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HomeNewsFraudulent Cab Drivers Overcharge Tourists in Costa Rica

Fraudulent Cab Drivers Overcharge Tourists in Costa Rica

The Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) has detected a type of scam targeting foreign tourists, mainly from Europe and the United States. The scam involves people pretending to be legitimate cab drivers who offer their services to people arriving in Costa Rica but end up charging exorbitant prices.

Even if the destination is nearby, the scammers exploit the tourists’ lack of local knowledge to justify a longer route, ultimately charging up to $200. Rina Calvo of the OIJ’s Fraud and Registration Fraud Section detailed the modus operandi of these individuals:

“The driver even carries a badge, supposedly indicating that he is an employee in charge of providing information. They ask the tourist to take them to a hostel or hotel in the capital city but then take advantage of the situation. Once inside the vehicle, they take another route through Alajuela, Heredia, and other places, and at the end of the transportation service, they make an excessive charge,” Calvo said.

During the trip, tourists are often taken to an ATM and asked to withdraw money. When they arrive at their final destination, they are charged $200 or, in colones, up to 100,000 colones. According to Calvo, the OIJ recommends that airports and bus terminals provide information so tourists can know the approximate cost of a service based on the distance.

The spokeswoman noted that foreigners have reported that, when they’re being approached, these individuals carry an “official cab” sign. However, the vehicles they board are neither the red cabs nor the orange ones that are officially recognized at the airport.

The OIJ also warned of another scam involving the rental of vacation homes. Scammers post photos that supposedly show the house where people will stay, but upon arrival, they realize it is not the same house.

In these cases, visitors have already made the payment, but when they arrive, the scammer has blocked them, making it impossible to recover the money. The OIJ’s recommendation is to make reservations only through reliable platforms that can respond in such cases.

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