Spanish Police raids offices of British Gang operating from Costa del Sol and defrauding thousands of Timeshare Owners.

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We are very pleased to announce that on Monday the 16th of March 2015 the police of Malaga, the Fraud Squad  UDEF has raided over 11 fraudulent companies on the Costa del sol and arrested 60 people.

In the Operation Tormenta (Storm) the police took 60 arrests (56 of them Britons), of which 3 are considered the alleged responsible of the gang, and these 3 have been put into prison.

The other arrests were telemarketers and others involved in the scams from the 11 raided companies.

The investigations from the police squad have taken over 8 months in which Mindtimeshare has been in close contact with them, verifying data, names of alleged criminals involved and company names.

During the police operation they seized over 30.000 euros, 800.000 euros worth in properties, a luxury boat, 6 luxury cars, 49 computers, telephones, a money counting machine and 78 bank accounts were blocked.

The estimated amount seized is approximately a Million Euros.

The police so far has knowledge of about 500 victims but suspects this amount can double or even triple. And we from Mindtimeshare can confirm that indeed the amount will exceed by far the 500 or 1500 victims estimated. The victims are mainly British timeshare owners who have been defrauded out of their money with amounts paid between 300 euros up to 50.000 euros.

The scam was a set up in 3 stages, with the first stage being the cold calling Timeshare resale company, asking for an upfront payment for a guaranteed sale, the second stage a fake lawyer asking for fees and taxes to claim back the money through the court as the resale company “had been closed down, and the last stage fake court officials / notaries calling to say the court claim had been successful but the timeshare owner had to pay taxes and fees to release the money.

As far as the police know, these fraudsters have been operating these scams since 2009 which brings the amount of defrauded money to an estimate of 30 Million Euros.

The arrested will be accused of Crimes of fraud, forgery, money laundering and organized gang membership.

We will be informing about the operation in more details, with the names of the companies involved etc. in due course.

Links in the Spanish and British Press:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2998894/UK-timeshare-gang-4million-year-duping-500-Britons-elaborate-scam-smashed-Costa-del-Sol.html

http://news.sky.com/story/1446906/timeshare-scam-56-britons-arrested-in-spain

https://www.euroweeklynews.com/news/costa-del-sol/item/126960-malaga-police-bust-alleged-time-share-fraud-group

In Spanish:

http://www.europapress.es/andalucia/malaga-00356/noticia-detenidas-60-personas-estafa-vinculada-multipropiedad-mas-500-victimas-20150317141636.html

http://www.diariosur.es/malaga-capital/201503/17/detenidos-malaga-estafa-vinculada-20150317115301.html  (VIDEO)

http://www.elmundo.es/andalucia/2015/03/17/55082077ca4741012c8b4570.html

http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/sociedad/detenidas-personas-por-una-estafa-multipropiedad-malaga-4025253

http://www.eleconomista.es/economia/noticias/6561547/03/15/Miles-de-victimas-y-60-detenidos-por-una-estafa-vinculada-a-la-multipropiedad.html#.Kku8wJcU4IcXVVh

http://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/malaga/20150317/sevi-desmantelan-fraude-multipropiedad-obtuvo-201503171443.html

Posted in Bogus resale companies, Companies closed down, Costa del Sol, Legal Services, Mediation services, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Know the staff that ITRA hires to give the timeshare owner “advice” at their meetings…

ITRA

ITRA the International Timeshare Refund Action is indeed not a company that inspires a lot of trust to us. We have reported this many times on this blog through our articles. An opinion you also see through the comments and testimonials from consumers who attended the meetings and explain the way of working from ITRA and the real intention of their meetings.

Timeshare owners attending the meetings from ITRA in the UK, Spain or Portugal have often mentioned that they were met at the meeting by the “lawyers” or “legal advisers” from ITRA. And more than once these timeshare owners seemed to be under the impression that they were talking to a kind of “independent” person who was purely giving straight, honest and genuine advice.

