Foreign scammers express interest in buying home or business

The Nigerian scammers have become far more sophisticated in seeing information from Costa Rica.

The latest example shows a knowledge of both Spanish and the country’s economic situation.

An email says: “My family and I are moving to Costa Rica. We need to buy a home and business. Please let us know if you can help so we can send information on what we want.”

There are a lot of homeowners and business owners here who would wish to have a reputable buyer. This isn’t it. Although the message contains the same request in Spanish, the IP address in the email header is listed by an online service as being in Lago, Nigeria.

Frequently the word Nigerian scammer is used loosely. There are a lot of scammers in Eastern Europe and China. But in this case, the scammers really appear to be Nigerian.

The latest message is far more sophisticated than the ones promising to transfer $1 billion from the account of a late client, although these still circulate. Then there is the give-away ad. Scammers try to insert these in A.M. Costa Rica repeatedly. The latest purporting to be selling kittens. That one arrived via the newspaper’s dedicated classified insertion system Friday.

Unlike classified sites such as Craigslist and some automated sites, A.M. Costa Rica ad submissions are handled by real persons, who try to weed out the scammers.

The purpose of the classified pitches are to gain personal information, addresses and cell telephone numbers. These will be used in many ways. In a worst-case scenario, some victim will give the scammers (pretending to be a vendor) a credit card number and the security code.


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