Story by WRN/Bob Hague
State consumer protection officials are raising the alarm over an “aggresive” time share purchase scam. Victims were repeatedly asked to send money to overseas entities and were threatened by phony law enforcement officials when they stopped engaging with the scammers. DATCP’s Frank Frasetto said they’re trying to determine if the victims are being specifically targeted.
“The people who have filed complaints currently are time share owners. How the crooks got that information, we just don’t know at this time.”
Consumers should be extremely skeptical of any of these timeshare resale tricks:
Unsolicited phone calls or emails regarding timeshare resales, even if the consumer had previously placed classified advertisements to sell the properties.
Urgent requests for payments. Victims are often encouraged to complete every payment as soon as possible, or the entire deal could collapse and they could lose the money they had already spent. In actuality, criminals pressure victims to take quick action knowing that any extra time could give a consumer a chance to think through the actions or ask for advice from others.
Demands for payment by wire transfer. Wiring money is like sending cash – once it is sent, it is nearly impossible to recover.
Any time share owners who are suspicious, should break off contact. DATCP and DOJ are working with local and state law enforcement agencies to investigate this scam.