The "Treasure Chest" Scam: A Novel Con Technique

A new form of online fraud known as "La Valija del Tesoro" (The Treasure Chest) was brought to the attention of the general public by the police force in charge of the capital city, along with helpful hints and suggestions.

The "Treasure Chest" Scam: A Novel Con Technique
New Scam Method: The "Treasure Chest". Photo by Amy Shamblen / Unsplash

The Secretariat of Citizen Security, through the Cybernetic Police Unit, alerted the population about a new modality of cybernetic scam called 'La Valija del Tesoro' or 'Treasure Chest' in English.

The method consists of criminals making their victims believe that they are a relative from abroad and once they establish communication, they make them believe that they will travel to Mexico.

During the scam, they request personal data to supposedly ask for help to receive their suitcases, as well as to send them money and gifts, the reason why they named this scam 'La Valija del Tesoro' (Treasure Chest).

What does the new scam consist of?

Investigations by the capital police indicate that criminals use instant messaging and social networks to contact their victims, using fake profiles with information and photos of family members.

Once they convince citizens to send data, they tell them that a customs employee will contact them for delivery, and then they receive a message from the supposed courier company saying that they must pay an import fee to proceed with the delivery.

Again, the criminals convince the victim to pay or the extortionists make them believe that the act of the foreign relative is money laundering, so they must pay a penalty for being accomplices.

Recommendations to avoid falling into the 'La Valija del Tesoro' (The Treasure Chest) scam

After receiving more than 10 reports about citizens who are victims of 'La Valija del Tesoro', the Cybernetic Police issued the following recommendations:

To have an updated antivirus.

Do not add strangers to social networks.

Check the veracity of the profiles that send friend requests.

Check that the user with whom you are interacting is a known person or family member.

Be wary of unknown or suspicious e-mails and messages.

Do not share personal data with strangers.

Do not enter links that are embedded in the messages.

Do not make bank deposits or wire transfers to strangers.

Deactivate the scam by breaking communication with the supposed parcel delivery agencies.

In case of falling, file a complaint before any Public Prosecutor's Office, and in case of detecting a possible scam, contact the Cybernetic Police Unit by e-mail at or by phone at 5242 5100 ext. 5086, any day during the year.