June 16, 2016

      If a vacation home rental is desired in Costa Rica, do NOT use the services of PALM REAL ESTATE in Las Palmas, Playas del Coco.  Although they have an attractive website with old "testimonials", this agency is not to be trusted.  After using the services of an agent named Amer, a rental home was selected from their website and an email was received from the agent requiring that the money be WIRED IMMEDIATELY to a bank account here in the USA in order to ensure that the house would not be rented to someone else, despite the fact that there was no lease agreement.  It turns out that the account did not belong to this agency and that the agent actually lives in Canada, although the owner of the agency in Costa Rica, Marie Brenes,  confirmed that he was an employee of Palm Real Estate.  After the money was wired, this agent denied the receipt of the funds and said that his phone and the phones and computers at the Palm Real Estate were all hacked at the same time and that someone apparently had committed fraud.  The agent said that the agency never accepts  rental money until a lease agreement is signed and that the home is in disrepair and will be rented at a much higher amount when the repairs are completed. This particular home is still on the agency's website at the original listed price. Marie Brenes has refused to help  and will not return the funds.   These facts strongly suggest that Palm Real Estate and/or its agent Amer, committed the fraud or were willing accomplices.  IT IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT NO ONE DO BUSINESS WITH THIS AGENCY.  Their web address is  www.palmrealestatecr.com.   Interestingly, this "agency" has just moved to another location, supposedly in Costa Rica.  

                                                                                                           Steve and Barbara Semiatin

                                                                                                           Fairfield,  PA