This year, 619 complaints of bank account theft have already been received, of these 10 were on pension withdrawal scams, in which
more than $1 million have been stolen.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -
Banking scams on the rise, authorities warn
Published Wednesday, March 24, 2021
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Increasing fraudulent pension fund withdrawals are sparking a rise in complaints, warn authorities of the Superintendency of Pensions and the Judicial Investigation Agency.
In Costa Rica, workers must save a percentage of their salary in the pension plan, known as Capital Labor Fund, FCL in the Spanish language.
These savings become available for withdrawal by the worker in April, which is why scammers have created many ways to trick people and steal their money.
According to the judicial agent's statistics, in 2020, they received 2,739 complaints for robbery caused by a scammer, of which 1,898 used the so-called pension scam to take victims' savings funds.
This year, 619 complaints of bank account theft have already been received, of these 10 were on pension withdrawal scams, in which more than $1 million have been stolen.
Scammers have even gone as far as duplicating the official Superintendency site to rob money from bank accounts.
The official URL of the Superintendency site is www.supen.fi.cr. But through a Website Spoofing technique, scammers create a fake duplicate website, as a hoax, to mislead people.
The spoof website will adopt the design of the target website, and it sometimes has a similar URL. A more sophisticated attack results in an attacker creating a "shadow copy" of the World Wide Web by having all of the victim's traffic go through the attacker's machine, causing the attacker to obtain the victim's bank account sensitive information.
The scammers contact their potential victims and either by calls, emails or texts convince the person to enter that fake web page, and just like that, scammers collect banking info from the victim.
"Citizens are warned that neither the Superintendency nor any pension operating company calls to request personal information (or bank accounts) including passwords, codes, emails, or any other that could violate the security of their bank accounts, as well as asking for entering supposed official links of the organizations," Rocío Aguilar, President of the Superintendency said.
People who wish to withdraw their pension savings should call the official telephone numbers of the pension operating company or visit the company facilities.
There is no representative of any company in charge of managing pension savings or bank accounts authorized to make calls or send messages to the clients.
If the person receives a call, email or text message in regards to their FCL account, it probably originated from a scammer.
It is recommended never to answer suspicious calls, not to open emails apparently sent by pension companies or banks, as well as to never enter links to supposed banks or financial companies.
What advice would you give to avoid scammers? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org