Judicial investigators warned citizens and especially job-seekers of an extortion scam that agents suspect is being conducted by prison inmates.
Investigators said the victim of the scam is a person who thinks that they have just gotten a job who then unwittingly helps the scammer rob stores.
Investigators have received more than 30 reports of this scam-robbery combination, according to a bulletin from the Judicial Investigating Organization.
Similar scams have been reported by agents in the organization involving newly hired drivers and other types of jobs.
Although the bulletin did not say that agents have caught any suspects, investigators believe that the orchestrators of this scam are within the Centro Penitencial La Reforma, meaning they are technically already in the custody of law enforcement.
Investigators gave this description of how the scam and robbery unfolds:
The scam starts with a classified advertisement being placed in newspapers calling for resumes to be sent to a specific email or fax.
Eventually, the scammer calls the job-seeker back and informs that person that he or she has been hired. The scammer then tells the person to go pick up a package at a specific business.
When the victim of the scam arrives at the business, the scammer has the victim hand a cell phone to the cashier or store operator. The scammer informs the individual that the messenger has a gun and will shoot if he or she does not put money into an envelope and surrender it.
The messenger walks out with the envelope of money unaware that he or she has just helped rob the store.
The bulletin said that this scam has cost the stores that have been robbed about 9 million colons or $18,000.
Investigators suspect that some stores have not reported being victimized by this scam, and they urged these store owners to come forward to better help the organization better investigate this particular modus operandi.