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Online Casino News - Online Casino Review: Pharaoh’s Casino

Costa Rica Under Fire for Online Financial Transactions

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

December 11, 2007

Online banking transactions in Costa Rica, which is home to many online casinos and internet betting sites, are "on the rocks" following a steady string of fraudulent transactions and a trail of stolen money. AM Costa Rica, which is a popular newspaper published in English, recently reported that the Costa Rican bank, Banco Nacional, is not doing what they say they are doing in order to prevent internet fraud and safeguard against online phishers and hacksters.

According to the report, Banco Nacional is now speaking out about the matter following a recommendation by senior government prosecutor, Francisco Dall'Anese, that all Costa Rican banks cease allowing bank accounts to be accessed through the internet. While in some cases the fraud is being undertaken via coercion, the vast majority has come in the form of account hacking, namely, stealing passwords.

According to investigations undertaken by Dall'Anese, over $8 million has been stolen over the internet and successfully wired to undisclosed locations in Ethiopia and Romania (including a recent bamboozlement of $215,000 from a Costa Rica expatriate). Sixteen people thought to be members in a large syndicate of internet criminals have already been arrested, while some 150+ investigations still remain open and unsolved.

As for Banco Nacional, they now claim they only allow a daily limit of $1,000 to be withdrawn or transferred via online bank accounts. They also have changed their online banking terms to require bank account holders to change their online password every thirty days, rather than every six months (In many other countries, including the U.S., password resetting is not a mandatory practice). AM Costa Rica, however, criticizes in their report that Banco Nacional only places these restrictions on accounts not on their "favorite's" list. Critics say this still places thousands of accounts in jeopardy for continued online fraud.

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