A group made up of three people took advantage of the Facebook to cheat at least eight individuals for ¢18 million colones. That is the word from the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) on Wednesday, after two raids that netted the capture of two women and a man.

 

Photo from OIJ

Michael Soto, interim deputy director of the Judicial Police, explained that through the Facebook page ‘Money Book’, a 24-year-old man identified by his last name Quesada Lopez, offered to pay a high interest on investments.

 

“In one of the cases a person, by way of the page, invested ¢ 8 million with the promise that in three months will have ¢3 million more, but according to the analysis of the national banking market such an interest as is unreal, unlikely and very high risk,” said Soto.

Photo from OIJ

For their part, the women, both 44 years of age and identified by their last name Lopez Ferro (mother of Quesada Lopez) and Guerrero Contreras, where in charge of receiving the money and depositing it in their bank accounts.

Soto explained that, although the victims came mainly through Facebook, other victims where contacted through messages, calls and to a lesser extent, in person.

The official added that at the moment there are only eight victims, but the number could grow as more victims come forward and although the group was small, they did generate a significant loss to their victims, much in the same way as the large ‘Ponzi‘ scams in other Latin American countries.

Photo from OIJ

The “Money Book” page was created some six months ago and now Costa Rican authorities will be filing a formal complaint to Facebook to eliminate it.

Ponzi schemes rely on a constant flow of new investments to continue to provide returns to older investors. When this flow runs out, the scheme falls apart.