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Possible Scams

Possible Timeshare Scams

FTC Diagram of an Advance Fee Fraud Scheme
FTC Diagram of an Advance Fee Fraud Scheme

Scams - The unfortunate soft underbelly of the Timeshare Industry.

The most frequent scam is called the Advance Fee Fraud. In this case, the timeshare owner/seller is cold called by an individual who claims to be a legitimate broker/agent for a legitmate broker/dealer/event planner/timeshare specialist. Often times the caller has stolen the identity of legitimate brokers/agents and companies to put the person being cold called at ease.
Want to report a fraud to the FBI?


You must listen to this recording - a California licensed real estate agent talking to a person who has stolen his identity to collect a commission on money received from unsuspecting sellers. Brett Jennings is the real name of the California agent.
Read the full account of this scam here.
The Fake Brett Jennings says he will release the real Brett Jennings name and company within a month of the call. Then he will be gone! Never to be heard from again by the real Brett Jennings.

Yes, it is highly important that we find and prosecute these individuals. But....their's is a perfect business plan. Why? Because WE ALL WRITE CHECKS!

Follow these simple steps to determine if the caller is legitiate or not:
  • Copy and paste the domain name into a “who-is” site to determine the ownership profile of the domain. When it was created, when changes were made and when it expires. The sites with one year durations are likely scams.
  • Copy and paste the address into Google Earth or some other mapping service with Satellite imaging. Look at the location of the address to determine if it refers to an office building or some other structure. Sometimes the address is a vacant lot.
  • Copy and paste the address into the search box of your browser. Identify companies located at the given address. It is best if you can find the management company or leasing agent. Call them and ask if the company in question pays rent to the management company. If you can’t find a management company or leasing agent, call one of the companies listed at the given address. Generally speaking, addresses in office buildings without specific reference to a suite number is a fake address. The US Postal Service or any other mail delivery service would not be able to deliver a parcel to an address that does not have a suite number.
  • Log into the state’s Secretary of State Business Search site. Search for the company name. If it does not appear, then the company is suspect.
  • Log into the state’s real estate division and search for the agent’s name or the name of the company. If the company does not appear, it is suspect. Sometimes you can find a name that has been hijacked by checking addresses listed. The scammer's address may not appear in the official records.
  • Search for a website called Yougetsignal.com. This site allows you to reverse look up email addresses, telephone numbers and other stuff. The keys are to determine if the telephone numbers are located at the address given in the website. The email search is likely to come up blank.
Receive a call from someone who wants you to participate in tracking down dishonest timeshare developers? Tap here to see a list of offices in Mexico's Department of Tourism. Do not give your personal information to anyone!
So let's all do our part to help stamp out the scams: Only You Can Write the Check....Don't Write the Check!
Remember, these people do not feel they are doing anything wrong.
  • Do not send money or pay for ANYTHING.
  • Do not send any documents by FAX.
  • Do send by certified return receipt requested to the caller's listed address a test document. If the test parcel arrives and the recipient reads to you the information you requested in the certified letter, then at least you know the address is not fake.
  • Perform your due diligence carefully.
  • If it seems too good to be true, then stay away!
  • If it is legitimate, then all costs of the sale are paid from verified proceeds in a verified escrow account that you open and control.
  • ONLY YOU CAN WRITE THAT CHECK! IF NO ONE SENDS SCAMMERS ANY MONEY, THEY WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS!!
If you are contacted by a company that does not pass your "too good to be true" test, please let us know so we can share your information with others.


Date
Company

2018-07-26 Another Inquiry by Fake Mexico Tourism Department Employee

This is the second time in 2018 that information was solicited by a person claiming to be an employee of the Mexican Government's Department of Tourism. The sending domain is CPTMgob.com.mx and not owned by the Mexican Government. Also, the request is for money to participate in legal action against scammers. Finally, the false claim is the Mexican Government is interested in buying timeshare interests.

Definitely do not respond with any information or send any money!



2018-06-19 The Oregon FBI Posts Warning About Timeshare Frauds

KTVZ.COM news sources in Portland, Oregon reported an FBI post that warns timeshare owners about frauds and what they can do to check whether callers are legitimate. It also posted the link to a FBI complaints line. This is important and procedures should be followed as part of your due diligence. Help stamp out frauds - do due diligence and don't send money...!



2018-04-30 Asset Real Estate Investments - AREI

This entity claims to be headquartered in Clayton, MO. However, the address given does not provide a suite number or post office box number. Also, there is a company registered with the Missouri Secretary of State's office, but the name is not an exact match. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the two are related. Finally, the website claims the business has been actives since 1995, but the domain for the website was created on January 6, 2018 and expires on January 6, 2019.

We would stay away from this opportunity!



2018-04-24 Another Fake Vidanta Offer

An email letter is circulating that offers to rent bonus weeks that are presumably expiring. The deal is pay the $850 usage fee in advance and get $2,200 guaranteed rent. All for using the bonus weeks that the email recipient is not using. Oh, BTW, they will not send documents. Only oral representations over the telephone. Definitely a scam. Stay away from this one if you get such an offer. Remember....only YOU can help stamp out the scammers.....Don't Send Money!



