Timeshare fraud costing elderly victims thousands
Timeshare fraud costs victims thousands
“Timeshare fraud and scams are costing some of the most vulnerable members of our society literally thousands,” says Dan Keating of the Timeshare Consumer Association. “Many current and former timeshare owners are now pensioners, the very sector who can least afford to lose money, especially as a result of fraud,” Mr Keating states.
How the fraud is perpetrated
Keating went on to explain that victims are cold called using data that has no doubt been obtained illegally. “Often the victims targeted are ex owners of failed holiday clubs. The caller has all the information about their past ownership and explains that a court case has taken place, normally in Spain, and the court has awarded a substantial sum to the victim as recompense for their previous losses. There follows a request for money for spurious reasons such as court fees or local taxes, these need paying before the award can be released. This is where collectively all the relatively small sums asked for add up to thousands,”said Keating.
No court case, no money
The Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) is inundated with calls where victims have already paid the fraudsters; Keating says this is what really hurts, as an organisation we carry out substantial research to find and expose these fraudsters but despite our efforts many pay up before checking with us, one call and we could have saved them from losing money.
We need to emphasise that there has’t been and neither will be any court cases in Spain or anywhere else for that matter in relation to these failed clubs so there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
For timeshare owners both past and present there are circumstances where legal action may be taken genuinely, in such cases the owner will need to input lots of facts to the lawyers. Courts simply don’t hand out money to people if the first thing the supposed “plaintiff” knows is that they are entitled to an award.
Catching the scammers
“This is where the problem starts,” explains Keating. “Most scam companies operate from abroad,” he says, “most from Spain and usually Tenerife. Sure many of them have supposed UK addresses but when we check, these are more often than not accommodation addresses, frequently with more than 500 companies listed at the same address.
Even before Brexit it was difficult for us to engage the authorities as all roads seem to end up outside the jurisdiction of the UK authorities.”
Keating explains that the TCA has been in existence helping timeshare consumers for over 26 years with free expert advice. So our continued mantra is “look before you leap” in other words carry out research and don’t pay any monies on the strength of a single phone call. Naturally the target market for these fraudsters are the very people who may not be internet savvy so investigation may prove difficult, all we say is, if in doubt, call us, we are internet savvy and will ensure that you don’t end up a victim.
- Fraud begins at home with you part 1
- Fraud begins at home part 2
- Timeshare recovery fraud a growing industry
- Timeshare fraud, who pays for it
- Bank fraud reporting a weakness in the system
- The Spanish tax scam
- Fake Spanish lawyers, an important warning
- JR Abogados — Another fake real law firm.
- Timeshare claims, are they worth it
- Timeshare Claims in Spain — Explaining the Process of Spanish Court Claims
- Understanding timeshare compensation claims
- TCA who we are
Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: 01908881058 (ask for Daniel), E: firstname.lastname@example.org (Address to Daniel).
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TCA provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for the media and other organisations — We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.
An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.
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First published on the TCA newsdesk November 2022