Advice that often is taken on board due to this impression of speaking to a legal person instead of a sales rep who is purely looking for his commission.

It has been brought to our attention though that one of these “advisors” at the meetings in the UK (Bournemouth) is actually somebody with a well known name in Timeshare.

The person giving this “honest advice” at the ITRA meeting is Peter Francis Madden, aka Frank Madden.

 

20120825_Francis Madden also known as Frank Madden

Picture source Bournemouth Echo

The Timeshare career of Frank Madden goes a long way back to 2001 when he was the man in charge for Gold Quest Marketing and many other companies afterwards such as Timeshare World, Ventura1, Ujustgo, Quality Vacations, Prestige Marketing, Discovery Concepts, Price my timeshare, etc. etc.

A long list of bogus companies, who were all supposedly selling people’s timeshare, selling discount holiday clubs and promising the moon to those who were willing to pay upfront fees and thousands of pounds for worthless memberships in dubious discount clubs. All companies investigated by the police and Trading Standards.

Have a look at the article posted by the BBC regarding the company Gold Quest and the victims of this dubious set up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/south/series9/week_nine.shtml

We also found a mention about the OFT who obtained undertakings in 2004 from Discovery Concepts Ltd, and its director Frank Madden, under the Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations 1988. And it seems that according to some sources, he was been banned as a director until 2012.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1515193/Free-holiday-that-wasnt.html

If you put into Google the name Frank Madden Timeshare you get over 10.000 matches! So sure he is known and looking through the numerous matches, there doesn’t seem to be one with positive mentions about him.

Have a look at more links found on the internet about Frank Madden:

Frank Madden holiday scam victim feels an ‘utter fool’ http://oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/consumer-regulations/traders/3453/1/Outcome1/3791.pdf

BBC News – Hotweeks boss Frank Madden given suspended sentence http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-19368604

Timeshare director prosecuted: http://bop.4t2portfolio.co.uk/culture_community_learning/news/www.boroughofpoole.com/ref:101/

Looking at this person’s background and the fact that he has left many many victims behind, it is questionable how he can now be working for a company such as ITRA and claiming to be helping people to fight against the “Timeshare Industry”

So the people who are now actively trying to get these so called Class Actions against the Timeshare Industry are in reality those who have been for years working in this one and same industry but on the dark side where consumers where cheated over and over again.

Those who in reality have given the Timeshare Industry the bad name with their dubious activities!

This is the kind of staff ITRA has in it’s offices and in who’s hands they place the consumer, the innocent consumer who attends a meeting thinking it is a No Win No Fee and purely to help them…

Welcome to ITRA, meet Frank Madden…your advisor for the day!

Posted in Bogus Holiday Clubs, Bogus resale companies, Club Class Group of Companies, Companies closed down, Costa del Sol, Legal Services, Mediation services, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UK Mini Break or “there is no such thing as a free lunch”!

man-free-sign-270x300

We have all heard of the phrase, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”, but still sometimes you might be tempted to take up an offer that appears to be free.

Offers that sound too good to be true…

UK Mini break or UKMB is one of those companies that offers mini breaks in the UK that in the first instance sound like something appealing.

The holidays are offered to timeshare owners and especially those with a desire to sell their membership are on a lucky list.

But, of course there is always a catch.

One of these catches we have discovered lately is the fact that UKMB – UK Mini Break is offering short stays in hotels in the UK but with the condition to attend a presentation of Sellmytimeshare.

Sellmytimeshare and the sister company Monster Travel have been mentioned in many articles on our website, and for a resume of all the articles you can click on the following link: http://mindtimeshare.me/?s=monster+travel

Main issue with Sellmytimeshare is though that they don’t really seem to be “selling” anybodies timeshare and all it is about at the meeting is disposal and buying into the Monster Credits.

Credits which supposedly can be sold again after 14 months although we haven’t heard of anybody yet who has actually even been given the possibility to sell, and neither are we aware of any “platform” launched by Monster for the sale of the credits.

