The Tico Times is apologizing to its readers for running a series of full-page ads offering half-price cell phones and Apple products.
The weekly English-language newspaper credits A.M. Costa Rica for disclosing the scam in the news story posted online Thursday night. Presumably the story also will appear in the printed version that carries today’s date. Said the story:
“It appears The Tico Times may have fallen victim to an unsavory ad offering deals that are too good to be true,” said Tico Times Associate Publisher Abby Daniell. “While it is difficult to screen every ad, we apologize to readers who may have responded to the ad.”
The story by the editor, David Boddiger, noted that the ads have been running in the newspaper since July 22. The ad took up the entire back page. The A.M. Costa Rica news story disclosing the scam appeared Tuesday morning. The Tico Times story did not explain the delay in alerting its readers. The newspaper also did not reveal how much the scamsters paid for the ads. The amount probably was in the thousands of dollar, but typically such crooks pay with fake checks or false or stolen credit cards.
The Boddiger story also quotes the presumed scamster, a resident of Nigeria who uses the name Billy Kasht, as planning to sue A.M. Costa Rica.
“If they sue us,” said Jay Brodell, A.M. Costa Rica editor, they can add slander because we call them now despicable subhuman beings who steal from the aged, the uninformed and the naïve.”
“A priority at A.M. Costa Rica is to protect the expats here and readers elsewhere,” Brodell added. “We hope they spend their money with our advertisers who we already know and trust instead of some scamster in a Nigerian Internet cafe.”
So far no one has complained that they sent money to the scamsters and did not get the electronic product they ordered.