Five held in cross-border credit card scam involving U.S.

Judicial agents detained five persons Friday and said they were part of an international ring that charged money to the accounts of U.S. citizens even though the cardholders never had been to Costa Rica.

Also involved were victims from Europe, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents conducted raids in Pavas, La Uruca, Santa Ana, Heredia, Palmares and Guanacaste.

In all, three men and two women were held.
The complaint came from a credit card operation here that said some of its customers had large amounts of money charged to their accounts in Costa Rica although they never had been here.

Agents concluded that the operation was an international one in which crooks stole card information from bank customers and then transmitted it to other parts of the world.

The credit card information was incorporated into the magnetic band on a plastic card, and then the crooks here would get a commission for using the card.

Judicial police said that in Costa Rica alone, the amount taken was about 25 million colons or about $50,000.

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