Paying thousands of pounds towards a disposal service that not always is delivered, seems a rather expensive option.

People attending the meeting from Sellmytimeshare had indeed a “free stay” at the hotel, but ended up signing an agreement with Monster for more than 7000 Pounds and worse of all, paying a deposit of around 500 pounds on the day.

Checking the paperwork, the 500 Pounds are not reflected as a deposit though and relate to a Discount Voucher book. Surprisingly all consumers we spoke to are under the same “confusión” that this voucher book was a free gift and the 500 Pounds a deposit towards the Monster agreement.

Seen the above, the only thing we can say is that please be careful when you receive an offer that sounds too good to be true.

If you have been contacted by UKMB – UK Mini break or any other promotional company offering a stay at a resort or hotel in exchange of attending a sales presentation, please let us know.

And always remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch…..

Posted in Bogus Holiday Clubs, Bogus resale companies, Flybuy Operator, Tips & Advice, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Equal Access to Justice, the cold calling “lawyer supported” Mediation company.

eaj.jpeg

Equal Access to Justice is the latest Mediation Company we have added to our cold caller list this month.

They cold call timeshare consumers and seem to know perfectly well their personal and membership details.

The advisor from Equal Access to Justice explains the timeshare owner that a lot of people from their Holiday Company are annoyed with the high annual fees and Equal Access to Justice can offer support and protection in seeking ways out.

Although they don’t seem very keen to admit this, it becomes clear in the conversation that they are not solicitors but assure the timeshare owner they are the best company with high success rates and protected by the consumer protection act.

Without going into details about any possible costs, the owner is offered to have a conversation with an advisor of Equal Access to Justice.

Strange thing is that when asked where they obtained the owner’s details the agent assures this was obtained from “w.w.w. forums“ and that they are covered by data protection etc.

We have not heard about any website providing timeshare owner’s personal details, and this would certainly not be something that complies with the law of Data Protection.

Contact details for Equal Access to Justice are: Telephone: 01206 203 348 and Email: enquiries@equalaccesstojustice.co.uk

Company Address: Wickham House,, 1 Northgate Street,Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HA

We have not been able to find any company registered by the name of Equal Access to Justice at the UK Companies house.

Website used by this company is http://www.equalaccesstojustice.co.uk a domain which was registered in February 2015.

On this website though there are testimonials from happy customers supposedly dated from beginning 2013.

Seen the lack of Company Information and the cold call, we would certainly recommend for any Timeshare owner to be very careful when dealing with this company.

If you have been approached by Equal Access to Justice from 01206203348 in Essex, then please let us hear your feedback.

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

Posted in Legal Services, Mediation services, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How dubious companies like Windmill and J Lopez Mediation prey on innocent and defenseless consumers

WARNING2

It is never nice to hear how companies cold call Timeshare consumers and try to cheat them out of their money by offering services that probably are never going to be delivered.

Services based on made up stories of court cases going, succesful claims that have resulted in money awarded to the victims, etc. Etc.

But certain stories go far beyond the “simple” cold call and dubious offers.

We received this week several copmplaints though from different consumers who had been dealing with Windmill Mediation Services recently.

We thought we had to share their stories with all the readers of the blog, as this shows how low these companies fall, and how far they go to get their objective which is taking money from innocent people.

This is what we received:

“Unfortunately we got entangled with Windmill Mediation. They dropped their opening fee to 750 Pounds, so we went along. This supposedly would get us 45,000 Pounds  compensation.

We insisted on a written agreement that any further fees would be taken from the claim and this they agreed to.

Surprised last week to get a call from them stating that our file was being passed to J.Lopez Mediation for the distribution of the claim.

J.Lopez Mediation asked for 4,550 for TAX and VAT. Of course we explained we did not have that amount plus informing him of the fee agreement.

It was suggested I borrowed that fee .

