Don’t be a flat tire scam victim!
Flat Tire Scam — and how you can avoid it!
Costa Ricans are known for being welcoming and friendly, but there are bad apples here like everywhere. One scam involving tourists with rental vehicles is known as the flat tire scam, and is less common than it used to be as there is far more awareness of how to avoid it.
The scam is simple and effective. The rental vehicle has a tire deliberately punctured when the vehicle is stopped somewhere public. The renter then pulls over to change the flat when help is offered by a so-called good Samaritan. Unfortunately, this apparent helpful citizen and his accomplices are looking to rob the vehicle’s occupants of their luggage and valuables. This maybe subtle and involve theft while the passengers are distracted, but the thieves could resort to threats if this is not possible.
How to avoid becoming a victim:
• Try not to drive after dark.
• Park the vehicle in secure, well-lit lots.
• If you do get a flat, change it in a populated and well-lit area, like a gas station.
• Stay alert if strangers offer to help.
Should you find yourself in this situation:
• Do not resist. Hand over your possessions. Nothing is worth more than your safety.
• Call 911 for police assistance and your car rental agency for their support.
• Move the vehicle and passengers to a safe, well-lit place.
• Make the police report. This can be used for travel insurance processes.
Our post is not to worry you, but to inform you how to stop this unlikely event happening to you.