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Tire Scam — Old Technique Reappears


Good Samaritans Aren’t All That They Appear To Be

An old crime that’s rearing its head again is the tire scam.  It starts when a rental car is parking at a scenic sight, park, beach, or even at a street-side cafe.  The criminals puncture a tire, so that it leaks slowly.  The renters return and drive away on what they believe is four good tires.

Eventually, one or more of the tires goes flat.  The unknowing renters pull over to either fix it themselves or to call someone.  Suddenly a couple of good Samaritans show up, eager to assist.  Unfortunately it is difficult to keep an eye on them as they move about the car.  In the end, the tire is fixed, yet some of the renters’ valuables are missing…

To avoid falling victim to this scam, please follow the following points below:

  • Always park in a secure lot where the chance of anyone tampering with your tires (or vehicle) is minimal.
  • Avoid night driving.
  • If your tire is punctured, drive slowly, but keep moving.  Head towards to a well-lit and inhabited area (a gas station if possible) to change it.
  • Be wary of strangers offering to help you.

Costa Ricans are generally friendly and many would stop to help a tourist with vehicle difficulties, but do be cautious.

If this trick is pulled on you, call Vamos Rent-A-Car and a representative will explain the necessary paperwork for the police report and will forward this information to the appropriate authorities who are keen to investigate all cases.

Sara Ford

Paradise living still has the normal car maintenance issues; tires being the main one, but Sara perseveres despite Life's potholes.

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Updated:  March 11, 2015