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Travel Tips from a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Travel Tips from a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Frog Costa RicaAs the most trusted and reliable Costa Rica Private Investigator, The following travel tips from a Costa Rica Private Investigator will save you time and money.   During your visit to this country. By knowing these you may avoid problems. Before traveling outside your native country to another country you should prepare yourself.  Costa Rica is no different. Learning about Costa Rica before you go can prevent common problems or confusion.  Cultures vary throughout the world and sometimes a simple misunderstanding can become a big deal.  Learning about the basic life, culture and laws of a country you are traveling to can help you to be prepared and have an enjoyable vacation. The basic things you need to know include how to get around, business hours and various other points.

Once you get to Costa Rica you need to know how to get around from place to place, especially if Juan Santamaria IA photo insideyou are not within walking distance of your destination.  Buses are the main form of transportation. It is the most cost efficient and easiest way to get around.  Do be aware that the buses in Costa Rica are small and sometimes cramped.  You will not be able to take along luggage and if you need a lot of legroom you will be in trouble.  Another form of transportation is a rental car.  They are quite more expensive and you need to have insurance that will cover the rental car in case of an accident.  Also know that most rental cars are standards, so if you do not know how to drive one you may be out of luck.  Business hours in Costa Rica are much like that in the United States.  Typically, they run from 8 or 9 AM to 3 or 5 PM.  Everyday a lunch break takes place between noon and 2PM.  Also on Sundays, most places will be closed.

Costa Rica runs on Central Standard time, which means some of those traveling from the US may get to avoid jet lag all together.  The healthcare system in Costa Rica is very advanced.  They have an excellent system that offers up-to-date medical care in modern hospitals.  You can most often find doctors that speak English as well.  These basic facts will help you to get used to life in Costa Rica, but there are some more things you should get to know.

In Costa Rica there are some legal things you need to know.  If you are renting a car, be aware that Costa Rica is a good place to have an accident.  Drivers here rank low for auto accident rates. The speed limits are posted either on signs or painted on the pavement and you should always be aware of them. The speed limits range from 45 to 55 MPH in general.   Costa Rica laws require that all luggage is screened through customs and declarations must be filled out for certain items like food and anything valuable.  Alcohol is legal for those over the age of eighteen.  Also be aware that prostitution is legal in Costa Rica for those over eighteen. When you are ready to leave Costa Rica you should know you will be required to pay an exit fee approx. 27.00.  These helpful hints about legal do’s and don’ts will help you avoid problems while in Costa Rica.

All Costa Rica Hotels Are Not The Same

Hotels mapIt is always nice to know about little things that are often overlooked on travel websites or in brochures.  The water heaters in hotels in Costa Rica are not like those in the United States.  You will find they are mostly plastic tubes with an electrical gadget in the nozzle.  This means hot water may not always be hot.  The busiest time in Costa Rica is during what is called the high season.  The high season is between December and May.  You may find that getting reservations can be difficult during this time. Any Costa Rica Private Investigator that recommends a specific hotel is probably getting a kick back. Also, some of the hotels I have seen recommended by less than professional private investigators leave a lot to be desired. Generally the hotels here are clean, but many of the amenities you may be accustomed to may not be available. It has been my experience that id you stay at a branded hotel you more than likely will be satisfied. You usually do not have to tip while out in Costa Rica.  A 10% tip is added to your bill. Another good thing to know is that the sewer systems can handle toilet paper unlike those in other countries. The water system in Costa Rica is treated and safe to drink. The electricity in Costa Rica is the same as in the United States.  They do not use the grounding prong in some locations, so be aware of the need for adapters for this reason.  Dancing is big in Costa Rica and you can find dance clubs all over.  Laundry mats are not common in Costa Rica.  Most people send their laundry out to be washed. Some vacation rentals offer a washer/dryer as an amenity.  These helpful little hints can help you get through your vacation without a mishap. Costa Rica is a lovely, peaceful country.  There is a lot to see and do.  Once you have decided on Costa Rica get to know a little more about the country so you can enjoy everything it has to offer. For more information, visit or call Cody Gear.com We are the most reliable, trustworthy and affordable private investigators in Costa Rica. Call us today 321-218-9209

Real Estate Fraud Plagues Costa Rica

Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud

Fraud Real EstateReal Estate fraud plagues Costa Rica with the announcement that police arrested four persons in connection with a $50 million dollar Real Estate fraud. According to numerous news sources the four arrested are lawyers and notaries. In Costa Rica all notaries have to be licensed attorneys. The paperwork that routinely passes through National Registry must be notarized. Since most land purchases are purchased in a Costa Rica Corporation. Generally, attorneys are given power of attorneys over the transactions. In contrast to the United States, a notary cannot notarize a negotiable instrument or conveyance to which he is a party. Here that is not the case. With that kind of power, it is easy and tempting to do something less than honest or correct. In this particular case according to the news source, the victim is an elderly German woman who appears to have lost ownership of her properties in southern Costa Rica due to inappropriate paperwork. Although the accused have yet to be identified the police are saying that have arrested a 61-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man in Alajuelita.

