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Scams

Costa Rican banks to replace credit, debit cards to improve security

The Costa Rican Banking Association said that 95 percent of banks in the country have already started to swap out the 7 million credit and debit cards currently circulating in the country with more secure chip cards.

Ohio man convicted in Costa Rica telemarketing scam

Paul Ronald Toth Jr., 40, of Wintersville, Ohio, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money-laundering concealment as part of a sweepstakes scam that targeted elderly U.S. residents from Costa Rican call centers.

US expats in Costa Rica masterminded massive call center fraud

Call centers are one of the fastest growing sectors of the Costa Rican economy, but this boom industry has a dark side. Costa Rica was home to a massive telemarketing scam that defrauded thousands of U.S. citizens — most over the age of 55 — of upwards of $20 million. Prosecutors in the Western District of North Carolina have convicted 46 defendants from the United States related to the sweepstakes fraud to date.

Costa Rica’s banks boost security measures ahead of holiday frenzy

The Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC) this week launched a security operation coordinated with Judicial Investigation Police agents and National Police officers, with the goal of reducing theft and fraud that usually spike beginning on Black Friday weekend. The start of Costa Rica's Christmas bonus payments, or aguinaldos, also brings an increase in crime each year.

US-Costa Rican man preyed on elderly in million-dollar sweepstakes fraud

A dual citizen of the United States and Costa Rica pleaded guilty Monday to a $1.88 million sweepstakes fraud scheme that targeted elderly U.S. residents, according a statement from the U.S. Justice Department.

US couple the latest victims in flat-tire scam that targets tourists

During a late June visit to Costa Rica, a pair of U.S. tourists fell victim to an ongoing scam where thieves targets tourists by flattening the tires of their rental cars and then offering to "help."

Worried about getting ripped off by a Costa Rican cab? There’s an app for that

It doesn't matter how many times you have been to Costa Rica, how long you have lived here or how good your Spanish is; chances are you've been overcharged by a taxi more than once. But now, Taxiando, a new phone app, let's you have your own personal taxi meter on your phone.

Police crack million-dollar scheme to defraud people in United States

Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided three homes and an office in Escazú Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into a million-dollar fraud and money laundering scheme that targeted people living in the United States.

Scam Alert: Kolbi customers receiving fraudulent text messages

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) alerted its customers this week about fraudulent text messages sent to Kolbi cellphones that automatically added charges to the accounts of those who responded.

Don’t let thieves steal your Christmas bonus!

The holiday season in Costa Rica means a spike in thefts and scams. Some of them may seem obvious, but more than a few Ticos and tourists will become victims. Here's what to avoid.

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