Costa Rica Customs Scam
Costa Rica News – We all know how hard it is to make a living down in Costa Rica. The salaries are low for most people, and to make a living it requires a lot of hard work, dedication and intelligence. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that would rather steal other people’s hard earned money than earn their own.
Costa Rica is the home of scam artists. If there is a way to steal money by fraud form a person it will be done here. There are fake online pharmacies, the sweepstakes scam, fake vehicle scams, insurance scams, real estate scams, and many other businesses that are set up just to fraudulently take your money. \
Another one of these scams has just popped their head up in Costa Rica. This scam involves people calling you from customs and trying to sell you products that have been abandoned by their owners.
If you receive a phone call in which you intend to sell a commodity supposedly held at customs, be very careful. In fact just ignore it unless you are shipping a package own here and are expecting that call.
The Airport Police, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) alerted the public about this type of fraud.
So far, authorities have received about 70 complaints from Alajuela, Guanacaste and Cartago.
According to police, scammers contact mainly traders and offer products such as fertilizers, construction materials, liquor, mobile phones and other items.
The subjects tell their victims that the merchandise is in the office and it cannot be released due to lack of money.
The proposed scam is that the trader will buy the merchandise at a “discounted rate”
When victims accept they deposit money into the sellers accounts.
Based on investigations of the agents, in most cases the parties agree to meet outside the Juan Santamaria airport in Alajuela. Once there, the scammers tell the buyers that the goods are free and they deliver a withdrawal slip to them.
However, when victims try to get the products at customs, they realize that the withdrawal slip is false and that it was all a hoax.
Authorities said the offenders studied extensively the profile of people who are going to call and have a lot of information about them.
Police also said that the scammers have attacked some of the buyers, when they realize they are being scammed.
In total, according to the authorities, they have arrested 32 alleged scammers, and some of them will be brought to trial in the coming weeks.