How to protect your elderly parents from cold callers scams?

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Fraudulent telemarketers cheat people every day, using phones as their weapons. These criminals target elderly people because they are generally too polite to hang up. It’s a myth that older victims are isolated or lonely as many are active people who are lured by great-sounding deals or nice sounding telemarketing agents.

Every single day we receive in Mindtimeshare emails from children who have sadly found out that their parents have been scammed by dubious companies and taken a lot of money from them.

It goes from payments to dubious resale companies for sales that never exist or to fly buy companies who sell over 80 year old people discounted weeks without telling them the age limit is 60, and the latest one, the fake notaries and court houses who have recovered all the money these victims paid previously to other fraudsters but they need a fee to unblock it.

In many scams the elderly may be targeted more often than other age groups and fall victim more often too. We certainly think that scams related to their timeshare ownership is one of these. And once burned, they may be hit up again as easy marks.

It is so “easy” for these fraudsters to touch a very sensitive nerve when it comes to the timeshare, as they will tell the elderly owner anything to convince them such as “the debts will pass to the children”, “your children will be stuck with this forever”… etc. So in an attempt of “solving” this problem once and for all, they are far more vulnerable in falling into these traps.

One of the main problems we see, is that children actually never really get involved with the timeshare of their parents, or realized this could be the reason for them to be a target for cold calls and scam companies.

So the main advice we would like to give is that children need to be aware what the situation is of their parent’s timeshare and if their parents have been speaking to these dubious companies.

If the parents are worried about their timeshare then the client services department of the resort where the timeshare is owned will be the best way to get the information you need about reselling, maintenance fees and relinquishment.

In case you do discover your parents have been defrauded, then you should immediately take action and make sure no more payments are made. Speak to the bank to block the credit card if the details have been given out and of course always REPORT to the police (action fraud)

Apart from this at Mindtimeshare we can provide all the information you need on how to do a possible refund claim, where else to report these companies and the possibilities to claim back the money through the bank or even the courts.

Other tips that help to prevent fraud:

  • Unlist your parents’ phone number so scammers can’t get it. Consider replacing the landline with a cell phone, where scam calls are less frequent.
  • Consider setting up online access to your parents’ bank and credit card accounts. This will let you watch over their finances from afar. Look for unusual monthly charges, big and small.
  • If you don’t live nearby, ask a trusted neighbour or anybody near to be your eyes and ears. What kind of mail is coming into the house? Does there seem to be a pattern of scam callers on the phone? These could suggest that your parents are on the contact lists of these companies. These lists are developed and sold among scammers to identify past victims as candidates for future fraud.
  • Tell your parents never to make an “on-the-spot” decision. If the person says you have to take the offer immediately or you will miss the opportunity, it is likely a scam. Legitimate companies do not pressure people to act without taking the time to look into the deal.

We know it can be difficult to convince your parents they have been defrauded, or they are so embarrassed it happened that they are reluctant to admit how far the fraud goes.

But please re-assure them that this is something that needs to be reported and should be stopped.

With the information your parents can provide about the company that defrauded them, the payment details and other information we can inform the police and place warnings on our blog.

It might be too late to recover all money lost, but at least their information will contribute to avoid others from falling into this trap and lose money as well.

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Posted in Bogus Holiday Clubs, Bogus resale companies, Flybuy Operator, fraud, Legal Services, Mediation services, scam, timeshare owner, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The strange cold call from Mason & Lombard

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Timeshare consumers receive strange calls, that is a fact we can see throughout all the blog warnings we publish. One of these strange calls we heard about is the one from a company calling themselves Mason & Lombard.

The person calling from Mason & Lombard is Angela, using telephone 0203 397 8255.

She explains that as the timeshare owner is a victim of dubious sales companies, he is now due to receive the cheque for the sale of my membership, which the dubious company offered, and seem to have happened.

Something indeed very strange because would an owner not know his membership is sold and money has been paid out? Would paperwork not have to be signed over? Just asking…

But of course things are not that easy, and Angela son has to break the bad news that the cheque has been blocked because the transfer fee of £800 had not been paid.

To solve this problem and to unblock the cheque of many thousands of pounds, the timeshare owner will need top ay the fees through a Spanish lawyer.

