FBI Warns of Targeted Extortion Scheme Against Individuals of Indian Descent, Urges Vigilance

Featured & Cover FBI Warns of Targeted Extortion Scheme Against Individuals of Indian Descent Urges Vigilance

The FBI has issued a warning to individuals of Indian descent regarding a targeted extortion scheme that poses potential violence. The FBI’s Sacramento office is actively investigating this scheme, which involves threats of violence or death unless a significant sum of money is paid. The interactions typically commence with phone calls containing demands and threats, but they can escalate to in-person confrontations. Some victims have even experienced “targeted shootings at their residences and vehicles,” according to FBI reports.

While many are accustomed to more conventional scams perpetrated through calls, texts, or emails from individuals posing as someone else to solicit money, Special Agent Sid Patel of the Sacramento FBI office emphasizes that this scheme differs significantly. Patel clarifies, “This is not fraud. This is true extortion.” The perpetrators demand money and resort to threats of violence to coerce compliance.

Although no specific number of reports has been disclosed, officials note that the targets are primarily individuals of Indian descent, particularly “business owners, influential members, or individuals with what is perceived to be large amounts of money,” Patel stated. He further highlights a recent surge in crimes against individuals of Indian descent globally over the past six months to a year. Patel suggests that Sacramento may be experiencing targeted incidents partly due to its sizable Sikh community.

Patel emphasizes the underreporting of such cases and urges anyone with relevant information to contact the FBI at 1-800-225-5324 or submit a tip online. He stresses the importance of seeking immediate assistance by calling 911 if one believes their life is in danger.

In a call to action, Patel asserts, “If you see something, say something. We will do something. We’re here to protect you and our communities.” He underscores the illegality of extortion in the United States, urging victims to report such incidents promptly to the authorities.

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