Telephone scammers still are on the loose using fake conference calls

The conference call scam has shown up again in the Turrialba area, and at least one expat family has been affected.

This is the crime in which a crook fast-talks a victim into providing information to access a bank account.

The conference call is just a trick. The usual procedure is that a crook will respond to a classified ad and agree to make a purchase. In the case of the Turrialba expats, the product was a horse.  The crook agrees to put a deposit in the victim’s bank account.

Eventually the crook calls again and says there are computer problems depositing the money and suggests a conference call with a teller at a bank. Of course the teller is really a confederate.

If the victim provides the supposed bank employee with access information, the crooks quickly clean out the account. In the case of the expats, some $700 were sucked from the account and spread around in 20,000-colon increments to various pre-paid cell telephones, making the money hard to trace.

One of the expat couples contacted reporters because he said the local bank officials were unimpressed, and they said that this type of scam happens every day.

Judicial investigators detained a man suspected of another type of scam in Oreamuno de Cartago Tuesday. The man claimed to victims he was an employee of a highway construction firm and that he had excess asphalt to sell at a cheap price.

After the victims make a cash deposit into the man’s account, they wait in vain for the delivery, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

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