The Spanish lawyers office is called Sanchez & Limb and are located in the Calle Colina Blanca No. 7, 29640 Fuengirola, Malaga.

Their telephone number is a mobile: 0034 634 082 795 and there is no website or further details on the lawyers.

Fees need to be paid to these lawyers by Money Gram.

Once paid the lawyer, Mr. Limb, will get the judge to lift the block on the cheque and get it straight over to the timeshare owner.

Research has shown as we suspected, there is no such company as Mason & Lombard or Sanchez & Limb and of course there are no resale’s done by dubious companies who took upfront fees, and where money is now waiting to be paid out by the courts.

If you received a strange call like the one described above, maybe with different names or names twisted around, do be careful and don’t send any personal details or money!

If you already spoke to somebody from Mason & Lombard or Sanchez & Limb, then please let us know.

 

 

 

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Salgado the FAKE “insolvency specialists” from Cadiz in Spain.

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It was to be expected that yet another fake liquidator would be brought to our attention, as they are on a regular basis. This time the name used is Salgado en they claim to be specialists in the matter.

Salgado has the same “modus operandi” as the other fake liquidators we have already published on this blog.

It all starts with a cold call to a Reclaim Ltd. Certificate holder. Never mind if the certificate holder submitted the claim correctly or not, as far as Salgado concerns they can claim the full amount through the court as the company has been liquidated and money is there to be paid out.

Salgado S.A. appears to be the “intermediary” and is purely appointed to help out the consumers and no, they won’t charge any money as this will be covered by the courts.

All the consumer needs to do is fill in a claims form they send them by email, and a copy of the Reclaim Certificate.

Salgado will then claim the amount in their name and do the bank transfer when the money has been assigned.

For the submission of the documents the consumer has to use either email to salgado@post.com or by fax to 0034 951 650 338

They cannot use the address, as there seem to be too many consumers sending forms by post, and Salgado cannot handle this. So anything sent to Plaza Montil 4-2, 11402 in Cadiz will be send back unopened.

Telephone number from Salgado is 0034 951 650 336

Research has shown once again that there is no such company by the name of Salgado in Cadiz or in Spain. Neither are they the appointed liquidator or is there any money waiting to be paid out for the “victims” of Reclaim ltd.

The address they quote will indeed sent back all the post, as it is a fake address as well.

Once all the documents are send off to Salgado, the claim will be processed. But surprise there, as there seems to be an outstanding tax bill, which needs to be paid before receiving the awarded money. For some strange reason this cannot be taken off the amount and send the balance to the consumer.

Apart from this the consumer will also need a Spanish Tax ID number the so called NIE and as of course nobody is travelling to Spain to queue up for hours to obtain such number, Salgado kindly offers to handle this requests, against a payment as well.

These are only part of all the “sudden” expenses that appear once the consumer has submitted the documents. And bottom line is that the money promised from the start will never reach the consumer as there keep on appearing more charges.

Please do not fall into the trap of the fake liquidator Salgado or any other similar company with maybe a different name but a same story about your Reclaim Certificate.

If you have been speaking to Salgado from 0034 951650336 or any other “liquidator” that called you out of the blue, then please let us know.

You can email us at customercare@mindtiemshare.com or place a comment on this blog.

 

 

Posted in Legal Services, Mediation services, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

After more than 2 years of waiting…there it is, the Monster Community!

 

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-19 a la(s) 10.22.45Yes it has been a long wait for many people, including us!

But more I suppose for the many timeshare consumers who purchased a package of Monster credits in order to get them to dispose of their timeshare and was promised a “peer to peer” platform where they could sell these credits on and recover their money.

Initially those sold in 2013 were assured at point of sale that the platform would be ready in the last quarter of 2014.

A platform they were working hard on and should be there for the deadline.

But after some time the statements and agreements changed and consumers signing up for the credits were told the first quarter of 2015…

Then seen the fact there was still no platform at all, they full stop changed the whole wording and simply said, 14 months after you purchased.

Some consumers did receive a letter around March 2015, again to re-assure how busy they were building this platform and the imminent launch.

But the long wait has finally come to an end, and there it is, the Monster Community.

