Our reflections of this week go out to those who have written to us and started their email or blog comment with this phrase “How could I be so stupid?” or “Another one on the list of the fools who fell for this”
Well, after replying to over 3000 customers last year, who have gone through the stressful experience of being scammed, we certainly know for a fact that falling for a scam has nothing to do with being stupid!
Stressful because not only have they lost an amount of money, but they also feel completely stupid and embarrassed afterwards for what has happened and don’t really know how to seek help and turn things back.
And the scammers / fraudsters are getting away with a lot of their dodgy business just because they know people will be ashamed, embarrassed to say the least and a vast majority will not even seek help or advice just because of these feelings.
It all starts with the call. The “famous” Cold Call…
You didn’t expect the call, and maybe you don’t even feel for listening to the story they have to tell, but straight away there are key words thrown into the conversation such as your timeshare, resale, buyers waiting, good offers and cash money.
So why not listen a bit more? This cannot harm you?
The “nice” lady or gentleman on the phoned “sounded so professional” or “what they told us sounded so believable”… Another phrase used in the descriptions we receive about what happened.
Was the story believable or maybe did we “wish” for it to be real?
So if this Sally or Dave on the phone tells you their company works with larger corporate clients who have businesses in Russia or Asia where the economic climate is improving and people are buying into holiday products…why not believe this? Don’t we see examples on television each day about Russians buying luxury cars and houses for example?
So is it not more than reasonable when they offer you this opportunity to sell, that they ask for a security fee? Imagine, this sales company has selected you for this resale opportunity with a great value for your timeshare. But imagine if they go ahead with the sale and send you a cheque and you turn around and don’t send them the deeds. They need to be sure you do!
Thinking out loud…now afterwards, it doesn’t look that logical at all. Because if they do sell and send you the £8000 pounds for example…what difference would the upfront fee of £1500 make in case you don’t send them the deeds? You would have earned still £6500 and kept your deeds.
And what about those who are called because they appeared on a list of defrauded timeshare owners, published by the Spanish Government who then has hired this company to contact the victims?
Would you not wish to believe that finally the Spanish Government has taken action and blocked the bank accounts and now is going to give this money to the defrauded members? I would! And now the Government is involved, is it not believable they will want to charge some tax for the fact they did all this for the victims? Well, don’t all governments charge tax?
The above are only examples of situations but of course they are based on real stories we have heard over and over again in the past months.
We want to warn you. Don’t take your guard down!
We cannot repeat it enough, don’t trust cold callers!
There is always the clever one that says, “well everybody cold calls..” Yes, maybe. But you have to make a difference between a cold call from a telemarketer who has a phone book or yellow pages on her desk and cherry picks telephone numbers, or a telemarketer who calls and knows your name, knows you are a timeshare owner and even knows you have been defrauded in the past months by another resale company! That is not a COLD CALL! That is a fraud to happen!
Your personal details and your membership details are not open to anybody! Neither the resort or exchange company would pass your details on to third parties.
If the company that calls you has your details, it is because they obtained them unlawfully!
How about a conversation with somebody who explains you straight away she has obtained your details in an unlawful way? Would you continue the conversation and listen to what they have to tell? No…
This article is not about making you feel bad! This is about re-assuring you that you are not alone. You are not the only one who might have fallen for the above mentioned scams or other variations of them!
So now you know you are not alone and certainly not stupid, are you going to let these fraudsters get away with it? Are you going to let them keep your hard earned money which they took from you taking advantage of your state of mind or desperation to get out of your timeshare?
You might be a pensioner or unemployed…do you realize that the big guys behind these kind of companies are driving around in luxury cars and live in big villas on your expense?
If you are reading the blog, we know you might have been in the above mentioned situation.
If you are reading this blog, please take the next important step and send us an email and let us help you where we can!
I received another “cold call” mid-afternoon on Friday 8th June 2012. The caller [a woman] asked for me by name and then said her company [not mentioned during the call despite me asking] was working with the British Ministry of Justice and was contacting clients who had been approached by rogue company’s to purchase our timeshare package, and had I been contacted by one or more of these nasty people?
I asked where or from whom, she had got my personal details, name and telephone number etc. from, but she proceeded to continue her [[obviously scripted] sales pitch without answering.
I asked three more times – finally she shouted “aawww shut-up” in a very “London/Essex” voice [people in the UK will understand this!!!] and slammed the telephone down. Job done!!!
I just love cold callers you say yes to everything and when they start to ask for your banking details you just say Oh yes hang on a minute You then extract the loudest air horn ever made and say to them Im sorry but I cannot hear you would you please get a little closer to your telephone.
THEN YOU LET THEM HAVE A MOST SATISFYING BLAST JOB WELL DONE!
If you cannot be bothered to do that just leave the phone off the hook and enjoy an imaginary conversation with the Cold Call Police saying no I dont get cold calls anymore because the last one got 15 years in The Scrubs for being RUDE!
I was contacted on 8th March 2012 by La Vida Viva with the promise of a sale of our timeshare. Normally I would run mile from these calls but they must have caught me on a bad judgement day. I reluctantly agreed to pay 800 euros on my credit card in advance of the sale promised although I expected to be covered under the distance selling regulations if things went wrong. After visiting this site and taking advice from Albert Garcia, the Timeshare Council and my credit card company, I sent a letter recorded delivery (Internationally signed for) to La Vida Viva cancelling the telephone agreement under the distance selling regulations and asking for a refund of the 800 euros within 30 days. I am happy to report that I received a full refund onto my credit card on 11th May. A very fortunate outcome for me and proof that refunds can happen.
We got conned yesterday by a company calling themselves BlueFlagTravel, £400 for a non existent two weeks in the canarias. Dont feel stupid, more angry now after reading the comments above. I am taking this all over the web and anywhere else I can, they literaly stole money from us with lies and false promises.
You certainly should not feel stupid.These scammers are proffessional and very good and beleivable at what they do.Do not be afraid to seek help.Alberto is very good with helping and advising.If you do not seek help because your embarrassed they will be getting away with it.We have to put a stop to these evil people.
at the end of the cold call tell them you are interested but you want to check the companys validity with alberto at mindtimeshare i guarantee you will get no further correspondance from a bogus company
Yes John, this might work well!