2018-02-17 Lic. Ernesto Alfonso Acosta - Fake Mexican Government Inquiry

A new theme of the Fake Mexican Government inquiry to abusive timeshare sales tactics is circulating the Internet. An Aimfair member brought to our attention a request for information about the member's timeshare and whether the member is involved in a legal action against the timeshare company.

It's a phishing exercise. The request comes from a non-Mexican owned domain. The domain expires within a year of its creation. Check the differences between the domain names....very subtle. Bottom line....don't submit the form. It would allow scammers access to your confidential information. Remember - only you can help stamp out scams - don't send information or money....!



2018-02-15 Sugar Creek Investments - Beware

A new Aimfair member brought this alleged company to our attention. Lot's of red flags. There is no company called Sugar Creek Investments paying rent at the address given on the SugarcreekInvestments website. The fax line is located a county away from the given address. There is another company called Sugar Creek Investment Management LLC that is very legitimate. Bottom line....Beware....!



2017-08-29 Mexican Timeshare Resale Warning

The Times Standard in Eureka, California posted an article from a contributing author. His is an attorney located in Bakersfield, California, and his piece is about the false claims made by and even misrepresented identities of timeshare resellers. The most important thought to remember from this article is "DON'T SEND MONEY" unless you know the people you are dealing with.



2017-08-29 Ocean Side Travel Services - Beware!

This group is especially sloppy about its identity. The website refers to three different domains, the fax number is 35 miles from the address given on the website and the address does not include a suite number. All very questionable.....all very suspicious! Be very careful if you get a call from this group! Remember....only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!



2017-07-25 Mesa Advisory Group, LLC - Likely a Hijacked Victim

The domain called mesaadvisorygourp.com was formed on July 11, 2017 and it expires on July 11, 2018. This is not a sign of longevity or security. It is not likely a company with the history and objectives that are stated on the website would risk losing its valuable domain a year after it was formed.

Also, there are issues with the address that do not match up.

No, it is highly likely scammers have hijacked the name and identity for one year so they can try to make money from trusting people like you and me.

Don't fall for it.


Help stamp out scammers....don't write that check!!




2017-07-18 Apple Computers is being Spoofed by Alpple.com

An email that appears to come from Apple Computers states the recipient needs to send confidential information to Apple Computers to maintain status. Don't fall for it. The email is actually from a domain called ALPPLE.COM. Forget it!! Clearly a scam!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY...OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION!


2017-07-13 Foreign Service Escrow Service (F.E.S.D.) - Beware!

Caller claims Vida Vacations has lost its two year right of first refusal. Does not indicate what the option is for or provide other details. Claims to be a licensed real estate broker in Chicago, IL, but there is no record of the caller's name. Clearly a scam!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-06-27 Colorado Division of Real Estate Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

My Prime Time News is a publication devoted to keeping seniors in Colorado informed. The article that appeared in the Sunday, June 25, 2017 edition provides tips for avoiding being scammed offered by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. It is a good article and the tips are relevant. Remember, only WE can stamp out scams.....Don't Send Personal Information Or Money....!

Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-02-26 Another Fake Groupo Vidanta Offer

Grupo Vidanta has been purported to be the offerer of rental programs using bonus weeks. The caller is not from Grupo Vidanta. The domain will probably expire in March, 2017, and we will likely not hear from this group again. Remember, only WE can stamp out scams.....Don't Send Personal Information Or Money....!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-02-23 Fake CINIF Solicitation

What is CINIF? The issuer of Financial Standards to be followed by publicly traded and other companies in order to present financial results on a compatible basis. CINIF does not solicit timeshare owners to submit information about their personal and confidential interests. Do not send information to callers claiming to be working on your behalf. SCAM!!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-02-19 Fake PROFECO Investigation Into Grupo Vidanta

Don't fall for this apparent scam. The caller describes an investigation into the tactics of Grupo Vidanta and asks you to participate. It is a SCAM! Don't fall for the scheme! Remember, only YOU can help stamp out scams....Don't Send Money!!!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-01-31 NC Investment Properties

One of three similar names listed with the North Carolina Secretary of State, two of which are dissolved, and one of which is headquartered in Florida. The address listed on the website is of an office tower; there is no suite number - therefore you cannot mail anything to this Fake Company. Landline is located 40 miles away from the "corporate address". Bottom line - Stay Away!


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!


2017-01-10 Another Fake Grupo Vidanta Offer

An Aimfair member sent a letter he recently received that purported to be from Grupo Vidanta. Well, he saw right through the unsolicited offer and new it was a scam. He wanted to share his letter as a warning to other Aimfair members and new members to Grupo Vidanta.


Remember - Only YOU can help stamp out scams - DON'T SEND MONEY!



2016-11-14 Vidanta Bonus Week Program - Again! FAKE
Don't be the first on your block to fall for this fake offer! Don't even respond! Compare letters sent in June 2015 with the current letter, sent November 14, 2016.


Remember....only YOU can help stamp out scammers....DON'T SEND MONEY!!


2016-11-01 Vidanta Bonus Week Program - FAKE
Don't be the first on your block to fall for this fake offer! Don't even respond!


Remember....only YOU can help stamp out scammers....DON'T SEND MONEY!!


2016-05-12 Broker Investments, Inc. - Minneapolis, MN

Company does not pay rent to the property manager for the address listed in their websites.


If you can't find the companies before you do business with them, then why do business with them?

Help stamp out scams.....don't write that check!



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