Early next morning phone call from Windmill Mediation services saying that if we did not pay this fee our file would be passed to a debt collection company!

They followed this call with an e-mail. Very quickly followed by e-mail from European Debt Collection.

More calls have been received ever since, telling me to pay. Including an aggressive call from EDC – European Debt Collection saying if I don”t pay this within 7 days he will be visiting my house. We have been to the Police, and Action Fraud have taken all details, but that doesn”t stop the fear of people at my door  demanding  money or goods. Every-one assures me it is all bluff BUT!!!  …obviously we are terribly worried…”

So, these companies mentioned no longer stick to the first round for money and have no scrupulous to even threat people with fake debt collectors, and people banging on their doors.

If you have experienced a similar story recently, then please le tus know. This needs to be reported to the pólice, as we are of course looking at a serious offence.

There is no such company by the name of European Debt Collection, and neither have there been any courtcases or settlements on Timeshare cases where money has been set aside for the victims.

PLEASE be careful with cold callers. If the offer they have on the phone sounds too good to be true, it ussually is!

Always do your research and if you are a victim of a fraud, let us know and report it!

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

Cisco Atlas Company, société de revente basée à Marrakech

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Cette alerte aux consommateurs sort pour les entreprises de revente Cisco Atlas Company basée à Marrakech et avec un pitch (argument commercial) très semblable lorsque elles contactent les clients avec des appels à froid.

Cisco Atlas Company contacte principalement les consommateurs de France et Belgique et leur offre de racheter leurs multipropriétés. Afin de vendre la multipropriété le propriétaire doit se rendre à Marrakech et assister à une réunion avec un prétendu acheteur.

Ils n’expliquent pas au consommateur qu’il existe déjà un prix de vente convenu et ce prix est étonnamment élevé avec le seul but de convaincre le consommateur de la bonne affaire qu’il est offert.

Les coordonnées de Cisco Atlas Company sont ; numéro de téléphone 212 (0) 649 555 119; adresse email: contact@ciscoatlascompany.com

Site web http://ciscoatlascompany.com en registré en Fevriér 2015, donc très récent!

Afin de se rendre à Marrakech, un paiement de 419 € pour frais de dossiers ou de confirmation est demandé, payable par virement bancaire à une banque à Marrakech.

Veuillez noter que les entreprises qui vous appellent à froid, ils ont évidemment obtenu vos coordonnées et les détails d’adhésion par le biais d’une source illégale et s’elles vous offrent une garantie de revente demandant de se rendre à un autre pays et payer des frais initiaux … elles ne sont pas dignes de confiance!

Avez-vous été contacté par Cisco Atlas Company par le numéro 212 (0) 649555119? S’il vous plaît, faites-nous savoir.

Email ; Customercare@mindtimeshare.com

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

Have you been dealing with Spain resale.com?

for-sale-sign PMS

A strange website has been brought to our attention by the name of Spain Resale.

The website is www.spainresale.com and was registered only a couple of weeks ago in February 2015.

The information on the web seems to be similar to that on other websites of other dubious cold calling companies, offering resale for timeshare as well.

Spain Resale does not really speak about their resales though in their Terms and Conditions, as these look like being copied from a travel Agency, and are all about holiday bookings.

In spite of claiming to be a company with large call centers and many many operators, all they provide as a contact telephone is a Spanish Mobile number 0034 603 261 285

The address is quoted as Calle San Agustín, Madrid. No postcode.

And contact Email: info@spainresale.com

There is no company information on the website, no company registration numbers and neither any registration that would back up the fact they claim to be a travel agent.

So far we have not been able to find any Company registered by the name of Spain Resale.

Seen the above information and more the total lack of company information, we would recommend to be extremely careful when entering in contact with this company Spain Resale.

If they have approached you already for a resale of your timeshare through www.spainresale.com, we would like to have your feedback.

You can email us at customercaremindtimeshare.com or place a comment on this blog

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