The judicial police outlined a scam Thursday that has all the attributes of a long-distance Nigerian fraud.
A man appears to have sent $6,000 to an account in London, England, at the request of a woman he never met. The money was to buy a Toyota Land Cruiser at a cut-rate price.
The man, who was not identified, spotted the vehicle in a classified ad on the Internet, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. In an email exchange the woman told the man the low price was because she was out of the country and had to sell the vehicle. And she wanted money in advance.
Of course, after the man paid the money, he was unable to contact the woman again.
The words Nigerian scam are used broadly to include fraudsters all over the world. But scammers with Nigerian nationality frequently use London addresses. They have been known to target Costa Rica with low-price offers on electronics and hospitality frauds. If payment for advertising is required, they use stolen credit cards.
The judicial police urged residents to be wary.
A.M. Costa Rica does not accept certain forms of advertising from persons outside of the country. In addition, suspicious advertising is rejected until the customer provides additional information.
In the hospitality scam, well known to most hotel keepers, the fraudster makes a reservation for a visiting group and pays for it with a stolen credit card. Then suddenly and for apparent legitimate reasons the reservation is cancelled and the scammer asks that the money be refunded.