The Monster Community is a trading name of Monster Rewards SL a Spanish registered company, which was set up in May 2015. And also the domain registration for Monster community website was done at the end of May. (That seems a bit late for something that was in the pipeline since 2013).

When looking at the web what strikes you straight away, is that actually you cannot really access the side. You need to be a registered Monster credits owner or you have to submit all your details to get a password.

There is no further information on this website at all about what they are actually selling, what the credits are about and what you can do with them. There is not even a link to the Monster travel website either.

So who do they expect will be buying and selling credits on the platform? Because as far as we know there is a large group of timeshare owners who all bought into this because they were told they could sell them.

But where are all these other happy consumers who have purchased the credits because they are great to use, and now want even more of them?

It would be great to know if somebody actually manages to sell any of these credits through the platform. We won’t hold our breath though until such notice, but you never know.

In the meantime, we suppose that consumers might feel a bit “disappointed” to say the least after now finally having this famous platform to sell the credits and finally reach the end of a long process.

The process of where they were invited to a meeting to sell their timeshare, then they were told the timeshare was worthless you should cancel, then they had to buy these credits in order to get their timeshare cancelled through Monster, and then they had to wait for the platform where they could sell the credits and recover the thousands of pounds paid to Monster…

Is this the end indeed? Is it a happy ending?

Time will tell….

Posted in Bogus resale companies, Canary Islands, Flybuy Operator, Mediation services, Tenerife, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Careful with cold calling timeshare reseller TTS Viajes from Barcelona!

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TTS Viajes has started recently a cold call campaign to timeshare owners of different kinds of memberships.

TTS Viajes, as the name indicates looks like a travel agent, but the person calling assures the timeshare owner they are actually selling timeshare and have several corporate clients waiting.

One of those clients is a timeshare owner who wants to be on the board of his resort and is therefore buying into several memberships at the time.

He already has put down a deposit to buy the timeshare of the owner who is cold called.

Strange somebody pays money for something they don’t know yet if this is for sale…

If the timeshare owner agrees, the sale can be processed and as the buyer is very keen to purchase, he is willing to pay a large sum of money around the €30.000

Of course live cannot be that easy, and in order to get this sale completes the timeshare owner needs to pay the corresponding “notary fee” of around €3000

But this will be recovered once the sale has been done.

Obviously TTS Viajes has not heard of such thing as the European Timeshare Directive, which strictly forbids any upfront payment to process a sale.

Contact details fro TTS Viajes are: Telephone (mobile) +34 672 537 292 and email tts.viajes@europe.com

They do display on their paperwork a website which supposedly is theirs, but this is a website for a USA based travel agency, nothing to do with timeshare and no links at all with timeshare, Spain or Barcelona.

Seen the fact this company cold calls, asks for upfront fees and displays information which is not theirs, we certainly do not recommend having any dealings with them!

If you have been contacted by TTS Viajes for a resale of your timeshare, which sounds too good to be true, then please let us know.

Email us at customercare@mindtimeshare.com or place a comment on the blog

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bogus resale companies, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There is no rest for the wicked!

Summertime always gives you the feeling of “holidays” and time off, and for some reason we just take for granted everybody will indeed have their (deserved) break at some point during these months.

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But we couldn’t be more wrong…

It looks like this summer is going to be busier than ever, and we continue to receive on a daily basis emails from concerned consumers who keep on receiving very dodgy calls from all sorts of people and “companies”.

Most of these companies at some point seem to claim that they are connected to Courts, Notaries, Liquidators or just full stop claim to be lawyers themselves.

We also see many telemarketing staff giving themselves the title of “senior legal Adviser”.

If we have to believe all these companies, in Spain there must be so many court cases going at present related to dubious resale companies, that it is hard to believe the courts are actually closed in August. And all these outstanding tax bills…it is even more difficult to understand why Spain is even in a crisis!

Jokes apart, it is of course a very serious situation, knowing that many innocent consumers are right now being called by some kind of heartless person who will tell any story possible for the sake to get money from this consumer.

Although many people have updated their computer knowledge and skills, obviously it is the elderly that many times are not that experienced and lack the knowledge to be able to do a proper research on the web about the companies that call.

