Monday 20 September 2021

U.S. Citizens Beware: Reports of Calls Soliciting Personal Information

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UPDATED (8:53am) The following is from a post on Facebook, from the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, American Citizen Services saying it has received reports from U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica reporting receiving telephone calls from individuals purporting to work for the U.S Embassy in San Jose.

The callers state the Embassy is updating profiles of U.S. citizens for Costa Rica’s Ministry of Hacienda (Ministry of Finance) in relation to Costa Rica’s recent tax law (tax reform) changes.

The callers request personal information such as passport and social security numbers.

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The callers have also been directed to a website that solicits bank account login and password information.

The notice has not been added to the Embassy website and an email from the Q has yet to be answered.

Note, the United States Embassy (or embassies of most other countries) staff will not initiate calls to its citizens offering assistance with host government legislation and regulations.

Though we have not been able to verify that U.S. Citizens are being targeted, we do caution to take extreme care – do not provide any information of any kind – if you receive such a call.

This applies to all foreigners living and/or visiting Costa Rica.

From the US Embassy San Jose, they replied to our email, saying they sent the message directly to U.S. citizens registered with the Embassy and are now we are posting it on their website.

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The US Embassy San Jose recommends the actions to take:

  • Do not provide personally sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank account information to callers purporting to work for the U.S. Embassy.
  • If you receive a call, file a complaint report at your local OIJ office.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy at 2519-2059 and ask to speak to a Citizen Services Specialist if you have additional questions or concerns.
  • Review information regarding financial scams targeting American citizens at home and abroad at Travel.State.Gov.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/international-financial-scams.html

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