is the case in any data search, US or foreign, some results will prove to be case-breaking and others will be of no real use. Still, in dealing with south-of-the-border identities/histories, hundreds of millions of computerized and sorted federal, state and local records suggest more reliable findings than might be expected from hiring a Mexico City cab driver to ask a hundred people if they know Jorge Gonzalez; which, until recently, was the only game in town.
While our US investigative mind set is that Mexico is 50 years behind the US in databases, this assumption could not be further from the truth. In many areas they have us beat by leaps and bounds. Let’s talk about what records one might find when searching Mexican sources.
Every Mexican Citizen is mandated to have a National ID Card which is referred to as their “CURP” number/ID. This identification card is issued by the Mexican Ministry of the Interior. Mexico established this national identifier in 1999. It is now issued at birth or when registering for the IMSS (social security and socialized health care), school, employment, opening bank accounts, drivers license, voters card, or military registration. The “CURP” currently covers 95% of the Mexican population.
This is a national card with a photograph, and all citizen’s are required to always have their CURP card in their possession. The following information appears on the CURP card. First name, middle name, mother’s last name (maternal), last name (paternal)., date of birth, state of birth, and a book/page number for birth certificate. This National ID Card is the primary form of ID in all of Mexico — and, as such, every Mexican citizen is searchable in the national database.
Yes, you can get to it. Reasonably, both in cost and time. Finding your subject in this database immediately confirms that the identity you are looking at is a REAL identity — not one that was made up by the guy pumping out fake ID’s in the back room of a tattoo parlor on Figueroa Street in Los Angeles (or a similar location in every major city in the US.).
Imagine that your claimant/witness/employee/ insured has US identification in supportof his being “Luis Adolpho Gomez-Perez with a DOB of 2-2-72. He states he is from Mexico City, Mexico. If the CURP search does not produce a “hit,” it is quite probable that the identity is fake. There is no way that LAGP lived for 30+ years in Mexico and was not in possession of a CURP. He needed it for health care, school, vehicle registrations, etc. If he was/is real, he is in the system. Plain and simple.
Important: Mexico uses a DDMMYYYY format — and to run the search, you will need the first, middle, last-last name plus the DOB. If the name you are searching is somewhat uncommon, it is possible that the person can be located with slightly less information. Think “John Smith” vs. “Englebert Humperdink.”
RFC number (State Tax ID number – similar to a US SSN or EIN) Driver’s license records usually have a line for “Emergency Contact Information.” This is a helpful tool for locates.
Mexico has an abundance of online, state sorted, court records available. The search provides court records to include the type of incident, date of incident, and disposition of the case. This also will include injury accident reports.
There are four types of court reports that can be accessed.:
1. Criminal Courts Records – available in all 31 states of Mexico and the Federal District (think 50 US states and Washington, DC, as a comparison) are accessible and include all levels of crime including DUI’s.
2. Civil Courts – records from all 31 states of Mexico and the Federal District are searched, including all types of civil lawsuits, family & probate records, adoption, marriage, divorce and death records.
3. Labor Courts – records from all 31 states of Mexico and the Federal District are searched, including lawsuits against employers such as work-related injuries and compensation issues.
4. Traffic Accident Reports – Traffic accidents which involve injury are filed within each state’s investigative Division (State Police). Non injury accidents are not filed.
Medical records, for treatment rendered in Mexico, can be searched by state, with a canvass of all medical facilities including hospitals and clinics searched within the state and city, provided by client or by address acquired from CURP identifier search.
A media search includes the past 20 years of all major newspapers in the country. If there was a published news report of an altercation between two brothers-in-law, that article will be included in the FIS Report. If Maria Rosa Melendez-Rojas had a quinceanera and it was announced in a social column, you’ll get a cross link if “your guy” was a mentioned guest. It might also indicate who his brother or cousin or uncle was, regardless of very different names.
Vehicle Identification Number searches are available in some states, making it possible to trace a car stolen from a US rental agency or driveway to a south-of-the-border location. Plus telephone number reverse lookups, cell phone records, property searches, asset searches, business records searches, assumed name filings for Mexican corporations, corporation filings and more.
The game is changing; there’s a new weapon in the arsenal against fraud! Tenemos una nueva arma. Vamos a usar!
Editor’s note: We’ve seen this product demo. It’s both amazing and, to our knowledge, the “only game in town” available that provides reliable one-stop Mexican identity data from a single search engine. Due to the somewhat commercial nature of the content of this article, however, JCFR is running it as a paid advertisement. LK. (See Verimx ad page 20.)