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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

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!



2016-04-15 American Trust Services LLC and Escrow Advantage Title Corporation - St. Louis Park, MN

Both listed the same address in their websites. Both have the same telephone number. Both do 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!



2016-04-01 General Property Management Inc. - Greenwood Village, Colorado

Jordan Banks (720-766-8312) claims to be filing a lawsuit against Grupo Vidanta for their alleged improper sales tactics. Fernando Gallegos de Castro is referred to as a Mexican Federal Agent, who is a member of a governmental agency that is taking legal action to return money to Vidanta timeshare owners. Join the action and pay money to do so. Hmmmm, I don't think so! Tap here to read more....


BTW, ICON Brokerage Group also lists its address in Greenwood Village, Colorado....and....ICON is also a dissolved name....and....the ICON address is in an Executive Suite....and....the Executive Suite management knows nothing about the "company". Funny coincidence!

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


2016-03-04 McNally Investment Professionals - Houston, Texas

Claims to have been in business since 2002. Domain for its website was registered on November 2, 2015 and expires on November 2, 2016. Does not seem to be looking too far into the future. Also, the building manager for the office space listed on the McNally website said no one by the name of McNally Professional Investments pays rent in the building. Bottom line....be very careful! Tap here to read more....


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


2016-03-02 ICON Brokerage Group - Greenwood, Colorado

Cyndee and Bob brought this to our attention: There was a legitimate company with the name of ICON Brokerage Group. It was formed in 2000 and was dissolved in 2007. Then, in November, 2015 a document that supposedly reinstated the company to good standing was filed with the State of Colorado. Interestingly, the address is fake and not confirmed by the landlord. If you can't find the person you are doing business with, then why try?


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


2016-02-28 Fake Mexican Official - Again - Surfaced by Peter

A person representing himself as employed by an arm of the Mexican Federal Government called Peter. Suspicion and caution motivated Peter to contact the Canadian Mexican Consulate. The response to Peter's inquiry was the email address in forms provided by the caller were not official email addresses and the offer was a scam.

This is the second instance of the Fake Restitution Scam in one year. Tap to read Peter's post....


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


2016-02-02 206 Atlanta Brokers - Called Today - Left No Message

This time of year is when the scammers come out for their new season. We have all visited our property of choice and may have second thoughts about the purchase we made - recently, last year, several years ago...whenever - and we want our money back. Well, it is not that simple to sell timeshare interests, and the scammers want you to think it is. Bottom line....don't fall for their line! Walk away or hang up. Nothing good will come from the call!!


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


2016-01-27 Global Liquidity Services - A Name To Be Aware Of

An Aimfair member was called by a person that gave the telephone number for a company that does not lease space at the address given in the website. A quick call determined other people were curious about this name. It is clearly a name to avoid.


Help Stamp Out Scams....Don't Write That Check...


2015-10-03 MC Vacational Development - Domain Registered on September 13, 2015

A cold call came in yesterday morning. The offer came by email yesterday afternoon. The prospective buyer needs tax shelter and wants to buy our timeshare. Caller claims to be a licensed real estate agent in Oklahoma, but is not. Caller claims named entity is a licensed real estate broker, but is not. Bottom line - Be Careful!


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


2015-10-01 Premier Business Brokers - In The News Again

Javier registered a complaint with the FTC concerning Premier Business Brokers and Executive Title LLC and invites others to join his complaint. The FTC reference number is 63681154.


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


2015-09-25 Global Property Vacation Enterprise and Related Companies - All are suspect...be very careful.....


2015-09-24 Are Timeshare Scams Called "Advance Fee Frauds"? We think so, what do you think?


2015-08-28 Brokerage Consolidation Group, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

An Aimfair member raised the question in the Owners Forum if anyone had heard of "this outfit". Then, not more than a few hours after reading the member's inquiry, who should call, but none other than Jason Cabrerro asking if we would like to discuss selling our membership. Off we went to find out what we could. Tap here to read more...


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


2015-08-26 MHP Brokerage Group - Kansas City, MO

A "representative" called today. We did not take the call. He left a message. We looked up the company by Googling the telephone number. Up popped the name and website. Bottom line: No accurate address and no state registration. No Thank You!


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


2015-08-26 Carriage House Travel - Claims Another Victim

Carriage House Travel had disappeared for a while. When it came back, the sales personnel were slicker than ever. So much so, that a very intelligent and cautious person became another victim.


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



2015-08-05 A New Impersonation Of Grupo Vidanta - Offer to Rent

This is another attempt to associate the scammer with a legitimate company - Grupo Vidanta. Certainly the offer would make anyone pause because it looks so authentic. But...the phone number is associated with a deal that is nowhere near the timeshare industry. Do your due diligence....and....


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


2015-06-03 Grupo Vidanta Offer - Fake!

This is a new twist. Allegedly, Grupo Vidanta offers to guarantee rentals on weeks it buys from owners. Definitely a scam. Thanks to an Aimfair member for bringing this to our attention.


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


2015-05-15 Fake Mexican Government Official - Restitution Fund Participant

The cold caller says he is a Mexican Government official who's job is to reach out to timeshare owners and offer them the opportunity be reimbursed for timeshares they bought in Mexico - or something like that. To do so, the timeshare owner needs to send personal information to the caller and ultimately send money. TripAdvisor viewers chime in too.!!


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


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