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Texas Man Allegedly Used Instagram To Steal 25+ Vehicles And Sell Them To Cartel Members

  • A Houston-man has been charged in connection with a scheme to steal more than 25 vehicles.
  • Kenneth Westbrook allegedly used Instagram to recruit people to rent vehicles on his behalf.
  • Instead of using the vehicles, Westbrook allegedly sent them to Mexico where they were sold to cartel members.

Social media is rife with scams and rip-offs, but the latest appears to have netted Mexican drug cartel members more than 25 vehicles. Many of them were apparently Jeeps and they’re said to be worth more than $1 million (£797,550 / €928,280).

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, 29-year-old Kenneth Dwayne Westbrook was behind a scheme to steal vehicles in America and then transport them to Mexico. The feds didn’t go into many specifics, but said Westbrook used Instagram to recruit people to rent vehicles on his behalf.

More: Alabama Thieves Steal $1.2M In Cars From Dodge Dealer, Use Challenger Demon 170 As Battering Ram

Once he had the vehicles in hand, Westbrook allegedly had them driven to Mexico where they were sold to cartel members. The victims were left high and dry as Westbrook is said to have “ignored renters’ calls and messages imploring him to return” the vehicles.

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While the scheme was relatively simple, it appears over two dozen people fell victim as more than 25 vehicles were stolen. However, Westbrook is now facing up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 (£199,420 / €232,057) maximum fine for each count in the indictment.

Details are hazy, but authorities routinely caution against falling victim to online scams. Minnesota’s Attorney General notes money-making schemes are some of the most popular scams on social media and they typically promise a big payout in exchange for a relatively small upfront cost. That seems to be the case here as victims were promised money in exchange for renting vehicles for someone else.

That’s never a wise idea and you should always be cautious when dealing with strangers online. At the end of the day, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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#Texas #Man #Allegedly #Instagram #Steal #Vehicles #Sell #Cartel #Members

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