Photo published by Liliam Osorio on the Tibas municipality Facebook page
Photo published by Liliam Osorio on the Tibas municipality Facebook page.

QCOSTARICA – Through the social networks, a group of residents in Tibas and Moravia, on the north side of San José are a warning of a scam that cost lots of money.

It is not unusual in Costa Rica to see a small truck or van driving by, with a group of vendors alongside shouting out some type of deal, like house plants.

In this latest case, several of the affected say they took the bite at the offer of plants for only ¢2.000 colones.

A bargain. However, “the deal” ended up costing more that 20 or 200 times more.

Priscilla Artavia  is one of the victims send out the warning. On her Facebook page, Artavia tells her story of how, biting at the ¢2.000 deal, she had four men, with garden tools, enter house, take to the task of planting her garden and then demanding payment for their (unsolicited) work.

According to Artavia, it was a Saturday when a man identifying himself as “Luis” was outside her house offering plants at the low price. After opening the door, Luis and three others entered and with picks, shovels and cleaning utensils, immediately took to work on her garden all the while she kept telling them she had no money for the work she had not asked for.

At the end Luis demanded ¢40.000 colones for the fumigation and ¢180.000 for the plants and offered to take Artavia to the ATM for the money.

Luis Andres Cisneros, in Heredia, said he lived through a similar experience, forced to pay ¢450.000 colones for work on his 2 square meter garden.

Francisco Cordero, deputy director Fuerza Pública (police) in San Jose, told that so far there are no reported complaints by the affected.


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.