The imagination of scammers and thieves — as the old book says – “infinitum est”, that is, it has no limits.

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My sister, an attorney also, is selling her house. She has had it on the market with a reputable Costa Rica Realtor for quite some time now. She is not in a hurry to sell and so far, none of the offers received have come close to her asking price.

Last week, a real estate broker came to show the house to an attorney, claiming he represented a couple of Koreans, interested in buying a house “just like that” as soon as possible, because they were staying at a hotel in San José, and needed to move in.

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He made offers and counter offers, high enough to interest the seller in the deal.

One of the last points of the dealing was that his clients needed an updated appraisal of the house, because banking authorities required that document to allow his Korean clients to bring the purchase money into Costa Rica.

My sister happened to have a one year old appraisal, that was provided to the attorney for the buyers, but he then claim it was “too old”, because the bank needed one that was under one year, but no problem, he had a friend who works as an appraiser at a local bank, and he would do it right away for just $500, so his clients will pay half of it but the seller will have to put the other half.

Everybody agreed and this communicated to the attorney, he then called for a meeting at the lobby of the hotel where his clients were staying, to go receive payment in cash of the $250 for the appraisal, which of course was not given to him.

Later on, we discovered that the guy was not an attorney, there were of course no clients, and his only aim was to swindle $250.

So, you do have to be careful, this scam is very simple and I guess, it could be very effective, because most sellers do not have an appraisal, so the trick on such small amount of money could work for the scammers.

Always consult with your attorney before entering a real estate deal.

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