Credit Card CHARGEBACK SCAM
The scam below is not typically for Costa Rica. It's used all over the World.
|Submitting a chargeback to your bank is NOT a joke.... Read here|
Also in Costa Rica many hotels and car rentals work with prepayments and prepaid vouchers.
Sometimes reception staff will ask you to pay cash although you prepaid by credit card already. The staff tells you to ask your bank for a refund of your credit card payment (also known as chargeback).
This way the staff steals money from their employer.
By Costa Rica law both the staff member and tourist can be punished for participating in a scam.
In order to fire the corrupt staff member, the employer must file a police report which automatically means an investigation of the tourist' behaviour.
Stay away from this. It's not worth the money and hassle, even when the corrupt staff offers you some discount.
If you are asked to participate in this CHARGEBACK SCAM you should report it immediately by email to the sender of your email payment confirmation.
WHAT IF I PARTICIPATE(D) IN THIS?
Besides a possible police investigation and charges against you for scamming, three other things will or can happen to you:
1. The travel provider will ask you to pay again because they have proof you used their services and the corrupt staff member never gave you an official cash receipt.
2. If you have bad luck and the travel provider sends a copy of the police report to your bank, there is a big chance your bank cancels your credit card immediately.
Banks hate fraudulent use of credit cards especially by their own card holders.
3. The Costa Rica Travel Association has joined the international database of persons who participated in this scam. Once you are in this database many travel suppliers worldwide will refuse any credit card in your name.
Submitting a chargeback to your bank is NOT a joke.
It means that you accuse the merchant of FRAUD.
This is a very serious and heavy accusation which most merchants will not accept and which has to be dealt with thru a lawyer.
Every merchant will defend themselves against such accusation by all legal means.
If you are convinced your card was charged by a merchant incorrectly, you should first contact the merchant and ask for a refund.
Explain briefly why you should get a refund because the person who will refund you is often not the
person who charged your card
Often refunds are issued by a supervisor, manager or owner
Every merchant has the ability to refund a charge very easily
Refunds take 7 to 10 business days before appearing on your statement
If a request for refund is not honored, it's best to send another message that you will submit a chargeback. If the chargeback notice is not properly dealt with, you can go ahead and file a chargeback.
Make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence.