After being cold called from so many different firms over the years.. countless times trying to sucker me in for numerous different reasons, I have decided to do the public a service and make my own blog. I will dissect all these companies 1 by 1 in the event to eventually let the world know who are scammers and who are legitimate companies actually here to help us…

Posts tagged ‘Reclaim’

Timeshare Pitfalls Continue to Trap Consumers

Reports that new tactics are catching new victims!

AUSTIN, Texas – Mar. 7, 2012 – It is a common scenario. Someone receives a mailer or email offering a free trip or other fantastic prize and all he or she has to do is sit through a half-day seminar. Once the victim is there, the company turns on the high-pressure tactics in an attempt to sell a timeshare.

Often, the offer is legitimate, if unwanted. Other times, the offer is a scam meant to bilk honest people of thousands of dollars. Such scams have prevailed for decades, and most savvy consumers are wise to them.

So, the con artists have changed their game, prompting new warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and enforcement efforts from the Federal Trade Commission.

Better Business Bureau received more than 2,600 complaints nationally about timeshare resell companies last year, and almost 200 more in January 2012. Some complain about available dates or other management issues, but many allege that companies collected money for fees or other charges and then disappeared.

Corpus Christi resident Thurman Huddleston complained to BBB after wiring more than $10,000 to a Dallas company promising to sell him a timeshare in Mexico.

“The people were good,” he said. “I really beat myself up, because I should have known better. It just sounded like a viable thing.”

Huddleston said when he first got the call, he researched the company online and did not find any red flags. When the company asked him for a payment to cover the closing costs, he did not hesitate. He wired the money, leaving no trace for law enforcement to follow later.

Then they came back and asked for more money to cover the annual property taxes.

“So that sounded a little fishy, but I figured they probably won’t (let me buy a unit without paying taxes),” he said. “That should have been the last red flag, but once you’ve got that much money in it, it’s hard to walk away.”

Soon after, the company he was dealing with became impossible to contact. Huddleston suspects the timeshare never existed to begin with.

Now that people are more aware of scams like the one Huddleston fell for, scammers have started targeting victims that might not be as diligent: current timeshare owners.

The FTC cracked down on telemarketers claiming to have buyers lined up, then disappearing with the thousands of dollars owners paid to cover fake closing costs or as a deposit that would be later refunded.

The FBI reported a similar scam, with a con artist contacting the victim by phone or email and promising to sell the victim’s timeshare in a short time, often between 60 and 90 days. The scammers asked for hundreds to thousands of dollars to cover anything from closing costs to listing fees.

Sometimes, according to the FBI’s warning, the victims are then contacted a second time — this time by someone claiming to be from a recovery company. The scammer, who may be connected with the original resale company, tells the victim that he can recover the lost money for a fee.

Once again, the scammers disappear after the victim pays.

Huddleston said that though he lost thousands to the con artists who contacted him, and he feels like a dupe for falling for the scam, he is just happy to have learned his lesson.

“I didn’t get too angry over it. I hated to lose the money, but I learned a lot,” he said. “The next time somebody calls, I’ve graduated from that class.”

When buying or selling a timeshare, Yourtimeshare offers the following tips:

· Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated with purchasing a timeshare, be wary of any company that pressures you to pay any such fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.

· Read the fine print. Especially when selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.

· Start with trust. Visit http://www.yourtimeshare.net to check out the Business Review for a company before paying any money.

· Never wire cash. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to locations in other countries.

· Get it in writing. Ask the salesman for all information in writing, including all fees, timing and ways the seller plans to advertise the unit.

· Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents, and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and ask for references.

· If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High-pressure tactics are always a red flag.

· Know where to turn. Before selling your timeshare, read the FTC’s advice on selling a timeshare and report any scams to yourtimeshare@hush.com

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit yourtimeshare.net

About Yourtimeshare:

Yourtimeshare’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Yourtimeshare accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn Yourtimeshare Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Yourtimeshare is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

For more info please don´t hesitate to contact us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

Fincas S Pedro y S Pablo in Tarragona

An alert goes out for a supposed Real Estate office in Tarragona, Spain under the name Fincas S Pedro y S Pablo.

A cold caller from Spain, with great news as always when they tell the timeshare consumer they have a buyer lined up for their timeshare.

This company with a Spanish name, pretends to be in Tarragona on the address: PlaÇa Catalunya 4, 43007, Tarragona, Spain

No website, unfortunately but they do have an email address ventas@realtyagent.com You can also call them on a Spanish mobile +34 698 734 722 or fax them on 0701 0021 727

This company is one of those who have elaborated the pitch thoroughly and after the initial call they send off the paperwork by email. Paperwork that looks very professional and official as it is even written on Government paper with stamps all over.

The person calling was Lee Warning, but his secretary Kirsten de Vries kindly sends the paperwork signed on his behalf.

A bit cheeky though that they pretend to work by the European Directive which stipulates money should be held in an escrow account. Does it?

They also add a stamped form which confirms the buyer has already deposited the money for the purchase. All the details of the buyer are on the form, shame these buyers always live in a different country where they speak a different language!

The Escrow account is not only for the money of the sale, they also request a 9% of the sales price to be paid by the seller into this account (!!) prior to the sale..

Hold on, that’s an upfront fee!

Even more surprising is the fact that this “Escrow” account seems to be in a bank branch situated in Malaga on the Costa del Sol. Wow, that’s a long way from Tarragona!

Research has shown that there is no such real estate as Fincas S Pedro y S Pablo in Tarragona handling timeshare sales. Add this up to a cold call, guaranteed sale, upfront fees and a bank transfer to an individual in a faraway place….let just say we don’t recommend dealing with this company!

Have you been called by Fincas S Pedro y S Pablo from 0034 698734722 ?

Do let us know!

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