A common story that you hear once in a while when living in Latin America is one about someone getting scammed by another gringo down here.
In many cases, the scam usually involves selling property that is considerably overvalued or might not even be owned by the gringo pretending to sell it.
Of course, you got numerous other scams that gringos run on other gringos down here.
And, while I’m not an expert on all of their tricks, I personally have only heard of them trying to scam other gringos.
Do they scam local Latinos too?
Well, with all the scamming gringos that exist, I’m positive that some local Latinos get fucked over too.
But, from my personal experience, all of the stories I have heard always involved a gringo scamming another gringo.
Now, assuming that’s more likely for a second, why would that be the case?
My best guess is as follows:
For one, a gringo might feel more at ease trusting another gringo from a similar cultural background than a local Latino.
Two, they obviously share a similar language (unless one of the gringos is from some European country that doesn’t speak English).
Third, gringos who are knew to life down here might be more easily fooled than a local who has seen more scams go on down here.
And also you have the obvious fact that another gringo probably has more money to piss away than a typical local.
Regardless anyway of why some gringos dedicate themselves to scamming other gringos (and some locals), it is obviously something you should keep an eye out for.
And, over the last few days, I might have personally came across one of these types.
Let’s get to it.
Looking for Mexican Residency
So, as I wrote in previous articles, there's a program for foreigners to pursue "regularization" and I thought of writing an article on the subject for those curious on the subject.
Which is basically a program for those who have been in Mexico since before 2019 and whose last arrival was before Covid started basically.
At any rate, I began looking to see what legal help exists for gringos curious about this program.
The first person I talked to, as you can see here, doesn’t seem convinced that I can get residency through regularization.
However, I’ve had three other people say that I can still do it.
Two options that look legit on the surface but I’d need to look into them more and a potentially fraudulent option.
And I say “potentially” because, truth be told, I haven’t been scammed by this individual but have heard plenty of negative things about him.
So, as you can see in this news article written here, there’s an individual who calls himself “Khon” or “Greg” or “Isaac” or, as we’ll see, maybe “Itzick?”
And, according to that same article, some don't think he's very trustworthy.
"SCAM!! This guy goes by Isaac or Greg and who knows what other names. He pretends to have lawyers at a fake firm called Parker-Pheonix Associates that will help you get 4 years temporary residency."
And, when I got a message from Greg yesterday, I immediately recognized his Whatsapp photo because I remember seeing people warn about him on Facebook expat groups.
So, right away, I didn’t take the guy seriously.
And, as you can see here, people in other Expat groups on Whatsapp aren’t very fond of him either.
Still, I was curious to see how ridiculous the offer could be from him.
So I messaged him back after he messaged me.
Which he was able to get my number by the way because I messaged on Whatsapp this other person after seeing this advertisement here.
When I messaged that person, they asked me if they could “direct me to their partner.”
Now the obvious question comes up – is this first person really different or is it “Greg” with a different burner phone?
Regardless, Greg messaged me yesterday and, as I said, I recognized his photo but ultimately decided to see where the conversation would go.
Here’s the conversation for those curious.
For context, I used my burner phone instead of a real one and claimed I needed residency for my "Russian girlfriend" as I initially didn't know if anyone I would be dealing with any scammers while looking for legal help.
Issues with His Claims of Residency
Now, to be fair, his prices don’t look exaggerated for someone pursuing residency through regularization.
I’m not an expert on lawyer fees in Mexico but I’ve of folks pursuing residency in other countries and having to pay over a thousand bucks (20,000 MXN Pesos in this case).
And, from what I’ve heard from others, the fees for regularization shoot at around 750 USD.
So, at least with his numbers, things don’t look too fishy.
But then we get to some of the odd stuff.
For one, if Greg is a scammer (and, to be fair, he hasn’t been put in front of a judge for it), he obviously should have chosen a better name than “Khon.”
At that point, you question his imagination or wondering if he was trolling people.
Second, I highly doubt that the Mexican government would approve an application for regularization without at least a passport.
Really – a letter from the embassy saying we’re cool?
That’s all you need now?
Third, the fact that he says it’s cool if the girlfriend only showed up literally 3 weeks ago is also highly suspect.
From my understanding, absolutely nobody is getting residency through regularization if they’ve only been here for 3 weeks.
The regularization program, from my understanding, is basically a “humanitarian” process for those who can claim that they were stuck here because of Covid.
And Covid didn’t start 3 weeks ago.
Fourth, we have the issue of trying to meet the lawyer. As you can see here, Greg is OK with showing his face on Zoom (which makes me assume it's the same dude in his Whatsapp pic) but that he won't disclose anything about the lawyer or law firm that supposedly exists.
In short, Greg isn’t very convincing.
On top of that, his bad reputation among other expats doesn’t inspire much faith either.
Despite all of the evidence out there that calls into question Greg's legal help, we should at least listen to his side of the story given that, as far as I am aware, he hasn't been put in front of a judge and convicted for scamming foreigners on a regularization program (though most people who commit scams in Mexico get away with it). Here it is.
Still, I just want to emphasize that Greg is still technically innocent.
As far as I know, he apparently has not been convicted of any crimes regarding scamming people.
Though, as you can read here, apparently he does have history pulling other scams and was supposedly arrested by Mexican authorities.
"A man found offering false covid-19 tests on social media has been taken into police custody. The Attorney General made the acknowledgment on social media saying “investigating agents captured Khon G of foreign origin for the crime of falsification and use of a false document of vaccination certificates that he fraudulently advertised on social networks.”
And, as you can read from the article, he was apparently selling the vaccine certificates for 4,000 MXN pesos or roughly 200 bucks while “also allegedly offered to supply the vaccine for the same price.”
If I had to speculate, I imagine his target audience was also gringo expats who don’t have official residency in Mexico because those with residency could get either one without having to go through a random dude for it.
From what I’ve heard, those without residency can’t get the vaccine under most circumstances and definitely can’t get official proof of vaccination.
So that’s probably who he was going after if I had to guess.
Either way, as I said, this guy is still innocent of all accusations until proven in the eyes of the law of being guilty or not.
But, based on the news reports, warnings from other gringos and also the unlikely claims that a Russian could get regularization despite only arriving 3 weeks ago and without a passport, there’s obviously reason to be cautious here.
Just a simple warning to any other gringos (or Latinos) out there: don’t trust another gringo just because he is a gringo.
If someone is offering you services and their name is “Khon,” that might be a red flag.
And, regardless of his innocence or guilt, you just got to know that gringo scammers out there do exist in Latin America and to be cautious with them.
That’s all I got to say anyhow.
Throw any comments below.
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Thanks for reading.