Also arrested were a 37-year-old woman in Cartago and a 60-year-old man in Coronado. According to police documents the crimes allegedly happened between 2010 and 2012.

Real Estate Fraud 2The two persons arrested in Alajuelita are also notaries but are not active now. The pair is charged with improperly administering the woman’s property in Punta Uva and Bahía Ballena, which is located in the southwestern area of the country. According to police documents, both had access to $5 million in cash.
The suspects that were arrested lived in Cartago and Coronado and are active notaries. Police said that they assisted in the creation of 19 corporations that play a role in the fraud. Police alleged that the suspects tricked the elderly woman into signing papers so that she lost the properties.
Agents also reported that when they searched the offices of the suspects they found two unregistered pistols.

Costa Rica Fraud Alert: Private Property Registry in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fraud Alert:

Private Property Registry in Costa Rica (PPR)

Real Estate FraudWe here at Cody L. Gear and Associates, have learned of a service provided to owners of private property in Costa Rica. The name of this service is Private Property Registry (PPR) and currently protects over 15,000 properties in Costa Rica.

 

 

How PPR Works

According to information we obtained from Fijatevos.com each night the PPR robot connects to the National Registry’s data feed and downloads the day’s transactions. Once the data is generated, the company’s software takes over, and the data is analyzed and compared to the previous day’s snapshot. By 1:30 am a report is generated detailing any change whatsoever to any property related to one the company’s clients. At 5:30 am this report is reviewed by the company’s legal department. Each change is analyzed to determine whether it is innocuous or whether it represents a possible threat to the client. On average, about 90 changes are detected and 1 is deemed a threat to be taken seriously.

At this point, the PPR legal team notifies the client by email, telephone or fax. The client can specify the preferred method of contact, or also additional contacts – such as the client’s personal lawyer. At this point the client will confirm that it is a legitimate change, for example they have taken out a loan or sold the property. If the change is not authorized, the client or PPR can take action immediately.

Registry Procedures Explained

How You and PPR Can Use Them to Protect Your Property from Changes

The National Registry is required by law to follow certain procedures when updating their records. The first step is that a lawyer, or their assistant, will present documents requesting the change to the registry. Upon this presentation a notation is made on the property records regarding the proposed change.

The following step in the process is for a registry bureaucrat to review the documents presented to determine if they are valid and if there are any errors in the descriptions or clauses. If they are deemed valid and correct, then the change is approved and entered into the registry. A key factor here is that by law a change may not be submitted and approved the same day. While normally there is a 7 to 10 day delay in this process, when schemers and shysters have obtained cooperation from an unscrupulous registry employee, then the changes are pushed through rapidly.

The PPR system takes advantage of this mandated time delay. The automated software reports annotations overnight. This means that if a change is recorded or noted, the property owner or PPR may submit a document opposing the change the same business day, which will effectively freeze the process and obligate the registry to determine the validity of the documents that were submitted requesting the change.

PPR Services and Pricing

The PPR offers 2 types of service. The first level is called Monitor and Notify, which costs $143 per year. You, and anyone you specify, will be notified in the event of any change to your property. The notification is sent by email, fax and telephone as soon as the PPR legal department determines that there is a problem. If you have more than one property in Costa Rica, you can get a package that will monitor up to 8 properties for $384 per year.

The higher level service is called Maximum Security, and includes the first level plus an automatic procedure for stopping the transaction in the registry. It costs $250 annually. When you activate this service, you sign a power of attorney that allows the PPR legal department to file a prepared statement in the registry on your behalf. The statement opposes any change to your property information in the registry, which effectively stops the transaction. Once this document is filed, the registry is required to investigate both claims and provide additional documentation for proceeding with the change. In the case of fraudulent claim, this alone will stop the perpetrators cold.

For more information concerning and other services available to protect your investments in Costa Rica,call Cody L Gear and Associates at 321-218-9209

Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud

As in The U.S.- Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud Increasing

Real Estate FraudSimilar to real estate frauds in the United States, the police busted a real estate closing Monday and arrested five men suspected of a Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud. The arrests took place at a the closing agents office in Guadalupe.

According to news sources agents described an elaborate scheme in which a lot was secretly removed from a larger piece of property and the corresponding plats and other supporting documents forged. According to the Judicial Investigating Organization (OIJ) the lot was listed for sale and that at the closing detectives seized two checks of $25,000 each.

According to news sources, the unusual thing was the agents were able to move in at the closing. OIJ spokesperson said they received an anonymous tip last week and were able to contact the real owner of the property who said that his land was not for sale.

Of those arrested one is 82, and the other suspects 35 to 52, according to OIJ. OIJ did not reveal the manes of the suspects. The property in question is in Tres Ríos in the Cartago area.

ACFE Logo 2OIJ acted quickly after obtaining the tip and were successful in thwarting the fraud. Being a Certified Fraud Examiner, I know that most of these types of real estate fraud are not detected until sometime after the closing. By being proactive the OIJ and its agents should be applauded for detecting and preventing this fraud. As in the United States, typically real estate fraud cases have low priority and insufficient resources to detect, apprehend and prosecute such cases. If you are considering buying real estate in Costa Rica, call us! We know the ends and outs of Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud.