Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Only Full-Time American owned and operated Private Investigation Agency in Costa Rica Staffed​ ​​​by Resident American Fraud and Infidelity Bilingual Investigators.

Avoiding Fraud in Costa Rica

Avoiding fraud in Costa Rica

Understand common types of fraud in Costa Rica

Fraudsters will try to steal your property, identity or tap into your bank or business to steal assets or money. Avoiding fraud in Costa Rica is really simple. To assist you in avoiding fraud in Costa Rica, we have put together a laundry list of various methods used by scammers here in Costa Rica to rip you off.  Criminals will approach you through letters, a phone call, or via email. Cyber-crime is a principal priority risk for US residents and businesses. Typical scams include investment offers or opportunities to acquire new customers who you supply but never receive payment from. The most used here in Costa Rica is the email that is generated from “Phishing” on the internet. Typically, these come in the form of an email that tell you that you have won some kind prize. In the past the “lottery scam” was the most popular.

Phishing‘, or rogue emails asking for your  personal or business banking details, are a common way to steal money. Read more about how to safeguard your assets and property against fraud.

Going After your life savings

Defense against fraud comes with being able to recognize the various different types of financial schemes that exist. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the following investment scams are commonly used to target Americans:

High-return or ‘risk-free’ investments

Costa Rica scammers, passing themselves off as brokers and investment advisers, recommend unsuitable products that don’t meet the investment objectives or financial situations of investors. Inappropriate recommendations might occur when a broker sells speculative, high- risk investments such as options, futures or penny stocks to individuals who are near retirement or are retired and have a low-risk tolerance.Pyramid schemes. In this classic scheme, fraudsters promise sky-high returns in a short period of time for doing nothing other than handing over money and getting others to do the same. Despite their claims to have legitimate products or services to sell, these deceivers spend much of the money on themselves and simply use money coming in from new recruits to pay off early stage investors. Although the products sold may be legitimate, eventually the pyramid will collapse. At some point the schemes get too big, the promoter cannot raise enough money from new investors to pay earlier investors and many people lose their money.

‘Ponzi’ schemes

These are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who fooled thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s. Ponzi thought he could take advantage of differences between U.S. and foreign currencies used to buy and sell international mail coupons. Costa Rica had it’s own form of a Ponzi scheme which was carried out by the Villalobros Brothers, who scammed millions from unsuspecting investors. He told investors he could provide a 40 percent return in just 90 days compared with 5 percent for bank savings accounts. Ponzi was deluged with funds from investors, taking in $1 million during one three-hour period. Though a few early investors were paid off to make the scheme look legitimate, an investigation found that Ponzi had only purchased about $30 worth of the international mail coupons. Today, the Ponzi scheme continues to work on the “rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul” principle, as money from new investors is used to pay off earlier investors until the whole scheme collapses.

Promissory notes

A promissory note is a type of debt that is similar to a loan or IOU and is used by a company to raise money. Typically, an investor agrees to loan money to the company for a set period of time. In exchange, the company promises to pay the investor a fixed return on the investment, typically principal plus annual interest. While promissory notes can be legitimate investments, those that are marketed broadly to individual investors often turn out to be nothing more than worthless paper. Most established companies have borrowing relationships with financial institutions, therefore this type of transaction among individuals is rare. Individual investors should exercise extreme caution with this type of investment.

Internet investment fraud

Internet investment fraud is similar to other fraud perpetrated over the phone or through the mail. Fraudsters use a variety of Internet tools, including bulletin boards, online newsletters, spam or chat rooms to spread false information. They also may build a sophisticated Web page to make their scam appear legitimate. The Internet has made off-shore scams very easy to implement and difficult to police because the perpetrators often reside outside of the U.S.

Affinity fraud

This fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of certain groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly or professional groups. Deceivers who promote affinity scams frequently are—or pretend to be—members of the group. They enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme, by convincing people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile. Often, the leaders themselves become unwitting victims of the fraudster’s scheme.

For more information on fraud in costa Rica see “Different types of Fraud in Costa Rica, or call 321-218-9209.

 

Hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Before hiring a Costa Rica private investigator

Hiring a Costa Rica private investigator does not have to be a stressful or difficult process.  Before hiring a Costa Rica private investigator, use these simple steps as a guideline for locating the right Costa Rica private investigator for your case. Today, it is easy to be misled, especially since the proliferation of third-party lead generators. These lead generators are not present in Costa Rica and do not disclose the consequences of using people that cannot meet your needs. This is especially true in the event your case goes to trial.

Licensing

There is no national licensing system for private investigators in Costa Rica. No one in Costa Rica has a license to do investigations.  Unlike the United States where PI licensing is regulated on the state level. If the actual investigator does not possess a license issued by a state, then that tells you that this person is unqualified to do investigative work.

Currently, the only states that do not require private investigators to be licensed are: Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, & Wyoming

Always contact the appropriate state licensing agency to confirm an investigator’s license is current and in good standing prior to hiring them.

PI Firms vs. Individuals

One key choice in hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator is whether to hire an individual or an investigative firm. Firms typically employ greater resources and are ideal for cases requiring large amounts of surveillance and manpower. Individual PI’s can often provide a wealth of knowledge with issues including the location of persons, background investigations, asset investigations etc.