So it is often that the elderly consumers end up being duped by these people without any scrupulous who for some reason seem to think it is ok to cheat on the consumer like this.

Luckily we from Mindtimeshare are here to help out all those who need more information and more background details on the weird companies that call day in day out.

The team headed by Alberto García continues their daily work with replying to all the queries received through our inbox customercare@mindtimeshare.com the blog www.mindtimeshare.me or web www.mindtimeshare.com

Our team consists of people with many years of experience in Timeshare, and with a background in the area of police, investigators and computer science. This combination has created a very strong formula where it comes to fighting against fraud and scams in and around timeshare.

We have information on thousands of dubious companies and also the names of people related to these companies, contact details, addresses, and whatever information we get from the consumers.

This means that as soon as a company is spotted, the “wheels are set in motion” and we quickly are able to detect if any of the given details match with some other dubious set up we heard of before.

This information is very often shared with the police and even with banks or other consumer organisations when they are handling queries about a certain company.

It has become public knowledge that Mindtimeshare and Alberto García have information on most of these companies.

What we need to reiterate over and over again is that without the continuous feedback from consumers we could not do this and we certainly would not be able to do all the research and produce all the warnings we publish on the blog.

The information we receive from the consumers is vital not only for us but for all timeshare and holiday ownership consumers out there…as everybody at some point will receive a cold call.

So our message continues to be the same, if you receive a cold call, no matter from whom, if they are on our lists already or not…WE WANT TO KNOW!

Every single detail of a cold call is valuable to us!

But even more if you could let us know the name, the phone number they were calling you from, what the offer was, and even better any other details such as email address, website, address, etc.

Your details, your notes from a cold call can mean that another consumer saves themselves thousands of pounds!

Alberto García and his team are here for you to help! The team from Mindtimeshare is committed to their job and always strives to exceed the expectations.

So if you have any question or doubt related to a cold call or any dealings you had with a dubious company, do let us know and we will be pleased to help you further!

 

Posted in Bogus Holiday Clubs, Bogus resale companies, Canary Islands, Costa del Sol, Legal Services, Mediation services, Newsletters, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hampton & Thistle, the latest cold callers acting on behalf of the courts in Spain

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A cold calling company has been brought to our attention this week by the name of Hampton & Thistle who yet again are claiming to be acting on behalf of the courts in Spain and “only” contacting consumers to send them money.

Stories that sound too good to be true, and I would say which we have heard too many times before to even consider it credible at this stage.

An Amy Jenkins who works for Hampton & Thistle contacts consumers who have been duped before by dubious resale companies and of which the membership was never sold after paying the “upfront” deposit.

As far as Ms’ Jenkins explains, the courts had closed down the dubious resale company along with another 24 companies all probably associated with each other.

Hampton & Thistle are now dealing with the sales which had not been paid out and they are now paying to the consumers not only what they expected for the sale, but also the upfront deposit which was lost and a compensation fee of several thousand pounds!

The consumer will receive a phone call from their “finance department” to discuss the payment and how it would be paid.

But once this call is received from a lady called Lucy, all of the sudden a fee needs to be paid to them. Yes, in order to get all the money refunded for the sale, deposit and the compensation, the consumers needs to pay around £2500 to their Trustee Holding Department / Trustee Banking System.

Once this payment is received, a cheque or bank transfer will be made out to the consumer and from the £2500 the trustee will keep £640 for their fees for dealing with the transaction.

The details for the payment of £2500 are in the name Advance Payment Solutions.

Contact details for Hampton & Thistle are an address of Clover House, 16 East Street, Epsom, Surrey KT17 1HX and a contact number (0044) 01372 700 137

The address seems to be wrong or non-existing. The telephone number although from the Epsom area, can be a number purchased through the Internet and can be ringing anywhere in the world or let’s guess…in Spain maybe?

Please note that we do not recommend having any dealings with Hampton and Thistle, and certainly you should not provide them with any further personal details, as you do not know where they will end up.

 

If you have received a call already from Amy or her colleagues at Hampton & Thistle using number 01372700137, then please do let us know.

You can email us at customercare@mindtimeshare.com or place a comment on this blog

 

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