Be sure to choose an investigator or firm that employs the necessary resources and prior experience to properly address your needs.

Hiring a Private Investigator

It is important to feel comfortable with the PI you choose as matters that require private investigation cases are often of a sensitive nature. Look for individuals who are able to think “outside of the box” and adapt to changing situations easily. Inquire as to signing a contract or agreement listing the private investigator’s services, fees, and terms. Make sure this agreement comes from the person or firm who is physically present in Costa Rica and is actually doing the investigation. This protects both parties.

Be sure to ask a potential investigator as many questions as possible. If your not comfortable with their answers, demeanor, or experience you should find another private investigator with who you are.

Questions to Ask Your Investigator

How long have you been in business?

How many cases of this nature have you handled?

What is your success rate with cases of this nature?

What are your rates and fees?

Do you have experience testifying in court?

Do you take video of surveillance operations?

Can you perform covert surveillance as needed?

Can you provide a reference of an attorney you’ve worked for in the past?

 

A Guide Avoiding Scams of Dating Services

Avoiding Dating Service Scams

To protect yourself against scammers and marriage fraud, read my below article and discover how you can avoid it. This is a guide avoiding scams of dating services, a preeminent counseling against scammers!

No one wants to fall victim of a scam, yet every day the number of people who have fallen into various and sundry scams is growing at an alarming rate. The Internet has become the most powerful medium that scammers utilize to swindle people. You can search the word scam or fraud in Google and you would be surprised of the long list of available women and the countries they come from.

As the most tenured private investigation agency in Central America number of frauds and scams grow by the number, more and more people are becoming susceptible to it. Amazingly, the methods employed by these scammers have tremendously improved over the past few years, which makes their scams even more appealing to people.

Why scammers and frauds have infested dating/marriage sites?

The increasing number of men who are seeking a compatible and loving relationship only serves to fuel the demand for dating services. Psychologically speaking, emotions are the strongest driving force that is capable of blinding people from being reasonable and logical. Remember how willing you were to do anything for someone you love? When you are in love with someone, you become determined to do whatever it takes to be with her/him.

Scammers, realizing what love can trigger in the psyche of someone, exploit this emotion to further their goal of making money. Later on in this article, you will discover how scammers effectively and efficiently pillage people by taking advantage of their emotions and impulses. That is why it is important for you to read a guide avoiding scams of dating services.

Who are these scammers or frauds?

In this article, a guide avoiding scams of dating services, there is a discussion on how to avoid flaiing victim to these scammers. Scammers come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. In the case of Internet dating/marriage services, they could be the persons featured on the site or a different person in the guise of being someone else or they could be the webmasters (person/persons who operate the website) themselves. In other words, they can be anyone.

Below are the three most important things to remember in order to avoid being scammed while searching for a soul mate on the Internet. Once you follow these 3 rules, you are ensured of sufficient protection from frauds and scams.

3 Most Important Rules to Remember in Order to Avoid Scams and Frauds

1. Never get “Money” involved in any of your transactions.

Avoid dating websites that require advance fees, or donate money in order to obtain contact details of the person you are interested in. Never pay for registration to any dating websites as well. These payments are a waste of your money and time for there is no assurance whatsoever given in exchange for your payment.

The bottom line, whatever you do to search for a partner in life online, NEVER EVER PAY for any services. Not that there are no credible dating/marriage websites/agencies but this is the best way to avoid scams and frauds. Remember that the usual incentive or motive of these scammers is your MONEY! Without giving them incentives/motives, there is no reason for them to exist.

2. Never give information about yourself.

There have been several cases of people who were scammed simply because they have given full and accurate information about themselves, namely; full name, address, telephone number, bank account and details about families, friends, and relatives. This information is the most valuable tools that scammers use to effectively scam you. By not giving them the tools/information they need, you make them incapable of scamming people including yourself.

3. Remain skeptical.

Being skeptical, though may be perceived as offensive by other people, is another powerful armor against scams or frauds.What does it take to be skeptical? Be logical, be reasonable and use your common sense. The reason why our brains are located higher than our hearts is for us to put logic above our emotions.

For instance, you met a lady from a dating website for whom you found yourself madly in love with. Because of the distance between the two of you, she requested that you subsidize her travel expense so that you can finally see each other in person. What are you going to do? Are you going to jump immediately into giving her what she asked for? Be skeptical! 

Ads targeting Older men.

This may hurt the oldies but the truth is, most victims of dating/marriage scams on the Internet are older men.Most scammers target the old men because they are proven to be the most desperate group. These ads promote the idea that the women from a foreign country prefer older men because they are more faithful. Additionally, they promote mature men stating that these women prefer men who are established. All of which is a lie. They just want your money! You are therefore highly advised to avoid advertisement that specifies old men as what they’re looking for.

Agencies or Webmasters

Avoid agencies/matchmakers or websites that require any of the following;

a) Registration Fee

b) Membership Fee

c) Introduction Fee

d) Arrangement Fee

e) “Mandatory” Donation

Any form of payment required for any of their services should be studied and decided upon carefully.

I hope this article provided you with enough information to be able to detect and avoid scammers. You can also contact us directly if you think you have been a victim of fraud.